Go to the street, ask for anything, it will be given to you.
BARA will have seized the monarchies and set their palaces ablaze.
There is a fellow population suffering.
To have lived it, later generations will assume it caused great conflict of the heart.
But, take my trials, they are too good for me.
Remember, the videos passed around.
I am guilty.
There is nothing left to say.
White sheets compound the pavement.
Chemicals in the territory.
The revolution is a farce.
On the Bus
Caught up short on the express bus and those drivers don’t stop for shit. I avoid the express because of my affliction but it was filthy out, brown cold rain, and here come the bus, and jostling, and I don’t notice, and it’s an express, and it won’t stop.
I’m good at first, plop down in a seat, bag under my feet, floor wet but seat warm.
Claude said it come from eating out of trashcans and such. They fixed us so we could not ever have kids and road us on a rail out of Utah.
I like to look into the houses, warm glows of lights, the bus passes.
I consider my options.
Bad to give us a bad name. And I do not call myself that. I’m a traveler. A time traveler. I travel all the time. Round and round the city I go.
But I can’t hold it any longer, and this an express bus, so here we go.
Need a boat to paddle out of here. Gives a whole new meaning to disembark.
I’d rather fight a war tomorrow than think my son might have to do it one day.
This sentence, which I know to be true, does not belong to me. It does not emanate from me. It inhabits me because I am part of this living planet. It originates in the deepest strata of life, in the mechanisms that regulate the way life is handed down from being to being, from generation to generation, across time. It does not make me any more courageous than the moderately frightened – or more heroic than the moderately selfish – man that I am.
The Palestinians today are drowned in a world of predestination. It looks and feels like the fight to defend their issues is not a choice they have made, but rather a call they have followed blindly. Those who have chosen not to follow that call as it is, or heard it differently, consciously or not, are considered out of tune (not to say labeled with the most horrid qualities).
There is no doubt that Palestinians have the absolute right to fight for their dignity and freedom (what is the meaning of life without dignity and freedom?) But to take to the streets without a real awareness of your purpose or a clear strategy of what it would take to achieve it is suicide.
A Sort Of Mirage
Shadows in ink.
On such evenings I’m
too tired to applaud the maestro
but a fresh maté soothes nevertheless.
War has not been declared
and there is not one fraction
of my life left behind.
There are lots of commas
and etceteras lying about the hallway
waiting to be used, waiting to be set free
to dance across the page.
They seem to comfort each other
after these outbursts;
a sort of mirage
these words I cannot grasp
Confines of the Shadow is the first of three volumes written by Alessandro Spina and translated by Andre Naffis-Sahely. The London-based Darf Publishers has produced nonfiction works in English about Libya, the Arab World and the Middle East. Recently it started publishing translations of world literature as well. Confines of the Shadow links these two concentrations in one multi-volume project. Spina is at once a Libyan, an Arab, and an Italian. He spent much of his career writing his family’s history, through which he explored a uniquely tangled web of relations with the Mediterranean world.