Monday, January 29, 2007

killing saddam

A market in Mesopotamia
a bad boy favoured today
by Allah drives a camel
with a stick that he inserts in a wound
created for the purpose

wind scours his eyes,
winds here have the names of demons:
Simoom - the poisoner
Bad-i-sad-o-bist-roz - wind of nails
everyone’s fucking corpse-wind crawls across here
blowing sand off graves
whipping up silk rags
into the sky
they will all die of wind

leaves fall, his eyes
fall into ditches

he thinks of afreets
coming for him
dragging him again into fire
and darkness, a big-eyed djinn
leaping from the grave
tearing his shut eyes mudbrick

fragments that clatter
in the wind, a blown sunhat
amongst the ceramics, his hands
ziggurats that strangle
the babble

he drowns
in silence and clamour,
feels for that space between

brick fingers bore sockets,
the wells of Ur Nammu,
Nebuchadnezzar, rectangular
weep-holes in masonry
terraces denuded of time,
growth, space

after applause, vacuum
after climax - silence,

there will be none. Taken by afreets,
by time’s stoop, the clamour,
lost to comprehension
a straight drop brings him

a dignity of shadow
and the world slinks home
ears and nostrils stuffed with garlic
for the fear
that their souls might rise against them

quiet, quiet now, the work is done
and we who found our voices thick
with bile and antiseptic
must now find a time for our choking.