I was so very happy to hear the poetry of Jamal Iqbal at our reading in DXB last month. He had emailed me randomly to say, HEY GIMME SOME OF THAT POETRY ACTION! and then I found myself at a play the following week where he was acting, and the rest is sorcery and Poetician history.
Here is one of his poems. I’m excited to go see his work at the Slidefest this week in DXB and to hear the new words at our next Poeticians, coming up May 25th, our last reading before the sun of summertime Dubai scares me away for weeks and weeks. To put it politely.
It is not my favorite poem of the ones he read, I will have to go back and cajole him to share with us the other!
I Reject. I Decline. I summarily dismiss.
I will not be told what I must do. Where I must live. Who I must love. Where I must sneeze.
How I must breathe. Who I must teach and what I must follow.
When I must grieve and what I should swallow.
Where I must look. What I must cook. What I should say. When I must sleep. Why I must walk.
Why I shouldn’t fly.
I Rebuff. I Repudiate. I Snub.
I shall not deliberate with the deliberately smug. I will not be emasculated of my emancipatory hub.
I will not be found wanting of gut. I will ram my head till I draw blood. Pragmatic I am not. I live on my own cloud in my own personal space of my own free will.
It is what I will not lose. Because it is ONLY what I own.
It is what makes me alive. It is my life.
I walk free.
I clamp down. I lock tight. I shut up.
For those who walk free.
Jamal h Iqbal. 12 April, 2010.