Over at Youssef Rakha’s Cosmopolitan Hotel, there are two new poems by the Egyptian writer Hermes, translated by Robin Moger:

Hermes. Photo credit: Martha Mann.

The first, “an authentic corruption,” opens:

There is a corruption as old as being. We can see it in all things. Say, in language: each word a holed ship leaking meaning as it goes down. And in vision: between picturing and the picture a missing link continually dilating until it swallows both. There is an authentic corruption.

The second, “farahfaza for light hearts,” opens:

I do not write in the day what I write in the night

because I am like the owl, I have

a slow wing clap and eyes

open to the blight.

Other places you can find poems by Hermes:

In The Djinn Falls in Love and Other Stories, tr. Moger

In The Tahrir of Poems : Seven Contemporary Egyptian Poetsed. and tr. Maged Zaher

From We are the Water-Carrier’s Dolls, tr. Moger

Breakdown in Nothingsville, tr. Moger

The Nature of Soldiers, tr. Moger

Also read:

‘The Tahrir of Poems’ and Choices Facing an Egyptian Poet

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