Mustafa Stitou

(1974 / Tetouan)

Typical - Poem by Mustafa Stitou

Days after the circus sun
on sidewalk cafés makes good
on marriage as a prospect,
the four-eyed Japanese giggles
two-faced into a camera
full of street organ, uniforms
all smiles for a f-f-firing-squad-
stuttering refugee, Maghrebi,
surreptitious, hissing smack,
coke, ecstasy, swallowing when he sees
her, on Father's thick umbilical cord,
hijacked mouth that's headscarf-framed,
frozen with the rest by the film
school second year while in the bar
a woman, sociable and functional,
45 years young, seeks ditto man,
but he's in Amsterdam's narrowest thoroughfare
unable to take his eyes off a wayward dildo
between the breasts of a faded Venezuelan who,
sexy and sad, sneers at the sight
of two energetic indifferent boys
French kissing, trembling granny swears
because there's never any letters,
but this evening she'll see the queen,
she never forgets Remembrance Day,
and the philosophy student will smirk
at the speech after beating the odds
yet again by not drowning in the canal
where tour boats treat tourists to
mellifluous emetics and pigeons shit
shit shit shit all over
the station or ungratefully
peck seeds from the square,
know they're admired, don't care,
like the junkie in the tram
caught with his hand in a pocket
by committed commuters whose outraged
innocence beats the intern chafing
at the driver's one-liner about the house
on your left where J. puts his feet up
in the summer, deliberately
asks for guilders and doesn't get a thing
or notes or a cigarette from the Italian,
who just fingered a red-hot schoolgirl
in the toilet and another child off
on adventures in the department store
hears his name at last and that
his mother (in the Society Shop, madame
does not doff her shades, the frames, you see)
is waiting (where'd they say again?) while he's
all smiles for glumly nodding officers,
sunbed-bronzed, beating their way
to a frisk in the park, where the poet,
where the poet, after research
in death notices, carves his name
in a bench, reconsiders, carves his name
in every tree in the row -

Translation: 2005, David Colmer

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Poem Submitted: Thursday, June 15, 2017

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