The Stranger

The Stranger prose poem

Photo by TraumTeufel666

There we met, at street seventy seventh; my friend who’d bowed down with altering features, and me with my clothes getting narrower. We could not find, in this chilly present, a tale to help us recline on the pavement’s stone. So we climbed up on remnants of our memories and hided in our flowing coats.

Virtual faces compete with us on residues of air. Old smells had hastily migrated. Sardine cans filled with digital chewing-gums and cellular phones walk with four-wheel drive; mouths chew melting words at a cold winter.

On a pine tree arching over the city’s piazza, where two roads and a thousand stories crisscross, we heard the singing of an old sparrow while lamenting at the walls of Jerusalem, so we concluded that time is still standing, while place had over-changed.

So, we told ourselves:

(1)

To be a stranger is to hang stars on your eyelashes which will be wiped away by chitchat of the day; it is to pour rains into your river, which you’d dug with your nails, then die out of thirst.

(2)
To be a stranger is when your speech is cloudless, while you smother with smoke; or when you fall in love so you take the weight of a butterfly, but then get accused of arousing the hurricane.

(3)
To be a stranger is to shoot a thunder from a cloud you draw in your booklet, in a deaf city; it is to spread out your fingers for birds which will be smashed by hustles.

(4)
To be a stranger is to see the king naked in a kingdom that cannot see; or to hang the rainbow over the gates of a blind city.

(5)
To be a stranger is to search for the center of an ever broken circle; or to erect at the line’s end a question mark which is then woven to a scaffold just your neck size.

(6)
To be a stranger is when you are the only, first and last comforter of Sodom and Gomorrah.

(7)
To be a stranger is to go deep inside a book, while others jail you in by iron doors.

(8)
To be a stranger is to refuse to drink from the well which made people insane. It is to build with your allegories a tower for pigeons, then to be bombed by air-crafts.

(9)
To be a stranger is to leave to God what is God’s, at a stall selling tickets to paradise.

(10)
To be a stranger is to give up your third leg at the end of day, while priestesses accuse you of giving Electra her courage, or of murdering Sophocles who died out of old age.

(11)
To be a stranger is to make fountains sprout up from your eyes, but you are broken by the salt of words; or it is to climb up on musical stairs, while you are stoned by loud speakers.

(12)
To be a stranger is to sleep in the moistness of a rain-forest, then to be knocked by roars of a speedy truck.

(13)
To be a stranger is when you look into your mirror, just to see in it a crowd gazing at you.

(14)
To be a stranger is to walk in Gilgamesh road, but to be arrested at your first step by a sluggish policeman.

(15)
To be a stranger means to go back to your earthen home in a city of glass.

(16)
To be a stranger is to ride on the back of a wind, in a country which had burnt out its trees; or to spray perfumes in a place stricken by anosmia.

(17)
To be a stranger is to love without boundaries in a country at which bared wires thrive, or to work as a fireman at hell.

(18)
To be a stranger means that each time you open a window, a wall emerges out of it.

(19)
To be a stranger is to embroider with your blood a kiss for the black widow.

(20)
To be a stranger is to read a Sufi script at a countryside noisy wedding party; or when a shop selling fortunes is built over the philosopher’s stone.

(21)
To be a stranger is to wrap your woman with your eyelids, at the middle of the patriarch street.

(22)
To be a stranger means that the flute player sells bubbles, and the jasmine flowers move to live at windows of mummies shops.

(23)
To be a stranger is when you look for a fig leaf at the market of striptease.

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Fareed K. Ghanem

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I am 58 years old, from eastern Galilee, Israel (Palestine). I studied English literature, psychology and Law at the Hebrew university (Jerusalem). In the last three years, I published three books of which is dedicated to prose poetry. You are invited to visit the Facebook page Shadows of Water, where I publish my prose poems I translate to English.
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