Post image for Poem of the Week: Yahia Lababidi

Poem of the Week: Yahia Lababidi

Poem of the Week: Yahia Lababidi

by Brian Chappell on August 4, 2011

What do animals dream?

Do they dream of past lives and unlived dreams
unspeakably human or unimaginably bestial?

Do they struggle to catch in their slumber
what is too slippery for the fingers of day?

Are there subtle nocturnal intimations
to illuminate their undreaming hours?

Are they haunted by specters of regret
do they visit their dead in drowsy gratitude?

Or are they revisited by their crimes
transcribed in tantalizing hieroglyphs?

Do they retrace the outline of their wounds
or dream of transformation, instead?

Do they tug at obstinate knots
of inassimilable longings and thwarted strivings?

Are there agitations, upheavals, or mutinies
against their perceived selves or fate?

Are they free of strengths and weaknesses peculiar
to horse, deer, bird, goat, snake, lamb or lion?

Are they ever neither animal nor human
but creature and Being?

Do they have holy moments of understanding
in the very essence of their entity?

Do they experience their existence more fully
relieved of the burden of wakefulness?

Do they suspect, with poets, that all we see or seem
is but a dream within a dream?

Or is it merely a small dying
a little taste of nothingness that gathers in their mouths?

________________________________
Yahia Lababidi is the author of a collection of aphorisms, Signposts to Elsewhere (Jane Street Press) selected for ‘Books of the Year, 2008′ by The Independent (UK) and the critically-acclaimed essay collection, Trial by Ink: From Nietzsche to Belly Dancing. His latest work is the new poetry collection, Fever Dreams. To date, his writing has been translated into Arabic, Slovak, Italian, Dutch, Swedish and Turkish.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Swoon August 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm

I can not resist… I just oploaded it today: http://vimeo.com/27277431 

Donna Fleischer via Facebook August 4, 2011 at 9:12 am

Or is it merely a small dying
a little taste of nothingness that gathers in their mouths?

Mahuya Ray via Facebook August 4, 2011 at 10:23 am

we all are kind of outsiders……

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