A Sweaty Summer

A sweaty summer is around the corner.
O, we will experience a genuine summer this time.
The smell of perspiration will pervade the air.
Everywhere.
Our homes will become ovens –
waiting rooms in hell.

Ladies and gentlemen,
stock up on deodorants.

“You’re up next,” the politician will say
in a dream, as he morphs into a striped hyena.
And like Virgil from Dante’s Inferno, he will guide you,
take you through the circles of hell –
the hell he and his collaborators built.
“This is your special place,” he will say.
“It’s where herd animals are kept,
and horde animals, too,
like you.”

What a nightmare!
The sweaty summer is already here.
Last night, the heatwave woke you up,
and you got out of bed searching for
electricity.

Looks like it’s time to shave your armpits
to prevent the body odor of your true self
from entering the nostrils of your dear ones.

Lick your lips to taste the salt of your body.
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.”
So, taste the salt of your body
like your suffering means something.

Get used to the stickiness as you get tanned
in your car
while you wait for your turn
to fill up your tank.

This summer,
you will be deprived of air conditioning.
You will miss the humming of pedestal fans, table fans,
and ceiling fans.
You will sit on balconies at night
to take a break from fluorescent lighting
or to give candles a break from burning.

From those balconies,
you will see nothing when the sun sets.
Darkness – yes.
This summer,
you will have to stare into darkness.

You will drink warm beer to celebrate
despair.


This poem was born in me yesterday, when I came across the below photo on social media:

November 26, 2020: Untitled

It’s the need to say something
that makes me want to write.

However, the need to say something
doesn’t necessarily mean that I have anything to say.
It’s been almost a year since I last produced a piece —
a short story — that I thought was good.

Since March, my mind has been deteriorating.
I have been deteriorating.

It hasn’t been a good year, and it all started late last year.
A pseudo-revolution in Lebanon back in October 2019.
I believed in it and was part of it,
but it turned out to be nothing but noise!
Then, as 2020 began, Lebanon defaulted on its debts.
Covid-19 became a pandemic soon after.
Beirut’s port exploded on August 4.
The Nagorno-Karabakh war began on September 27
and ended on November 10 with Armenia losing.
Yes, a bad year for the world,
a horrible year for a Lebanese-Armenian like me.

Then, last Wednesday, on November 18, my grandmother died,
and we buried her where we had buried
my father and my grandfather less than two years ago.

And here I am at my desk now,
trying to work,
to live a normal life.

I want to write about something, and there are
so many things to write about.
But I have nothing to say.
Yet.

My question is:
How can I get rid of this brain fog?
It came once and never left.