Before the Donkey Came

Posted: July 21, 2014 in Poems in English, Thoughts

To hold on to your veil like the last handle bar in front of the abyss.

To have the confidence and peace to let go of your veil and stay dead calm.

“Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song,

namely their silence…” Franz Kafka, 1917,  The Silence of the Sirens

 

 

No one dares to breath

almost

no one opens their eyes more

than an eye lash, more

than the strictly necessary for the bare minimum

no one opens any opening more than the absolute necessary

light, food, thought, faeces

light, food, faeces

food, faeces

faeces

 

No one dares to do anything else than everyone else.

It´s not just survival, it´s the heard.

 

No one dares because in these times of strain, they have to appreciate the sacrifices that the fore runners and the hounds of the herd are making for them and

continue

enjoying their lives.

 

Their lives are worth living.

Our lives are worth living!

It´s the lives of some of us

only

that are not worth living.

So they can die for our lives to be enjoyed.

 

 

Others

see what happens if they dare!

The others know.

We all know

and nobody dares.

 

Silence pierces through brain.

Siren pierces through the silence.

The piercing sound sounds like a siren

piercing through the brain.

The brain is metallic and the echo of the siren will forever sound piercing a hollow metal sphere which was our brain.

It is the cage of our brain.

The metal piercing metal

and with some sparks

sounds forever in our airtight skull.

 

 

***

 

 

It’s a very tense silence. I walk slowly with my senses wide open. I wear one headphone just in case, to maintain my protection, my visual sign of non-involvement. If I am scared? Maybe a bit more careful and aware than if I had been in tel aviv- depending on the area, naturally.

I arrive at the station, no bars, it’s not closed but no busses. I ask a group of three men, 2 looking westerners, both sunk in their smart phones, another looking Palestinian also sunk in his. I ask in Arabic, I judge it’s wiser, more neutral in the context, had I been in Tel Aviv I would have asked in Hebrew. What a luxury to have differentiated and preferential communication at one´s disposal.

The Palestinian is watching some talk show on his phone and smoking-I smell regular tobacco and two kids are flying balloons: one reading Hope another with Tweety. A 50 year plus lady appears asks about the bus and sits on the edge making the westerners gather together. She lights up her cigarette on the border of social acceptability, with the necessary indifference. Quite vital.

After half an hour of waiting the bus arrives 4 foreigners board, all burnt from the sun, some peeling already, others just looking like crabs. I suspect two are Russians living in the Abraj. Great, they will open the bottom door for me, side smile, I will have to make conversation.
***
I have made a random guy cry various times during a coffee and 3 cigarettes, in East Jerusalem, just after the imaginary border (only Google Maps sometimes knows it). I learnt his life and philosophy. I supported and contradicted him on world politics and in personal affairs. It’s a normal story he said various times. It’s like this:

“I was in prison for a year and a half since I was thirteen and a half. I learnt a lot in prison. I learnt Hebrew and about the world and I read and I understood. About politics, about organization about the world. For me it was a time of growing, I was there with everyone: with hamas and fateah and normal people and with the Israelis and I understood about all of them. This can be done through the schools as well, people shouldn’t have to go to prison to learn. They said I threw stones and I was next to a bus and burnt it, I don’t know if I did it, I really really don’t know, I don’t remember, it seems such a long time ago. Since then I am on the black list and I can’t do anything. I can but always I have problems. Then I started with music and did so much. Now everyone, musicians who come to Jerusalem talk to me and I am a reference. I am very proud of what I did with this and my life. Also in Europe I went to study and did many tours and concerts. A long time ago I could have left and stayed there if I had wanted but why to do this? This is my home and where in feel connected and where I want to live.

 

And what happened there that tied him so strongly to this land? (And side question: is the conflict identitarian or for survival?)

 

I was born in the Old City of Jerusalem 34 years ago. I bought a house in Anata, now half in Jerusalem half behind the wall. When I saw it´s behind the wall, I wanted to get another house in Jerusalem. I kept that one for now, because I´m not married, but I built one more floor on top of my parents´ house. It´s nice to be with all the family. And the army came to demolish my house. 10 years I paid lawyers and trials to keep my house, and they came to demolish it. So when I see they start, I come with my brother, I say stop! It´s my house I want to demolish it! And with my brother. And we started and we demolished all of it. And in a week I got a ticket 70,000 Shekel because I didn´t demolish it the right way. So! Imagine! Just think about this anywhere in the world! And if I let them demolish it I have to pay them more to demolish it with their machines!

 

So then I said ok, maybe I don´t marry. And maybe I should just stick to my music and play. So we have an organization and we do concerts and tours and shows, mostly theatre and music. And we have many partners and a lot of people know us.

 

You tell me, do you see peace happening here?

Do you have hope?

 

***

 

At night there is sometimes a plane, watching hungrily over us. There´s just a blanket of cement between us. There´s just a button and a few meter-seconds. There´s just absolute trust between us.

 

Then you sharpen your years until silence pierces through the metallic hollow sound of the spherical cage and you start hearing the sirens across many kilometres.

 

I have listened so hard, that I have heard the donkey wake up.

4.36

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