Back for some action.


hello anonymous possibly imaginary readers. Its been a while. I was in Italy, running around trying out all the food i could humanly devour in ten days. I wont turn this into a travel blog and bore you with exquisite details of green hills, wine country valleys, flowers and hidden churches. Nor will we discuss the grandeur that is rome, i believe many poets and writers have done that justice once too many. I will however say that you haven’t really lived until you take a midnight motorbike ride through Rome on a breezy flare-lit gorgeous spring night. every building is a song, a photo to hold in your inner world of wishes and wants.
we worked on our scripts. I was in italy for a film workshop and met 10 other Arab writers and directors and it was marvelous. similar dreams. communal desires. entwined pasts. unspoken understanding and a great sense of humor. I learnt so much and tried to give back as much as I could. Today marks the starting of a new draft on the script, moving towards an expensive filmic visual record of my words so far.
The second poetry book, as yet untitled, will be hitting the shelves of an amazon near you in about three weeks. Unless of course I fail miserably as finding a name, at which point I will just curl up in my room and wither away in shame. How can i write 300 pages of poetry and not be able to string together 5 words for a bloody title?
Met a communal leftist film collective in Rome who want to support my 2010 documentary on the PLO. Yay. I think some dreams have a chance of being realized. I just have to maintain sanity till they do.
All in all, imaginary reader, it has been an amazing month. I shall see fruits of all this labour at the end of 2010 and then decide if route of “go housewife” suits me better. Cross your fingers the book/film world takes me in, gently.

and now of course, a poem. generally, you should just skip the rambling in the beginning and go to the poem. particularly since nothing sensational will ever be discussed here, and i cant punctuate and my capitalization sucks to be eloquent about it.
ok, i digress. a poem. a poem. hmm, my sheikhdom for a poem.

small one by my lovely Adrienne Rich:

Try sitting at a typewriter
one calm summer evening
at a table by a window
in the country, try pretending
your time does not exist
that you are simply you
that the imagination simply strays
like a great moth, unintentional
try telling yourself
you are not accountable
to the life of your tribe
the breath of your planet.

and another….the main course as it were, I have been away for a long time.

With My Boys In Iraq: There Are These Nights


And there are these nights, when
We question, when it is
no need for questions,
Not a paradox, just
That we know
This war we came to,
this war in Iraq,
Was planned, not
Decided upon, not based
On any good reason, but the
plan from years earlier, a
Death instinct of a few
Frustrated men, who wanted their
Moment of glory, who sat
In Washington, in their 3 button
Suits, then sent out
3 star generals,
sargeants and privates
who barely knew how to write
and sailors who only knew
what little they were told
and marines who thought they
were going in to
some ignorant, third world,
illiterate, tortured and un-
Iraqis- some
camel jockeys, rag
heads, stupid, not God
fearing Muslims, cousins
to Bin Laden, people
who hated us,
But after they killed
A couple
Of these camel jockeys, these
Rag heads, these Mohammadan
Sinners, as their commanders
Called them,
And saw the little girl
her tiny lifeless fingers
Still held that little cotton baby,
The mother, her black
dress ripped, blooded
her body
Covering her
Son, and what must have been the father
Whose head was on the other side
Of his body, his legs
Knew something,
they knew
someting was wrong, when
They saw the old guy, the old
Man, kiss his cross and ask
For God to help him, they
Realized, him and the other one
kneeling down, crying and praying,
who kept asking
For Allah to help them, that
They were not
sinners, but who were they
then the doubt
began, began,
Started creeping
when they saw
the walls of
the tapestries
like they’d seen
in museums, in
after house, and
dishes forks and knives still on the tables,
spread, some burned
across the floors,
the dolls on the floor,
the cat mewing, frightened,
feelings began
to creep in,
Into their
Hearts, maybe
These weren’t
Simply rag heads, maybe
They weren’t
Camel jockeys, shit, they hadn’t even seen
a camel maybe
They weren’t just
ignorant haters, maybe
These were
Just like
Their mothers,
Their baby
Sisters, and
Fathers who’d give up
Their lives for their
Sons and daughters,
Like this old man
Had done,
They looked
At began looking at Bush in a
New way, some started
to look at their commanders,
men they’d believed in,
the doubt made them look
At their commanders
In a new way
And then some of them, their hearts
To ache, wanted to get
outside, in the
open air, to get
Home, to get out
Of here, not to
Pick up any more
Legs, arms, heads, cluster bomb killings,
“Collateral damage” the sargeant said,
But they knew
The difference, these
Were body, human
Parts, these were
Not simply damaged
Goods, not simply
Damage, these were their
Mothers, their
Sisters, their
Fathers in those
Black, plastic, unemotional, Marine
Issue, black
Body bags, realizing, these were
humans, torn up,
Throwing them into
Those holes, throwing
People into
Those holes,

the heat and desert dust
the nights of
out in the cold desert
on top the Hummer, on
top of their
none of it
made sense,
before they
came, it was
very clear, they
knew how to cleanly
kill, how to win,
how they were going
to go in,
fast. the commanders
kept saying, “Shock and Awe,”
“they’ll give up, they’ll run,
clean kill, nobody dies, over in 24 hours,
nobody dies,”
when the sergeant
Said, “Forget about it”
They said,
“Yes, sir” and then
realized, then
looked down, yes sir
they’d say, and then they’d
remember, they’d
forget about it


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