Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Ouidad Benmoussa

The Forest of Deceptions

1

There were countless deceptions in the notebook of life:
A radio transmits news of war while a hand raises the white flag
Dead people issue from dreams
Blood oozes out of the body of desire
A distant house that you climb to from an angle watched over by the river . . . Deceptive it is
A reception room with a table in the middle, on which drunken poems sleep . . . Deceptive they are
A white curtain, from which light creeps in and assaults love’s posture . . . Deceptive light
A kitchen, from which you cross to the hugging space within the books’ view . . . Deceptive books
A bedroom, with sensual butterflies keeping vigil on every side pleasure . . . Deceptive vigil
A pair of pillows, a pair of witnesses, bawdy, reporting news of orgasms to the bedsheets which are jealous . . . Deceptive orgasms
A lamp, that lights up only when the body is extinguished . . . Deceptive it is
An undesirable morning . . . coming speedy and reminding of ablution rites . . . A deceptive morning
Deceptions . . . deceptions

2

Even shoes in the wardrobe spotted countless deceptions
Cockroaches wandering in the bathroom hall reported news of deception on the phone
On the T-shirt
On the blanket
In the jacket pocket
Deceptions without smell but suffocating
Deceptions on walls
On paint
On paper napkins
On the necktie
Deceptions in the window crack, from which emerges an eye flirting with another eye on the other side
Deceptions in greetings
Deceptions under the shower
In entreaties
In high-walled separation
In cities
In monasteries
In the waiting rooms of Heaven and Hell
Deceptions all along the difficult path
Towering deceptions
Wild
Reckless
Pervading the city, the neighborhood, the building gate, apartments, ghosts that that haunt apartments
Deceptions leaking from gas pipes
From balconies overlooking roses, wheat, cactus, oleander flowers and black plastic bags
Leaking from palliative medicine boxes
Night clubs, matchboxes, tomato cans, packets of cigarettes and black boxes in booby-trapped planes
Deceptions skating on ice
Dancing on the heart stage
Demonstrating out in the street, and running for presidential elections
Raising slogans with the unemployed, although they hold the highest offices
Voracious deceptions, chewing the destinies of lovers and the weak
And crushing chickpeas and roasted almonds with their teeth in the love street
Deceptions trampling heart after heart
Suppressing passion after passion
And spreading in all parts of the mind fomenting more treachery . . . more discord . . .
And I upon the rubble of deceptions
Waving a scythe and a sword
A wound and a hemorrhage
Songs and music
I will deceive:
My face in the mirror
My body on the death bed
My time woven with error threads
I’ll deceive my joy and laugh loudly out of excessive pain
I’ll deceive the faces of those I loved with a slap of forgetting
I’ll deceive those who loved me by adding them to the list of the Mughal war victims
Those who betrayed me by dropping them into an electric wheat mill
Those who suffocated me with love palpitations, by dragging them into an abyss over there
I’ll deceive the world with a hard shoe blow on the head, till blood gushes as from a geyser . . . the blood of the world
I’ll deceive life with her lover death
I’ll deceive myself with anxiety
I’ll deceive the sky by breaking through the ozone hole
I’ll deceive monsters in the jungle of my imagination with poetry angels
I’ll deceive my step with a backward step
I’ll deceive the back with the front
I’ll deceive the front with the invisible
I’ll deceive the invisible with indifference
And laugh
Laugh
And join the Forest . . . in my full elegance
And at the gate – the forest gate –
I’ll wear my high heels
So as not to disturb sparrows:
The foremost deceivers.

غابةُ الخِيانات 

غابةُ الخِيانات 

1

كان في دفتر الحياة ما لا يحصى من خيانات:
راديو ينقل أخبار الحرب بينما يد ترفع الراية البيضاء
وقتلى من الأحلام
دم يخرج من جسد الصبوات
بيت بعيد تصعد إليه من زاوية يحرسها النهر . . . يخون
صالون تتوسطه مائدة عليها تنام القصائد سكرى . . . تخون
ستارة بيضاء يدخل منها الضوء ويسطو على وِضْعَةِ الحب . . . ضوء يخون ومطبخ، منه تعبر إلى فضاء العناق على مرأى من الكتب التي على الرف . . . كتب تخون
غرفة نوم، تسهر على جنباتها فراشات اللذة . . . سَهَرٌ تخون
مخدتان، شاهدتان، سفيهتان، تنقلان أخبار الرعشة إلى ملاءة بدورها تغار . . . رعشة تخون
مصباح ضوء، لا يضيء إلا عند انطفاء الجسد . . . يخون
صباح غير مرغوب فيه . . . يأتي مسرعا يذكر بفرائض الوضوء . . . صباح يخون
خيانات . . . خيانات . . .







2

حتى الأحذية في دولابها رصدت خيانات بلا عدد
صراصير كانت تتجول في بهو الحمام، نقلت أخبار الخيانات على الهاتف
على القميص
على اللحاف
في جيب السترة
خيانات بلا رائحة، لكنها خانقة
خيانات على الجدران
على الطلاء
على المناديل الورقية
على ربطة العنق
خيانات في شق النافذة تخرج من عين تغازل عينا في المعبر الآخر
خيانات في التحايا
خيانات تحت الدوش
في التوسلات
في الفراق العالية أسواره
في مدن
في أدْيِرَة
في قاعات انتظار الجنة والنار
خيانات على مر الطريق الصعب
خيانات شاهقة
متوحشة
نَزِقَة
تسري في المدينة، في الحي، تحت باب العمارة، في الشقق، في الأشباح التي تسكن الشقق
خيانات تتسرب من أنابيب الغاز
من الشرفات المطلة على الورد، على القمح، على الصبار، على زهرة الدفلى، والأكياس البلاستيكية السوداء
تتسرب من علب الأدوية المسكنة للآلام
من علب الليل، من علب عود الثقاب، من علب الطماطم المصبرة، من علب السجائر والعلب السوداء في طائرات مفخخة
خيانات تتزحلق فوق الثلج
وترقص على خشبة القلب
تخرج إلى الشارع لتنتفض، وتترشح للانتخابات الرئاسية
ترفع الشعارات مع المعطلين، رغم أنها تشغل أعلى المراتب
خيانات مفترسة، تلوك مصائر العشاق والضعفاء
وتقضم بأسنانها حبات الحمص واللوز المقلي في شارع الغرام
خيانات تدوس قلبا تلو قلب
وتسحق وَلَها تِلْوَ هُيام
وتتوزع في كل أرجاء العقل محرضة على مزيد غدر . . . مزيد شتات . . .
وأنا فوق ركام الخيانات:
أُشهِرُ منجلا وسيفا
جرحا ونزفا
نشيدا وعزفا
وأخون :
وجهي في المرآة
جسدي على سرير الموت
زمني المنسوج من خيوط الأخطاء
أخون فرحي، وأضحك عاليا من فرط الألم
أخون وجه الذين أحببتهم بصفعة نسيان
الذين أحبوني بأنْ سجلتهم في لائحة ضحايا حرب الماغول
الذين خانوني بأن أسقطتهم في طاحونة قمح كهربائية
الذين ضغطوا على أنفاسي بوجيب الحب، بأن سحبتهم إلى هاوية هناك
أخون العالم بضربة حذاء موجعة على رأسه، فيتحول الرأس إلى نافورة دم . . . دم العالم
أخون الحياة مع عشيقها الموت
أخون نفسي مع القلق
أخون السماء باختراق ثقب الأوزون
أخون الوحوش في أدغال خيالي مع ملائكة الشعر
أخون خطوتي بخطوة إلى الوراء
أخون الوراء مع الأمام
أخون الأمام مع الغيب
أخون الغيب مع اللامبالاة
وأضحك
أضحك
وأنضمُّ للغابة . . . بكامل أناقتي..
وعلى المدخل - مدخل الغابة-
أضع كعبيَ العالي
كي لا أُزْعِجَ العصافير :
أول ال
Close

The Forest of Deceptions

1

There were countless deceptions in the notebook of life:
A radio transmits news of war while a hand raises the white flag
Dead people issue from dreams
Blood oozes out of the body of desire
A distant house that you climb to from an angle watched over by the river . . . Deceptive it is
A reception room with a table in the middle, on which drunken poems sleep . . . Deceptive they are
A white curtain, from which light creeps in and assaults love’s posture . . . Deceptive light
A kitchen, from which you cross to the hugging space within the books’ view . . . Deceptive books
A bedroom, with sensual butterflies keeping vigil on every side pleasure . . . Deceptive vigil
A pair of pillows, a pair of witnesses, bawdy, reporting news of orgasms to the bedsheets which are jealous . . . Deceptive orgasms
A lamp, that lights up only when the body is extinguished . . . Deceptive it is
An undesirable morning . . . coming speedy and reminding of ablution rites . . . A deceptive morning
Deceptions . . . deceptions

2

Even shoes in the wardrobe spotted countless deceptions
Cockroaches wandering in the bathroom hall reported news of deception on the phone
On the T-shirt
On the blanket
In the jacket pocket
Deceptions without smell but suffocating
Deceptions on walls
On paint
On paper napkins
On the necktie
Deceptions in the window crack, from which emerges an eye flirting with another eye on the other side
Deceptions in greetings
Deceptions under the shower
In entreaties
In high-walled separation
In cities
In monasteries
In the waiting rooms of Heaven and Hell
Deceptions all along the difficult path
Towering deceptions
Wild
Reckless
Pervading the city, the neighborhood, the building gate, apartments, ghosts that that haunt apartments
Deceptions leaking from gas pipes
From balconies overlooking roses, wheat, cactus, oleander flowers and black plastic bags
Leaking from palliative medicine boxes
Night clubs, matchboxes, tomato cans, packets of cigarettes and black boxes in booby-trapped planes
Deceptions skating on ice
Dancing on the heart stage
Demonstrating out in the street, and running for presidential elections
Raising slogans with the unemployed, although they hold the highest offices
Voracious deceptions, chewing the destinies of lovers and the weak
And crushing chickpeas and roasted almonds with their teeth in the love street
Deceptions trampling heart after heart
Suppressing passion after passion
And spreading in all parts of the mind fomenting more treachery . . . more discord . . .
And I upon the rubble of deceptions
Waving a scythe and a sword
A wound and a hemorrhage
Songs and music
I will deceive:
My face in the mirror
My body on the death bed
My time woven with error threads
I’ll deceive my joy and laugh loudly out of excessive pain
I’ll deceive the faces of those I loved with a slap of forgetting
I’ll deceive those who loved me by adding them to the list of the Mughal war victims
Those who betrayed me by dropping them into an electric wheat mill
Those who suffocated me with love palpitations, by dragging them into an abyss over there
I’ll deceive the world with a hard shoe blow on the head, till blood gushes as from a geyser . . . the blood of the world
I’ll deceive life with her lover death
I’ll deceive myself with anxiety
I’ll deceive the sky by breaking through the ozone hole
I’ll deceive monsters in the jungle of my imagination with poetry angels
I’ll deceive my step with a backward step
I’ll deceive the back with the front
I’ll deceive the front with the invisible
I’ll deceive the invisible with indifference
And laugh
Laugh
And join the Forest . . . in my full elegance
And at the gate – the forest gate –
I’ll wear my high heels
So as not to disturb sparrows:
The foremost deceivers.

The Forest of Deceptions

1

There were countless deceptions in the notebook of life:
A radio transmits news of war while a hand raises the white flag
Dead people issue from dreams
Blood oozes out of the body of desire
A distant house that you climb to from an angle watched over by the river . . . Deceptive it is
A reception room with a table in the middle, on which drunken poems sleep . . . Deceptive they are
A white curtain, from which light creeps in and assaults love’s posture . . . Deceptive light
A kitchen, from which you cross to the hugging space within the books’ view . . . Deceptive books
A bedroom, with sensual butterflies keeping vigil on every side pleasure . . . Deceptive vigil
A pair of pillows, a pair of witnesses, bawdy, reporting news of orgasms to the bedsheets which are jealous . . . Deceptive orgasms
A lamp, that lights up only when the body is extinguished . . . Deceptive it is
An undesirable morning . . . coming speedy and reminding of ablution rites . . . A deceptive morning
Deceptions . . . deceptions

2

Even shoes in the wardrobe spotted countless deceptions
Cockroaches wandering in the bathroom hall reported news of deception on the phone
On the T-shirt
On the blanket
In the jacket pocket
Deceptions without smell but suffocating
Deceptions on walls
On paint
On paper napkins
On the necktie
Deceptions in the window crack, from which emerges an eye flirting with another eye on the other side
Deceptions in greetings
Deceptions under the shower
In entreaties
In high-walled separation
In cities
In monasteries
In the waiting rooms of Heaven and Hell
Deceptions all along the difficult path
Towering deceptions
Wild
Reckless
Pervading the city, the neighborhood, the building gate, apartments, ghosts that that haunt apartments
Deceptions leaking from gas pipes
From balconies overlooking roses, wheat, cactus, oleander flowers and black plastic bags
Leaking from palliative medicine boxes
Night clubs, matchboxes, tomato cans, packets of cigarettes and black boxes in booby-trapped planes
Deceptions skating on ice
Dancing on the heart stage
Demonstrating out in the street, and running for presidential elections
Raising slogans with the unemployed, although they hold the highest offices
Voracious deceptions, chewing the destinies of lovers and the weak
And crushing chickpeas and roasted almonds with their teeth in the love street
Deceptions trampling heart after heart
Suppressing passion after passion
And spreading in all parts of the mind fomenting more treachery . . . more discord . . .
And I upon the rubble of deceptions
Waving a scythe and a sword
A wound and a hemorrhage
Songs and music
I will deceive:
My face in the mirror
My body on the death bed
My time woven with error threads
I’ll deceive my joy and laugh loudly out of excessive pain
I’ll deceive the faces of those I loved with a slap of forgetting
I’ll deceive those who loved me by adding them to the list of the Mughal war victims
Those who betrayed me by dropping them into an electric wheat mill
Those who suffocated me with love palpitations, by dragging them into an abyss over there
I’ll deceive the world with a hard shoe blow on the head, till blood gushes as from a geyser . . . the blood of the world
I’ll deceive life with her lover death
I’ll deceive myself with anxiety
I’ll deceive the sky by breaking through the ozone hole
I’ll deceive monsters in the jungle of my imagination with poetry angels
I’ll deceive my step with a backward step
I’ll deceive the back with the front
I’ll deceive the front with the invisible
I’ll deceive the invisible with indifference
And laugh
Laugh
And join the Forest . . . in my full elegance
And at the gate – the forest gate –
I’ll wear my high heels
So as not to disturb sparrows:
The foremost deceivers.
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
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