5. // REEM

i am living in a dug hole with fantastic lights and bodies sprawled on top of each other gasping for air, picking dreams out of his hair, hold my breath until someone starts singing. tom waits saved a night or two with cigarettes, we're playing pianos with backward hands and i don't know what they say about the mind, it's rural, and futuristic, classified just in the humming section. i moisturize my nose, feverishly, i have a heart that can't be chained, too, but i try too hard to keep it with you, i don't want it either.

خمبلة // النقش على الحجر

a fine example of dark humour. 

this brilliant team managed to present a real issue in our (the middle east) education system and managed to get a few laughs out of me. the actors are all brilliant (including the kids), the choice of music is fitting and cinematography is insane. 

i only wish it had subtitles so i can share this with non-arabic-speaking friends.


Dearest time traveller, 

I think you are just trying your best to romanticise what is and what barely is along with us to feel more human and less selfish, the bees and moths and all of what is waltzing in the same harmony or creating its own is too busy creating and keeping life on this life to bother with the matter of existence, I think. Just like you and me when touching, we are too busy creating poems, getting a grip on the details being born within the details and trying to keep all of what is around us every time we gasp and pant and kiss and decide to tell an iloveyou.

The vanilla tea I made doesn’t like being sneaked into my throat, perhaps I should feed it to my eyeballs, or thighs? Perhaps it’s a better home for it there. Hey, do you think birds would rather hop on our eyelashes, ribs, laughters and toes instead of trees? Is it odd that I feel like that they hop and live on trees and places that aren’t our bodies because we chose that? What if birds are beings some magician made while exhaling kisses to his loved one living in a cloud that promised to not to fade? What if the first bird was the magician himself? I think the first bird might be the magician himself, and the second bird was something the first just cried after discovering that clouds never, ever stay.


It’s empty stares all over again. Your hollow eyes take leave as the breaking dots of every word in every dictionary chain themselves to your neck, and you caress the markings because masochism is creativity. So you plead to your ears: “anything that doesn’t wreck me,” and your ears, sensitive and selective, cast your words away.

What is your destination? What are you left with?

Weights of words that nestle themselves on your left shoulder, taking refuge in the back of your neck, straining every last nerve with the possibility of an idea, or at least an ending.

The words string themselves to your hair, adorning your face with every little failure at eloquence, or just basic wording.

The letters, the weld themselves to your skin, reiterating every thought of self-doubt that takes the midnight train to your mind with black circles and favourite lyrics as side-notes.

Writing is a parade of self-mockery you’re the stunt-double in.

Writing is the bruises you photograph for memory.

Writing is your skin inside out.



بدأت القصة بأنها فتاة، قُدِّر لها أن تكون فتاة، لم تقرر ذلك. احفظ هذا السطر. كبرت تلعب، كانوا دائمًا مايفضلون الذكور عنها وكأنها مواطنة من الدرجة الثانية. بدأ الحشو وغسيل الدماغ، أنتِ فتاة، أنتِ ناقصة، أنتِ عورة، أنتِ وإن كنتِ أفضل من ذكر فهو لا يزال أفضل منك.
ليس لكِ حقوق، قالوا لها. صدقت، وعاشت حياة عبد. قراراتك ليست لك، فكما ذُكِر آنفًا فأنتِ ليس إلا عبد ومواطن درجة ثانية. عُنِّفت، ضُرِبت، ضُحِك عليها… وكله كان خطأها. وحين أتى ذكر وتحرش بها، قالوا لابد من أنه خطأها. لا بد من أنه خطأها. لا بد أنه من خطأها أن ولدت فتاة.


* war in definition is the violent contact of distinct but similar entities.

* war was in the violent contact of our truths, our last words, our silence thereafter.

* (war) in the collision of our bodies, violent, overwhelmingly so.

* you felt your heart burst at the tip of your tongue, and the world not blur but crumble at the sides, leaving only the urgency of the moment demanding your gaze to be directed at it. war; the crash of our fears at the realization of the inevitability of absorbing the taste of another human’s divinity in an exchange of souls.

* war in our creation, the collision of stars. in the frailty of our ability to withhold our essence when it comes pouring out of our fingertips, our fists opening to clasp, unclasping to let go.

* when we were no more, war was. still in the disposition during all the time there was no assurance of our contrary.

* our war no longer is.


more of nouf's photography // writing