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Nizar Kerboute translated from Arabic : Soumaya Khatibi


Nizar Kerboute,


September’s Sunshine


A crazy idea took hold of me

It was crossing the road…

Paying no attention to

Those sharing with me the voice of the wall

I left the evening’s newspaper

To the Rabat’s breeze to go through it

And disappeared in the echo



She didn’t grant me enough time

Neither to take photography of my wrecked memory

Nor to reread the draft

Where I’ve noted the address of my stranger body

My body which escapes my encounter

In the full day light

And waits the falling of the first piece of night

To knock on the door of my insanity

To smoke cigarettes

And sit in the bottom of a glass of air



I have tasted the first letter on her breast


It was salty

The ocean’s noise on her skin

Moralities inside the blue

Temporary words, which immigrate

To her cursed hips



I am looking for serenity

To implant it in her southern shore

It will grow as an Atlas olive tree

And will be watered from my forehead’s rain

I will seek shelter under its branches

From the September’s sunshine


Time fall down before me  


She walked out 

From the ‘carré noir’

The wooden chairs followed her

With the cups of coffee

And Tea pots

She headed to the down town

The side walk followed her


And the light post

And the alabaster


She turned right

And the street turned too

The alleys,

And the red traffic light as well

She bended out to pick up

Papers that fall down from her hands

The clock bended out with her


And forthwith, time fall down before me 



‘Carré noir’: a café in the down town of Rabat City in Morocco


As if he was a poet


Traveling with his eyes

In the pain of the night

And disappearing in his watch 

Weighing heavily on his forearm

As if he was a poet who has lost his way  

To a freindly bar 

Sharing with it his moments of delusion

And seasons of rainy solitude





He does not remember the features of the chairs

On which he seated with his faithful sorrows  

Recalling the last time on which he forgot his appointment

With a little poem Imitating

The walk of Al- Mutanabbî

And the voice of a wounded metaphor  

The words of which are not yet healed

Repeating to a solitary bottle of wine

What he has learned from some yellings

And titles of forgotten newspapers

On the way back at the first alley

After the silence  


The finger he has put in the ashtray

Is no more beating as have accustomed him

The winter’s nights

He does no more attracts the beauties

To his apartment 

On the ground floor

He becomes like the ash too

Spending his day

Looking for his color

That the crowd of bystanders covers 

In the streets of Rabat









Why are you painting her nude like that?



My pen is traveling between your breasts

Looking for the writings of the city of Ur

And its engravings  

That it is said they are the origin of the alphabet 

He spends his days

Lost in the roads which surround you

Picking up your seasons in his bag  

And getting on the morning train

Towards a feminine city 

Famous for its chocolate 

And its new year’s cake

- Which resembles to a branch of a pin tree- 

Bohemian as usual 

He does not count the distances

Accompanied by a friend named



That nobody can see 

As in science-fiction movies 

He speaks to her

Smiles to her 

And when drinking a glass of bordeaux 

He sends to her a kiss with the waitress 



I have asked the pen

"Why do you paint her totally nude like that? »

It answers me  

"Between your hands my life is short, 

I will not waste it in compositions and meaningless introductions 

What then is my sin if my ink adores the Woman?

Liking nudity in its exaggerated form 

And talks about beauties who

Are flirting with him in the whiteness»





I woke up in the dawn on the rhythm of

The rain’s drops

Night chatting with the window’s glass

I get up from the bed

And walked to the kitchen

Opened the water tap….and let him bleed a while

I have put a glass under it so it can drink

And came back to sleep.

translated from Arabic : Soumaya Khatibi

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