Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lovely lies

I wanted you even if you were a liar
I wanted you to scatter a fist of reproach into my life
I wanted you even if you are a window
Filling my life with dust
I wanted you even if you were a liar


Poems of dementia
Episode one: "star war"


When the mind gets bored from too much reality testing, when the daily life is so regular like mathematics, when we spend our day sitting, when nobody shake us, when we are so alone, spending hours packed in a small minibus stuck in the crowded dangerous narrow ugly streets of
demented Baghdad, when we experience all that we will start to like poems like this one. Poems of dementia. A poem that I first heard in a song, in a strange Iraqi song, the words went like they want, fluent like water, like a lover's heartbeats race, like the long hair of a gypsy with a wide colored skirt waving to the wild wind. It reminds me of her saying stories to me. When she used to get angry at me she tells me about that "Star War" story that I most feared. "The stars would fight with each other and the world, the whole world would explode and we will all die" she would say that with an angry tone and I would fear and hold her and say "no this is not true". "it is true!" she would assure. "Stars are very far". "Well, will you do what I want from you?". I would go and do what she ordered me to do and then ask again after few minutes about the stars. She would say "let us assume that they are far, but not very far". I miss her, I don't know where she is now, I have no clue. Their quarter had been changed to an ugly commercial area since long time.

I wanted you even if you are red cactus
To shade my face
From those who speak behind my back
Liar
Liar
You fox of our luxurious grapes
We cherish you even if you are a liar


Poems of wars
Episode two "Malaga"


It was war and we moved to a new place to live for a while. I befriended him from the first day when I saw him playing chess alone. He was so sensitive and he never saw Baghdad. I missed my Baghdad so I started lying. I told him that every three or four of our neighbors run a musical rock band and that I have a band with 2 other boys and that I was the keyboard player and the singer. I even claimed to him that I am a professional guitar player. He was a boy from a village, and he was so polite. He took me once to his brother's house and he came with a guitar. He sat on the floor and played a sad
piece of Spanish music. Something like "Malaga". Then he taught me to play it. How wise he was. How polite. The next day I didn't stop telling my legendary tales. What a spoilt kid I was.
I wonder what he is doing now.

You knocked my door
My door grassed happiness
And the wood
Blazed and dissolved


Poems of giants
Episode three: bicycles and oleanders


He had a blue BMX bicycle. I had a red bicycle. We would go together like young tigers racing around and around our beautiful neighborhoods. Our quarter was filled with garden of different types. I liked especially the smell of the Difla (=oleander) tree. My friend origins were from Bartella, a village in the north of Mosul. In our childhood he was telling me about Giants that live in the mountains
in his village of origin. Giants as big as the mountains. he was trying to convince me with his believes back then while I was making fun of him. He called his sister and asked her to tell me about those Giants. She did. My sister jointed us and we laughed at them. These days I don't see my friend, his sister, nor my sister.

My cheek flamed
And the soul grew up
In flowers of pepper
And the earrings
Dissolved in acid


Poems of the biting bee
Episode four: "marriage & divorce and a single day"

When I first saw her a wise old female bee bit my heart a long bite and then started injecting hot honey in my little poor heart while every
movement she made was recorded by my non blinking glistening eyes. I was in love with her. She came to my classroom one day. I was in 6th primary school class Alif (=A), she was in Ba'a (=B). She asked me to chose a girl from our school and tell her her name. "Why?" I said, but she gave me no clue. Deep inside my tortured heart I wanted to whisper her name but instead I chose to be diplomatic. I chose my sister's name that was also in our school. My sister had a name very similar to another girl in our class and she thought I meant that girl in our class. She started writing something smiling while I was just asking "what???? Whaaaaat??". She finally laughed and said: "MARRIAGE!!!!! HA HA HAAAAAAAAA" and she went running. I chased her while my heart was melting in hot honey drops that flamed the image of that love red horse. I caught her behind the main building of our school and asked her: "what was that?". "Sami, uh, let me breath, oh God, we run too much, look, ihim ihim, it is a game that we write two names, (wicked smile) a male and a female, ihim ihim, by doing some calculations from the letters of their names mixed together, we can
know their fate, their fate together, I mean, you know what I mean, it may be: HATE, LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, NOTHING AT ALL, or (she widened her eyes, smiled, raised her eyebrows and said: OR MARRIAGE wow…. "
I smiled; I was trying to catch my breath. She was so beautiful and lively. It was not only me that loved her. I could not say anything to her standing face to face to me. I turned and started walking. She walked behind me and said: "ok Sami, seriously, tell me another name". "No thank you" I said bitterly. "Come on it is only a game" she said. I looked at her seriously lost. "It is fun come on let us laugh" she added. I was hurt by her insensitivity. Was she insensitive? She was more mature than me. Girls mature earlier. I said a fake name. I chose a name I can still remember. It just came to my mind and I said it. I female name that I thought is long and charming, and a small father name of three letters that seems tuff. She said annoyed: "Who is this?". "Somebody" I said playing a role of a tuff guy unconcerned by the suffering of the hundred girls that fall in love with him. She made the calculation with no smile.
"Divorce!" she said. "Your game is nonsense" I said to her while she was turning and went away.

I swung the braids
My love my love, my love
I died like a door

How many times we should pass throw this?
The heart had thwart
And repent from you
Liar
My heart you fox
A liar since long time


The words in deep orange color are the poem entitled "Liar" written by the well know Iraqi poet Muthaffar Al Nuwab and translated "badly" by me. its Arabic is so easy. Written in slang Iraqi language, Sang by the well known Iraqi singer Ilham Al Madfae'e, it is so lovely to my heart to a strange degree.

2 comments:

Jeffrey said...

Sami,

Excellent entry. I excerpted a bit for today's blog entry at Iraqi Bloggers Central:

The Personal and the Political.

*

ShaMma said...

how fool is me ..You made me cry