To Dawit Isaak

Dawit Isaak and his colleagues were imprisoned in Eritrea on September 23, 2001. He’s still being held behind bars because of using his right to express himself. Ida Börjel is one of the most interesting poets in Sweden right now. In this poem to Dawit Isaak, she uses her right to express herself to open a door into the memory and ten years of silence.

 

September 23 2011 Ida Börjel

 

 

words, words, words–
do you hear them fall
like dark atomic snow
in bottomless space*

 

 

 

 

what animal are you

 

what body of water

 

what do you feel in a bare white room

 

without doors without windows

 

 

 

 

– the game is to reveal what kind of lover I am,

 

something about the flow of life, how I approach my death

 

in solitary confinement, three times three meters,

 

a person’s time perception is intact

 

for approximately five minutes, after that

 

there and you and here and it

 

there, and then and when and it

 

wishing to say something about enduring the silencing,

 

in silence, somehow enduring the

 

unendurable behind the prison walls,

 

that were, were the protective walls

 

while Man With No Name in Wang’s movie

 

rummages about the plastic bags in his hole in the ground

 

without a glance, unworded (nobody speaks

 

to him either)

 

 

 

 

unworded, unmentioned; the summary justice

 

and those imprisoned without a sentence; behind

 

the antifascist protective wall, that was, was

 

Schandmauer, the blue wall, the Jerusalem envelope,

 

the Wall of Shame in Western Sahara;

 

also there were professional mourners, Era Eiro,

 

sorting seam zone, buffer zone,

 

the camp’s kapos, Todesstreifen under what is human

 

Geta was murdered by his brother; the Roman emperor

 

who thereafter gave order of damnatio memoriae;

 

those who mention him will die

 

even the coin images, every name inscription was to be erased

 

in a pitch black room without door without windows,

 

in the hole in the ground; the freight container

 

with those arrested; in a windowless room

 

covered with gold, zinc and copper deposits;

 

by the silent diplomacy; damnatio memoriae,

 

a range of power or of fright, forced amnesia

 

inwards for the solitary, outwards for the masses

 

by way of the possible into the impossible; fracture – fractal;

 

snowflakes, neural pathway warning;

 

about anxiety, affliction and snow blindness,

 

 

 

 

Eritrea

 

 

* quote by Gunnar Ekelöf