The Weight of my words

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I carry the weight of my words on my back

My shoulders slumber,

I tumble.

My blades cut deep- edges and wrinkles,

I bleed.

I cringe.

It lingers.

I give up my name for a few pages;

I exchange  it for some inky utensils.

And I scream under hefty shackles

And the stillborn weight of my unsaid, unuttered, unarticulated utterances;

I shudder under undisclosed, unstructured, underconstruction sentences.

I scream and I say:

Let them cut my veins,

Let them rip my arteries,

Let them take a good look at my words

So they bow and kiss the majesty of their robe-

Of their own accord. 

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Becoming I

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Image

A sweet scented flame

Burnt the edges of her name.

A taste so sour, tinged the edges of her tongue,

As it wrapped around her teeth-

And clenched.

Iron- it crept

In red,

As she opened her mouth

And bared squares more red than one,

Wrapped between sheets and sheets of utter

Deceit

Of sheer lies ,

Lies my truth.

I mumble.

I mumble words of no accord;

I have lost my rhythm.

My thoughts break into a breath

Of incoherent words as they crash ,

Against my teeth,

As I grasp for oxygen

And learn

That the voices I utter

Are not my own.

But breathless

Ahhhs

Signs of no comprehensible sensibility

And lies ,

And lies

Low

Against the tide of my anger

As it is swallowed

By a sea of glances and grimaces

Taken down

And down below.

There is no light,

There where they were

There are no shadows

No silhouettes

But sound after sound

Of voices

Drowned

Stuck

Gross

Slimy.

Before my eyes learn

Silence

And my ears get acquainted with darkness

I am purged-

Upward

I am surged with utterances

Vertical

Upward.

I crash on rocks – from which the very essence of truth sprang

I lay on shore

A shore

Naked

Sure

As my words spill before me;

A sea of sheets now smudged with the ink of my being.

I, sure

I am

And I will will to live

I will live to fill pages with stories from down below-

That I have visited

For a moment, frozen in a time machine,

Defying the gravity of the moon and a non-existent orbit of flickering suns and constellations.

In my story,

In this story,

I triumph.

I become

I become the eye watching you

The eye that grants you

Sight

And insight

The eye that I am

The I that I am becoming.

I become the becoming,

The idea behind the next you-

Descending;

The next we-

Perishing.

I become I.

The Secret Glass at Cafe Younes- the new branch

The transparent glass had minor identity issues. It refused to identify itself as a mirror, but rather as a medium of communication.

Allow me to explain.

 

Inside to out view from Cafe Younes- Abdel Aziz Street

The glass thought being a mere mirror would underestimate the weight and the purpose of its being. So deciding that it wanted to be cool, it assumed to itself a distinct role, that of becoming a medium. Being promoted to “medium,” as opposed to “mirror,” also known as “reflecting glass,” it decided to take the act of reflection into a different level.

When a blondie walks in, the glass takes pride in its rebellious plan and contemplates the concoction of implementation steps. She sat facing it, first checking her own reflection. She was vulgar beyond recognition, not that it mattered to either her or the glass. On the contrary, the more the glass found out a detail it had originally missed in the woman’s face, the more it rejoiced at its potential, near triumph. It was perfect.

Two guys sit behind the blondie carefully sipping their coffee. In front of them lays the glass’s enemy, soon to be friend, a number one communications competitor (wait for it!! Drum roll? Unnecessary! BB, whatever that means). But together, they formed a formidable team.

One guy, wearing two round glasses around each of his eyes, which to the glass’s astonishment fit him perfectly (look at how they are cut to fine square pieces, or is it round?), looks about him. His eyes fall on the huge transparent glass, but only for a glance before two tattooed silicon lips (the blondie’s obviously) call his name.

Now you might ask how they figured it out? His name that is. I will let your imagination seek the answer and weave one of its own.

Moving on.

First they call him through the glass, triumph number one. Second, they smile at him, triumph number two. Then their eyes meet, yes! Through the rimmed glasses on the man’s face as well. Incredible huh? Then, Oh! Rejoice! Oh! Victory! They kiss through the glass, virtually, humbly, before BB complements the victory. What does it even mean?, thought the glass.  How lame, out of all the words in the English language they choose the name of a fruit? But then again it works just fine.

He leaves.

She lights a cigarette, throws one assertive thankful glance at the glass in front of her, as in recognition to its efforts, a secret, ritualistic (even) bondage. She is thankful. They have triumphed. The silicon tattooed lips will now rest assured that they shall be kissed for real, though I can’t guarantee that they will actually feel anything.

In my country

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In my country, there are hypocrites and everyone is an expert.

Tongues have lynching superpowers, officials are not there to help you, but to humiliate you, then attempt to buy you out.

In my country, if a motorcycle hits your car, parked on the side of the road or even your garage, it’s your fault

If a man suicides on your car roof, you pushed him

In my country, if a woman gets raped, she marries her rapist and justice is served.

In my country, two people of the same gender are convicted for falling in love but raping a goat is ok, rape is justified by late night strolls and slutty-ness.

In my country, if you are witnessing a quarrel, unless someone is shot, security forces watch.

In my country, a woman cannot grant her child her prestigious Lebanese nationality, (because we are special)

In my country, falling in love with someone from another religion necessitates crossing seas but not for honeymoon purposes alone

In my country, water and electricity are a luxury and did I mention 3G?

In my country, roads and buildings have criminal intent

And in my country, there are liars and thieves

Who lie to us and steal from us

And there is us who are lied to and stolen from

There is us who are not loud enough and us who are not brave enough

There is us who are hypocrites and us who are silent

There is us who are wronged and us who are blamed.

In my country, there is us and them and we.

In my country, “I” is slaughtered by the sidewalk.

 

The world of two moons

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I have just finished reading 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. It is the second book I read for the same author.

Bordering on fantasy with the hint of the real, this book suspends both your belief and disbelief by reminding you, through an incident, a character, a gesture, or a dialogue that there is only one reality in this world. However, what that reality is or which of the two worlds, sentiments, and rationales present in the book is left up to the reader.

A book that engages both your imagination/fantasy and what little realism you as a reader have managed to contain.

There will two moons, little people who control you, who build air chrysallis and create your image and projection to serve as an other. Whether you accept this as a weave of fiction, or as a socio-political criticism you might find hidden within, or a romantic endeavor par excellence, or even if you do not accept the story of Aomame and Tengo, I guarantee you will not be able to put it down.

My Dear Sir Part I

I do not wish to make your name my trade

Or envy words that you utter

I do not wish to hang a story I have woven

Or tarnish a scene from a movie I have seen.

No, I do not wish to make you the third voice in my head

For more voices than one is crowded.

Or the little beat which dances and skips every now and then;

the turbulence upsets my rhythm.

I do not wish to grasp the reality you dress

Nor listen to your sweet little lies

For we all lie, dear sir, but your lies, unintentional or not, blew frost on my cheeks.

A different kind of shiver,

A shiver unwanted, sad, succulent,  and dry with cold.

No, they are not yours, Sir.

That voice is not yours,

That image not owned by you

That lie is not yours

The shiver was simulated by you

When you borrowed what was not yours to own.

As I accept it from you, the voice inside my head trembles.

And I ignore it.

So now, I have a message for you.

A message with no futile words.

A message with no tone, for my voice is not fit for song.

A message with feeling, just like the movies

A message, insistent, silent, soft

A message without a receipt

 

But where to begin dear sir

Words of lamentation do no good-

Especially those uttered with no conviction.

So I have nothing to say to you

No words to tell you

No gestures, or gesticulation, no utterances or hesitations, no remedies or accusations, no solutions, no suggestions

No

I do not need your promises when you have none.

Your explanations and your excuses are all the same and one

I do not need your soothing words of comfort

Or the shine in your eyes and the faint smile on your face

Those that seem to tell me I should be happy to be loved by you, to be liked by you,

Lucky now to befriend you

I have voices of my own Sir,

I have voices which made you-

a heart which feigned you

I have voices of my own dear sir, inside my head within my every thought and being, I have a lover of my own, another.

I have reflected myself in your mind’s eye, a sullen narcissism of my own which does not belong to you and is mine.

We are mirrors reflected – me.

For the first time in my life I lifted the reign off my emotions, my passions, my intellectual orgasms which we together have named, and places we together have possessed.

For the first time in my life dear, I lived the movie I loved and the book I sought to write, I constructed the places I would like to own, and uttered the conversations I lived within.

Beware, sir, for I am no victim nor do I seek to become. I will not wear the guise of the wretched.

I have a message with no receipt.

 

I have made perfect an image and I do not blame you for shattering it.

I do not blame you,

I do not blame you for unstopping the cork mid way, the liquid seeped in showers from off the bottle’s neck the bubbles drop dead droplets on the tip of the glass.

I do not blame your urges and sensations, your demons and your passions, I do not mourn a loss, for the world is round.

I ask the voice in my head to forgive me.

I lower my guard

I awaken what I have relegated as dormant

I lower my guard and I ask the voice inside my head to forgive me

I have more names than one to call it

But it only answers to one

I have more names than one to identify it

But it only identifies with one.

As I personalize it

As I humanize it

As it takes form and shape

Translucent

Eloquent

Shameless

It speaks,

Softly

Inaudibly

Vibrantly

Valiantly.

I shiver and I shudder as I listen.

Dear sir, it is I who have wronged myself

I sit and ask the voice in my head to forgive me

And it nods from the distance as it draws near

And near

And closer

It sips my cup of coffee

And drowns my shame in black

A Vigilant Writer or Something of that Sort

He could not figure out which word to use in specific, is it coiled or recoiled in the corner of the dark house it vigilantly decided to enter?

You see, he was attempting to write a novel. This would be his fifth unsuccessful attempt. His wife, now his ex naturally, always used to tell him that what he lacks was motivation, originality, spontaneity and inspiration. Come to think of it, those, in themselves were a lot to lack. But he decided not to let her words bring him down, even though he had to admit he was indeed trying rather too hard.

Writing is his only chance; the last straw for fixing what years of domestic and marital neglect has forced him to lose. For years after she had left, he immersed himself in ways she would never approve of. He drank rather too much and wrote too little even though thoughts and words would always come hurling at his brain, begging his pen to move, his keyboard to type words of such magnificence, yet his memory always used to fail him. And whatever words still lingering in his mind would be retched and thrown up with vomit and remains of smoke and vodka, leaving a disgusting state of numbness and repulsion to the extent that his pen recoiled to the corners of a dark house it vigilantly decided to enter and his paper, or what is left them would wrinkle as his fingers approach their very thin lining.

He knew he wasn’t the best speaker and sometime he even doubted his skills as a writer. His wife, or ex-wife, used to be his number one critic, maybe even his only. However, do not judge him too hastily, he wasn’t that bad or pathetic. He was merely a selfish possessive writer striving to be arrogant but never daring to show his writings to anyone.

To Beirut

I am sick and tired of Lebanese poems echoing the words Chicago, New York, New Jersey, Palestine, and Beirut, existential poems, poems about bombs and open fire, about zaatar and zeitoun and all sorts of foods and Lebanese delicacies decreeing who you are and what you are made of, poems about the day you were born being the day you have died, poems about the Lebanese civil war which you have not even lived! I am sick and tired of poems screaming against confessionalism while all it does is reinforce it. I am sick and tired of Beirut. I am sick of your fake charm and your elegant ragged garment. I am sick and tired of shy attempts to break out, to smash taboos in the face, of tomorrow that will never come if you still think Beirut is west and east, if you still steal western terms and practices just to look and sound cool. You who love this city so much you don’t mind tearing it to pieces just to claim a spot. I am sick and tired of you. I am sick of shi3i, dirzi, sunni, and masi7i. I am sick of ishtriaki, owwatji, awmi, hizb allah, 7araket amal, 3awni, haririan, and all others I forgot and wish to forget. You are all stupid.

I am sick and tired of those who preach peace, those who look unified in concerts and raves, who welcome P Diddy & co with arms wide open, and the next university elections would be an enough reason for them to throw stones at each other and bash each others’ brains out. Fun!

I am sick and tired of dogmas and superstitions, of stereotypes, of rudeness and dictatorships, of beliefs no one believes in, of prejudices and fanaticism. I am sick and tired of social decorum and the lack of social decorum. I am tired of skirmishes and superficial conversations, of high heels click-clacking on the pavements in malls, at work, and in concerts and mock marathons. I am sick and tired of bullshit, for it seems it’s the foundations on which this country has always been built upon. You do not have a hidden Atlantis, Jeita Grotto does not deserve to be one of the 7 wonders because it belongs to people like you. You do not love one another, you do not deserve and will not achieve reconciliation and 3aysh moshtarak. You are stupid. You who think we are country and a people worthy of being on this earth, are stupid and all yours laws and shari3as, all your regulations and rules, all your beliefs and religions will never be enough to protect you from your stupidity.

The solution? Collective amnesia. Not the false civil war collective amnesia that you have all been suffering from, not the one criticized in war studies and talked about in academic papers. Not the one which has denied you a war museum and a decent history book. No! One which will teach you how to be human again.

How many wake-up calls do you need? If Noah were alive, not one Lebanese deserves to be on his boat. Shame on a country which has lead itself to this level of indifference. Yes, it is worse than hatred that indifference of yours. Shame!

While you choke on your own bullshit, I declare that I am proud to be a tourist in a country that is not my own any longer. Not the upper class Saudi tourist with nails of gold, mind you. But the working class, poor, ragged tourist who lives on mankoushis and co.

 

Ta7sheesh Wa Ta7arrosh

A veiled woman of about 50 and something, buffy, stout, angry, carries two truck wheels, throws them in the middle of the airport road (taree2 lmatar), blocking it. She lingers around it, circles it, as if contemplating a hidden beauty and charm, manly handles her lighter and kerosene which she pours over the wheels, and deftly lights their fire.

Replicas of the veiled woman plant themselves all over the road till black smoke chokes the blue-ness into oblivion, just like the movies.

When the road is blocked and smoke has killed one pigeon or two, when the cars watch nearby, along with members of the ISF and the press, the women approach the camera, anger seeping through their faces and phrases, confidence shining through their eyes, and conviction resounding in their voices.

They are rightfully protesting against the injustice of imprisoning their children without trial, about the dire conditions Lebanese prisoners are exposed to, especially in Roumieh prison. Disregarding the privileges some prisoners get in the said prison, I turn to two specific women, one of which is our heroine.

Two women make the black blanket suffocating the entrance to Beirut, the traffic, and their voices worth the while. They furiously declare and call for the liberation of their children, confirming that they are being held unjustly. When asked what they were locked up for, the two women answer respectively:

– “Ti7sheesh” (drug addiction)

– “Ta7rrosh” (sexual assault)