Copyright © 2012 Pirene's Fountain.


All Rights Reserved.

El Habib Louai is a junior high school teacher of English from Taroudant, Morocco. He is also a comparative studies MA student at the University of Ibn Zohr in Agadir, Morocco. He is involved in various projects having to do with poetry translation. His poems were published in various international literary magazine, journals and reviews such as Danse Macabre du Jour, Palestine Chronicle, Troubadour 21, Sagarana , Istanbul Literary Review, Indigo Rising Magazine, and Contemporary Critical Horizons. His translation of a collection of poems by the exiled Iranian poet Ali Abdelrezaei is available in His poem " A Night in Tunisia" was translated into Italian and Romanian. El Habib Louai was the representative of 100 Thousand Poets for Change event in Agadir, Morocco. His paper “Retracing the Concept of the Subaltern from Gramsci to Spivak: Historical Development and New Application” was published in the African Journal of History and Culture last January 2012. 

Nothing Remains the Same | The Transience of Experience
In Remembrance of Things Lost | To You Who Wander Over There
When Eve Sits to Read Milton| The Canvas, Whitespace and Other Things


Nothing Remains the Same

Where could you be tonight, Sinatra?
Love and Marriage
Love and Marriage
A chant I heard reverberate
As far away as the length of the waves
I rode indisposed
When I was bound
To a remote island
Named Buyukada

The permanent content of what you mean
Transcends me the moment I kiss your lips
And I know that meaning is produced
Only in an unexpectedly rambunctious union

Succinctly, I dissect everything
Looking for generic terms I left
Back somewhere in Kadikoy
At nine o’clock sharp near the theater
Where I heard a beautiful young voice
Lamenting Istanbul in operatic tempos

Barbarossa Hayreddin Pasha
Fatih Sultan Mehmet
Jalal al-Din Rumi
All proceeded towards Istanbul again
Alas! Nothing remains the same
Everything is only revisited once again
Even the empty sunflower fields of Kutahya

Detach yourself, postmodern Kerouac,
From the vicissitudes of a stuporous life
Isolate yourself from mundane places
Where nothing transcends the ephemeral
I know that I will meet a deadline 
Just because life manifests itself
Unintentionally in those experiences I weave

I thought my days could end
On a ship to Prince’s Island bound
Alas, a Russian girl took me aside
To recount her Icelandic memories
To a dismembered Moorish heart


The Transience of Experience

Love is an old Djellaba
I wear early in December
When Goethe walks alone
The empty streets of Borjomi

Liza found a new fake love
In the wings of a broken dove
She just does not realize
She will be again left alone

I know that nothing remains
The same, even my grandma’s sesame
I will just sip then those cups of rusty mirage

My brown battered beret sits alone
On the broken trim of a shaded window
Overlooking a copy of Truth and Method


In Remembrance of Things Lost

I will read Proust again alone
In a southern room somewhere
I will stand desperately again
In the corridor waiting in vain
For the morning light to come
To reform your lost memories
Of a virgin swinging loosely by

My condition towards words
Ceases to enable what I conceive
And I turn desolately in turns
To Rousseau’s new confessions
Alas! The abyss is so unfathomable
And I regret my abrupt downfall
I was certainly surprised by my sin

Maybe nothing is as peacefully put
As a Berber jar on an empty well
Lovely virgin’s hands gently caress it
Her henna-dyed hair lavishly stroke it
And I wish in lost moments of time
I wish so my heart could be handled
By another specter I lately encountered


To You Who Wander Over There

To you who wander over there
Expecting a truck to take you somewhere
Listen before you go to this piece I play
Take Five, nothing else this morning 
You have lost a dear heart today 

Your camera and films are scattered 
On my Moorish reddish carpet
Your sandals stray on my brown mat
This afternoon seems to linger longer
I wish I knew what was on your mind

Nothing can deny the chaos of your intervention 
Not even your dear King James testament 
Rather a mint tea cup would relieve my heart
I will sip it alone sitting on a mahogany chair 
Counting my age in blue phosphoric bubbles

Drive me anywhere apart from home
My love’s perfume lingers in Rome
Count me in even before I jump inside
The leaving never seems to abide
Thus, I would rather bid you all farewell


When Eve Sits to Read Milton

In the most insecure moments
Of a life that went astray
One only evokes a past memory
To amend a heart surprised by sin

Yet, when Eve sits to read Milton
She never thinks of a revisited sin
Beatitude simply blinds her earthly eyes

Adam himself stood still in the rain
When Eliot transfixed him in her Bede
Waiting for Jesus to sail untouched water

There is something that hovers over
The shadow of my stature endlessly
It could be the end of my torment

Nothing is canonized for eternity
On the face of a pure cloudless water
Than the name of unforgiving sinner

He could walk alone just as a Jew
For forty years accompanied by dew
Yet, nothing is perpetually determined
He could just rest as a dormant in the valley


The Canvas, Whitespace and Other Things

Existence melted in the passion of absence ..,
As a hermit’s light swallowed by Poseidon’s darkness
I didn’t know where was my I …, And I do not know that I here is not me ..,
I am not from me, nor from you, neither from him.
I am the other of me without any form or color
I am the whitespace, dust, extinction, lacking construction
Orpheus sings on my ashes the song of immortality near the door of Babel
Imploring the heart of the deities to let me live with her.
Orpheus! Did you forget that the deities of the Orient cannot live without my blood,
And some ashes of the Phoenix Orpheus! Where are you heading?
Did you forget that the descent to the lowest world from here
Is preceded by a celestial angelic ritual wherein hyenas are sacrificed
And the Phoenix ’s blood is burned
So that its nothingness will not flame and make it rise
My father!
I saw myself begging near the gates of afterlife in no time, no place
Asking for provisions to feed on during the trip to my nothingness
Or an appointment for my eternal journey to the end of wandering and emptiness
Because I didn’t know that I will be what I will not know
And I will walk in an eternal whitespace without any whiteness
To which I do not know how to enter or leave
And I saw my mother with no heart, womb or eyes
Looking in Ashur’s temple for her trilateral name
That was hanging there two yards from the epic of Gilgamesh
K for the killed not the killer, the guided not the guide, sacrifice not power
 D for the signified not the signifier, the intrigued not the intriguer, life not religion
S for protraction and sleep not speed, surrender not serenity
And I saw two yards from the gate to afterlife the church of Pope John ..,
Moutanabi was crying in its alter in the face of Heidegger:
I am not an egoist to allow my ego to be carried by nothingness as you didا
And I saw two yards from the church of Pope John
Mahmoud Darwish sitting with Albert Camus and Tarafa Ibn Al Abd
Sipping their cups of coffee….,
Discussing the otherness of the stranger in nothingness
And I saw among other things I saw Imro Al Kayss so exhausted
Carried by his words to the palace of Caesar
To lament the glory of his father in the jesting of my absurdity
Oh, father what do you see?
The enraptured father said pointing to a Sufi’s grave in the hall of wandering
A Sufi who died in a time with no time
Son, don’t tell your brothers about your dream
They will intrigue your existence and take your nothingness from it
Live strange, beg near the gate of afterlife strange
Lament your mother’s name strange
Bespeak your father’s lost glory strange
And let yourself die strange
This is the fate of the Great Stranger

This poem was originally wirtten by Abdellatif Lbadadi
and it was translated from Arabic into English