The ICORN-relay—Mazen Maarouf

The guest writer-relay has reached Iceland. The poet Mazen Maarouf—who has lived all his life as a Palestinian refugee in Lebanon—was during 2011 granted sanctuary in Reykjavík through the International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN). Maarouf is a strong advocate of pacifism and his outspoken views against regimes that use violence created a dangerous situation for him. He received so many death threats that he once again had to flee. 

July 2 2012 Text: Mazen Maarouf Translation from Arabic: Ghias Aljundi

 

ICORN
The International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) is an association of cities around the world dedicated to the value of Freedom of Expression. Writers have consistently been targets of politically motivated threats and persecution, and the network believes it is necessary for the international community to formulate and implement an appropriate response. Each ICORN city focuses on one writer at a time, each writer representing the countless others in hiding, in prison or silenced forever. 

 

Complaining

 

I throw my heart in the air

Heads

Or tails

 

I try by myself to guess:

My eyelid cannot be the edge of a balcony …

And this sparrow landing on the handle of the door

The handle made of an old rib

Just a confusion

 

The tale is open on the page of hope

And I am there

Opening my hands widely

Spreading my ten fingers like pins

To fix me down on the page

Which

Whenever my thumb

Gets close to turn it over

I see its shadow

I thought it was an apple

Falling from the sleeve of one of the genies who live above 

And it would hit my head and soak the tale with blood.

 

……………………………………………………………………………

 

A Noble Mafia Man

 

I wonder around

In the gutter of life

Carrying my memory like an old canvas bag

Dropping angels

I collected them in the past..

Leaving my lips in a metal cup

Like a dead log

For an old man

And I am a sparrow made of straw

Dreaming of a fish,

But the fat lorry

Which carries tears

Running

Down my cheek another time

Without brakes.

 

The cockroach I gave him two days

To die

He lied down hours ago on his back

Lifting his head a little bit

Towards the sky.

Maybe he wanted to whisper something to the angels

I will carry him in the air

Fascinated

By my giant size next to his

After that

I hang him on the back of that lorry

With a kiss

To his lover

And I come back

Like a noble mafia man

Just finished off his enemies

And dreaming now

of the fish 

 

……………………………………………………………………………

 

Chlorophyll

 

The wood, which was used

Without love

To make wings of planes

And windows,

That wood

Inhabited by the spirits of hundreds of birds

From when it was part of a tree,

They clung to it,

While contemplating the skin of their little babies

And thinking

The leaves, which protect me from the wind …

Are late …

The wood of that window

Knows

That there are feathers beneath its bark,

That someday

It will be able to steal

Out of these squares

Designed for it

And then it will fly high

Wiping away the sweat of workers from its skin

Boasting

In front of children waiting for their school bus

That its origin was

A group of sparrows