Adnan Al -Sayegh (Iraq, 1955)

Adnan Al -Sayegh (Iraq, 1955)

Passage to Exile

The moaning of the train kindles the sorrow of the tunnels
Roaring along the rails of everlasting memories
While I am nailed to the window
With one half of my heart
And the other half on the table
Playing poker with a girl whose thighs are exposed
With shock and pain, she asks
Why my fingers are falling apart,
Like the wood of old coffins,
And hasty, as if they are afraid of not being able to grab anything
I tell her about my homeland
And the banners
And colonization
And the glory of the Nation
And the sex in public bathrooms
Then she leans, with her wet hair, over my tears,
And does not understand
While, in the other corner
Mozart scatters his tones over the snow-covered valleys
My homeland is sad beyond necessity
And my songs are aggressive, refractory, and shy
I will stretch out on the first sidewalk I reach in Europe
And hold my legs up for the pedestrians
To show them the traces of school bastinados, and the ones from jails
Those that got me here
What I carry in my pocket is not a passport
But a history of oppression
Where, for fifty years, we have been chewing animal diet
And speeches
And hand-made cigarettes
As we stand before the gallows
Watching our own hanging corpses
And applauding the rulers
Out of fear for our families
Whose files fill the basements of secret-service buildings
Where the homeland
Begins with the president’s speech
And ends with the president’s speech
And in between, there are the president’s streets, the president’s songs, the president’s museums, the president’s gifts, the president’s trees, the president’s factories, the president’s newspapers, the president’s stable, the president’s clouds, the president’s boot camps, the president’s statues, the president’s bakeries, the president’s medals, the president’s mistresses, the president’s schools, the president’s farms, the president’s water, the president’s orders …
She will stare for a long time
At me rain and spit moistened eyes
Then she will ask : “What country are you from?”

Tranlated by Abbas Kadhim

Adnan Al -Sayegh was born in Bufa, Iraq, in 1955. A poet, narrator and journalist, and a Member of the Arabic Writer's Association and the Swedish Writer's Association. Books of poetry: She Waits For me Under the Statue of Liberty, 1984; Songs on the Kufa Bridge, 1986; The Birds Don't Love The Bullets, 1986; The Sky in a Helmet, 1988; Mirrors for Her Long Hair, 1992; Under a Strange Sky, 1994; Formations, 1996; The Hymn of Uruk, 1996; A Shout as Large as a Country of Birth, 1998; and Embrace my Exile, 2001. He resides in Sweden since he left his country in 1993. His poetry has been translated into English, Dutch, Persian, Kurdish, Spanish, German, and French, among others. He has lived in Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Syria and London. In 1997 he received the International Poetry Award in Rotterdam.
Última actualización: 28/06/2018