The skies looked at me with shame,
I felt its eyes gazing on my body
It heated my skin,
For Man’s fall.
Dark is the night now
I breathe air and bow
Today—no one ate me.
There are hyenas that are stalking me;
I couldn’t run for I am tied
They smelled my blood from a distance
Greedy steps and lustful eyes—
Their haunt is over.
They awaited now—mouths wild open
Concealing their claws
Acting civil before the auction starts.
Put on a bid of Gold—
At my father’s doors
An auction I made so I could be sold.
They take my gown off,
For me, thousands of Gold
Pushed, turned, touched
I warmed them despite the night’s cold
I am a property,
Bought and sold on Gold.
The hyenas came closer,
Dancing as they move,
Teeth made of bones.
What a pity to choose life
وِلد كبقية الأطفال؛
لم تشرق الشمس من مغربها حين وِلد و لا اهتزت الجبال
خرج لهذه الحياة من رِحم صحراء قاحلة
—لا نبات فيها و لا ماء
صحراءً عِشقت السراب و شِربت الموتَ اقداحًا حتى الإغماء
وِلد كبقية الأطفال؛
ورِثَ جسدًا يسجن روحه و ملامح أموات
أخُتير له اسم و هوية و كُبل ببضع أغلال
غلًا التف حول رقبته ليخنقه
و غلًا حول يديه يجتره أينما ذهب
وِلد كبقية الأطفال؛
رتلوا في اذنه اليمنى الأذان
و صبوا فوقه الماء ليتوب
رغم أنه بعدًا لم يذنب
وِلد— كبقية السجناء؛
خُدر وريده و خُيطَ فِمه و صُمت اذنيه
و هو بعدًا لم يكن
‘The ending is water’
Whispered a crow
As I step slow—Out, out of the asylum
My body, which isn’t mine, dragged all way
Needles falling on the grey floor,
Some I took off—
Others were inserted for too long
Hideous as a monster,
The survivor of the one thousand years bloodshed
Finally managed an escape, with a book and papers’ shreds
At the end of the aisle of patients’ beds,
I know there is a staircase leading to an exit
I ran downward.
في ارضي، لن ترى إلا الفحم و الكُثبان
لا بداية، لها، و لا نهاية
رملا فوق رمل و آلهة من الحجر و غِربان
في أرضي، ستسمع فقط عن جنات عدن و شقائق النعمان
هنا، حيث اللازمان و اللامكان
هنا، حيث عَبدتٌ الحَجر
وحيدةً تمامًا في الفلك
فلا سماء زرقاء و لا قمر
ارضي، هذه التي اكتسح السواد رملها
و جفت نسائها و لقت حتفها
ارضُ الرماد و الفحم
ارضًا ملئتها الذكور أمُم
،ارضُ الصدأ و الموتى
أموطنًا انتِ أم منفى؟
Patti Smith is an incredible writer. She’s such an iconic musician and a very interesting person and all that awesomeness is magnified when she writes. Seriously the amount of her coolness and intellectuality is very admirable and she won’t sound pretentious for reading so many books and knowing so many cool people, she’s just a lovely poet who reflects modern life in an artistic way. She will take you for a walk in her favourite cafes in NY to daydream with her, she will describe the beaches for you and you will almost feel the breeze and the smell of the sea. She doesn’t stop there; Patti also challenges time; yes, you will listen to her talking with the dead. The dead are the writers who influenced her and spoke to her: Mrabet, Bowles, Aira, Bolaño, Burroughs, Rimbaud, Plath, Mishima, Murakami and Bulgakov are almost present and alive. She visits them and talks about them.. With them.
She also masters her words so well; like she can make an old dusty bar seem magical; a room in a Hotel is a scene from a classical avant-garde film, the objects are stories to tell and the places are here for her to experience. Things are NOT just things with Patti; she’s a Buddha who writes proses and verses about normal things and turns them into a guide, a new way of seeing things. A pictorial sort of writing. She makes time stops.
And at last, you won’t hate her because she writes better than you, you will love her because she’s only teaching you to be even better for she will teach you how to feel.
Of a land between two rivers, sing I
I—The divine coronated of the eight stars
Etched by the men from Mars,
I—a star Venus
Alone I stood ahead of Cetus.
Carved in clays and stones,
For the sinuous serpent had me lacking bones.
In a chest of seashells
Gold and skin mold,
My feet of stones shattered
Of the standoff, what mattered?
I am near collapsing.
Angels or demons
Demons, must it be
Had a place in my head
They build it;
Stone by stone
To atone—they said.
Far behind the prayers and the olive trees
Hidden in burdens and tears.
The House of the Madness they called it.
I look upon its hideous wall: a mural for the sick
Not a foothold.
Not a prayer.
Voices I hear, crumbles at the wall
(Silence the mad, only then you will be glad—
Climb the path of sorrows by morrow)
Among the men in white I walked
Seven and hundreds of times I walked.
First, I crawled;
Then, I marched
And at last, I dead-walked;
A humming corpse driven by the crowds
Around the black house of the men in white.
Cracked feet, skin dry
Bleeding feet, bleeding eyes—
Eyes of the whites studied me
For I must be among the black maids;
I must walk as they walk.
Sing, songs of the dead whites,
As they sing
I must follow.