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Translated by Sinan Antoon
THE POLITICAL CORPSE
The corpse about which we know nothing
The corpse, which came from the past and went ahead of us
The corpse, which we call for
is calling for us.
The corpse, which belongs to its maggots
and whose crows roam above our heads
The corpse in and between us
The one around which we sing chants,
raise flags and lower them
The corpse we befriend and from which we derive strength
We run away from it
We run away to it
It compels us to forget and teaches us to remember.
We murdered that corpse again today.
We want to survive, to be away from its shadow
We want to run away from every elegy
We want to yawn and sleep
I am not less blind than you.
Like you, I know how to step
although my eyes are not completely dead
although the flow of light is plentiful
I do not like to see what is visible.
I am blind like you.
And have no regrets for things I left under the light.
Like you, I have only been deprived of blackness.
LESS THAN ONE
(In memory of Brodsky)
He was in utter solitude
and had nothing but words
He was one.
He was "less than one"
Ever since he was abandoned
the poet did not return to his country
Because he had committed no crime
he didn't return
to the crime scene.
I HAVE NOTHING TO DO
I dust my mornings,
arrange the nights in the closet.
And because there must be a taste of a woman,
I remember you a bit and slip into my cold bed.
Because I have nothing to do,
I ask: Is there anyone lazier than a poet?
Is there more chatter than this silence?
Translated by Sinan Antoon from the author's collections
'Ala Infirad, Rabat: Manshurat Ukaz, 2006,
al-Mustahammat, Casablanca: Dar al-Thaqafa, 2002
and al-Riyah al-Buniyya, Rabat: Marsam, 1993.