The Creator of Soap Bubbles and other poems




The Creator of Soap Bubbles and other poems



Translated into English by Ali Salim



The Creator of Soap Bubbles


 Today I lost my phone.


With my pockets full of rotten cheeses

I came out of metro tunnels

looking for you under the grey clouds.

The city rats are following me.


My limbs were ringing,

some silently vibrating to meet you

and my head receiving all your messages.

This is how I found you in the carnivals of desire

watching a fire-eating tightrope-walker,

near him a gypsy woman blazing with a flame between her legs,

the hissing of its rising tongues extending to even between the lips.


I left my limbs to do what they want,

separating from me,

leaving me one by one,

crawling towards the flame to warm up.

I was happy to see them off.


Under the grey clouds

I wave a stick soaked with the foam of my desires,

I blow into its ring

seeing happy rats jumping to catch my soap bubbles

and people around me exploding in lust for a false paradise.


Nothing’s left for me but this head that’s full of virgins

which I keep as a memory album.

Paradise is here in my head.

Who wishes to pluck it to get what it has?


This is how I lost you in the crowdedness of the carnival, like my phone.


And this is how my relationship with things around me has transformed:


The soapy foam drying on the washbasin wound

strains my memory’s relationship with the pillow’s softness,

memory and blood

reproducing in our mothers’ wombs

and coincidentally one like me or you is born:

a Creator of soap bubbles.


The face that I’ve no longer seen in the mirror since decades

reminds me of a decrepit homeland,

and the other face engraved with a nail on the soap

reminds me of nothing,

but it’s good for masturbation.


The overturned slipper on the floor (size 43)

shows me God’s puzzled face.

His features that resemble the unseen face on the mirror

do not remind me of a face I miss.


The cigarette stump

carefully put on the edge of the bathtub

resembles a time afflicted by a place.


The disorders of this world

remind me of the young white donkey

of the black fig farm keeper

and how it lost its mind

when I inserted into its anus a half of a red fresh finger pepper

and how it made me fly in the sky of the first nest,

as I blew into its perky ears with the hose stolen from Nanna Fahima’s garden.


The scream of sperms shrouded with the draft of this poem

I planted in a forest I called: “the forest of the sperm cemetery”

will definitely produce a child laughingly resistant to axes,

and undoubtedly to religions.

His mother is a rootless tree,

he is my child

and I will follow him.


Happy rats are following me

and the carnival oracle is following me, repeating:

“At the end we lose everything”.


I returned

with a wind playing with my bubbles and my head wandering among them,

happy despite my losing

my phone,

my homeland,

and some beautiful women.



My freckled neighbor and her period


 My neighbor,

the freckled American,

is raising a nuclear bomb in her garden,

fondling it, feeding it with menstruation,

wiping its anus after each excrement

with Walt Whitman’s sterile leaves.


I asked her a question that seemed metaphysical in tone

about the nature of angst, about a night shrouding itself with smuggled dreams

after being threatened with insomnia.

About the meaning of love

when we use for a pillow a nuclear bomb

on a land cracking open whenever we are surprised by yawning

and raining a burning dust whenever we have to sneeze.


I asked her

why my father wears a chimney for a hat

whenever he sees a train passing

on the railway between his eyebrows

without blinking his eyes

or the eyes of the corpses:

the smiling, the sad, the distracted, the surprised, the angry, the dreamy and the astonished corpses along the pavement?


The sirens are answering me, mixed with the ecstasy of neighborhood women screaming

and she hastens to convince me

to fondle the pointy red cockscomb

of her domesticated game.


She was meowing, turning around herself,

a swarm of her baby freckles falling onto the grass.



her answers were a metaphysical maneuver, like my questions,

and we ended up

despite her period

making love

on top of a cloud of freckles I will always remember

whenever I miss peace

beside her nuclear bomb.


I got stained with war!

I, who am bedewed with freckles

and my innocent penis.



The poem doesn’t end in Brussels



on her tour on the Mont des Arts

I'll invite her to land next to me on this bench

near the Royal Library

to pick chocolate crumbs together,

and words,

and the crushed biscuits in my pocket.


For a moment, we will exchange timidity.

I might open the novel on the selected page

and read to her the dialogue I spent days

contemplating over:

"Are you sure, sir, it’s Kumala?"

"I am sure."

"Why does it look so bleak?"

"It’s the time, sir." *

Then I add something of my own, feeling a bit proud:

"And are there still mouths allied to the dark tales of light and fire?"

"There are, sir."


And when our glances stop escaping,

she will tell me what sort of dead person she is.

I will in turn tell her about my non-being,

but she will discover my folded wings

under my coat

and with a childish desire she’ll reveal to me her wings

and as we are in Brussels,

we will fly together.

following us

escaping with its depression

revealing to us its folded wings under the depression of time

the sky of that remote country.


And tomorrow,

she didn’t come.

I wasn’t waiting at the Mont des Arts.

The words weren’t there, in my pocket,

feeding alone on crushed biscuits,

and the chocolate crumbs didn’t melt.


By effect of time

the dialogue was deleted from both the novel and the garden.

and I wasn’t listening to the blackbird

that was trying to show me with its orange beak

a fragment with these words:






* From the novel "Pedro Paramo" by Juan Rolfo.


 A Refugee


He had just left the Smiling Academy.

She saw him through her glasses

looking for a safe homeland near her.

She didn’t understand there could be someone

looking for a thing like that

at this day and age!

She put her handbag on the empty chair

and showed her foolishness by continuing to read.


He kept getting away in front of her glasses.

His entity was getting smaller as he went away,

until he became a fly

and landed on the nearest carrion.

Following from there:

the beauty of the city

and the chair that was empty in the past

as his homeland

to which he would never return.

Nor would he return to the reader of La vie devant soi,*

as she wiped her glasses with the handkerchief.


Every now and then

he pulls out a smile from his pocket,

checks it, cleans its wrinkles with the sleeve of his shirt,

and cautiously glues it onto his face.

Once it falls down he spits on it,

picks it up stealthily and returns it to his pocket,


what reckless bastard created this curse?


*"The life before us" is a novel by Romain Gary.



Brussels carnival fly gnawer



Nothing’s there but a bat recovering after a long siege and longer wars, deciding to save the world with snoring.


I will be happy upside down, like elated bats

playing with the upside down past

around me.


In this darkness

I suck the milk of everything I touch.

I don’t masturbate nor bathe,

until the world has cleansed off its shame.


In the morning,

with a glass of milk from the last Sumerian suns,

mixed with the last chuckling of the dead,

I happily return to life, like my ancestors,

to live the last remaining part of it

waiting impatiently

for a beautiful explosion

to put my head between two corpses

on the remaining thigh of my fading darling.


In the evening I keep warm

on the corpses, and on the breath of the starry carnivals,

sending inaudible snoring in their direction,

each fly that’s blocking my snoring

will be devoured.


I am a bat,

gnawer of bearded flies,

at the Brussels carnival.





A moon in a graveyard


 To her, when we count our each other’s hearts with scorched fingers of regret


A moon fell on the graveyard.


I was busy reviving who was killed by my rhythm,

trying to make peace with life through a truce,

– even if it was futile –

when a full moon fell down

and rolled onto my astonishment in the middle of the graveyard.


A resurrection was revived in me,

along with it rose a voice that resembled me

and commandingly advised me:

let your lips sweep her body,

pile up the dust of the past into her belly button that is encircled with

this tattoo:

“The head is a stray bird”,*

beware of looking up to the sky

as dispersion at this hour is unforgivable

and keeping a stray head is better than not

beside a moon in a graveyard.


Be triangulated, elongated,

quadrated in front of her with your tambourine, like a dervish.

Be a dotted circular melody, without a circumference

and your melodies are dust.

Let her taste the blood of moon on your fingertip.

Name a morning after her and tumble down in it

every dawn,

and stain all horizons with her voice.

When her voice is seeing you,

you won’t be able to turn around.


Moisten your breath with her crossed questions

on graveyards

until the moon has fallen down.

And once the moon has fallen down,

close your eyes.

Find a space beside her

and die!

This desire, as this life,

does not bear all this clarity.


She, with her octopod vagina,

swallowed swarms of my day

to teach me

how life could be my concern,

like poetry and extinction.


I have lived dead beside a living body,

whose womanhood enjoys my silence

and have sung in a night of a lunar desire.

I am listening dead, looking

and waiting to return to her with another truce

that could be failing.


Waking is none of my concern.

Nor is sleeping.



* From ‘A body fertilized with anticipation of Larrisa and the egg of Gilgamesh’ by Adnan Adil. 



The stiff man in the café


The stiff man in the café

is stuffing his ribs

with tobacco leaves and colorful bags.

Around his surreal head hover,

plastic forests and fake fruits,

and sleepiness into the night’s pants creeps.


The stiff man in the café,

as ancient as boredom,

gliding into the desert of certainty,

drowning his body in kissing places,

blown away by images.

His time is without hands or sand,

his limbs as well as his eyes are rejoicing at the bottom of the moment.

His sneaky death attracts

all the flies of the neighborhood.


The stiff man in the café,

loves scaring dead birds,

entertaining fake people.

With idle butterflies and naive tourists

seducing a quarrelsome spring.

his joyful shadows crawling on the wall.


On the sphere of his loneliness

a lamp is rotating.

He is the only one who knows

the history of this burning wick

and the agony of isolation of his extinguished soul.


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