Thursday, June 1, 2023



At Cafe Camus In Bonn


My friend, the poet Rolf Doppenberg and I entered Cafe Camus.

The cafe located in the heart of the old town of Bonn.

The cafe reminded me of the legend of "The Myth of Sisyphus"

I am Sisyphus, bearing the rock on my back, Albert!

I remembered "The Plague"

The plague of tyranny kills my people, Albert!

I remembered "Caligula"

Four bloody Caligulas' occupy my homeland, Albert!

I remembered "The Stranger"

I am the stranger everywhere, Albert!


Around the round table I was flying away in dreams

While my friend the poet was talking

about the conditions of writing, its affairs and sorrows.


A canvas bag hangs on the wall

with "Shakespeare and Company" written on it.

That bag took me by chance to Paris.

Years ago, a Colombian poet and I were hanging out in the Latin Quarter

and then we passed that old bookshop, the one looking and laughing

with the great Notre Dame cathedral

from which I bought Allen Ginsberg's "Howl"

and two black and white portraits, one of them was of Jack Kerouac

and the other of another mad poet named Arthur Rimbaud:

"The man with the wind at his heels".


I looked at the farthest corner of the ceiling

I saw Louis Armstrong having a great music festival

and playing himself on his divine trumpet,

which turns into butterfly wings and an angel's light in his hands

Then he sang three of his most beautiful songs:

"What a Wonderful World". 

Then he followed it up with a song:

"It's been a long, long time" in which he says: 

"Kiss me once

Then, kiss me twice

Then, kiss me once again

It's been a long, long time".

He sealed it with the song:

"A Kiss to build a Dream On".


Near the last table, the legendary jazz singer Billie Holiday

was singing: "Lady Sings the Blues"

Then followed by her song bursting with anger and disobedience:

"Strange Fruit".

Suddenly I asked myself: Did the legendary singer die or was she killed?

Some sadness, a strange sadness

like a strange fruit that invaded and settled my being.


Next to the legendary singer

The brilliant saxophonist Charlie Parker "Yardbird"

was busy tuning the world on his instrument

to throw an extraordinary party in honor of this world

that is narrowing and fading every day!


Above, in a row beside Camus,

we find Kafka standing as a memorial

to the graves of all the vanquished in this world.

With his uncaring eyes remind you of a fate like the fate of "Gregor Samsa".

We all become Gregor Samsa at this masquerade party called the world,

but we don't dare look at ourselves in the mirror until we see it.


As for how Toni Morrison arrived

from Ohio to settle between Kafka and Beckett?

A quick answer comes from her: I came to tell you about "The Bluest Eye"

and hug you with the "Song of Solomon".

Then sadly, she said to me: O Kurd, you are blacker African than all of us.

I get what she meant.

I bowed to her and kissed her head with two tears.


In the far corner beside Tony,

Samuel Beckett frowned as if he had just come out of one of his absurd plays.

He was waiting in vain for the return of Godot who would never come!

What disappointment... What disappointment, comrade Samuel?


Above a small library the light was emanating with an astonishing abundance!

I saw the poet's friend looking from the side of his eyes

during the talking to the direction of the light.

Marilyn Monroe was there lighting us up and lighting up our whole life!

Then she goes to her solitude, lights her cigarette

and writes in the darkness the fragments of her life.


From the window, Frida Kahlo was peeking at us.

Quickly, without pause, she was drawing everything.

She did not know that throughout her life

she only had painted the pains of her slender body,

the scars of her soul that could never be healed

and her ordeal in existence.

I asked her: Frida, why are you drawing so quickly, as if you were in a hurry?

She said: 1-Morphine!

                2-I feel like I'm leaving early.


As for Salvador Dali

he was looked enviously at Frida from the opposite window.

He paints the poets as wild horses,

the waitress as "Leda Atomica",

the café guests as suns shining from an egg,

the café owner with mustaches as his mustaches

and the café as a bus on the highway of imagination.


In the last, we folded our words, our papers and our books.

We got up, but I don't know whether we were wild horses or wild poets?

Then we went out.

At the door a ballerina bid farewell to us with a white dance as a swan.

We thanked her and each of us went to the state of his dreams

 and dreams of his crazy poems.




HUSSEIN HABASCH is a poet from Afrin, Kurdistan. He currently lives in Bonn, Germany. Born in 1970 in Şiyê Village. His poems have been translated into English, German, Spanish, French, Persian, Uzbek, Albanian, Russian, Romanian, Italian, Serbian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Polish, Slovenian, Lithuanian, Vietnamese, Nepali, Hindi, Malayalam, Kannada, Tajik, Bengali, Turkish, Berber (Amazigh), Bosnian, Portuguese, Hungarian, Chinese, Greek, Mandarin (the language of Taiwan) and Tzotzil (the language of the Mayan peoples of Mexico), and has had his poetry published in a large number of international poetry anthologies, more than 100 anthologies. His books include: Drowning in Roses, Fugitives across Evros River, Higher than Desire and more Delicious than the Gazelle's Flank, Delusions to Salim Barakat, A Flying Angel, No pasarán (in Spanish), Copaci Cu Chef (in Romanian), Dos Árboles and Tiempos de Guerra (in Spanish), Fever of Quince (in Kurdish), Peace for Afrin, peace for Kurdistan (in English and Spanish), The Red Snow (in Chinese), Dead arguing in the corridors (in Arabic) Drunken trees (in Kurdish), Boredom of a tired statue (in Kurdish), Flor del Espinillo (in Spanish) A Rose for the Heart of Life, selected Poems (in English) and Olvido (in Spanish). He participated in many international festivals of poetry including: Colombia, Nicaragua, France, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Germany, Romania, Lithuania, Morocco, Ecuador, El Salvador, Kosovo, Macedonia, Costa Rica, Slovenia, China, Taiwan, Cuba, Sweden, New York City, Sarajevo, Greece and Spain. Recipient of the Great Kurdish Poet Hamid Bedirkhan Award, awarded by the General Union of Kurdish Writers and Journalists. As well as the International “Bosnian Stećak” award for Poetry, awarded by the Bosnia and Herzegovina Writers Union. Bronze poetry award Aristotle from Naoussa international poetry festival in Greece.


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