Sadek Mohammed

Sadek Mohammed (poet, translator, essayist and academic). He is the author of the collection of poetry Archeology of Scorched Cities (2013), the co-editor of Flowers of Flame: Unheard Voices of Iraq (2008) which was awarded the IPPY/Independent Publisher Book Award, (2009) in the USA and Ishtar’s Songs: Iraqi Poetry since the 1970s (2011). He has translated Maya Angelou, W. B. Yeats, Arthur Rimbaud, Sergey Yesenin, Osip Mandelstam, Charles Bukowski, Elena Urlova and Mohamed Achmedov into Arabic and more than seventy Iraqi and Arab poets into English. His work has been published in Gilgamesh, Atlanta Review, Granta, Meridian 91, the Normal School and BANR Best American Nonrequired Reading among various other publications. A lecturer and Professor at a number of universities and institutions since 1992, Mohammed is, currently, the director of Baghdad city of Literature and a professor of modern poetry in the University of Mustansiriya in Baghdad.

The Black Friday or On Mr. T’s Seven

Today was wasted.
Today was squeezed between a travel ban,
three car bombs,
six explosions
and a yellow lie.
I mean this heartache,
this crucifix,
this axe,
this long arm,
this distance between two fingers in the hand of death,
was shoved,
like a rock,
down the poem’s throat and left her dazed.
I will not remove the blood stains.
I will not ask you why you
singled out Rumi,
and Omar Mukhtar.
I will not question Katya’s intentions
when she decided to leave me
in the middle of the way
and said we were done.
I will not sue Kafka for this metamorphosis
nor demand a fair trial.
I will not look for the man who disappeared,
nor the twelve bloodied hands
and the mother who cuddled her lifeless son.
Damn, you were so fucking great last night!
But I am depressed now.
Or what was it, exactly, that pierced my heart?