El Habib Louai


Nothing Remains the Same

Where could you be tonight, Sinatra?
Love and Marriage
Love and Marriage

A chant I heard reverberate
As far away as the length of the waves
I rode indisposed
When I was bound
To a remote island
Named Buyukada

The permanent content of what you mean
Transcends me the moment I kiss your lips
And I know that meaning is produced
Only in an unexpectedly rambunctious union

Succinctly, I dissect everything
Looking for generic terms I left
Back somewhere in Kadikoy
At nine o’clock sharp near the theater
Where I heard a beautiful young voice
Lamenting Istanbul in operatic tempos

Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha
Fatih Sultan Mehmet
Jalal al-Din Rumi
All proceeded towards Istanbul again
Alas! Nothing remains the same
Everything is only revisited once again
Even the empty sunflower fields of Kutahya

Detach yourself, postmodern Kerouac,
From the vicissitudes of a stuporous life
Isolate yourself from mundane places
Where nothing transcends the ephemeral
I know that I will meet a deadline
Just because life manifests itself
Unintentionally in those experiences I weave

I thought my days could end
On a ship to Prince’s Island bound
Alas, a Russian girl took me aside
To recount her Icelandic memories
To a dismembered Moorish heart

 Copyright © 2012 El Habib Louai

El Habib Louai is a junior high school teacher of English from Taroudant, Morocco. He is also a comparative studies MA student at the University of Ibn Zohr in Agadir, Morocco. He is involved in various projects having to do with poetry translation. His poems were published in various international literary magazine, journals and reviews such as Danse Macabre du Jour, Palestine Chronicle, Troubadour 21, Sagarana , Istanbul Literary Review, Indigo Rising Magazine, and Contemporary Critical Horizons. His translation of a collection of poems by the exiled Iranian poet Ali Abdelrezaei is available in poetrymag.ws. His poem " A Night in Tunisia" was translated into Italian and Romanian. His paper “Retracing the Concept of the Subaltern from Gramsci to Spivak: Historical Development and New Application” was published in the African Journal of History and Culture last January 2012.