Poets of the Café

Poets of the Café is my fifth collection of poetry, written during a summer of Poetry Nights at the Café au Lait in 1998 and during the following academic year. It was a summer of camaraderie, light-hearted fun, and a sense of belonging so often missing in my life.

Now, nearly four years later, as most of the principals of that august institution—then preparing to head off to college—are graduating from college, I offer this collection to them, with my deepest thanks and my best wishes in all their future endeavours.

It is to you, my "fellow" poets of the café, that this collection is dedicated.

Because I use special transliteration and Arabic fonts on the Macintosh, and it is still difficult to use such fonts on the web—though Unicode will "soon" make it quite easy—the rendering of Arabic words and phrases will be somewhat less than exact.

Long Arabic vowels I can easily indicate with the circumflex (^), but strong consonants, which require dots underneath the letters, will have to wait for Unicode. The primary problem remaining will be differentiating between the `ayn and the hamza, or glottal stop. To this end, all `ayns (an English long "i" but from the throat) will be designated with a grave apostrophe (`) and the hamzas (the sound made between "uh-oh") will be acute apostrophes (´).

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