petrol poiesis

for Ashraf Fayadh, my free-the-poet(s)!

possibly poverty’s

just a butterfly’s trace

a horse made of teeth

of banished naked mothers

petroleum-style-tongueless

as in desert-sand-mute

no petrol pump enough

to water enough flowers

for fired fire-fighters

as in poets

as in not enough tears

to say

if lashes were eyelashes

to carry morning dew

to water love

we’d put the fire out

this big big gas gas fire

that seems to have burned

the eye

and lashes alone

are not beautiful enough

as in not beautiful at all

to banish banishment

hearing a mouth

crack against a sink

still struggling to mumble

not to lose resuscitated souls

losing asylum

standing the silenced queue

possibly the end of

petrol-is-petrol-is-petrol-is-prison-

is-poem-is-poem-is-poem-is-water-style

optimism

for broken-hearted-we-the-people

post-brexit-style psychotic

who forget there’s also

broken-hearted-we-the-poets

we-the-families we-the-fighters

you-the-poet-the-fighter

you-the-artist

you-the-person

as in you are more human

than your punisher

as in if lashes were eyelashes

your eyes would be more beautiful

just starlike enough

to water enough flowers

and banish banishment

just for one child

whose silenced smile

would sing

and make the angels cry,

as in if lashes were eyelashes

your eyes would be two butterflies

poetry wouldn’t seem so out-dated

so weak and old

and useless

waiting for asylum

in the buried guts of dead-born doves

and wilted trees,

wouldn’t seem necessary enough

wouldn’t have jaw enough

wouldn’t have soul enough

as in

lashes are never Just lashes

are silence

are fear

are please-resist

and lamma sabacthani

as in eyelashes are never just lashes

that make us bleed

as in eyelashes are never just corpses

searching for meaning in guilt

as in if we bled painting

we would make murals out of suffering

or at least I hope we would, walls

the eye colour of the dead

to remind us

of all the dust in the world

and the little head

that breaks against a stove

from whose white bones

we invented prisons

floors the colour of haemorrhage

cause it seems it is the only proof

for tanks’ scopes and bayonets

and whips and guns and ammo

measuring the distance between being

person and not being human

that what we are

is never who we are

or that if we are we are not sorry

you know how they say

better to be story

than to be sorry

that if we are we are story

and present and memory

and guts and pulses

and tears and cries we

and sons and daughters

and children and orphans

and love stories we

and

and I’m sure you are too

and or I’m sure you try

and you the punishers

and you the hurters

and you the sad sad people

how can you kiss your children

good night

after your humanity’s been

oil burned

as in if lashes were eyelashes

good-nights wouldn’t hurt children that much

and lives wouldn’t be so fucked up

or maybe we’re all wrong

and you’re not alive to begin with

maybe you kill that much

with hope that corpses

will turn again into petroleum

or is it jealousy and sadness

and sadness and sadness

don’t try killing your children

to see if after rotting

they burn enough to move a plane

just don’t

instead teach them to write

and maybe one day and one night

you’ll have found

a peacefuller sense of gasoline

and sadness and sadness and sadness.


 “Because of frequent aggression by the settlers and soldiers, I don’t allow my sons to take the sheep grazing any more. I don’t want to lose my boys. I’m always worried and scared. I asked them to find other work, but once you’re used to the sheep it’s hard to change. Sheep are tied in with our earliest memories. How can we even consider selling them and buying cheese and yoghurts from shops, when we used to supply them?!” Na’amat Shtiyeh, 57, from Salem. Photo shows Taher Shtiyeh’s farm, Salem  Copyright: Faiz Abu Rmeleh, Activestills.org; B'Tselem

“Because of frequent aggression by the settlers and soldiers, I don’t allow my sons to take the sheep grazing any more. I don’t want to lose my boys. I’m always worried and scared. I asked them to find other work, but once you’re used to the sheep it’s hard to change. Sheep are tied in with our earliest memories. How can we even consider selling them and buying cheese and yoghurts from shops, when we used to supply them?!” Na’amat Shtiyeh, 57, from Salem. Photo shows Taher Shtiyeh’s farm, Salem

Copyright: Faiz Abu Rmeleh, Activestills.org; B'Tselem

The Star's Blood

      Silence -- (Aragón, 2015)

-------------------------- to Muhammad Al-Qiq

 

Broken

the stars have broken

and silenced the sunsets,

the mornings;

they drowned

in the blood

that whisper

the soldiers

when they force us

to eat their excrements:

to be a human behind bars

is to refuse;

Hunger is and has been

always

a much nobler

companion

behind rotten bars,

pulling at the gates

that were thrust upon her

for being free,

for speaking out.

Her seeds we’ll all plant

in our desecrated

gardens

used to feed the bullets

and the fires;

 

to be a human

behind bars

is to rearrange

the broken pieces

into a crystal knife

we use to mutilate

the lying part

sowed in our tongues;

 

to be a human

behind bars

is to not drink

the star’s blood

even if only to nourish

our veins

and tears with which

we feed

our orphaned children

no wheat

or water;

 

is to not drink

their lawyer’s tea

taken from the old man

down the road

left to die of thirst

and refused for drying

by the sun;

 

they’ll wear

your mouth

to plant lies

in our land

and, even when you’re gone,

when the mould and metal bed

finally cover your eyes,

the bees and butterflies

will refuse

to pollinate

the corrupt trees,

yet our own plants

will grow,

not high not tall

but honestly,

like our children’s

hearts;

 

this bitter land

this century

that is ours

we will keep in a box

they won’t take from us:

that, at least, you taught us;

 

the little box

where all the pieces

of the silenced sunsets

were saved;

we’ll reconstruct them

with your memory;

the bees will pollinate our trees

and high

and tall

they won’t take them away

with your voice;

 

and freedom’s eyes

will be our eyes

to see

through violence

through fear,

 

and she will be our mother,

our tongue

and land;

 

yet rest assured:

their excrements will dry

and forget will drag their bodies,

their imprisoned rotten memories,

and one day a bird

with the perfume of the horses’ backs

will fight for their forgiveness,

and the severe council of the bees

will let their women’s flowers bloom again

speaking a tongue of love

that will breathe the life

of stars and skies.

 

Right here. Right now.

 

by Angel Aragón

 

The Butterfly's Tears

A crying city. (Hebron, 2007)

------------------------------------To Ashraf Fayadh.

Today,
children’s skulls
are being made of little doves
chopped into pieces
for a few dollars
by a gasoline-stinking
 — — — — — — — — society;

to be a poet is to rearrange
the chunks of flesh
in order for the dove to fly again
to be a poet is to sing
alongside the mute bird
(that they extirpated her chords,
her eyes, her tongue)
to be a poet is to not shut up,
to take the rubbish out of cans
to rearrange it
and make it soar in flight
and make it sing,
and make it cry
a sparrow for the morning
that the nightingale is tired
of not sleeping
and his tongue is not enough
his breast raw with never-closing
wounds
disinfected with petrol,
with justice,
and with coins
(just a few).

Today,
to be a poet is to inspire
constantly
the butterfly’s tears,
and with every inspiration,
maybe the last,
to search the essence,
the fear,
to say the domination
of Empire.
If we were to extract
the cranial bones
from our entire population
we would only find
the rotten pieces
of the dying doves
(aren’t they already dead?)
and so it smells like fuck
like rancid gods
whose (all the) grease
coagulates
covering the heart of the world
(thrombosis) necrosis of artistic tissue.

But we are all here,
right beside you,
rearranging garbage into music,
desperately trying to find
the rotten pieces of the doves
that still can make fresh birds
to sing, to fly,
inspiring the tears
shed by the trees,
the butterflies.
Stupid people ask where are the poets;
it is evident that in the grey-ass dumps
lest they should be found
to be lynched,
to be lashed, to be hung — -
from the singing of the buried coffins
they construct cathedrals
from the crying,
from the endless sobbing.

When they mutilate our faces
they will wear them every day,
and our skin will be their boots,
 — — — — — — — — — -their carpets.

One day will arrive with another poet
that will try to rearrange
our rotting remains
to see if they still sing,
or, 
like the doves,
have been corrupted to the heart,
demolished to the bones.
The poet will find us there,
dead,
but uncorrupted, singing till the end,
till our heads roll off the executioner’s sword,
till our tongue is eaten by the crows
and our eyes are blinded by the worms,
singing,
side by side,
the poet will find us there,
find us all,
like the sparrows,
inspiring the butterfly’s tears,
the trees’ autumns,
microscopically rearranging
pieces of flesh,
of bone, of shit,
to make them sing,
and soar in flight,
even if only
for the remains of broken hearts.

Right here, right now.
A support statement for Ashraf Fayadh by Angel Aragón, director of Fallujah. and Mute Lyre Films.