Thursday, July 03, 2008

Baghdad Poet: Soheil Najm


Alienation at home, in the living room
and in front of the TV,
alienation in the street,
where there is the noise and the glaring sun,
alienation in the market, where there is the clamour of
the sellers and the rush of the buyers,
alienation in the cafe, where the upset

customers gossip about the last news,
alienation with my ego
when it unifies one moment and splits another.

The End Of the Story

It was the same story
but the story teller said,
or so we thought,
that when the claws of the king lengthened ,
he disinterred in his skin and
from that moment black snakes came out of him
finding their way to the East and the West of the earth
till night and day mixed
and the world returned to primeval times.

Yet the story teller didn't tell
the whole tale.
When tomorrow arrived, his audience
remained sleepy, but awake
waiting and waiting
not knowing that the story teller
had been eaten by the snakes
and the crazy king
was shedding his skin every day.


Strangers gathered in the barren square
chewing an endless tale
and withered longing.
I said let me go with them,
but I remained alone.

Letters were thrown in the corner
charred by the live coals of the past,
a string of tear drops transpired from them
and a lost kiss to my beloved.

Figures multiplied
in the mirrors of illusion
some of them touched me gently
others stung me.

By the extremes of my yearning,
it seemed to me that I gathered my isolation
beneath an eyelash
and went to sleep.

┬ęSoheil Najm, 2008.

* Poet and translator, Soheil Najm, was born in Baghdad in 1956. He has published two collections of poems: Breaking the Phrase, Beirut: Dar Al-Kunuz Al-Adabiyah,1994, and Your Carpenter, O, Light, Damascus: Dar Ninewa, 2002. He has also translated and published more than ten literary works. He lives now in Baghdad.

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