Naseer Hassan

Issue #
September 6, 2013

The Story of (That) Time

قِصةُ (ذاك) الزّمان
قِصّةُ ذاك الزّمان؛/.. كما يُغَرْغِرُ الطُّغَاةُ في العُمْق؛ في (هَدْأَةِ الغابةِ) كُنّا، الليلُ كانَ فِينا؛ رُبّما كُنّا نُجوماً، رُبّما حَمَلْنا
ثيابَنا إلى حيثُ يدخُلُ النهر.
يَقُولُ دانتي: القَنْطَرُوسُ يَرمي الطُّغاةَ في نهرِ الدماء؛ أقولُ: الغابةُ في القلبِ؛ ونحنُ نَسكنُ ساحةَ (الميدان) في الغُرَفِ
الشَّريدةِ؛ تَمُرُّ القِياماتُ فِينا بلا لَونٍ، ونحنُ عُراةٌ على ساحةِ الكَوْن.

The story of that time\ … like tyrants gargling in the depths; in the (forest’s quiet) we
were. Night was inside us; maybe we were stars, maybe we carried our clothes to where
the river “enters.”
Dante says: the centaurs throw the tyrants in the river of blood ; I say: the forest is in the
heart, and we inhabit al Midan square in the homeless rooms; judgment days pass
colorless through us, and we are naked on the square of the universe.

from Dayplaces:Showdowns Concerning The Beauty Of The World And Its Depression

Translated by Naseer Hassan and Jon Davis, with Christopher Merrill

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