I have no fatherland I live within words That are shrouded in black And held hostage Mustapha Khayati, can you hear me? The seat of power is in language where the police patrol No more poetry circles! No more poet laureates! In my neighborhood virgin poets are sacrificed Rappers with dust-blown eyes and baggy pants push rhymes on kids sniffing words Fall and get back up again: the art of the poet Jean Genet, can you hear me? My words are homeless they sleep on the benches of Klathmonos Square covered in IKEA cartons My words do not speak on the news they’re out hustling every night My words are proletarian, slaves like me they work in sweatshops night and day I want no more dirges I want no more verbs belonging to the noncombatants I need a new language, not pimping I’m waiting for a revolution to invent me Hungering for the language of class war A language that has tasted insurgency I shall create it! Ah, what arrogance! Okay, I’ll be off But take a look: in my face the dawn of a new poetry is breaking No word will be left behind, held hostage I’m seeking a new passage.
Translated by Peter Constantine