for Riad Saleh Hussein and Saleh Al-Razzouq
I was dreaming of a river and fish,
Of flying along its surface with my thumb
Carving a small wake. I thought it was cinematic,
That dream, but when I woke
I heard the noise of the street.
What am I doing writing about film, I thought?
Living as if in a story about myself,
Like an autodidact awake to its own possibilities?
I can hear nothing, so I do not speak.
I live inside the airy chamber of my art.
This is what keeps me going,
That and the long road to justice
From which I will never depart.
I wove my paints into words like patterns.
They carry sound without being it.
The carry bodies with them,
Bodies I have known rushing out of a bombed river,
Layering a drainage ditch as if sketched there.
What in the name of the almighty
Are we doing with destruction, with its silence
Made by distance? I have this art,
Which is the only door, the sole voice inside
My head, the cocoon of silent wishes
Asking the world for its name.
*Scott Minar: Poet, song writer and professor of English Literature at Ohio University, Lancaster.