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Gallimaufry A Journal of Creative Writing and Art

Issue 2

. Spring 2013


Gallimaufry A Journal of Creative Writing and Art Issue 2

Š 2013 The Gallimaufry and the contributors, Ifrane, Morocco.

A lot has happened in the world from Gallimaufry’s first issue. The global economic crisis, recognition of Palestinian authority, death of Hugo Chávez - to name a few. And after all, what has happened to find a solution? International conferences and meetings took place all over the world., the question remains the same: are these meetings going to solve all these problems on their own, with no inclusion of over factors? Perhaps, you are wondering by now why am I talking about all these matters in this letter, where I should write about creative writing and art. In fact, this is my central point. I invite you all to think about what are the possibilities of creative writing and art in changing scenes all over the world. I will not answer this question and will let you discover it on your own while reading very few talents from different countries in this issue. The cover is a picture I took during one of Les abattoirs* exhibitions. The word in red in Arabic means “not permitted.” And while Morocco, as well as many other countries, is still censoring writers and artists, and has no clear vision on promoting culture, this is was an opportunity to show to the world that creativity is never reduced to political decisions. Now, the horizons young creatives are reaching are beyond any censorship acts. Welcome to issue two! Kenza Yousfi Editor-in-chief

* Les abattoirs is the site of Casablanca’s old slaughterhouse. Currently, it serves as an open space for artists and a place where numerous exhibitions, talks, and shows take place every year.

Editor- in- chief Kenza Yousfi Readers Karima Kaddouri Ghada Faird

Siham Laazizi Arabic Editor Salma Tariq Younes Shaimi English Editor

Muad Zeindein French Editor

Younes Shaimi Art Editor Amal Bourhrous Amira Belghazi

Contributors Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrรกn Asmaa Ghanem Aya Ijlal Boris Pramatarov Damilola Afolayan Fanar Abdel Ghani Heba Abed Mariam Khan Mouna Kousa Moussa Ibrahim Noel Fence Ron Heacock Samia Haimoura Sara Datturi Yosra Khouiammi Zaynab Talidi


Terra Vegabonda


On War and the Subaltern


‫"م‬#‫ أ‬%


Otis’s Lament


Tolani’s Whitey


Reviving the Spirit


Lettre à Dieu




Imagining Another World


Checkmating Creativity

  I had to sacrifice my queen if I wanted to clear the kingside. Yet Peter had already thought of that move. He had plan A, plan B and Plan Nth with which he could easily checkmate me with only a combination of pawns and bishops. The only thing that was left for me to do was to delay my loss somehow. His victory was undeniable. As I lay there watching the game proceed, I imagined it was the old man’s story. Perhaps it was only a fantasy of my own, but as Peter was showcasing an impetuous knight grab around my queen, I wondered how this genius, who could break a game down in no more than ten minutes, ended up in a retirement house like this, with no relatives to talk to, nor good memories to think about. He has had no education, and there he was, playing chess and reading criminology books once in a while. “Just to kill time,” he would say.


Sixty years ago, he used to be the little boy everyone scoffed at in school. His schoolwork was a complete disaster, and he would sit in the back of the classroom, sometimes gazing in awe at the birds’ fight from the window, while some other time making up imaginary battlefields on his table, using scraps of paper to represent soldiers, queens, kingdoms and whatnot. His teachers scolded him several times, but he would just carry on being disruptive. When his third semester at school came to an end, he was reported to the Principal for being a “lost cause.” They all suspected him of having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) symptoms. His mother decided to take him to a psychologist to verify the veracity of those claims. The man did not talk much. He asked the mother about the motives of her worrying, then stood up from his desk and asked the little boy if he could excuse him along with his mother to leave the room. “We will have to discuss some issues. We won’t be very long,” he said in low caring voice.  

In the access strip, the psychologist and the mother stood still,

watching the little agitated boy from a window he could not see them from. Only a few minutes had passed, yet the 5 year old Peter had already started playing around with the scrap paper the psychologist had left intentionally in the room. He disguised as a warrior, wrapping a piece of tissue around his head, and defending himself with a bronze plate he managed to take down from the wall.


The two adults in the corridor would hear him screaming and threatening fictive soldiers, all soaked in his own imaginary play. “Have you ever given him a chess game to play with?” the psychologist asked. “No, I have never done so.” “Well, you might want to, Madame. Your son is a genius,” he replied. Everything Peter knew, a few years later, was that his mother could not accept the sheer idea that her unique child would be a chess player. She cursed psychologists for being deceitful and fraudulent, withdrew her child from school and considered him as a child with “special needs” forever after. There he was, sitting in front of me, frantically moving his pawn towards my kingdom. Although his victories were never-ceasing and relentless, it seemed like it always brought him the same sort of happiness and self-satisfaction his first chess battle did.  With every player eliminated from the battlefield, he would revel, grin, and get greedier. I watched him silently as reflections about how our educational system undermines our passions started to swarm my mind. As the cyclical and seemingly never ending debate about education rages, the latter somewhat ironically often poses more questions than it answers. Society merely rejects the idea of creativity. We tend to forget that we are born with enormous talents and abilities, yet soon they are stigmatized according to the so-called priorities to be “successful.”  Whether 3

you have a passion or not, you have to abide by the rules of the majority, follow the herd’s flow: study and retain quantitative subjects at school, regurgitate facts that will be forgotten either after the exam is done or after the semester is through, and aim at getting a “perfect” job. But what is the purpose of having a job if one cannot even enjoy what one does? The striking majority of people live their lives as if they were all living on one side of a coin. They only see what is on the surface, whereas they would only need to flip it a second time to realize that there is no “one aim” in the course of their lives. We are educated in such a way that quantitative topics are the ones on the top, leaving art are sports at the bottom. The whole educational system is built on this logic, as it builds itself on the image of the work market. Sports and arts are considered to be secondary and irrelevant if you want to be successful. Success is only measured by what the world needs: math, sciences, numbers, numbers, and numbers over and over again. Still, there is no absolute correlation between academic success and success in life in general. It seems as though Michael Angelo never painted anything to put his words into action, or as though Gillian Lynn never danced in the most renowned music theaters ever to express the world’s torments. Art is fuel to the mind, to the body and to the soul. Once it is put away and undervalued, what is the purpose of crafting humankind that is closely bound to machinery? What would the world be like if Art did not exist? Art is what helps us denounce, overtake and transfigure reality. If it is not to escape it, then it is to denigrate it and seek to better it. As Bill Clinton clearly states: “Literacy is not a luxury, it is a right and a responsibility. If our


world is to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century, we must harness the energy and creativity of all our citizens.” Nowadays in our societies, Intelligence is not something we skillfully craft, but rather something that melts away with time. As a consequence of social pressure, young generations see themselves forced to give up their passions. They do things they don’t want to do, they study topics they don’t want to study, and they end up having lives they never wanted to live. In Morocco for instance, no one would care about how genius you are in such a field, or about how artisty and brilliant your talents are. The only thing people care about is your degree and your overall grade. However, with this being said, people who decide to make a change in their lives and choose their own paths wind up in the “oblivion sphere.” Sooner or later they give up their hope in doing what they love and stick to the general rule of being like others, following the same routine-ish forever-lacking lifestyle.             Even the government wouldn’t create incentives to motivate people about their passions. They have better things to do, more important issues to tackle. They have to-ironically-educate the people; make the global net income rise (with a few decimal digits) and develop the economy. Where is the creativity in all that? They are looking forward to build a new generation that is bound to repeat the same methods-thus the same mistakes-with the permanent hope to make a change. How does a change ever happen to occur? With alternative solutions, with plan A, plan B, and whatnot. Yet only creativity can generate such options. Nevertheless, all we do is kill creativity. We kill passions from their very first rise, as if we sent a hoard of Nagasaki bombs to render the infinite creative skills land infertile.


Peter let me kill his pawn and I could tell from the spark in his eyes that I had fell right in his trap. One last move until he would tear down my king and my whole kingdom. He was making his creativity triumph… whereas my lingering, trite way of playing (that he almost learned by heart) was coming to an end. Checkmate. 

by Samia Haimoura


L’amour en quatre saisons

La science veut qu’il y ait des saisons pendant lesquelles nos émotions commencent à déborder. Pendant lesquelles, les grains de l’amour, de la tendresse et surtout ceux de la sensualité commencent à murir et doivent de ce fait être semés, Au printemps, Mère nature se déchaine, On dirait une détenue qui a envie de détacher ses chaînes Prisonnière de l’Hiver, elle en a marre, elle se libère. Avec grâce, elle se penche vers ses attaches pour les défaire Ses chaînes s’agitent, et là les gazouillis des oiseaux se déclenchent Une vraie symphonie qui résonne dans les cœurs les plus étanches Faute de ce tumulte, Cupidon, malheureusement pour lui, se réveille. Jasmin et Lys par leur douceur deviennent complices et éveillent Amour et passion grâce à leurs senteurs qui nous émerveillent. Pris dans le jeu, on n’y peut rien, on devient affectueux : Le complot est tellement parfait pour tomber amoureux.


En été, c’est le soleil qui devient compère Mère nature se transforme en ‘’allumeuse’’ qui ne perd pas pour autant ses manières Face à la chaleur qu’elle dégage, les corps libèrent leur sensualité Qui envoûte de ce fait les cœurs jusqu’à temps prédisposés à une telle fatalité. Il faut dire qu’en été, le printemps récolte enfin ses agrumes Suite aux corps qui s’enflamment, les cœurs aussi s’allument Et malgré la canicule, on ne sent qu’un vent de joie qui se répand L’eau, le sable et la chaleur s’unissent pour créer un doré éclatant Qui entraîne les esprits à perdre leur lucidité Face une chaire d’une telle luminosité L’été ne réveille peut être pas les âmes les plus romantiques Mais il fait naître en eux, surement, les désirs les plus fantastiques

En automne, Mère nature déprime Mais ce n’est pas pour autant qu’elle opprime Les sensations que Printemps et Eté ont fait murir jusqu’à temps. Car la raison derrière cette dépression, N’est autre qu’un amour convoité il y a de cela longtemps. En automne, la santé de Mère nature s’alanguit A cause d’une tumeur, toutefois bégnine mais qui l’affaiblit Avec chaque cheveu qui tombe, on aperçoit le vide établi, on sent nos larmes couler


Et là soudainement tout semble s’écrouler On devient fragiles et désespérés A la recherche de cet amour et de cette tendresse tant désirés

Pour clore ce cycle, l’hiver entre en scène C’est le moment propice pour sentir les rafales glaciales qui se ramènent Devant sa cheminée, Mère nature est nostalgique Elle essaie de se rappeler de la chaleur de l’été et cela la rend mélancolique Car figurez-vous que la fraîcheur de l’hiver soutiens la solitude Et rares sont les personnes qui trouvent en une telle isolation, une source de quiétude Pour cette raison, le commun des mortels désire trouver, pour les plus chanceux, garder, Des bras tendres qui leur réchauffent le cœur et qui les permettent de s’abriter

par Yosra Khouiammi


Terra Vagabonda

Terra errante, scontrosa, Ammiccante che eternamente coccola, Storpia, accondiscende Questo uomo Che puro nella sua luciditĂ  di pazzo Si estende Fecondo Nelle vitree e spontanee Cune Della pelle sua. Corsa lenta, di un mondo Che cambia, 10

Muta, Si trasforma nelle viscere delle lucenti tenebre. Tu Che puoi sfilare tra le line Magiche, di questo tempo che passa E mi trattiene Incosciente E perso Attonito. Smetti Di mordermi Smetti

Di attaccarmi Tu Che solo Tu Conosci L’eterno Segreto


Dell’anima mia frutescente e Ammiccante Tu, che solo tu, Conosci I meandri Di questa città Dannata E sudata Che risiede In Noi

di Sara Datturi


On War and the Subaltern



by Asma Ghanem







Hitler in Colors

by Noel Fence







‫"م‬#‫ أ‬%

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 <Aw.‫' ا‬FX ‫?ر‬A= _V[)


Otis’s Lament

“The number you have reached is not in service. If you’d like to make a call, please hang up and try again.” The message was followed by a series of clicks and buzzes and a final pop like the line was actually being cut. Cali imagined a black cable the thickness of her thumb severed with a long handled pair of pruning loppers. The door slid shut; she habitually stabbed the first floor button three times. “How the hell could the intercom in an elevator be connected to a phone?” She asked. Her ten year old Corgi, Pootin, didn’t answer. He stood by her feet, panting up at her. She had waited too long to take him out again and his self-control was clearly frayed. Cali was interrupted from pondering at the third floor when a slobbering bull-dog-sort-of-beast entered the car towing his owner by a stretched leather leash. Pootin whined. Cali smiled toward the man, but his


nose was inserted in a yellowed paperback, so she let it fade from her face. The guy was wearing a dirty pair of sweatpants and an unbuttoned paisley bath robe. Cali looked away from his thicket of chest hair. Pootin stopped panting as though the wet noises from the other dog were intimidating him. Cali knew better; her Corgi was silent and staring into the corner because it required his full attention to keep from pissing a lake right there on the rubber elevator floor. The door opened and she squeezed between paperback face and the metal jamb. “So sorry,” she mumbled, walking fast through the lobby doors and out onto the sidewalk. Poor Pootin almost pissed on the mailman’s leg as Cali dragged him three legged to a pole near the curb. His toenails scratched the cement. She was busy lighting a Marlboro light with one of those cheap plastic lighters and did not notice if the Bulldog followed her out. Eyes closed; leaning on the postered pole, she exhaled a lungful of low tar and nicotine smoke. It was amazing that there could be any wood left under the thousands of playbills stapled there over the years. “Must be more paper and staple than wood,” she thought. Pootin, who had already dropped a quart, looked up at her apologetically, but his urinary stream showed no sign of letting up. Cali wrote a column named, The Smart Chick’s Guide to the City. Smoking there, she’d drifted into thinking about her latest article in progress, a comparison of the corrupt bucket of mayoral hopefuls in the upcoming election titled Neck Deep in the Snake Pit. “Follow the money and it will reveal the dark underbelly of the political process,” Cali thought. “I’m just worried it might be getting too dark.”


Grinding the cigarette with her heel, she asked Pootin, “you done bud?” He sat calmly on the sidewalk looking up at her as if to say, “who, me?” Cali punched her door code into the entrance intercom and rode the elevator back up to her fourth floor loft. There were no calls during the return trip. The only upside of being a smoker in the current anti-smoking world was that it forced her to go outdoors every few hours. At least she couldn’t chain smoke, and her habit gave her an excuse to punctuate her normally obsessive writing life. Pootin appreciated the breaks as well, since Cali hardly ever passed up a chance to bring him with her when she went. Sometime in the late afternoon, following a can of plain tuna fish and couple of stale Ritz crackers, Cali snapped the retractable leash onto Pootin’s collar and walked to the elevator at the end of her floor. After the door closed and she stabbed the first floor button, a ringing sound came over the intercom. It rang once, as though she were listening to a receiver making a call. Halfway through the second ring, a male voice picked up and mumbled, “What? What do you want now?” Cali opened her mouth to try and explain that she was in an elevator and the stupid intercom system seemed to be making random phone calls when a breathy female voice said, “You know what I want Charles, and you’ll pay it too.” Cali closed her mouth. The male continued, “what, why are you doing this? I’ve never done anything to you.”


The woman said, “Fuck you Charley, this is about you, not me. Did you get the money?” The elevator stopped at the first floor and the door opened. Cali rapidly stabbed the fourth floor button six times. Pootin began to exit but she snapped the lock on the spring loaded leash and gagged him to a stop as the door slid closed. The man said, “yes, yes I have it, but, can’t we talk about this. I can help you, you don’t need to do this…” The woman laughed loudly, Cali hoped that the tenants on the first floor did not hear, they would have thought it was her. “Charles, you have nothing I need, but I am going to ruin you, you asshole. Bring the money to The Crow Bar at 4:55 this afternoon; it will be crowded and noisy. Put it in a gym bag – I know you have one you son of a bitch. Remember, if you are late it’s over, if the money isn’t all there, it’s over, if you tell anyone or bring anyone, it’s over. Do you understand?” Charles said wearily, “how many times are you going to do this?” She disconnected and the operator’s recording began, “if you’d like to make a call…” Cali stood in the car with the door open at the fourth floor until the door closed. The car sat stationary, waiting for someone to summon it. After a moment she pushed the open doors button and walked back to her apartment in a daze. She knew where The Crow Bar was. The time was 3:30.


To say the bar was crowded and noisy was an understatement. Cali did not realize how difficult it could be to spot a man she had never seen at exactly 4:55 PM on a Friday evening. She sat at the end of the bar next to a blond with big hair and short sequined skirt watching the door and sipping a Widmer draft. The spicy Chex mix was addictive, the crowd prowled. At 5:30, after three mugs of beer her mouth felt burned and dry from the salty snacks, but she had not seen a man with a gym bag. Her head was pounding in time with fat bass of the dance beat. The place was a meat market. Cali decided to leave. As she walked to the light rail stop she thought, “crap, what a waste of time. I can’t really believe I did this.” The trains were relatively empty at this point in the day; she had no problem finding a seat. She scanned her fellow passengers. There was a woman dressed in blue pumps wearing a faux mink stole, a skinny guy in a checkered sport coat whose sleeves were too short revealing greying white shirt cuffs and wrists so boney they looked as though they were from an R. Crumb comic. A young mother and a toddler boy sat near the front of the car talking about the train and the dark city strobing past the window. She had drifted back into thinking about the Snake Pit article, and hardly noticed when the train stopped. A large boned, middle-aged man boarded the train wearing a grey silk pin striped suit carrying a blue Nike gym bag. When the train started up Cali glanced around the car casually and spotted the guy with the bag. She wished she had a newspaper to hold up in front of herself so that she could look at him inconspicuously. He sat


down directly across from her and rested both hands protectively on the bag in his lap. He was staring at her. She looked away suddenly flushed and selfconscious. After the train was up to speed and the overhead mumbled some unintelligible announcement about what Cali could only guess was the next stop, she ventured a look at him and quickly pretended that there was something of overwhelming beauty or importance embedded in the orange plastic of the seat next to her. She built up her courage enough to glance at him again. This time she swept her gaze across the advertisements near the handles above his head before dropping her eyes slightly to see if he was still looking at her. He wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really staring; just peering blankly out the window to her right. The train began to slow and the disembodied voice on the overhead intoned some more garbled nonsense. As the train came to a stop the suited man slid over in his seat, slumped forward and fell onto the floor. The woman in pumps screamed and bolted, the mother grabbed the boy by the wrist and yanked him to the nearest opening doors. The bag rolled in Caliâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s direction and stopped on top of her Chuck Taylor high tops. Charles continued to stare under the seat as though the latest Batman movie were projected on the wall down there. A burgundy puddle grew from beneath him; his left cheek pressed into the grooved rubber floor mats. The geek in the checkered jacket had disappeared. The blue gym bag, which she imagined was full of money, rested on her toes. Charley just lay there, he was not breathing. She was alone with a dead body, and 32

shivered looking at the spreading pond of blood. Then she looked at the blue gym bag. Just as the doors began to close, Cali grabbed the bag and sprinted from the train.

... Her thoughts were blank. The image of Charley, his pale face pressed into the black rubber mat flickered in her memory blotting out every other sensible impulse. She opened a fresh pack and lit up, walking and smoking, trying to organize her thoughts around what she had witnessed. “What have I witnessed?” she thought. It took a full minute, when she looked up at the building she was standing in front of, to recognize it was her building. When she reached for a cigarette the pack was empty. Once behind her locked apartment door, Cali dropped the bag on the floor and ran to the bathroom. It only took a split second of deliberation to decide to pee rather than puke. She leaned forward and laid her head on her knees with her eyes closed. The Chex mix was an insufficient dinner, especially on top of all the beer. She tried to center herself and calm her stomach. Even though there wasn’t much in there, it threatened to rise. When she opened her eyes, the blue Nike bag sat slumped on the saddle of the bathroom door. Sweat tricked down her back like melting ice. The corner of the Nike bag had wicked up some of Charley’s blood. Cali’s gut folded over and she almost ran.


Her curiosity got the better of her. She splashed some water on her face, brought the bag to the stainless steel kitchen counter, and poured herself a half glass of Bullitt Bourbon. After drinking a large gulp, she ripped the zipper open like she was pulling a strip of duct tape from her hair. The bag contained a dirty pair of sneakers and some gym shorts. It smelled ripe. The dumped out contents spilled on the counter. Sweaty gym socks, and a stained wife beater. Some coins rattled to the floor. Cali grabbed a chop stick and pushed the pile of stuff around. There was nothing of any value there. Cali wasn’t a lawyer, she didn’t know the jargon. It was called tampering with or removing evidence; something. Whatever it was it had to be bad, someone had murdered Charley. She saw it. He was really dead. One of his sneakers fell on the floor, tipped over and a wallet and keys tumbled out. “Oh damn,” she said. Pootin was sniffing around the sneaker, she yelled at him, “Pootin! Get the fuck away from that.” The shocked Corgi released a huge spreading puddle that instantly enveloped the shoe, wallet and keys. Cali shouted, “shit!” and grabbed the billfold and the keys with one hand, spraying her shoes with piss. She lost her grip on the keys and they flew across the room landing on a terry cloth towel piled by the couch. “Oh fuck me,” she cried, but by the time she reached them the urine soaked keys had left a yellow blotter stain on the white fabric. The dog was stuck trying to wedge his fat body under the couch.


After spreading the contents of the wallet on paper towels to dry, Cali looked over the damp contents. There were only five twenties – definitely not a fortune, snap shots in the picture section of a woman in her mid-thirties with long black hair and several of children, two boys, at various ages spanning infant to toddler. The name on the license was Albert Armstrong. His address was listed as 10010, 105th Street SE. Not Charley after all. Cali dropped down on the couch and swallowed the last of the bourbon. Pootin put his head on her knee and looked up at her as if to say, “Do you forgive me? I couldn’t wait.” She patted his head absently. She was suddenly very sleepy and closed her eyes. It was just for a moment. She had to think this through, figure how this happened and what she should do about it.

... Cali woke up to Pootin licking her face. The sun filled the high ceilinged loft. She almost forgot about the events of the preceding day, but sitting on the toilet reminded her of the blue Nike gym bag and the memory of Charley/Albert, lying in a lagoon of dark blood overtook her. The wallet contents spread on her counter greeted her on the way to make coffee. The day suddenly turned overcast and the apartment darkened a shade. Cali sat at her kitchen table sipping from a large mug. “If he wasn’t Charley, then why would anyone want to kill him?” She was thinking. There were coffee grounds in the bottom of her cup. “Maybe he


wasn’t killed. There were probably all sorts of reasons that a man would fall dead on a light rail train and bleed all over the floor.” Cali couldn’t think of any just then, but that didn’t mean they couldn’t happen. “And if he wasn’t murdered…” ���Oh shit,” she said to Pootin, he silently confirmed her conclusion. “I probably grabbed the only identification Albert had,” she said. “The black haired woman in the wallet pictures; she is probably freaking out.”

... Cali took Pootin and rode the Max eastward across the river to the 82nd Avenue stop. The sun was shining, but she could not place it in the sky. The time on her phone face read 10:30AM. She hid the blue Nike gym bag inside a grocery sack. The blood had dried to a dark brown stain, it looked like dirt. The wallet was in her pocket next to her smokes. She walked the remaining blocks to the address on Albert Anderson’s identification trying to hold her head up and keep her back straight, but as she walked, she kept catching herself slouching, and would stiffen up again. A traffic signal stopped her at 98th and she stood repeating in her mind the story she would tell the dark haired woman when she answered the door. “I can’t say I stole the bag, or even begin to explain why I thought it might be full of money…” At this point she was not even sure why she went out to The Crow Bar. Pootin whined, Cali looked down at him and then up at the light. “That’s a long light,” she thought fingering the lighter in her pocket, considering a cigarette.


After realizing that she had stood through two cycles she spun around and started back toward the Max station, but after three steps, stopped and turned back. “No.” she thought, I am going to have to face this. Maybe I can just say I found it. Sure, I found it and looked inside for some clue to its owner.” Pootin panted and trembled. Walking on, the scene played in her mind: she would arrive at the door and ring the bell, explain her story, and hold out the wallet and bag. Cali wanted to believe that the woman would appreciate the return of her husband’s things. She was nodding to herself. After a few more steps she stopped, realizing, “Oh fuck. What if she doesn’t know he’s dead yet? If the police could not find any identification,” her armpits felt damp now, “then I would be the first to tell her. The police might want to question me.” Cali couldn’t lie to the police. She pulled the Nike bag out of the grocery sack and began looking around for a place to stash it. When she turned to a row of garbage cans lined up by a short chain link fence along the sidewalk, she read the house number: 10010. She had walked directly to 105th Street SE without even thinking about it. At least she could not remember thinking about it. Cali fumbled the cigarettes out of her jacket pocket and dropped her lighter. She stood smoking, staring at the house with the Marlboro sticking out of her mouth. Pootin inspected the base of a trash cans. At that moment the front door opened and a woman with dark hair strode down the sidewalk and opened the gate. When she saw the Nike bag she said. “That’s my husband’s.”


Cali exhaled and opened her mouth. Her mind went blank again. She held out the wallet. The woman, looking puzzled, took the wallet and said, “look Hun, this lady found your gym bag.” Cali turned and faced Albert Anderson, looking every bit alive as his driver’s license photo. He said. “oh wow, how cool, where did you find it?” Cali’s mind ran through a hundred possibilities in a second. She did not want to tell the story of the elevator or the pool of blood. She couldn’t explain that she took it from a dead man who she thought was Charley who turned out to be Albert who turned out not to really be dead at all. She needed to sit, but there was nowhere. Her mind filled with a stream of mental chatter about the conclusions she had jumped and an old saying: to assume makes an ass out of you and me. She swallowed and dropped the cigarette on the side walk, covering it with her shoe. Anderson’s wife noticed Pootin and bent down to pet him. She said, “oh, he’s precious, what’s his name?” Cali mumbled, “Pootin, like the Russian leader, only with two O’s.” Both Anderson and his wife laughed. Cali continued, “I guess I just found it.” But both of them were petting the dog now and the Andersons did not hear her. They were muttering to Pootin, who had rolled over exposing his belly, and was making little moaning sounds. The dark haired woman stood up and reached out to Cali, she said, “Well it was nice to meet you…” she paused. “Cali,” Cali said, taking the woman’s hand. 38

“Cali,” she continued, smiling. “I’m Meg. Thanks you for bringing Andy’s stuff back.” “And sorry about the clothes, I know they’re rank.” Andy added, “I was bringing them home last night and I left the bag at the Max stop. I forgot I left my wallet in there.” He was shaking her hand. She really wanted to light a cigarette. “I have to go pick up the kids from play practice,” Meg said. “Thanks again.” While she walked off toward the car in the driveway, Albert opened his wallet and pulled out a twenty, stuffing it into Cali’s hand. She opened her mouth to refuse, but closed it again. She wanted to tell him about the blood stain, but could not think of how to begin. He said, “Well then, thanks again. Have a great day,” and walked up the steps toward his house. Cali stood on the other side of the closed gate until Pootin whined and tugged. He wanted to check out more trash cans, but Cali walked back in the direction of the Max, pulling the crumpled pack of Marlboro’s out of her pocket and lighting one with the cheap lighter. Pootin trotted a few steps behind her, tongue out and panting. Arriving at her elevator she jabbed the up button three times. The door opened immediately as though it had been waiting for her since she had left that morning. It was about 12:30 now, Cali’s stomach grumbled. The door closed. Riding up, just past the second floor the ringer sounded


on the intercom. The same man answered it before the second ring. Charley said, “Hello?” The breathy female voice said, “Fuck you Charley, you stood me up.” He replied, “You didn’t answer your phone, and my car battery was dead. I just didn’t have the energy to ride the Max all the way over there to that shitty bar.” “Charley!” she sighed, her voice exaggerated like a melodramatic actor. “That was our date, baby. I didn’t wear any panties and I waited for you for an hour.” “Oh I’m sorry snuggle bottom.” Charley was making kissing sounds into the phone. Pootin, hearing the lip smacking, began barking frantically. The man on the phone said, “Who is that? Who’s on the line? Sheila, did you get a dog?” Pootin just kept barking. The neighbors would be annoyed. Cali almost yanked on his leash and scolded him. She was tired. She wanted a cigarette. She sighed, Pootin showed no sign of letting up. As the car reached her floor Cali thought about saying something to the people on the phone, but she realized that there would be no way to explain her involvement in these people’s lives, her misunderstanding or the drama of the past two days. The door opened and Pootin forgot why he was barking, eager to continue in his accustomed ritual. While she walked


down the hallway she looked down at the little dog prancing next to her heal, content to be with her, it made her smile. For a couple of steps she did not think about anything in particular, she was happy just walking with her little dog. Before she reached her apartment door, however the image of all that blood invaded her thoughts. She wondered, who was that dead guy and why was he carrying the bag? Maybe there was something she missed. The wheels in her mind started to turn.

by Ron Heacock


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Tolani’s Whitey

Jide Tolani came home yesterday with Pete. She had been gone 7 years – studying Architecture at Cambridge and the Imperial College in London. She told Dad and Mum that she had come home to see them. She said she missed them and wanted to say hello to them before she travelled to Cardiff for an internship. They were very happy. Yes, they had spoken to her and emailed her during her studies but “face-to-face was another matter” (Dad). They called the caterer and instructed her to prepare all sorts of meals for the mini party to welcome “our architect” (Uncle Tony) back home. With that he eyed me and moved his eyes quickly to the TV when I met his eyes. He and Dad see me as a failure because I chose to study English and become a writer. I didn’t say anything; it would have become a big argument and I didn’t want to ruin it for the “happy parents of an overseas trained architect” (Uncle Tony again). 43

I was the only one who knew why she was really coming back. She was bringing Pete home to see Dad and Mum. She had met him 4 years, at least that was what she told me last year, and had fallen for him like a “felled log” (Tolani). He was good to her and she had met his parents. I asked her what they thought. She was silent for some time. Parents were shocked. Father told him without mincing words: “I didn’t invest all my money on you to have mulatto kids.” Pete’s grandma was wary at first but warmed towards her. Then, she told me she was thinking of bringing him in to see Dad and Mum. I was silent for a long time. I advised her to call Mum and tell her first, then email her (his pictures, their pictures, the works) and then, let Mum tell Dad. Did that stubborn girl listen? No. She got married to Pete in Liverpool, called them that she was coming and appeared at the airport with Pete. I didn’t frown or show my exasperation. Greeted both well and drove them home. I heard her sigh as Mum and Dad flew out of the building to welcome her. I tried my best to keep a straight face. Kanmi O boy, you should have seen Daddy’s face when Sis Tolani’s whitey came out of the car grinning like an idiot in the middle of a cross-fire. Wise guy Bro. Jide. He stayed back. Looked to the ground when Daddy looked at him for some sort of explanation for the white guy. He never would have imagined the dude came with his precious Tolani. But mum, oh! She knew immediately. It showed on her face. She looked at Tolani. Tolani nodded and Mum looked at Daddy. He 44

couldn’t hold his tongue again. He was like who is this? And Sis Tolani was like Daddy, meets Peter Brickhall, my …fr … husband. Before we could say Don Jazzy, Daddy was bending down holding his neck and coughing like saliva went the wrong way. Toothpicks! Two of them. We rushed him to the hospital. He didn’t need surgery. When the doctor allowed us to go in to see him, we met him looking at the wall, sitting up. He kept shaking his head and mumbling. When Sis Tolani came in, he turned his face away and didn’t speak her. After some minutes, Bro Jide took her home. After about an hour, we left with Daddy. The doctor said he was okay and gave us the hospital’s number. The old man didn’t even say anything to us. He strode into the car and sat in the front passenger seat. Mum didn’t say anything. At home, as I passed by Sis Tolani’s room, I heard her and her husband quarrelling. He accused her of being ashamed of him and lying to him. I guess she didn’t tell him she had not told Daddy and mum. Shade When we got home from the hospital, I went to Tolani’s room to talk to her. I heard them fighting. He accused her of deceiving him about telling us about him. Why didn’t she tell me? I would have done something. Somehow. I told her before she left for Cambridge. “I am mother. You


can call me and tell me anything. Don’t be afraid to call and speak to me about anything”. What was I going to do about this? Kolade was not speaking to me. I suspected he thought I knew of the issue and didn’t tell him. I didn’t blame him. That’s all they all do. When she is doing well, she is their daughter but in cases like this, she becomes my daughter. Tony Hmm! All the plans turned to nothing! After everything! After all my planning since 3 days ago when we learnt Tolani was coming. What kind of girl is this? I had planned that after she had come home and we had partied and had all the fun, I would have cornered Kolade and asked him for some of the money I needed to pay back that loan in the bank. But the girl, she came in with that oyibo boy and all my plans turned to nothing. Anyway, my name is Tony and I am an intelligent man. All hope wasn’t lost. I went to his room to speak to him. As I neared the door, it flew open and Jide stormed out of the room. He also pushed me down. That stupid boy. Even small Kanmi has a bright future. A whole man! A whole man, attending events, going out and loafing around calling himself a writer. Kai! But what did my brother do to deserve such children. The first one is a waste, the second one that we are even celebrating … brought home a foreigner, a white man as if black man, even black British men, are not in the UK. Is it that she didn’t even know that it is


only loose girls and actresses that marry foreigners? Properly broughtup girls married good men from their country; from their tribe. After what happened yesterday, I have called my daughters and given them the ultimatum: if you bring any oyibo or Hausa or Igbo boy into my house … I WILL DISOWN THEM. Jide I went to see Dad after Mum left the room. Tolani had come to my room to solicit for help. She couldn’t face him. For 10 minutes he acted like I wasn’t there. Then, he eyed me and hissed.


unconsciously, I shook my head and he pounced on me. He told me to clap for myself. Me and Mum. We should clap for ourselves. He accused us of knowing about Pete and keeping it secret from him. He called us idiots and rained damnation upon us and when I told him to remember we were his and it would be unwise to curse one’s children, he lunged for me. I dodged his hands and stormed out of the room. Uncle Tony was coming to see him. I wasn’t surprised. He probably came to show his ‘allegiance’ for a troubled brother. I was sure he was going to agree with all Dad said. It never ceased to amuse me that Dad didn’t know Uncle Tony was only close to him because of his money. Shade Kolade called for Tolani almost as soon as his brother, Tony left his room. She came into our room and knelt before him. He told her that Pete was like the toothpicks in his throat. It shouldn’t have been there and so they had to be removed. That was the only way there would be peace. Remove the toothpick. Tears poured down her face as 47

she ran out of the room. I reached for her but she pushed my hands off. I got up and went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. Right from the early years of our marriage, I had learnt that whenever Kolade is angry, food should be ready at the right time. I tried her bedroom door as I went downstairs, it was locked. The best thing I could do was to be patient and pray. Kolade I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t believe that the oyibo boy could seat and eat on my table. But when I looked carefully at him, I realised that he was uncomfortable. I leaned forward wanting to add to his misery when the front door flew open. In came Rafiu, the gateman. Flying through, actually. He landed on ground and screamed in pain. We all got up. Shade was beside me and I remember her gasping as one of the robbers entered. She clung to my hands. They told us to file out to the living room. We obeyed. They ransacked the entire house and even employed the gardener to cart away our stuff. When they had got everything they wanted, they led the gardener to the living room and shot him. They told us to sing the national anthem each and, of course, when they got to Peter, he couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sing. They shot him in the belly. Tolani was about to fling herself on him when she was shot too. Shade let out a wail and as I reached to steady her, I was hit with a rifle butt by one of the men.


Before I completely passed out, I saw Pete’s blood meet Tolani’s. I closed my eyes. When I looked again, I couldn’t tell the difference. They looked the same. They were one.

by Damilola Afolayan


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Reviving the spirit


Al Andalus

by Heba Abed






Lettre à Dieu

Dieu, Je ne vous écris cette lettre ni pour me repentir, ni pour célébrer votre grandeur, car je pense que ces deux choses là sont de l’ordre de l’intime. Et il n’appartient qu’à moi de juger de mes fautes et de percevoir votre être. Car aussi longtemps que les gens traiteront de leurs fois et intimes convictions, cela ne changera en rien la perception de chacun. Les questions de croyance n’ont point lieu d’être brandies ni discutées, car elles relèvent du propre à l’Homme, de sa relation à votre égard. Personne ne peut donc juger de la manière avec laquelle je vous aime, et celle avec laquelle je vous conçois dans mon esprit. Et de la même façon que vous connaissez ce qui me froisse, ce qui m’attriste et ce qui préoccupe, vous seul êtes en mesure de savoir ce qui m’égaye et me réjouit… ce qui se cache derrière mes intermittentes crises existentialistes, ou derrière ce sourire discret que je déploie pour fuir toute explication de mes inclinaisons. 56

Mon Dieu, quelle est donc cette nouvelle conception qui veut que vous soyez aussi comparable à ce pusillanime être qu’est l’Homme, que votre esprit soit aussi restreint que le sien, et que votre façon d’agir soit tout aussi mesquine? Après tout, l’Homme n’a-t-il pas crée l’image de Dieu à son image pour ainsi se glorifier lui-même  ? De Poséidon à Zeus, d’Apollon à Arès, d’Hadès à Hermès… Tous ces corps corpulents et massifs pour vanter leur force éphémère… Tous ces grands esprits faillants qui ne cessent de choir à chaque prise de décision. L’Histoire nous apprend bien des choses sur ce sentiment intuitif qu’a l’Homme de constamment chercher l’occasion de te dresser à son effigie. Mais,… oublions nous l’essence même de ton être ? Un être transcendant toute pensée humaine… Tout entier tout ce qui est. Cette présence que l’on ressent à chaque battement de cils, à chaque pulsation de cœur et à chaque mouvement que l’on ose. Quel est donc ce faux entendement de mes compatriotes qui ne cherchent qu’à vous associer à telle ou telle religion, à telle ou telle apparition et je ne sais encore quelles autre billevesées? Encore une fois, l’Homme a tellement sombré sous le poids de son nombrilisme pour faire valoir ce en quoi il croit, tuant ainsi ses semblables et châtiant ceux qu’il juge mécréants et désobéissant à ses dogmes. Qu’est-il advenu de ces Hommes qui ne voient désormais en toi qu’un être Vengeur et Châtiant ? Nous avons été tellement, tellement endoctrinés que nous ne remettons même plus en question nos aptitudes critiques face à ce que croyons révérer. Mes amis, Concevez vous l’idée qu’un être limité puisse succomber à une punition éternelle  ? Avez vous seulement établi


cela ? L’Homme aujourd’hui, se permet de juger son prochain selon son propre entendement. “Si tu pries, si tu suis tes 10 commandements, si tu fais ceci, si tu fais cela (la liste peut très bien s’étendre, prenez note, car il ne reste plus grand chose pour que l’on prenne cela pour une ordonnance médicale), tu seras récompensé par les biens de Dieu, sa bonté et sa miséricorde. Mec, si t’es même hyper calé, tu auras même accès à mille et une vierges au Paradis. T’imagines l’effet que ça fait  ?  Tu mangerais à ta guise et n’aurais jamais faim (pourquoi manger alors  ?), tu boirais le vin rouge, blanc et multicolore et t’engourdirais les jambes sur les plaines et les merveilleuses contrées sans jamais t’ennuyer de ce voyage… Cependant, si tu pêches, désobéis et enfreint les règles divines, Le Seigneur réserve tout un Enfer spécialement arrangé pour ta personne, une fournaise bourrée d’horreurs, de tortures, de supplices, de calvaires et de géhenne, où tu devras périr le restant de ta vie.” Et l’Homme, en conséquence, adopte une des trois attitudes  ; 1soit il se plie devant cette ubiquité de jugement et se soumet à votre Grandeur par peur, crainte et appréhension (instinct de survie, cette foi éternelle), 2- soit il adopte cette sorte de schizophrénie chronique qui veut qu’il pêche sans répit, mais en même temps porte en son cœur une crainte qu’il n’arrive à surpasser. Car, après avoir désobéi, tout lui semble perdu d’avance et il ne pourra donc se repentir car vous, Grand et Châtiant, lui réservez son tourment, 3- soit tout ceci lui semble être un canular et demeure indifférent à ce culte vulgaire et absolument irrationnelle que l’on vous voue.


Mon Dieu, vous comme moi savons que j’appartiens à cette troisième classe. Cependant, il importe d’éclaircir cette position. Point dans le sens où je compromets votre existence, mais plutôt dans le sens où l’Homme a vulgarisé le sens premier de la nôtre à tel point que tout ce qui importe désormais est cette dichotomie : Paradis/Enfer. Non. Cette conception ne me satisfait guère. Mon Dieu, je ne suis point venue au monde pour te rendre des comptes sinon pourquoi existerais-je si ce n’est pour que l’on s’adonne, vous et moi,  à un jeu de penalty et que vous m’accordiez, sur votre petit journal intime, un point à chaque tir que je marque, et m’en retirez un à chaque tir que je rate. Mon Dieu, mon dessein sur cette Terre est de me connaître, car l’être le plus inconnu à l’Homme est lui même… et pour ainsi savoir ce que je suis et ce que je suis en mesure d’être, je vous cherche constamment et questionne continuellement votre instance. De façon à ce qu’à la fin, vous et moi ne formions plus qu’un. Je voudrais respirer à travers vous, je voudrais parler votre langue, et je voudrais marcher par votre élan. C’est en me détachant de toutes ces mondanités que j’espère enfin me retrouver car dans le détachement et le renoncement retrouve-t-on enfin un sens à tout ce qui régit l’être. Que m’importe-t-il de me mêler à ces gens dépourvus de sens et de criticisme rationnel, personne donc ne satisfait ma soif si ce n’est moi même dans ma quête et ma résolution à percer votre mystère.


Je me fous bien de la religion de l’Homme si celui-ci se contente de lire littéralement ses œuvres comme condamné à passer son brevet, ou alors me dicte ce que je devrais ou ne devrais pas faire. Car comment toi, misérable Homme, saurait ce qui est bon ou mauvais pour moi  ? Laisse moi te dire, mon ami, que j’estime qu’il y a autant de religions (y compris l’athéisme) que d’hommes sur cette planète. Car ma conception de Dieu est différente de la tienne et ma conception de la religion est tout aussi distincte. Nous ne nous mettrons jamais d’accord sur l’intégrale de nos croyances… car ce qui me différencie de toi, c’est ce par quoi je pense et ressens. Je suis souvent surprise par tant de gens que je croise, et qui ne savent véritablement pas ce pour quoi ils existent sinon qu’ils me donnent des raisons tout aussi banales que leur travail, leurs enfants, ou peut être même leurs propres jouissances.

Au moment où j’écris ceci, la musique ahanée troue mes oreilles, le discours incessant des journalistes transperce ma chambre… Et puis tous ces gens que je vois accourir vers je ne sais quelles destinations, ces gens que je vois aussi de par ma fenêtre, les uns s’embrassant et s’enlaçant, les autres marchant je ne sais où, d’autres s’adonnant à un instant d’oisiveté inexplicable, ayant pour seul compagnon leur cigarette brûlante qu’ils regardent vaguement, comme si elles retraçaient le chemin vaseux de leur être…


Je vois tout cela et je me demande s’il leur arrivait de réfléchir un jour, de penser au comment du pourquoi de la vie. Je sens que nous vivons dans un monde qui nous submerge et nous transporte dans le tourbillon incessant de ses entrailles. Plus les siècles passent, plus nous sommes aspirés dans ce ventilateur interne où grouillent et fourmillent l’essentiel de nos pensées. Pensées qui ne sont point orientées vers les réponses que nous aurions à nos questions, mais plutôt aux préoccupations insignifiantes qui mettent les points sur ce derrière quoi nous courons chaque jour. Nous pourchassons quelque chose d’invisible qui semble être tellement importante à nos yeux, alors qu’à la fin des jours, lorsque nous dresserons le bilan de notre existence, seul cet « A quoi bon ? » nous pendra aux lèvres, alors que notre âme se bat pour lâcher le dernier souffle… Mon Dieu, je vous écris cette lettre parce que je ne veux point mourir sans me connaître, sans parvenir à vous, et sans que vous et moi ne faisions plus qu’un. Je voudrais qu’à la fin de mes jours, je puisse rendre l’âme, le sourire à la bouche, car j’aurais enfin percé votre mystère. Je n’aurais plus peur ni du Serpent abracadabrant qui viendra me larder dans mon cercueil, et ne me réjouirais pas non plus des bonbons potentiels que je suçoterai dans votre Paradis. Mon Dieu, je n’ai point peur de vous, mais je vous aime. Je vous aime comme un amant languit pour revoir sa bien aimée. Je vous aime comme un musicien qui entretient une relation presque intime avec son violon. Et à mesure qu’il joue sur ses cordes, tout semble se détacher de lui. Plus rien ne semble exister tout autour. Seul la mélodie qu’ils exercent


ensemble déchire le ciel. Tout le monde écoute et se meut dans cette chorégraphie de bonheur. Toutefois, seul l’artiste et son instrument sont en mesure de se comprendre, car cette litanie sonore n’a de sens que pour eux. Mon Dieu, vous êtes ma romance et vous n’avez de sens que pour moi. Tout ce que je désire aujourd’hui, c’est ce nirvana où j’enhardirais de la mélodie de nos chants. Let the music begin. 

par Samia Haimoura


‫;ي‬s?x.‫ ا‬cCxn1 ‫;ب‬w6‫ا‬

/‫و‬123‫ا‬ c-1‫? و‬ER= ?FP ‫?ت‬K;x.‫ ا‬tT ،‫"م‬R.‫ا ا‬js uE3‫< و‬."RO 0Y‫ أ‬c.‫(;ف إ‬Y } ... ?FP‫و‬ ... ?E=?X‫ و‬u5=?X ‫"ه‬3".‫ ا‬tT ،2AZ1M‫ ا‬tT ... ‫?م‬YM‫ ا‬tT‫ و‬،–() tJ1 ;™?A6‫ ا‬tT‫"ر و‬n.‫ ا‬tT ،‫;وف‬e.‫ ا‬tT ... 'EAW‫ و‬uRARX –,H‫ أ‬،mVw6‫?ب ا‬F.‫ ا‬cVX 4ZW‫ ا‬،yK‫' و‬K‫'وار و‬.?) +P‫أ‬ ،t,3‫ أ‬2AZ1M‫ ا‬u. ‫'و‬F5= ،gCW;Y‫ و‬gCW;Y u$‫ وأ‬،yk‫ أ‬u$‫? أ‬E5qe. ;(o ‫و‬ ... 0P‫ وأ‬yx.‫"ه أ‬3".‫وا‬ _s‫ و‬،2[RG.‫? ا‬EWj=?$ 01 uRVX txW <s‫ و‬،uF€?iW ?E$4T ‫"ز‬#(.‫ ا‬I.?K‫و‬ 2eCf cVX ‫?ب‬BAW ‫?رة‬P ‫(?ت‬1‫ ود‬،u) ‫"ن‬3;iY ،‫('ل‬.‫ ا‬01 +R.‫أ‬... <(1 ‫"ن‬ZW ‫ دون أن‬U(1 ?$‫;ي وأ‬,X ‫"ل‬€ :t)‫ا‬j.‫? ا‬EE3‫و‬ tKM‫ ا‬cVX ‫(?؟‬1 ‫;ج‬i$ }‫ أ‬،‫;ة‬6‫ه ا‬js ?$‫ أ‬2qeV.‫ ا‬jA1 :?E. ‫["ل‬Y uW"f I(,O ?E$‫(;ت أ‬o ‹P ‫?ء‬ZF.?) I-E3‫وأ‬ ... U(1




...the heat present in stone, stones returning to their origin, the bright red heart of fire, yellow dancers arcing up, rising with the air, jazz hands, dancing coals, amber embers, what is trapped there, bluish tinge to flame, the way burning curls everything, incandescent skins-we are lit from within. When you build fire, you make a commitment. What I built with you, smoldering in the ashes. heart of geodes, orange crystals roasting, deep inside the fire. The way light shines through your hair, curls of wood, lit by fire, smoldering. Still, my desire for you, eight years later.

by Ahimsa Timoteo BodhrĂĄn


Finir en solitaire

Petit garçon, il était malin, doté d’un l’esprit artistique Aimant jouer de la flûte, il écoutait les fables magiques Il n'avait de richesse que de la musique et les contes de sa grand-mère Cette femme tendre, qui lui montrait quoi faire L'enfant grandissait et la grand-mère commençait à avoir le regard lointain Elle savait qu'il serait obligé de continuer seul son chemin La vie a dit adieu à la femme qui lui était tendre, rarement solide Elle enterra le sourire dans son visage gouverné par les rides Mains tremblantes, le garçon s’assit, cœur en bombe, dans un coin, pleurant devant la triste tombe ; il s’empara de sa flûte et chanta sans cesse des paroles mélancoliques, avec des yeux en faiblesse : “Ô mort ! Je te voyais, de mes proches, lointaine ! Mais te voilà si proche ; tu danses sur leurs scènes…” Les jours passaient et le garçon devint mature 65

Là, il vit combien la vie était dure Il réussissait et riait ; échouant, il pleurait Il dansait sur ses joies et buvait le verre de ses malheurs ; travaillait et savait comment faire pour vivre... Il découvrit que la vie était un livre difficile à lire Les années passaient vite, comme un éclair Le héros vit sa santé, s'enfuir avec l'air, sa respiration devint coupée, et sa marche lente, ses mouvements incontrôlés et les mains tremblantes... Perdu, il continua sa vie en solitaire Il pleura les jours où il vivait à côté de sa douce grand-mère Personne ne pleura sur sa tombe Aucun ne se souviendra de lui quand la nuit tombe La vie devint, à ses yeux, toute noire; rien ne peut le guider vers l'avant Il vit ses rêves, ses jours, sa vie emportés par le vent Menu d’une pelle, il commença à creuser lentement, sa demeure souterraine et chanta calmement : “Ô mort ! Je te voyais lointaine, mais te voilà, maintenant, danser sur ma propre scène…” par Aya Ijlal  


‫?ح‬5C.‫' ا‬FX cAF. ‫•ة‬H

‫ـــ" ٌر‬5ُ7

_. ،‫?ر‬FH 01 ً ?@G() ?s"V(Y 2VR,3 ‫"رة‬n) uW‫?ء‬3 ?EARP uqeVY uZV,Y ‫<ء‬o tT ?EeA1 u5.‫ إزا‬01 <E5AY ‫ أن‬tFK‫?ر و‬Fw.‫ ا‬U.‫@? ً ذ‬1"Y ŠP} .‫?ن‬FG[.‫ وراء ا‬uBC$ '3‫و‬



Imagining another world

by Boris Pramatarov







‫"ط‬Rk ُtF[5BW ?s?Y‫ إ‬2ً X;-1 ?E5R) ‫ة‬j=?$ 01 IّV€‫‹ أ‬P ?EVS‫'ا‬3 ‫?ح‬Fn.‫_ ا‬S?BA. I,VO‫أ‬ <= ،‫?ح‬Fn.‫ا ا‬js ?R$'.‫ ا‬cVX ّtx5. ‫?ء‬ABe.‫; ا‬q5AW ‫ة‬j=?A.‫?م ا‬1‫ أ‬I1ّ"ZW <5.‫ ا‬+,-.‫ا‬ 2ً VF[5B1 2RE-.‫? ا‬s‫"ر‬xX‫"ان و‬.M‫ ا‬2CV5i1 ?EW?(ّF@[) ‫"رد‬.‫;ات ا‬R#o I.‫?و‬xW ‫•ل‬A6‫ ا‬2[Y'P .?E$"C3 <= ‹5()?[.‫‹ ا‬5BX?A.‫‹ ا‬5VR,#.‫? ا‬ERARX‫~ و‬.›56‫?ء ا‬ABe.‫ ا‬u3‫و‬ t,eY ،‫'ام‬AE.‫ ا‬mR$‫ أ‬،‫"ة‬xi) ‹W"xi.‫• ا‬#AY ،ً ?@X;B1 ‫?ن‬T ،t,(.‫ ا‬c.‫ إ‬u[Y;€ <= "s ;ّ 1 2eS‫@? ً );ا‬xV5i1 u[FX‫ و‬،‫?ن‬k'.?) uxRe1 ‫›ت‬1 ”FW 2=?C. ّ•5EW uR5Co ‹)‫ و‬،‫;ة‬Rwf 2ً FR[P .ّ<B$;C.‫;ه ا‬xX ، ّhe.‫ ا‬0X ً ?@)?5T ‫[;أ‬Y ،‫?ح‬Ff ّtT ‫?دة‬5(6‫? ا‬E5K‫;ا‬o‫ ُ; إ‬q5AY ،?E.•A1 ‫?م‬1‫ أ‬+V#Y ُ ،ُ;k—‫?ن ا‬T _B5FW ً‫?رة‬W ،he.‫?ب ا‬5T <= ‫?ء‬3 ?1 ‫?رّة‬6‫ ا‬g1?B1 cVX "V5Y ،?ER.‫ إ‬uِ ARAP <= ً ?@B,wA1 ‫?ن‬T ‫["د‬$ I( ّ,#W ?ER= ‫"داء‬O 2(ّF@K ً ?@1?,W u1?1‫ أ‬gGY ،‫ )["ّة‬u(CnW ‫;ى‬k‫?رةً أ‬W‫ و‬،‫;وف‬e.‫ ا‬u. ّhe.‫(?ت ا‬Cn) ‫ّذوا‬jVW 01 ‫ أو‬uW‫و‬QW <= ّhe.‫;وف ا‬e. ‫"ا‬,B5)‫ ا‬01 ‫?رّة‬6‫? ا‬s?[.‫ أ‬،2R$'(1 .hP ‫?ب‬5T ‫;وف‬P u,R$‫;ا‬W‫ ُ; و‬k—‫ا ا‬js ٌ‫"ّل‬B51 ،ً ?@GY‫أ‬


،2(ّF@[.‫ =< ا‬2Y'[$ 2(xK ‫[?ء‬.’) _ّ s ،ً21?B5)‫ ا‬uA1 ‫?ع‬5)‫ وا‬،yّK"5= 2•RE.‫ه ا‬js cVX ُmR$M‫ ا‬uُ e6 ‫"ر‬s•.‫"رود وا‬.?) ‫?رّة‬1 ،tR,#.‫? ا‬E.•A1 01 2ً x)?s 2qeV.‫ ا‬UVW <= IVf‫?ء و‬ABe.‫إ} أ ّن ا‬ ‫وب‬jW ‫?دت‬T ،‫? وردة‬s'Y <= UB,W ،+,-.‫"ط ا‬Rk ?s;(o tS‫'ا‬3 <= mّV(W ،;R=?n(.‫وا‬ .‫?ح‬Fn.‫ ا‬2ReW I[.‫ أ‬،?s'Y 21"($ 01 2(ّF@K <= ‫["ط‬B.‫ ا‬2qe. tFK cّ.'5W ‫' ِه‬Y <= ‫["د‬A.‫ ا‬2(xK ‫•ال‬W ?1‫ و‬،?s"e$ mR$M‫ ا‬IC5.‫إ‬ ‫ "وردة‬: uBCA. ;k—‫ ّ; ا‬O‫" أ‬hP 21?B5)‫ ا‬0X <AwW .. ‫?ء‬ABP 01 2VFK" :uBCA. ;ّ O‫ أ‬،;kM‫ا‬ _R[6‫"ّل ا‬B5,V. ‫ "وردة‬:?EBCA. ‫? ُء‬ABe.‫;ّت ا‬O‫@? ً" أ‬1?B5)‫; ا‬,(.‫< ا‬ARCZW 'K .. <S?ABP 01 "‫?رق‬1 mٍ R$‫?ه أ‬Co 01 tF[.‫‹ ا‬YQ1 ‫?وي‬BW ..‫?ح‬Ff ّtT <= <$;q5AY ‫ي‬j.‫ا‬ .I)?H‫ و‬.. ‫"ّل‬B56‫; ا‬kœ. ?EW‫ ورد‬IeA1

 _Rs‫ ا);ا‬cO"1 _V[)


Black Rain

Dans mon cœur, il ne cesse de pleuvoir,  Si vous saviez comme j'ai besoin de vous ; La pluie du silence est noire, Cette force me met à bout L'ouragan est encore plus fort, Il sera sûrement récompensé de ses efforts ; Mes tentatives de renouer restes vaines,  La détresse gonfle mes veines Avec mon parapluie d'imagination, je me couvre, C'est sur un toit mirifique que celui-ci s'ouvre ; Il est le médicament de mes propres pensées, Et parmi la folie, il est cet espoir qui commence à percer


Alors que je me terre dans l'utopie, Le soleil a séché la pluie ; Votre douce affection Me paraît plus réelle que l'illusion

par Zaynab Talidi


Pétales de fleurs

Tous les matins dans le vent doux, Les prés étaient un corps candide, Elle caressait les cheveux roux, De sa jeune tête ellipsoïde, Un jour de brouillasse légendaire, Le ciel était une poivrière, Elle semblait comme une fleur fanée, Qui voyait ses pétales tomber, Chagrinée de toute cette douleur, Ses joues étaient des soleils rouges, Poignardées de par un vieux vouge, Des sourires d'amertume songeurs,


Elle s'endormit paisiblement, D'un lit mou de sable tronqué, Ses draps l'envahissent doucement, Le dernier pétale est tombé 

par Zaynab Talidi




as philosophy

by Mariam Khan




‫?ري‬n$}‫?ر ا‬s‫ازد‬ ‫(;اق‬.‫ا‬


?ER= ‫?=;ت‬O‫• و‬$‫"ا‬#.‫? ا‬ER= IFE5.‫ ا‬hP 2nK '() .uAX {eFW IK?C5O‫ ا‬،_Ve.?T <[$ _.?X "e$ ‫رواح‬M‫ا‬ .‫?ن‬RBA.‫;ان وا‬#E.‫ ا‬2s?51 tk‫ د‬uAZ. uW‫(?د‬5O‫?ول ا‬eW .‫?ء‬R1"1 u3‫ و‬cVX ‫?ل‬JAW ‫(?ت‬1‫? د‬E5CK"5O‫ ا‬Œ[= ?As


?@#‫ات أ‬1BC> D>

?s?ARX 0Z. ‫["ي و‬.‫?ت ا‬,VZ.‫ح ا‬QO UV5,W <s ‫? و‬E=‫?و‬i1 ŠK"W 2G1?H ;X?-1 I$?T –EAW _. 2(Cf ?ERx(Y ?E) ž);5Y ‫['ر‬.‫'ه ا‬P‫ و‬،ً ?@$•P ?E$‫;ا‬x,W ?EPQO 01 ?E$‫;دا‬#W ‫;ول‬EY ?EFVK‫"ل و‬E#6‫? ا‬EVF[5B1 c.‫? إ‬s;xX ?E[FBY ،‫"ات‬AB.‫;ور ا‬1 _H;) '() ?EA1 <= ً ?@[V(1 c[FY ‫ي‬j.‫“ال ا‬B.‫ ا‬u$‫؟ إ‬tR,3 ;#= ŒRk g1 ‫;ى‬k‫;ة أ‬1 '."5O ts ‫;ى‬W .?E1?1‫أ‬ ‫? )'ون‬E6?X ‫"ل‬k‫? و د‬E$•P‫? و‬EW;T‫"ل =< ذا‬#5.‫ و ا‬cJ$‫;ات أ‬Tj1 <= hR[A5.‫;ارة ا‬1 0sj.‫ا‬ .?s‫;أ‬K‫"م أن أ‬R.‫< ا‬$?Z1’) ‫و‬... <1?1‫? أ‬EW‫;ا‬Tj1 <s ?s ،•Y;nW ?s;xX 2eS‫? را‬s‫"ر‬xO ‹) _o‫? أ‬$‫? و أ‬EVJ1 2F(51‫ و‬2(5,1 I$?T '[= <A5[s‫' أر‬K ‫? و‬EW‫;أ‬K 2f‫"ا‬H <A$4T ;(o‫ و إذا )< أ‬0(,5) ?EW‫;أ‬K ،‫“ال‬O 01 ;JT‫ أ‬uF5ZW ?1 tZ) ‫'ي‬. ;RJW .2R[A.‫? ا‬EK?,X‫ أ‬m,X‫"ص =< أ‬wW ŸR(W <s ‫? و‬E5Y?E$ 0X {eFW ‫;ى‬k‫ أ‬2AY'1 c.‫? إ‬E5AY'1 IT;W ،?EAX ‫<ء‬o tT I=;X u. _VB5BW ،‫['ر‬.‫ ا‬cVX '[eW ،2E3‫"ا‬6‫ ا‬2FH;) ‫;=– و‬.?) 2$"ZB1 21'f 21'f ?EW?1'f ًQR.‫ د‬2RW‫ا‬j.‫? ا‬E,S‫•ا‬E. '#W ?EAZ. ،2.‫?د‬X ;RH ‫?ة‬Re.‫ه ا‬js ‫?ذا‬6 ‫(;ف‬W ‫' أن‬Y;W ،21‫[?و‬1 ‫دون‬


?E='s "s ?1 ‫(;ف‬W ?E$‫_ أ‬E6‫ ا‬،0Y;k—‫?ول ا‬A51 <= IBR. ?E. ‫?رات‬n5$‫ ا‬cVX ?E$‫"از‬W "s _sM‫ ا‬0Z. ،c.‫و‬M‫? ا‬E5VZ-1 "s +R. ‫?ل‬6‫?ة وأن ا‬Re.‫[< =< ا‬R[e.‫ا‬ t1?#W } ‫?ق و‬CA.?) ‫")"ء‬6‫" ا‬#.‫;ه ا‬ZW ‫_ و‬R[.‫?دىء و ا‬F6‫ ا‬c.‫@? ً إ‬,S‫?ز دا‬eAW ،<Vk‫'ا‬.‫ا‬ 06 ;CwW ‫? أن‬E$?Z1’) ". cA,55W ،‫"اه‬O 'P‫ أ‬g1 ŸR(W } ‫ي‬j.‫? ا‬s;R,

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.?E5C€?X ‫?}ة‬F1Q.‫?ر ا‬5iW ‫? و‬E1QP‫ أ‬t5K ;e) <= •FBW ‫;ة‬Rwf 2Z,BT ‫ أو‬2Y‫?د‬1‫?ء ر‬,O ;x1 01 2VVF1 ‫"رة‬CnX <s <= c5P ?E) ‫?ب‬#X„‫; ا‬RJW 2RT‫;أة ذ‬1‫ أ‬،2Y"[.‫?ن ا‬5Re.‫[;ش و ا‬.‫?ك ا‬,O‫? أ‬E,ZeW;ZX } ‫?دىء‬s 0T?O 0T‫•واء =< ر‬$„‫"ى ا‬EW ‫'ة و‬P".‫ ا‬tGCW ،;)?Z6‫? ا‬EP;3‫? و‬E$•P ‫[?د‬5X„‫ ا‬c.‫ إ‬tR,W 2AY'6‫ ا‬hif ‫?ة و‬Re.‫• ا‬R# U.j. ‫'ة‬Y'3 2Re

‫'وءه‬s mV[Y } ‫ و‬u$"ZO •X•Y

‫"ن‬ZW ‫ن‬4) U-.‫? ا‬s‫;اود‬Y ?EFVK <= 2AY•P ،?EBC$ <= 2FY;H ?E$4)

‹) tf?C.‫' ا‬e.‫"ن ا‬Z5. ?E);-) I,s ‫ و‬2);xG1 'R) ?E,= c.‫_ إ‬B.‫ ا‬23?3‫ ز‬I(=‫ر‬ ?EBC$ ‫;ارة‬K c.‫ء إ‬cxF) yP•W ‫ت‬jk‫`_ أ‬، ?EW"1 ‫? و‬EW?RP ‹) ،?EW‫(?د‬O ‫? و‬E5O?(W ‫;ب‬o‫"ت و أ‬6‫ ا‬cVX ‫'م‬K‫?ذا أ‬6 :I.?[=... ،‫•ة‬Y•X ‫;وح‬.‫[?ء و ا‬F.‫ ا‬hP ?ERVX hVH'K ‫و‬ cVX ‫;ح‬xW ‫ت‬jk‫ ؟ أ‬u5RA) ‫ي‬j.‫< ا‬W?RP ‫;ح‬f _xP‫ أ‬01 t3M ‫< و‬C5P ‫س‬4T ‫'ي‬R) 01 IRGK 'K‫? و‬R$'.‫ه ا‬js <= <. ‫"ن‬ZY ‫'أن‬Y‫?ذا أر‬1 ،?EA1 ‫'ة‬Y'X 2V•O‫? أ‬EBC$ ‫"ى‬O ‫?ة‬Re.‫ ا‬01 ‫;ف‬X‫_ أ‬. ‫(?دة و‬B.‫'ا‬Eo 01 ‫'ة‬P‫;ة وا‬xK ‫_ أذق‬. ‫ و‬IRGK ?1 ‫;ي‬,X  .?E1",O 01‫? و‬R$'.‫ه ا‬js 01 _[5AW ‫' أن‬Y;W 2-X‫' را‬R) ?E,= c.‫;ى إ‬k‫;ة أ‬1 _B.‫ ا‬23?3‫ ز‬I(=‫ر‬ ‫رض و‬M‫ ا‬cVX hV[5W ‫ت‬jk‫ أ‬،?EW?Re. 'P gG5. 2X?#-) ?EX;#5W ?E) ‫? و إذا‬ER= ‫'ت‬3"= ?s?ARX Ie5= ،2)"FRH c.‫ إ‬I,VB5O‫ ا‬،?EFVK ;n(Y ‫? و‬ES?-P‫•ق أ‬,Y _.M‫ا‬ cVX ‫?ة‬Re.‫ ا‬01 ;CB.‫;رت ا‬K <5.‫< ا‬s ‫? و‬s‫'ر‬K u3‫"ا‬W cC-6‫; ا‬Y;O cVX ?EBC$ .?E. ‫?دة‬G1 2[Y;x) ‫'ور‬W I$?T <5.‫"اء ا‬3M‫ه ا‬js <= ŸR(.‫ ا‬01 <E5AW c5P t#X 84

‫ت‬jk‫? أ‬1 ‫?ن‬X;O ?EAZ. 2AY•e.‫? ا‬EBCA. ‫"رة‬f +Z(W ‫"ع‬1‫? د‬s?ARX 01 ‫'رت‬e$‫ا‬ ?E,s ?E) '[CW 2)?5Z.‫"ى ا‬O '#W _V= ?EBC$ ?ERBAW 2VRO‫ و‬0X gO‫ أو‬m=‫ =< أ‬Ÿ5CW hEVW ‫ و‬2,X?A.‫? ا‬s'R) ‫"ب‬V[.‫;ق ا‬eW ،?E=‫;و‬P 'ViW <s ?s ‫? و‬E51‫ز‬Q= ?E)?n1 ‫و‬ .‫"س‬CA.‫ا‬

?O"T cA1 _V[)



Contributors AHIMSA Timoteo Bodhrรกn Ahimsa was born in New York City to a multigenerational mixed-race family: Moroccan, Puerto Rican, Kanien'kehaka [Mohawk], Onondowaga [Seneca], Irish, and German. Much of his work explores his Arab, African, Latina/o, Native American, and European heritage. He is currently a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University. AMAL Bourhrous She is a 22 year old student majoring in International Studies. She enjoys reading books, going on long walks, and painting. She is a lover of natural landscapes and likes taking photos of leaves. AMIRA Belghazi She is a high school student in Nador. She finds her pleasure in dancing, traveling and encountering new cultures and new people. Amira dreams of participating in a music show someday.


ASMA Ghanem Asma is a student at the International Academy of Art in Ramallah. She is passionate about photography, paintings, illustrations, and visual art. Most of her work focus on issues of identity and gender. AYA Ijlal Aya is a young creative writer from Morocco. She finds her pleasure in writing and believes that literature has the power to heal all sorts of life difficulties. BORIS Pramatarov Boris was born in March 1989 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He is an illustrator who has published in various outlets such as The New York Times and the La Tranchee Racine. Also, he has three artist's book “My Demons” 2012, “Doppelgänger” 2013, and “Amygdala” 2013, published by United Dead Artists. DAMILILA Afolayan Damilila is a Nigerian and lives in Lagos with her parents and siblings. She hopes to be an English Literature lecturer someday. She writes short stories, poems occasionally and is trying to write a novel titled: Jeshurun: a story of an upright man’s corruption.


FANAR Abdel Ghani She is a 20 year. She is passionate about music and loves traveling and discovering new horizons. Fanar is currently pursuing her BA in Arabic literature at Cairo University. GHADA Faird She is a 20 year old from Alexandria. Meanwhile, she is pursuing a BA in Egyptology, and planning to pursue her graduate studies in Archeology. She is interested in literature and cinema. HEBA Abed Heba is pursuing her masters in arts. She is from Saudi Arabia. She is passionate about Islamic art and architecture and much of her work focuses on aspects of arabesque, calligraphy, and integration of Arabic poetry. KARIMA Kaddouri Karima is majored in computer science at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane. She is a Moroccan but also a quarter Portuguese. Her favorite writer of is Stephen King. However, her favorite book has been Wuthering Heights for several years. Karima also enjoys 3:00 AM walks, jazz music, playing with her cat Aicha, drawing, and a bit of creative writing.


KENZA Yousfi She is a lover of reason, art, music, and literature. She is a bookworm and loves reading, especially in Arabic. Meanwhile, she is pursuing her BA in International Studies. She is interested in social policy, MENA culture and politics, philosophy, and biology.

MARIAM Khan Marian is pursuing in MA in English literature. She is originally from Pakistan and has discovered her passion for photography through contemplation. MOUNA Kousa Mouna is a from Syria. She is a student, but currently not going to university because of the political situation in the country. She is a creative writer and considers writing in Arabic her innate talent. MOUSSA Ibrahim He studies graphic design in the United States. Moussa is originally from Sudan. He enjoys writing in Arabic. Moussa is also interested in anything that concerns Arab culture and literature. Much of his work projects his influence of Arab culture, especially that of Sudan and Egypt.


MUAD Zeindein He is a 21 year old student from Beirut majoring in Literature. He is a lover of books and does some writing as well. He is calm and He is working on a novel and wishes to publish it sometime in the future. NOEL Fence Noel is an unconventional Irish artist. He has never been to art school, yet succeeded in projecting his artistic talent. His art is all about mixed media. RON Heacock Ron Heacock lives with his wife, Karen Walasek, and her loyal service dog, Finn. He has been published in Connotation, PaperTape, The LIMN Literary & Arts Journal, Elohi Gadugi Journal, and The Pitkin Review. He is currently pursuing his MFA in creative writing at the Goddard College Port Townsend Campus. SALMA Tariq She is a 21 year old girl from Kuwait. She likes to read and sometimes she writes down whatever comes through her mind. She is currently pursuing her BA in English literature.


SAMIA Haimoura Samia is a creative writer from Morocco. She is currently pursuing her studies at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. At the same university, she has created a club that organizes reading circles and that promote readership among youth. SARA Datturi Sara is an Italian 23 year old girl. Her academic interests revolve around international water rights and human rights. Meanwhile, she is a creative writer and gets inspired by her many travels in Europe and the Middle East. SIHAM Laazizi Siham is a recent graduate from Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. She is passionate about literature and film. Siham did her senior capstone project on political discourses in cinema. YOUNES Shaimi Younes is a 26 year old graduate of an engineering school. He is interested in culture and philosophy. He joined Gallimaufryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s editorial team in November 2012, and has served as the Arabic and French editor.


YOSRA Khouiammi Yosra pursues her undergraduate study at Al Akhawayn University in Ifrane, Morocco. She is passionate about discovering new horizons through reading and writing. ZAYNAB Talidi Zaynab is a information systems student. She enjoys creative writing and painting.


Call for Submissions We accept submissions year-round. The deadline for our third issue is December 15, 2013. We are currently accepting work in all categories for our next issue. We welcome submissions in all languages. GALLIMAUFRY is looking for submissions of creative fiction, non-fiction, and poems, along with photographs, cartoons and any kind of illustrations from all students We are now accepting full color or white and black images (i.e. photography, collage, pen and ink drawings, computer generated graphics, and other two dimensional art forms) as stand-alone submissions. All writings should be sent to:


We are in the process of enlarging our team. If you would like to join our team and work with us, we welcome you. Positions vary upon interests and availability. Whether you like to read, design, edit, advertise, or write, send us your query or demand to our email:


Featuring: Ahimsa Timoteo Bodhrรกn, Asmaa Ghanem, Aya Ijlal, Boris Pramatarov, Damilola Afolayan, Fanar Abdel Ghani, Heba Abed, Mariam Khan, Mouna Kousa, Moussa Ibrahim, Noel Fence, Ron Heacock, Samia Haimoura, Sara Datturi, Yosra Khouiammi, Zaynab Talidi


Gallimaufry issue2 2013