Stoned on Ritualistic Bullshit


Fifth Estate # 396, Summer, 2016

They shall all tell you, one by one, when you cross them, collectively

individually, in court lobbies or hotel lounges, in schools or inside

mosques. They shall tell you only what they shall tell you, in their

Abyssinian rhetoric of generational apology. They shall tell you the

same old bullshit they vomited before, and after the great flood of the

great bullshit out of the great bowels into the great fucked up world of

ours, they shall tell you only what they shall tell you:

You should praise your dear Lord night and day

for having granted you the ease of breathing through one nostril.

You should praise your dear Lord night and day

for having sent enough sugar and mint tea –

for bringing sour milk and wheat couscous to your table.

You should praise your dear Lord night and day

for the free birds that have not yet frozen.

You should praise your dear Lord night and day

for those who have not yet been gassed in their chambers;

for the sky that still abundantly pisses on your patches;

for the army that still reluctantly protects you!

I do not blame you

priests of the unconscious

have turned you all, one by one

into widowed Mona Lisas with mustaches

& there you sit in penumbras

plunged into the noise of your flesh

afraid of Lawyers’ offices,

psychiatrists’ couches,

the neighborhood police station

Did you decide to die the death

of a taintless mayor?

the one who promised to wash

the neighborhood of its despair?

did you decide to befriend the treasurer who fattened

his stepchildren on Urban Household Finances?

or did you surrender to the bachelor accountant who clipped

our foliage with his economy of mystical needs?

I do not blame you

for having loosened your ties

when your representatives offer tailored intellect

how many of you became gay for pay

& sat in the corners of love waiting

for a bridge to the other side?

how many of you drank embryonic hopes in a café au lait cup?

how many of you slept on post-strike discussions

to wake up with another historical hangover?

they shall tell you, one by one, what

only they shall tell you

do not bother Late in December

roam the streets of life

read newspapers in a strange town

& drink your cinnamon coffee

pretend you are used to the explosions

celebrate your exhaustion

Who would recognize you after all?!

El Habib Louai is an Amazigh poet, teacher, translator and musician from Taroudant, Morocco. He focuses on the Beats and revolutionary poetry in English, which he translates and performs accompanied by Afro Jazz and Amazigh Northern African music. His first collection of poems, Mrs. Jones Will Now Know: Poems of a Desperate Rebel, was published in the U.S. in 2015.