Etel Adnan

E
Etel Adnan
from The Manifestations of the Voyage
my house’s stairway is seized with vertigo. Matter having forsaken its laws, we land in hell, ascending to heaven.
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from The Spring Flowers Own: “The morning after / my death”
The morning after my death we will sit in cafés but I will not be there
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from The Spring Flowers Own: “This unfinished business of my / childhood”
This unfinished business of my childhood this emerald lake from my journey’s other side
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XLIV from The Arab Apocalypse
Where do you want ghosts to reside?
In our wakeful hours there are flowers which produce nightmares
We burned continents of silence the future of nations
the breathing of the fighters got thicker became like oxen’s

there is in that breath sparkles of scorched flesh and the fainting of stars

we crucify Gilgamesh on a TANK Viking II reaches Mars
Imam Ali dances over a nuclear blast
cursed are the clouds which repel water
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XXXIX from The Arab Apocalypse
When the living rot on the bodies of the dead
When the combatants’ teeth become knives
When words lose their meaning and become arsenic
When the aggressors’ nails become claws
When old friends hurry to join the carnage
When the victors’ eyes become live shells
When clergymen pick up the hammer and crucify
When officials open the door to the enemy
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XXXVI from The Arab Apocalypse
In the dark irritation of the eyes there is a snake hiding

In the exhalations of Americans there is a crumbling empire

In the foul waters of the rivers there are Palestinians

OUT OUT of its borders pain has a leash on its neck

In the wheat stalks there are insects vaccinated against bread

In the Arabian boats there are sharks shaken with laughter

In the camel’s belly there are blind highways

OUT OUT of TIME there is spring’s shattered hope
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