Saturday, April 02, 2016

Normal Iraqi Day

"You take a mortal man
And put him in control
Watch him become a god
Watch people's heads a'roll
A'roll, a' roll

He has to move in Baghdad. Here and there. A Wednesday. A sacred day for the Yazidies. The Yazidies are now hostage of Daech. He needs to go to the Bank. The young woman in the Bank had her nails painted red. Bright red. He looks at his nails, and they were not so clean. He doesn't like take baths. He likes let things take their shapes. He is submissive. An Iraqi who lost control over his life. Chaos. 

"Acting like a robot
Its metal brain corrodes
You try to take its pulse
Before the head explodes
Explodes, explodes

He takes a Taxi. The Taxi man is aged. The aged man takes the speech saying: You are a young man son, believe me, in Saddam's regime we were better. Compared to now, I dare to say that now I love Saddam. Those who do not love him have a psychological conflict. We need to say the truth, it was better, Yeah Son! It was better." Rain starts. Both of them let the rain speaks. The rain says no words. But it is falling. Falling !

"The earth starts to rumble
World powers fall
A'warring for the heavens
A peaceful man stands tall
Tall, tall

He finishes his job in the Bank and needs another Taxi. A young man riding his taxi silently. The car recorder says a sad Iraqi song. He tells the rider that he likes the voice of the singer, and asks for his name. The rider doesn't remember the name but adds: "Only an alcoholic man would love these type of songs." They keep silent. Suddenly the rider drew a can of beer and drinks. "Is it Beer?", he asks. "Mixed with Whiskey", answers the rider. He rides good. So calm. A contradiction to the lyrics of the song. In contradiction to the whether the rider raises his sun high. 

 "Just like the Pied Piper
Led rats through the streets

We dance like marionettes
Swaying to the symphony
Swaying to the symphony
Of destruction" 

His job for that day ends successfully, but without any taste of success. He takes a bus back home. The bus rider says suddenly: "What I am doing riding my bus in this whether? I should have stayed home drinking a bottle of Raki and listening to my recordings." The bus rider is not calm at all. Rides hazardously. As if wanting to hit every car that shows in the street.

In rosy italic font are the lyrics of the song (Symphony of Destruction) by Megadeth

Friday, November 06, 2015

Rust Rests in my Heart

My tongue prefers olives over chocolate.
My eyes prefer scratches of the blind,
over perfect circles.
My ears tune to electric guitar over-drive.
And rust finds its rest,
in my heart. 

I bought a white board and put it my room hoping that I would use it by writing the TO DO list everyday, but as that list is always a matter of postponement, that white board's function was postponed too. Its whiteness annoyed me so one day I was about to throw an old magazine of art then the idea came to me, that I attache some pictures of paintings at the board. And since about two weeks the scene was this: 

I thought that nude woman will stimulate my desire, but that never happened though I sometimes contemplate in her back, in her fluffy back. Maybe that black lady is more desirable to me. Actually I see more beauty in those pictures to the right: the cat, the trash bin. 

From plants I like cactus 
From painters I like Lautrec
And Al-Jawahiri I prefer the shivering stars
over the full moon

And Venus was corned to the side
Angels faded in their sinless whiteness
Violet clothes took their ease sun bathing
After another violent day in Baghdad

Friday, October 23, 2015

Within the Mind

Transforming your mind from the inside out
Overcoming fear that made you doubt
Observing what is stored in the subconscious
Trusting what you feel with your gut responses

My friend left Baghdad since about 10 years. He came back for a short visit. Not a very happy one, although we were happy to see each other. He visited his room which was left by his parents unchanged, and found all his old stuff including the tape cassettes. In the last days of his short visit he game me some the old cassettes and a recorder. He left. 
See past the dark and use your energy
Learn from these images
Thoughts that we call dreams

Yesternight I took the recorder and put it next to my head and chose a cassette of Motorhead, turned off the lights, clicked play, and shut my eyes but... but I not for a long time. I opened them soon.  

This power lies within the mind
Gain wisdom through abilities
Change what's to come in future time
Avoiding pain and misery

It wasn't Motorhead. It was Death. With that album that we adored once. I had 14 or 15, and that words were so emotional, the music so high, the strings were pulled to their highest tension, and my jeans were started to be torn. The teenager me was screaming.

Look through the fake from what is real
Making desicions by what you feel
Live for the future and not the past
The weak of mind will never last

I hear now again the same songs and contemplate what had appealed to me once. It is bizzare. To a degree. No so bizzare. It is understandable. I am from a poor family living in a poor country in the 90s. A teenager. Repressed. Depressed. What else but a electrical string, and a rusty voice that can symbolize the reality, back then. 
Perceiving visions that reoccur
Analyse your dreams to gain
A better perspective of your life
In control of your destiny with mind and soul

When I think now why I chose psychiatry as a career, it seems not that so bizzare, a decision. I liked to enter inside this suffering. I liked to see from the inside. I liked to analyse dreams, mines and others. Gaining a more internal locus of control.

See past the dark and use your energy
Learn from these images
Thoughts that we call dreams

Since yesterday and I am hearing this same album of Death. I like especially this song whose lyrics appear in this post in rosy italics. Named (Withing the Mind).  

This power lies within the mind
Gain wisdom through abilities
Change what's to come in future time
Avoiding pain and misery

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ephemeral Scents

To gaze at a river made of time and water
and remember Time is another river.
To know we stray like a river
and our faces vanish like water.

Daesh, ISIS, or Al-Qaida are getting nearer to Baghdad. They gain cities easily. Explosions occur suddenly here and there in Baghdad. Still we wake up in the morning and we go to work. We get hungry and we eat with what seems like a "hunger". Yes it seems a little strange that we still get hungry. Anyhow, I think I have lost some kilos lately and I don't know exactly why. Meanwhile our  French language lesson was about paranormal experiences, hence our teacher provided us with a text from Maupassant's short story "Le Horla". It is about a man who started feeling that there is a soul existing next to him, drinking his milk and water, and one day he saw on of his garden flowers being cut by that invisible thing, that soul. He went for a psychiatrist to ask for help. I get interested and decide to read this short story so well.  

To feel that waking is another dream
that dreams of not dreaming and that the death
we fear in our bones is the death
that every night we call a dream.

Back home and for the rest of the day I do  nothing specific but navigating here and there in the net. Facebook is taking more time from me, more time than I intended. I hear old songs from youtube. I sleep. I wake up the next day and while drinking tea I read some old newspaper. Al Pacino is in the cover of the weekly supplement of my favorite newspaper, Al Mada.  The supplement talks about Al Pacino. I run fast across the pages to linger a little in front of an article about "Scent of a Woman".

To see in every day and year a symbol
of all the days of man and his years,
and convert the outrage of the years
into a music, a sound, and a symbol.

The first page of the newspaper contains a photo of a Yazidi praying. I feel guilty, a little, that I said once to a Kurdish friend that I find Yazidi girls attractive. Now that ISIS had taken many Yazidi girls as hostages, raped them, killed some, I feel ashamed of my religion. I feel ashamed of what I once said that I find Yazidi girls attractive. May God bless them all. May God bless us all.

To see in death a dream, in the sunset
a golden sadness--such is poetry,
humble and immortal, poetry,
returning, like dawn and the sunset.

I remember once I felt like I love a Yazidi young woman. I think she felt it. One day and while we were just having a passing fleeting conversation she looked me in the eye long enough and said that she will leave Iraq soon with her parents to go live in the USA. She said that and kept looking into my eyes. In my mind an idea passed, an idea about the impossibility of marriage between a Muslim and a Yazidi. As cold as a lizard I wished her, and her family, luck. That was in 2007. I was in Mosul. I felt also that I love a nurse, a friend from Romania I knew via yahoo chatting, and a doctor. All were married. Two were from other religions. Always impossible to marry. It seems that I never chose to love a girl who I might marry. It seems that I am afraid from commitment. I want relations to be passing, and always there should be a reason to kill the relation before it even starts. Killed while still a fantasy. I just want the other side to nourish my need to feel being wanted and desired. Kind of childish narcissistic passing fancy. Temporary and deferred like electricity in my homeland, not secured, not constant, like a mother's breast that is, that is not enough?

Sometimes at evening there's a face
that sees us from the deeps of a mirror.
Art must be that sort of mirror,
disclosing to each of us his face.

I left her a message: (Where are you?). She answered after few days with her bad Arabic: (In this a Universe!). I said: (In Mars?) She answered: (No, this is old, I am in Saturn). Many moons go round Saturn. She got black hair. I am moony too. I go round her like a blind folded donkey in a mill. She finally laughs at me and say: (You need to stay 10 years in a mental asylum !) I turn the pages of the newspaper and see a pub of a new edition of the novel "Perfume" by Patrick Suskind. Perfume. Memories. Limbic system. Rhinenecephalone. The animal inside of us.

They say Ulysses, wearied of wonders,
wept with love on seeing Ithaca,
humble and green. Art is that Ithaca,
a green eternity, not wonders.

I go to sleep. I dream that there is some fire starting in a corner my room. I wake up frightened and started searching if there is really a fire nearby, but there was any. I flared my nostrils at large and took depth and smell, but there was no smell of fire. I stood up, still frightened, and started walking around in the lodgment, searching for fire, but again there was nothing.

A brand new day starts and Al Mada publishes a supplement about Borges. I read the translation of (The Art of Poetry) to Arabic by Shaki Al Aybi. I like that. Now really I like that. I like life. I want to stay alive. Even if as a fleeting face, that is passing by. But while passing I want to kiss a girl. I want to kiss that girl, and tell her how much I love her. 

Art is endless like a river flowing,
passing, yet remaining, a mirror to the same
inconstant Heraclitus, who is the same
and yet another, like the river flowing.

The Poem's name is The Art of Poetry, and is by Borges
--translated by Anthony Kerrigan

Monday, March 23, 2015

Reading Nedjma

I was walking with my friends in central Baghdad, we passed by a Falcon for sale. He is tied by his legs to the cage. He seemed confused of his surroundings.  

 Looking at his constraints every now and then.

We went walking and reached some old quarter in which the shops were closed, and it was so neglected.

Now I am having a rest after a long sieste that left me with that lovable cloud-like feeling in your head. It is that effect that comes when the headache goes by, leaving that emptiness, that desert, those mountainous areas where wind alone travels. I am drinking a mug of black tea and have just turned the T.V. TV5Monde shows a documentary on Liban Civil War. La classe !!

 An old footage from that era shows a warrior presenting his colleagues, he was asking them each about his job or his diplomas: a doctor, an engineer, a civil engineer, an orthopedic, a lawyer, a technician, a doctor, etc...

I think the idea was to show that these are not ignorant people, and that the cause of their holding guns was justified.

My black tea mug is about to be empty again, so, I will end this evening by reading Nedjma, that Algerian novel written by Kateb Yacine. A friend of mine had found me two translated versions and he burrowed me the two of them.

 The family tree of the protagonists is so complex. You do know easily who is the father of who, and that was made deliberately by Yacine. Nedjma herself seems to be the daughter of  French woman who was raped by an two Algerian men in a mountain. On of the men then killed the other. Seems so ... so ...

Violence and Sex... it seems that Freud was (a little) right.

My clinic in Kerbala is closed since months and I have plenty of empty prescription papers. I use my prescription unused papers to write some notes from Nedjma.

... and I think about the cause of life. The aim. The way of life.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

A French Kiss.. to my Wife

I came today to home after three days at work. At the site of the work I have to spend nights at a hotel, because the logement in the University is not enough for all the staff. So, I came back today and was on my way to the market in my quarter to buy a kilo of oranges when I saw one my neighbours who started asking me thinks like:

"How many days are you spending there in your work? Are you spending your days good there?"

And then soon followed:

"Why don't you marry? You need to marry soon. This is important."

If he would repeat these silly remarks I would ask him:

"Did I bring prostitutes to the neighbourhood and worried you? Did I looked at your wife? At your daughter? If the answer is no, then please do not ask me again why I don't marry, this is my business."

I was thinking about that when in the T.V. they said that in Lebanon there is a movement towards the support of Civil Marriage. And I liked that much !!!

I really love Lebanon..

And France.

What I am doing here in Iraq???

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Stick in the Mud

"You know how everyone's always saying seize the moment? I don't know, I'm kind of thinking it's the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us."

To be efficient in a language one needs to practice it. Comprehension is much easier than production, thus when a child grows up he understands many words before he can produce a single one. Although the child at the age of one year can say about three words, usually: Mama, Baba, Dada, he usually can understand about a hundred words. 

I was watching the movie BOYHOOD when I heard that idiom: STICK IN THE MUD. It was Samantha saying to her brother ehh, what was his name? Marion? Not Malcolm. I will check in the net wait.

Mason ! 

Do you forget names this fast like me? I just saw the movie before minutes!!

So it was Samantha, didn't forgot her name because he mother used to call her Sam!!, asking Mason why he is always a stick in the mud. I liked that idiom and I thought, before I could be sure of its meaning, that I am also a stick in the mud. So I looked in my mobile English-Arabic dictionary which says that this idiom means being ashamed. I knew there was something wrong with that translation so I stopped the movie and searched the google to find better dictionaries explaining the idiom: being old fashioned, slow, unprogressive  !!

Yeah, I am kind of that. ... Maybe..

I started thinking about my current situation because when I saw how life in America look like, I always compare to how I am spending my time here in Iraq.

I am not doing much to change my situation. I am just living a tasteless life. Not thinking about getting married here, because I see that life is not worthy to start a family in it. But what if I find a girl like this one that Mason had found?

She told him:

"You know how everyone's always saying seize the moment? I don't know, I'm kind of thinking it's the other way around, you know, like the moment seizes us."

I am afraid that the movie will end while I,
Am stick in the Mud