Thursday, December 17, 2009

Beirut Journal Day #38: Street Art

Nuff Said

Basquiat Crown on Crow



Pour M.

I'm quite stunned, in a positive way, at the multifoliate (one of my favorite June Jordan terms) art adorning the walls around this city. Beirut has such a strong security culture that I can't imagine how these artists are able to post their bills without heavy interference. They are either really speedy, or the centurions just don't care.

Whatever the case, the artists are hard at work here, L'Humdillah.

The piece here that strikes me deepest is the last one, the poem. I don't speak French, so I have no idea what it says, but the fact that "C." scrawled this poem for "M." is touching. A tender reminder that, in places where the threat of war, rather, the reality of war is imminent, people still strive to connect to one another. People claim public space to link their lives to each other.

The poem becomes part and parcel of the architecture of this landscape.

It reminds me of when I was last in Palestine. I told a friend I was interested in meeting some poets. "People don't have time for poetry," she scoffed. Of course, she was not correct. For, I did find poets, I even found the remnants of a poem in a giant crater left by an Israeli airstrike in Nablus. It appears that one of the workers, perhaps on a break, was reading the poetic recounting of one of the Prophet's trips to Mecca. I kept the shredded fragments of the poem, brought them back & puzzled them together.

I take that poem, and this French one, as signs of communal health. As shining examples of the beautiful possibilities of human Be-ing.

"C." wherever, and whomever, you are, I hope things are working themselves out for you.

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