Muhammad Al-Mutayyam – Seven jobs do not fit me

Mutayyam LE Arabic Poetry September 2023

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Seven jobs do not fit me, poems by Muhammad Al-Mutayyam.

Seven jobs do not fit me

He said, “Be a sculptor”
I said, “And disturb the stillness of the stone?”
He said, “Be a bird”
I said, “And awaken the nostalgia of the immigrant?”
He said, “Be a musician”
I said, “And spread the grief of the plank instead of embracing it?”
He said, “Be a street”
I said, “Should I bear the burden of the debtor’s step?”
He said, “Be a knoll”
I said, “I pity the lame lover!”
He said, “Be the night”…
I said, “If I am long, they will curse me, and if I fall short, they will curse me.”
I am neither long nor short…!
He said, “Be….”
I said, “Make me a cemetery guard”
Listening reverently to nothingness
My back resting on a tombstone
My legs stretched out
And eternity…
Lays her head on my lap and falls asleep.

Death like a drink of water

Have you tried to sit at one table?
Face to face
With your opponent,
And without the slightest precaution
Drinking two cups of tea?

Staring at each other sadly and gloomily
Grubbing the features of your two faces
In search of traces of the whips of time
You speak very proudly
About the honor of rivalry and the majesty of men
The glory of men
Not in the number of battles they fought
Nor in the number of their dead
Or what they flow from the tears of bereaved and orphans

The majesty of introverted men
Is in how do they conduct dialogue with their opponents?
In the eye, the eye itches
In snapping fingers
In the rib cage
Rising and falling in a measured amount

I did it yesterday
And death was in front of me
-And anger and serenity are neutral-
My sweat pours out
His hand trembles
And a glass of water spilled onto the table.

Yes, he writes with his feet.

I have always been the “high-achieving boy with bad handwriting,”
and the first thing the teachers said when I hand my notebook was:

“You write with your feet, son?!” To my older teachers, I say:

“Yes, he writes with his feet”

With dawn
They aspire to become wings
In the forenoon
They run like two betting horses
Competing in a track
At noon
They are carrying one another
So that their owner takes the form of “Effendi” reading the newspaper
In the afternoon
They hang out
In the water
With meekness
And the third of them.. The thread of lucky hook
At the beginning of night
They lie next to each other
As two beggars held on the sidewalk
And at the end of the night
You hope – in awe – that they will remain two wedges.
And with dawn
They aspire – once again – to become wings
Two violins: they have the same rhythm
And two sisters: they have the same features
And two tramps: they have the same amount of footsteps and socks

They run like a wind
And sleep like a mountain
They swell like a home
And slimed as a widow
And in all of this: they smell like a scandal

What surprised me was what I saw yesterday
A man writes his personal history with his legs!

© Muhammad Al-Mutayyam

Muhammad al-Mutayyam (1993) is an Egyptian poet, independent cultural journalist, and literary editor for a number of Arab publishing houses. His book “Open the Door Fatima” won the “Muhammad Afifi Matar” award for classical poetry. He also published: “A tear that breaks two sieges” by the Department of Culture in Sharjah. He participated in several poetry festivals in Emirates, Sudan and Egypt, and is working on producing his third collection: “The Deer in the Red Shirt.”

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