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MITA'AM - A Review of Literature and Radical Thought, Edited by Yitzhak Laor

 

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9/11 Anniversary:

A Prism ; Wet With Wars

Sinan Antoon

Mar. 1991, Baghdad

 

this is the chapter of
devastation
this is our oasis
an angle where wars intersect
tyrants accumulate around our eyes
in the shackle's verandah
there is enough space for applause
let us applaud

another evening climbs
the city's candles
technological hoofs crush the night
a people is being slaughtered across short waves
but the radio vomits raw statements
and urges us to
applaud

with a skeleton of a burning umbrella
we receive this rain
a god sleeps on our flag
but the horizon is prophetless
maybe they will come if we
applaud
let us applaud

we will baptize our infants with smoke
plough their tongues
with flagrant war songs
or UN resolutions
teach them the bray of slogans
and leave them beside burning nipples
in an imminent wreckage
and applaud

before we weave an autumn for tyrants
we must cross this galaxy of barbed wires
and keep on repeating
HAPPY NEW WAR!

 

 
 

Sinan Antoon was born in Iraq in 1967. He left Iraq in 1991 after the Gulf War and has been living in the United States since then. He has published poetry and prose in both Arabic and English in Jusoor, al-Yawm al-Sabi`, al-Safir, al-Quds al-`Arabi, Uno Mass and the Journal of Palestine Studies. He has also contributed poetry to Unfortunately, It Was Paradise (University of California Press, 2003, buy it fron an indpendent book shop, buy it from Amazon), and translations to two anthologies of Mahmud Darwish's poetry, The Adam of Two Edens (Syracuse UP, 2000, buy it fron an indpendent book shop, buy it from Amazon). Antoon is a member of InCounter Production collective, whose film About Baghdad is about to be released.