Being a poet

ALAA HASANIN – Translated by: Ibrahim Al-sharif




 
Being a poet?
It’s something you talk about
in the same way that you describe your disorder
it’s your fear of the lines in your palm,
the embarrassment in your voice
when you count all the times your committed suicide
and complain
to a crowd you don’t know
about your other self
that is trying to kill you,
it’s to be labelled a stranger
who walks on light
and is cut by the cold air when it passes by,
who stares at the scratches in the wall
and says:
this is where poems come from
from a place in my heart
that looks like this one.
 
Being a poet?
Try,
before boasting about it,
to have poetry come to you
in a public place,
to choke on poem
while you’re crossing a street
or passing through a crowd
or drinking a toast
with day to day friends
who don’t care about poetry
try, before you desperately attempt
to explain
why you were jumping
screaming
breaking things
cursing the world
and cutting yourself
why you were writhing like that
on a public road
and that, it’s not that you’re crazy
or suffering from epilepsy
or a neurological disease
you’re not a rebel
and you didn’t try to burn yourself
in a public street,
the whole thing
is nothing more
than a poem
trying to come out.

 

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