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Tareq Aljabr reads from the Anthology

Évian - Ghayath Almadhoun

Ghayath Almadhoun is a Syrian poet born in Damascus (1979) and based out of Berlin. He writes in Arabic and has published 4 poetry books, the latest Adrenalin (2017). His work translated into 15 languages and his poetry a part of the work of renowned artists such as, Jenny Holzer and Blixa Bargeld. In 2019 Almadhoun was granted the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program award scholarship.

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Rasha Omran reads from the anthology


I was going to say,

Bury me there

where I want to be

under a shade tree

perhaps I will return

as the green of a leaf

as seeping sap

I do not like nothingness

and yet, the ground there is sucked dry by death

it produces nothing

I do not like nothingness


I was going to say

Bury me here

in the place of my heart’s desires

perhaps I will return

as a drop of water in the great river

but the dead do not return

and the ground is only shifting sand

I do not like sand


I was going to say

Tie a rock to me and throw my body into the sea

into the deep sea

it is more noble to be devoured by a wild shark

than to be eaten by worms

but the sea is overflowing with human bodies

a big banquet

I do not like to crash a big banquet


I was going to say

Turn my body into a bomb

and let me blow up whoever you want

then there will be only little, little of me left

but I worry that this little

will stay in the memory of some murderer

I do not like murderers


I was going to say

Burn my body and scatter the ashes

from the top of that mountain in Damascus

perhaps some of the dust

will fall on the person I love there

but I know this is a burden for you to hear

I do not like to be a burden

Sa ‘aqul

I will say

If I die

leave my body in a faraway desert

for wolves to come and tear apart

and more wolves to come and tear apart

and more wolves to come and tear apart

I will not object

I will feel nothing but satisfied

perhaps I’ll even enjoy that empty space

at least I’ll have the company of teeth to relieve my lonely dying

Women poets do not like the loneliness of death


(Translated by Kim Echlin)

“…love, whatever it was, an infection,”

writes Anne Sexton

as she says goodbye to the world

before she kills herself


I, who cannot endure death

I want to put love in a vase

and change the water every five days

and watch its long shadow stretch across the wall in darkness


I want to pin it to the clothesline

where birds can perch without fear


I want it to grow like a tree in the bedroom

a tall tree

and when I am in despair

I will tie a silk scarf around my neck

leave it to hang it from the highest branch


This is the way I will keep my head alive

my body dead, a suicide

lies on an empty bed

in the bedroom


lonely women inherit this room, one from another


(Translated by Kim Echlin)

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