Syria: Cowboys, gangsters and pirates

October 23 2013 Text: Lina Tibi English translation: Christina Cullhed (from Jasim Mohammed’s Swedish version)

When I was a child I hated Hollywood films
I hated watching violence and police chases
I hated films about famous historical battles
and films about battles of lesser historical importance
I hated films about war on earth or war in space
I hated films about cowboys, gangsters and pirates
I hated films based on real life crime
and films that were total fiction
I hated them as much as I hated cats and dogs

Now I sit on a chair that is like me
like my fingers that are dying from
bombarding the keys on my laptop
like my eyes searching for news of death
like my ears listening to the whine of bullets
and the pedestrians outside screaming

I am sitting on my chair realizing for the first time
how beautiful cats and dogs really are
They don’t shoot anyone
They don’t stab anyone
Dogs can bite and bark in an obnoxious way
and cats can scratch without drawing blood

I loved films that moved me to tears
I have seen The Piano at least ten times
And The Passion of Christ

Here I am sitting on my chair
reading about death,
the killings, the stoning,
the lynching, the crucifixions,
and the arson
I am no longer the one I once was
No heroine can longer move me to tears
Not even heartrending pictures of homeless children with pitiful faces
can move me to tears
I no longer cry when I watch The Piano
I have stopped watching it
I no longer laugh
I don’t smile
I cling to this chair
not to drown

I just want to determine the mothers’ intents
just hear the dreams of the murdered people
I will unflinchingly look at the confession created by the blood
stamped onto my family
I will not cry
I will only shout out from my balcony
and stomp my feet of fire
And in my handbag I will carry a knife instead of lipstick
insect spray instead of perfume
and my ID-card

Soon though I will come to cry again
remembering that I once wanted to be a poet.
knowing that I can no longer watch the sky
without seeing heaps of dead people
knowing that I can no longer write about the sea
without mentioning the blood stains

In time I will cry again
When I see my kiss rush into the rainbow