Ilhem Issaoui (Tunisia)
To the family of Taysir Sboul (Mr Ghassan Abulaban and Mrs Saba Sboul),
I write this letter followed by the poem below and I gift it to you. It shall be published two days from now. I wish you accept it as a gesture of respect and commemoration of a prolific, nonpareil writer. Through his writings, I felt the truest of feelings. I thank you for the intriguing articles you provided me with. I was able to see him clearer, though opacus still, and will be, his image. This is what characterises the sudden death of writers and incredible minds.
In certain cultures, the indigenous in particular, death is not only the real event taking place in life; death also happens when we cease to utter the deceased’s name. But he is not any deceased. A writer never dies, and his writings corroborate nothing but that- his eternal existence.
The poem below I wrote a few days ago whilst listening to Fairuz’s song “Fi ahwe aal mafrae” / there was a cafe at the crossroad. It depicts my perception of Sboul himself, with every repetition and word and feeling. I am much obliged and I thank this coincidence that led me in front of your door.
the end of the tunnel
the end of the tunnel reach, they say
do as everyone
is it that simplistic?
I thought to myself
when the smell of their dreadful quiddity
like a thunderstorm , inside my skull,
November came, hastily
no Cerberus to bite the body so that we can have a reason to shout
the foliage, there, pale, feuilles mortes ! feuilles mortes!
and I thought what a wonderful memento mori
the red faces there inside the damned skull!
pale, I holler on every face of them
hearken to me! hearken to me!
the pain of the feeling man
I bear, like Sisyphus did
is but a thing, nothing
a jejune land only the damned know
I knew it, I knew that land
where to feel is a stigma
what is truth?
the amarulence of the cigars and the cups of arak
there is truth in that
it tells you the verity of living
among the deaf
when you are damned
the man who feels
like a decayed boat
O my dear land…