by ali habash
Friday, April 01, 2005
Rated "G" by the Author.
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By ali habash
Remorse fills the city balloon,
And strikes the world on fire in a colorful picture
The darkness’ thorax begins to show
The hospital stitches the war,
Oh to have but one empty stretcher in my memory!
By stretchers I have counted my friends
My belief melts in a tea cup
Songs are weakening the screen and time has the smell of old books and towels.
Empty buildings disturb me
A check point like a hungry wolf, it disturbs me,
As I go across’ Al Umma’ park I get disturbed by a military uniform by a sewing machine,
My library committed suicide by a VCR
And poetry had lost its bloody clash
An out of order phone always looks like me
Summer comes with a new desert
I am being filled with mistakes, and I distinguish my cigarettes in the city.
Dates are not worthy of the place
As I cross ‘Al Rasheed Street’ I pause and reflect on the culture of tea in the café.
The benches are as old as my father and stuffed with wars
I sit beside the window,
The smoke pants and tangles with thousands of finger prints
The wooden clock dismisses me with its gazes as if it was a snake
They are working the tea as if it was their final real-self
A glory pulses like a cheat
The day get tired of its bearers and collapses
The café is the lateral section of a grave
I will change the radio station now
How many bridges old is the Euphrates? Maybe thousands of drowned people old.
How can a river count its dreams; I mean its victims?
A river is punished with weirs.
The comp leads me orderly to mirrors, to a deep well
Then I start combing my clothes
Heart is a hated word. It reminds me of a surgical operation
The red alert alarm gained the throat of the war back
I wounded my dreams in bed
The missile falls close to my life
My fingers welcome the events lighting a Sumer cigarette
And by turning off the tape recorder
Then memory starts browsing the photo album
The same window panes scattered nine years ago in ‘Bab Al Mu’atham Square ‘
In the same dreary winter
Pictures comes before the event
Same octopus comes back to us through the desert with its head down
Death mumbles in the space… it whoops
Geography is a cold trap
My hope dies with my first morning step to by a lantern
Close to the bake house, my son Hasan points at one of the discipline soldiers
Dad, this is war.
The child start cutting the future
The shoe shiner polishes his years very delicately
And looters hide in front of the pedestrians pretending that they are waiting for a villager
Everybody interprets destiny using different vaccines
Everybody participate in sinking the ship.
The airport is the real outlet of the city. Its limbs are torn
Amman is a fraction of a poetic meter; letters are enough for us,
I open the Atlas and look at capitals,
Distance is short between me and happiness, and the Atlantic is terrifying!
For the first time I come close to my dreams
The eye takes the role of the heart and start to pulse
The soul starts to soar, becomes lighter
Two days later, Tiba, the poet’s daughter tore the deserted Atlas
The water of the ocean spill on her face and the flood drowns the city
My soul is drowned by military and official documents.
I contributed in the forgery,
At the market I grope for the money
It’s like an animal monitoring desire
The day shows off its muscles as if we’re in a fight!
It starts to clash with me with its iron canines, we deteriorate with our instincts, and then I elevate my years with wine.
Fear becomes a mountain, imagination is widowed
Earth can’t speak… oh if it could speak just once!
Oh if history is worthy of her!
For the first time I think about the garden
Garden and truth are antonyms
I try to substitute the café with the garden, but the fog reach there before me
When I open the fridge, a barren desert shocks me there and it dries my body
A statue which eats healthily sleeps with me in bed
The power generator annoys me with its full of puss dirty tongue
Marriage extinguishes moments of meditation
It continues my going along with time
My back begins to shape the roof of the house
And from one room to another my lust cracks like a car wind shield
My back celebrates two kids
My relationship gets stronger now with chocolate sellers and on call pharmacies
The bed room is a train wagon that does never reach its destination
Our pinky dreams are dusty on a shelf beside the kids’ medicines
So gently, my relationship ends with the newspapers
The world is overflowing,
Cats give birth to kittens behind the library and I remember the shattered window pane because of a blast
The temperature medicine makes the room’s furniture more harmonious
The clothes on the line are our dead, and empty of memories bodies
The continents are conspiring to shut up our phone sets
The lantern celebrates having no electricity
My beloved exchanges the furniture of our love with flour
Love becomes even more intense and malignant after twenty years and four kids
With gray hair and no propane,
Love realizes its harsh nails
I see it in the wrinkles on her face and the make up box
In the potty belly and the disfigured toe
After all my revolutions and defeats before the clock on the wall,
The continents stretch their bodies
My beloved risks the world …and cross the bridge….
My lost love plans my vision of immigration
The pedestrian’s bridge, the blood circulation of “Bab Al Mu’adham” square is out of order
People in the street sum up their mistakes by crossing the street from under the bridge
Darkness falls, the thorax of the city begins to show
Darkness drills the sight, the mind is more active, and the world is not edited
Car lights solve the puzzles of the roads
And uncover the mind’s compass
At intersections in cities, numbers and kilometers get mixed and mingled
Horns slaughter my poetic image
The building drilled with a missile is a decomposing statue
Passers by just let this scene passes as if they were in a picnic
Time breeds under the feet of “Al Mutanabi Street”
Glory celebrate junk
From a building to another, the body is extinguished
Vendors distract the morning
They load the memory with numbers
The bulk of meet in the thigh moves elegantly and orderly
It liberates my lust, I suck my spit
The bus comes, the scene is different now, the bus is a stretcher
The traffic light is the traffic police’s pulse in the street
Cages of air-conditions are prisons hanging on the walls
The pharmacy is beside some wedding dresses and a banner announcing someone’s death
Feelings deteriorate and get confused, like an error in a movie
How can the mind receive this mathematical equation?
The scent of that perfume takes me back to our wedding day in the hotel
The buried matches and candles are my ration for this year
My friends are the same with their cigarettes, but they are different with their newspapers
With big empty pockets they talk about exile
Metal was higher than the photo album in prison
The empty bottle looks like my dreams; it looks like an inhibited city
Sometimes a photograph can embrace my existence,
At times it’s a cup of tea
The ambulance reminds me of my life
I remember my defeats in front of “The Clock of Baghdad” and the sorrows of “ Al Mu’allaq Bridge”
The thorax of the city begins to show
Misery reaches its goal using rotten weapons
The Titanic appears on a pedestal
Very hardly I raise my last glass
After the party is over, the world oozes its armpits’ odor
I die as if I am a trophy
Tiba’s crying makes me an air –raid.
A nd in the petrol staion i digcovered the end war without a radio
Translated by: Dahlia Shawi
• There are some Iraqi names of streets, parks, famous intersections, and squares in Baghdad in the poem, they are the ones between the “….”
• Tiba is the poet’s younger daughter who is in kindergarten now.