Things I Didn't Know I Loved*
* If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in! Come in!
February 28, 2006
'In Egypt and in the Arab world, being a novelist doesn't mean you can make your living from your writing. Before HarperCollins [decided to publish the translated version for wide release in Britain], what I got from The Yacoubian Building I consider as covering the price of the cigarettes and coffee I bought while I was writing it.'Interesting writer, but a few dodgily-worded remarks: 'Writing is a part of our battle for democracy' and 'For the past two decades Egypt has adopted...a very closed, not at all tolerant - a kind of Taliban interpretation [of Islam]'. Is Alaa polishing potentially profitable* Western apples, or is that just my cynicism getting the better of me again?Read Al-Aswany's hot-off-the-press interview with The Guardian.
*no alliteration intended
February 27, 2006
We Real CoolTHE POOL PLAYERS.SEVEN AT THE GOLDEN SHOVEL.'We real cool. WeLeft school. WeLurk late. WeStrike straight. WeSing sin. WeThin gin. WeJazz June. WeDie soon.'Not to just be read. Listen to the author (singing/chanting/jazzing) it.
February 26, 2006
Bedtime Storybed calls. i sit in the dark in the living room trying to ignore themin the morning, especially Sunday morningsit will not let me up. you must sleep longer, it saysfacing souththe bed makes me lay heavenward on my backwhile i prefer a westerly fetal positionfacing the wallthe bed sucks me sideways into it when i sit down on it to put on my shoes. thispersistence on its part forces me to dress in the bathroom where things are less subversivethe bed lumps up in anger springs popping out toscratch my dusky thighsmy little office sits in the alcove adjacent tothe bed. it makes strange little sighswhich distract me from my work sadistically i pull back the covers put my typewriter on the sheet and turn it onthe bed complains that i'm difficult duty its slats are collapsing. it bitches when iblanket it with books and papers. it tells meit's made for blood and bonelately spiders ants and roacheshave invaded it searching for foodSound familiar?
February 25, 2006
'poetry - language on a spreeI want to bea leaf on the poetreepoetry is good for meI think I'll have some for my tea'Read more on dogs and glasses...oh, and let's not forget potatoes.
February 24, 2006
The name of this blog is taken from a poem of the same title by Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet.
A little taste:
'it's 1962 March 28th
I'm sitting by the window on the Prague-Berlin train
night is falling
I never knew I liked
night descending like a tired bird on a smoky wet plain
I don't like
comparing nightfall to a tired bird
I didn't know I loved the earth
can someone who hasn't worked the earth love it
I've never worked the earth
it must be my only Platonic love
I've written this somewhere before
wading through a dark muddy street I'm going to the shadow play Ramazan night
a paper lantern leading the way
maybe nothing like this ever happened
maybe I read it somewhere an eight-year-old boy
going to the shadow play
Ramazan night in Istanbul holding his grandfather's hand
his grandfather has on a fez and is wearing the fur coat
with a sable collar over his robe
and there's a lantern in the servant's hand
and I can't contain myself for joy
flowers come to mind for some reason
poppies cactuses jonquils
in the jonquil garden in Kadikoy Istanbul I kissed Marika
fresh almonds on her breath
I was seventeen
my heart on a swing touched the sky...'
Read the rest.