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