The Utopia of Cemeteries

Black and White Streets
April 20, 2018
April 20, 2018

The Utopia of Cemeteries


Unpainted walls,

stone-filled ground

fragile bones not even able to stand

and my bones are stuck in the middle

I am thinking of a small demonstration

to protest against the angels

who deprived us of the necessary calcium

God is above the ditch extending His shadow over us

and letting us sleep late

A drop of light falls from His hands

A darkened body enters

The drop dries

and we get to know our new colleague

with an open heart

He gives us cigarettes with extra generosity

We like His voice when He mutters:

What the hell is happening here?


Nobody heard

the cries we emitted close to sunrise

The sound of dogs outside

makes us feel friendliness

We crawl so that our bones touch

and we love one another even more

Each one speaks of his black childhood

We exchange laughter

We have no clock on the wall

to know when the end of time is




do not cry

when you know that I have entered my new home

because I want to save your eyes for coming days

Be calm

and shake your head thrice

Blow a kiss

and I will roar with my friends here

as they congratulate me on my new house

I will leave the door ajar

waiting for your kiss

And when you have a new house like me

please let it be nearby

so I can hear your breaths

breathe almost without pain

and my death has that final image

I worked so hard to make


In the room next to us

which is only separated by a curtain

women lie after taking off their shrouds

still very white

After many desperate attempts we managed

to prise a hole in the separation wall

Our bones stood all of a sudden

when we saw the first woman taking off her clothes

and putting them in the corner

On this night

we tried to tear the curtain

but it became more solid

So we resigned ourselves

to gazing at white bones

which are still far away

even now


They shut the place well

and threw the keys into the ditch

Why do you leave us at the edges of cities?

We have to be together

when the rains fall

to sing under them

We can talk about carriages

which took us on long roads

and returned without us

But the tears gathered in them

were enough to wet our bones

We did not find matches for heat

and when one of us snuck out to steal matches

we lit the cemetery

and it lit half of the world’s cemeteries for three days

Then the gravedigger threw up

and we passed by in an orderly line

all singing about the flies

sleeping in our ears

about our height which excited teenage girls

and repeated masturbation

in a huge barrel they call life



Chimo died this morning

Chimo is not my friend, but he died

He used to talk non-stop as if paying an old debt to words

which were about to abandon him

Tomorrow I will put on my black coat and go to the funeral

When I come back home I will smile to myself

Today Chimo, one of my acquaintances, died

and I am no longer a stranger in this country

Five O’clock


No crow, fly or birds perch on the window. A withering flower, which

fell from the upper floor, perches on the window. It will stay on the

table all evening. I gaze at it under the light, which makes eyes

bleed. There is a Klimt on the wall in which joyous colourful life wilts

before the messenger of death who looks pompously at the piled

boiling bodies, heads bowed. They are dead even before the angel

stabs his spear. I put the flower in the space between the angelʼs

skeleton and the colourful creatures, but the flower is annoyed and

fails at being a bridge. Wasn’t it withering too? I move it to the empty

eye in the angel’s head and it sits more comfortably there. But the

flower wasn’t created to fill empty eyes. The flower was created to fill

the upper floor balcony, but it’s dead. The truth is that it came down

to me because it died. To my window, where no crow, fly or birds




The Red Notebook


I used to pass my long night as a novice factory guard by reading as

much as I could for the night to end. A tiny book by Paul Auster, The

Red Notebook, told of realistic coincidences, and did not view coincidence

as being blind at all. I moved from one coincidence to another

until I came across this one: as a young man, Paul Auster worked,

together with his girlfriend, as a temporary guard for a house in the

countryside in southern France, in return for room and board. I hastily

looked for a piece of paper to write this note down and consoled

myself that working as a guard was not all that bad. I was looking for

any discarded paper, and there it was lying on the desk in the control

room: the little red notebook.

Translated by: Sinan Antoon