A very short note to a Black American.


I will reply to your comments, for sure.
Give me time.
I do not possess time,
Time possesses me, for now,
and I bend with it, like a weeping willow...
A weeping willow that no longer weeps.
A black shadow,
hiding behind a curtain,
behind a wall...

The rivers are dry,
and their bed
is brown,
brown black.
As brown and as black as the man,
sitting opposite me.

He says I am from Ohio.
I trade in Oil.
I say -- Our oil ?
He smiles,
his pearly white teeth shine
in the darkness
and my question
is left hanging
with no answer
even though he replied
with Silence...

So -- what, who are you ?
he asks...


I stare into my cup
and search for the signs...
for a name
an ID card
a passport
a nationality
a country...


I pause
and the silence
weighs like a heavy
fog,
a fog from Ohio.


I swallow my name,
clear my throat
where that name is stuck
like a fish bone
dug out
from a dried river.


I say -- Iraq.

He keeps his "cool"
and swallows his beer.

I see a ray of satisfaction
on that dark face.


And what do you do ?
His questions follow me
like some soldier...

I suck on my cigarette
drawing a smokescreen
and puff
the empty smoke
in his face
and mine.


I work.
And work hides
in my sentences...

Who do you work for ?

I work with tortured refugees.

He smiles again
with even more satisfaction...
At least, the Americans gave you a job
he says,

I suck on my cigarette,
and my voice
gets lost
in the noise,
surrounding us
hits against a wall
and falls
back in my cup.

I work for Free,
came out my reply.

I work for Freedom.

The black man from Ohio
wears his black vest
and walks out
into the black night
with his pearly white teeth
shining
in the obscurity...


Painting : Iraqi artist, Mohammed Al-Shammarei, A Mural. 2006

Comments

Anonymous said…
Hello Layla Anwar

I have been reading your blog for sometime and am constantly amazed by the force and clarity of your speech, even when you claim to be speechless. My family is from Haiti, and I was on the island when it was ripped apart by the "forces of freedom and democracy" and watched as my fiercely independent and proud country was turned into a toilet, and as you know, once this happens, the sh#t floats to the top - the opportunists, the bootlickers and the blood suckers all come out of the woodwork. Keep writing as the thirst for knowledge on what is being done to Iraq, particularly from a non-Iranian perspective. On a side note (and perhaps it will bring a smile to your face), when children misbehave in Haiti now, their mothers often tell them that if they continue misbehaving "démocracie ap venez pou ou!" as well.
Kali Manitou said…
There was a 'John' who wrote 'men and mice'
All could read about the grapes and their price.
Immigrants were exploited and underpaid
just like contemporary hispanic housemaid
then came the Panthers, Malcolm and Martin Luther King
Look at the monkeys now, singing "bitch, ho, bling, bling"
Give it a generation or two, plus conformity
everybody will forget about their humanity
negroes, chinese, hispanics, jews and catholics
lame yanks they are, just like the whitebred hicks
We all belong to greed, nobody is free
when I get to it, to random graves I shall pee
Jackson,Truman, Nixon, Clinton and Obama
all servants of power, so is Dalai Lama
if you're looking for justice and peace on earth
surely you will learn the meaning of 'dearth'.
Anonymous said…
You will know zionists by their forked tongues, not their sex, shape or the color of their skins.

Condalisa "Birth Pangs" Rice, nice ass, but learn to listen to her words instead and you will then see that Obama is your typical Israeli zionist political figure.

Then learn to look at those that the zionist media has brainwashed you into hateing on site, poor people, rag heads, and especialy the Palastianians - I love everyone that the zionists try to teach me to hate, all their villans are my heros, but as always I listen for the lies, one tiny lie and I skip them.

Yeah, Obama, like his Israeli masters, really loves the Iraq people, and the Iranian mullas love you all to, they all want to give you lots and lots of their Peace, and your resistance movment should really stop blowing them and their nice baby killing soldiers up.

No need to study Obama, he has given the Palastianin people no doubt of who he is and who he works for and it's not America, that's for sure.

Peace
Anonymous said…
You always chance upon idiotic and/or heartless people like a pot of honey attracts bees.
Anonymous said…
"You always chance upon idiotic and/or heartless people like a pot of honey attracts bees."

It's very likely, Anonymous, that Layla's not just bumping into idiotic/heartless people - they happen to be SWARMING around her country/region (the 'pot of honey' being the region's natural resources, etc.), so the chances of bumping into them are pretty high, even if Layla does not wish to!

In solidarity, Layla
Anonymous said…
Little Deer,

It's not only the invaders, which are actually a scourge blithing the ME, but EVERY person Layla writes to have met around, including ordinary Arabs, come across as muppets and/or socio-psycho-eroto-paths.

I wonder if she ever considered hermitic life.
Anonymous said…
Typo: blighting
Anonymous said…
While reading your text ...

the music in the background is playing the Irish song "Viva La Qinta Brigada" by The Dubliners and then
- absolutely quite as strong - "Yo vengo a ofrercer mi corazon" by Martiro and "Corazon Gitano" by Pimpinela, and the last song ..
"Misa Criolla" presented by Mercedes Sosa and Ariel Ramirez to which music the whole fighting generation for human dignity to the
Central Americas People was wiped out by the fascistas and compradores in alliance with the rightist american military.

Therefore..

SHAME ON THE MURDERES ....whom has at the least a 1000 Years of imprisonment..
awaiting ...or if not,... a direct EXECUSION to await ..

Do I miss anything in this text? No..!
- Not what I can see ..Not a thing is missing!

- Everything stands out so obvious!

- Maybe you should have shot the guy in the bar?

No! Hate and revenge .. is not a good political action .

We fight them with our honour!

BURNIN
Anonymous said…
"I wonder if she ever considered hermitic life"

and i wonder if u ever considered being useful instead of being provocative.

wait, i don't really need to wonder.
Anonymous said…
I don't think that one must be "stupid". Sure he is taking revenge for his own humiliation. That's how the underdogs behave, if they get an opportunity. Sure you have them in the Arab world as well.
Anonymous said…
Maybe I spoke unclear..

The lines "No! Hate and revenge .. is not a good political action .
We fight them with our honour!"

Does not mean that every single move from the Iraqi people against the intruders/occupier
is without that energy..cause it is!
..but merely it's just a question of what is politically gainful..nothing else.

The Iraqis answer to their deadly enemies have to be in all occasions ..DEATH!
Which is exactly what every modern state does pro pone on a not welcome intruder (read enemy).

Burnin
Anonymous said…
I agree, Anonymous: the swarms in the ME include traitorous Arabs and others, too. I doubt a hermit's life is possible in the ME - this pestilence has permeated every inch of Iraq and the ME, and requires the equivalent of fumigation to get rid of it. I believe Iraqi Resistance is on the right track.
Anonymous said…
Do the black people know they are to this day referred to as 'abeed' (slaves) by the Arabs?
Anonymous said…
I think I agree with Anna about underdogs taking revenge for their own humiliation. I've always felt a great deal of sympathy and a sense of solidarity with the Black Americans, because I'm acutely aware of the challenges and oppression they've had to face in that awful land called USA. However, I've seen videos and reports of their behaviour in Iraq - savage and cruel towards Iraqis, often worse than their 'white' counterparts ... and my sympathy for them has quickly evaporated. I know as fact that many Iraqis are terrified of Black American soldiers, in particular. Obviously, this is not to exonerate the white trailer trash in Iraq, just to make a point.

Those who have suffered at the hands of others develop a stronger sense of empathy and justice, but this does not seem to be the case with Black American soldiers in Iraq - it is a clear case of arrogance and false 'superiority' - so, I believe, that their 'cause' for 'equality' and 'justice' is lost ... They are no better than those who have been their oppressors.

Anonymous above, if the Arabs refer to black people as 'abeed', the very same black people are referring to Arabs as 'sand niggers', 'ragheads', 'towelheads', and the crown of all - 'terrorists', etc., etc. It's a great tragedy that they have so quickly forgotten what has been recorded in history over so many years.
Anonymous said…
Almost everybody on the planet has been raised for the last 100 years, by the pot calling the kettle black.
In fact for the last 2000 years.
In fact since humans excist.

The higher the rank the more selected, the more the pot will delebarty call the kettle black. Also the black people.

So in times of war this name calling is even worse. It is the devide an conquer technique!

LaLoupe
Anonymous said…
About the latest article on the Uncensored blog...

Women can (and MUST) become "self-aware" and "self-proud", but NO ONE on earth, either man or woman, is born to be "self-sufficient".

Our individual souls are but halves of broken lockets, naturally thirsting after TOTALITY.
Unknown said…
Beautiful and sad. I'm a poetry nut, sooooo. . .

That's all that I can say, other than that I'm waiting for the day we pay.
bARABie said…
"Women can (and MUST) become "self-aware" and "self-proud", but NO ONE on earth, either man or woman, is born to be "self-sufficient"."

Neither man nor woman are born to be "self-sufficient" but they "can (and MUST)" be, in my opinion.
Anonymous said…
On 'Trapped, Desperate Women': thank you for this post, Layla - makes one (women, in particular) reflect a lot on one's life and relationships. I guess most of us, women, do fit within your description to a greater or lesser degree. Your advice is sound - and very accurate.

I'm getting to learn that you and I do have lots in common - I never buy women's magazines, either, nor do I ever read them! Nor any of the trashy fiction stuff that many women love to read!

I'm sending your post to all the women I know in the hope that it will help them, too, to reflect deeply on their own lives. Thank you, Layla.

In solidarity.
Anonymous said…
Barabie, the transient reality that in this era of techno-totalitarism, rationality and utilitarianism Love has been reduced to just an Ego "accessory" (especially in the West), can not and does not change the eternal truth of its unrivalled powerfulness and its role of sense giver (or better still, sense "usherer") in mortal men's and women's life.

Trying to diminish such an importance makes the stars shake their head with a pitying smile...
Anonymous said…
@p

i believe you got layla wrong. she was just advising women to refuse self-annihilation for a man's sake (=slavery), not to give up aspiring to "self-completion" in a man (=love) - which would be unnatural and quite unlike her to advise.
Anonymous said…
a very short note to layla,
NUR
Anonymous said…
a very short note to layla,
NUR
Anonymous said…
a very short note to layla,
NUR
Anonymous said…
a very short note to layla,
NUR
Anonymous said…
layla,you know me???!!! I will not be amazed about what you say, unlike the ........
so long, I have missed you in a mysterious way, and I'LL BET YOU , you have a long way to go to figure out why and whence you have missed me!!!!!
NUR
Call me when you've tired from politics and your hatred !!!!!
We are still guarding, believing, what MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATÜRK said;
'Peace at home, peace in the world!!!'
NUR
Anonymous said…
My next short note will not be as polite as the previous one, and you donot deserve one, so be it!
NUR
Anonymous said…
YOU and IRAN are bickering about being the SUPERPOWER in the AREA, but ALL you can do will be to KISS my one and ONLY HONORABLE KEMALIST ASS!!!!
NUR
Anonymous said…
And send that message to your blood thirsty brother in northern Irak!!!!!!
NUR
Anonymous said…
And then, slowly but surely, YOU WILL kiss my Kemaiıst ass!
NUR
Anonymous said…
Slowly and surely, you will BEG for it!!!
NUR
annie said…
layla shining
in the obscurity...


don't you mean obscenity?
annie said…
sorry, i'll try that again

layla,

'The black man from Ohio
wears his black vest
and walks out
into the black night
with his pearly white teeth
shining
in the obscurity...
'

don't you mean obscenity?
Anonymous said…
Great blog! Did you hear the good news !?!?!?! Obama wants to give poverty and middle class americans a bailout. Check out what's available:

Poverty and Middle Class Bailout

What do you think? Will it work?
KM said…
Who is this black person you write on Layla?
Layla Anwar said…
First,

Apologies for the delay in replying to the comments. I have been feeling quite ill, I suppose the stream of news from Iraq, that directly affect me, are having their toll now. Another delayed response.
Layla Anwar said…
Hello Karl and thank you for your visit and comment.

I am not sure what you call the Hatian French, is it "creole" ?
But it sure made me smile.
I have heard some parents threatening their kids with bringing in the police, if they misbehave, in Haiti, they threaten me with Democracy and in Iraq and I have personally heard that one,

" If you don't behave, I will call the American soldiers" ha!

Great to see what kind of generations will grow up from these countries turned into toilets by none other than the democracies.

But I am a great believer that one day will come and it is coming when these same countries will be threatened and turned into toilets...They are already toilets, but the new toilet will have no sewage left.
Layla Anwar said…
urungu,

Great prose ! You should publish your rebellious political poetry.
Layla Anwar said…
Little Deer,

Since you are rather well acquainted with the "area", you are right in pointing out that it is swarming with the likes of this dude. And 99% of them happen to be profiteering, opportunistic, scavengers, living off other people's miseries and destruction.

Bless you always.
Layla Anwar said…
Burnin,

Some nice music you listen to.
I like Mercedes de Soza. Have not listened to her in ages. My favorite one is "gracias a la vida". I will check out the other titles too, I am sucker for good music.

Wlll reply to your other stuff later.
Layla Anwar said…
p,

I think you must have misunderstood my post on Ze uncensored blog. I am not advocating self sufficiency. I don't believe in self sufficiency. I believe in autonomy. An important nuance.
Layla Anwar said…
annie,

Am afraid they do shine with obscenity.
There are many forms of obscenities.
Insults are one and they don't bother me much.
but the worst form of obcenity is taking joy in the suffering of innocent ones. This becomes a perversion and no longer an obscenity.
Layla Anwar said…
Mberenis,

Thank you for visiting and your comment. I am sorry to give it to you so bluntly, but I really don't care about the American middle class. Not just because I am a heartless bitch. But because the Iraqi middle class have been wiped out - intelligentsia murdered, exiled and driven out, academics tortured and shot, qualified professionals working as street vendors, female doctors working as housemaids, nurses prostituting themselves, teachers working as porters, etc...

So the American middle class and obama is the least of my worries.
Layla Anwar said…
KM,

This black person is a guy who I had the mischance of encountering and who is an oil trader with Iraq.
Layla Anwar said…
KARL,

A freudian slip in my response to you. It should read threaten their kids, not ME. LOL.
Unknown said…
Layla, "Mberenis," is a spam robot.

It is not really a person but spam advertising. No sarcasm involved.
Anonymous said…
"
This black person is a guy who I had the mischance of encountering and who is an oil trader with Iraq."

You mean an "Oil Traitor" my Dear Layla?

Odd that black gunk from under the ground has caused so many to die. What, I wonder, will be the next "worse thing".....

Please give up smoking, this world needs the likes of you around for a good long time to come!!!!

Your friendly "murican" JP
KM said…
That disgusting piece of shit actually sat accross from you and sipped on his beer with you.

Iraqi oil is providing HIM with a job and like a jackal, he came on the heels of an illegal feast....and that dung smiles.

He needs to have his fucking black face shoved in D.U. and forced to take a deep breath.
Anonymous said…
I will not be ignored, you stupit pricks! Look, I have a great round ass that was complimented by MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATÜRK! The only people that appreciate my HONORABLE KEMALIST ASS do not appreciate my puffy lips because they are chapped from eating too many pistachios. HAhAHAHAAAA, little you do know and even lesss you deserve that MUSTAFA KEMAL ATATÜRK liked pistachios too! OK, NOT AS MUCH AS MY LITTLE TENDER BREASTS but still he wouldn't hesitate to put them in his mouth. I mean the pistachios, you preverts...
I send you kisses from the land of BORAT
NUR
Anonymous said…
Did I tell you that I like RAKI ?....
Yes, I like it very much.
NUR
Layla Anwar said…
JP,

Hello dear Friend, nice to see you here again.

I will give up smoking when the guys over there, where you are at, give up DU, cluster bombs and phosphorus.
Cheers.
Layla Anwar said…
KM,

LOL, that was very funny...LOL
Layla Anwar said…
sydney,

OK thanks for telling me, I am just a very naive lazy blogger...

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