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Broke Up! and other poems

by Hermes

Broke Up!

I hail a pickup
To tow our military car full with oils
Shubramant[1]Shubramant is a small village/ town in southern Giza, Egypt. fields are buzzing in the night
In the piles of garbage surrounding the canal
I hear snakes hissing

It couldn’t be military at night
Myself went out in khaki and copper insignia
And walked lonely on the road
The driver of the car that towed us
Is asking me what is the secret of the army’s
When are the old vehicles
Going to fill the street

I think about the infrastructure of disastrous
But the poem steals from the stillness
The screams of yellow-lit asphalt
Between villages devoid of poets

A far nightingale is echoing the voices of cut souls
That belonged to crazy people who entered the canal
with worn soldiers’ uniforms
And exited it as haloed suicides
Bodies covered in green moldy film

A Shirt with Tied Sleeves

On the path
Leading to the sea
There are knights with heavy swords and shields
And horses trotting with big hoofs
From one of these horses hangs a chain
that ends with a prisoner
And when you get closer
You see Nietzsche, that great German mustache
Inside a shirt with tied sleeves shouting:
How will you dispose of me?

We can no longer persuade ourselves
That when we found a feather on the road
And never picked it up
We wasted a whole life of flying

And generally we do not exchange serious letters
Me and my friends, needless to say
That I lost them one after the other
As a rattlesnake loses its skins

Days are very fast
You barely find time to see
The healings of the many cut wounds on your fingers
That you got searching the depths of your locker
For anti-hallucination pills.

The Soldiers Are Napping

Time is buzzing like an old fan
The soldiers are napping
I think of bamboo forests
Invading the camp
And the idea does not amuse me
More than the Tropic of Capricorn
Where Henry Miller carries his penis on his shoulders
whilst stargazing

I want to write a story about snow
And thick bushes branching in the desk’s drawers
About a bloodied red shawl disintegrating in a great fire
Only to describe the moment of the continual
transformation of its end
Into grey memories tormenting a depressive hero
Who watches the city passing the semi-transparent
Of his face on the metro’s window panes

We have reached a furnished apartment in Maadi
Surrounded by trees and embassies
You pour me whiskey and coffee
And I count the ghosts entering and exiting the wall
Threatening me with death
If I did not give up the fantasy with high contrast
Between red, white, and black

Now I leave the poem alone by the sea
And come back to count the high-school girls
Who exit the cinema in the morning
To pick up clumsy companions
From the middle of Soliman Pasha Street.


All artwork is courtesy of Reda Khalil.


1 Shubramant is a small village/ town in southern Giza, Egypt.
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