Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

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A fish out of water!

“How did it get there?” someone asks, “why did it leave water?”

A few minutes later the fish out of water is still there.

“It probably can flip its way back into the water but it stays there.”

A few minutes later, an eternity in fish minutes, It stops moving.

It died different!

It died different!

from the play Fish, Shotguns and Empty Barrels.
by Manuel V. Derida, 1945

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Satan wept and wept.
Death’s scythe through his beloved earth mercilessly swept.

His black crystalline tears tore through the scorched earth upon which he knelt.
All the monsters, hydras, ghouls, djinn and demons, in his realm his anguish felt.

“I have no part in this! Do you hear me? I have no part in this! You have created monsters of your own!” his vociferous voice echoed.

No answer was returned.

Silence prevailed as Death gleefully cut through men, women, and children … young and old.

Satan wept and wept.

Were they tears of joy or sadness?
None dared ask!

When Satan Wept Humanity
by Manuel V. Derida, 1989

Good day all. I wish to thank those of you who still read my words; the words that are not echoing within the corners of this blog as much. It has been a strange year, and in the past few weeks it has become stranger.

The world is burning and one cannot but try to find some sanity through work.

When I have more words to add here you will be the first to know.

For more of Manuel V. Derida’s writings please visit Thoughts from within a Sardine Can Facebook page http://on.fb.me/1mAwzgM

Art: Satan by Mike V. Derderian, pencil and ink on paper, 2014.

 


Charon for Daily Spitpaint by Sardine

The Ferryman’s Sovereign

By Manuel V. Derida, 1950

Reach not to your pocket for I want a sovereign and no more,

With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Don’t need your name for a sovereign is the price of my Oar,

With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Many a men and women have tried to cross this path before,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

They cried and wailed, “Oh, Ferryman take us to safety’s shore”
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Away from my boat or you shall taste my oar’s sway…away,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Weep not and curse not what you have in life always yearned for,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Favoring the yearning of the flesh you’ve neglected that of the soul,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Man laments and bemoans the blows of fate only when he is forlorn,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Alas, neither I, and nor you, know what the gods for us have in store,
With a breath so cold announced the Ferryman.

Without a sovereign and no more in this place you’ll toil evermore,
With a breath so old announced the Ferryman.

Art by Sardine a.k.a Mike V. Derderian (2014). 

Cosmonauta by Sardine - Mike V. Derderian

Cosmonauta by Sardine – Mike V. Derderian

This is in a way a twisted Valentine greeting with Cosmonauta 13.

I know I haven’t been blogging much, and I apologize for that, but I’ve been posting a lot of pieces, writings and illustrations, on Facebook as the interaction there is more direct and instantaneous.

I promise you that I will resume my blogging consistency as soon as possible with a couple of fiction pieces, a critique of a blog post about Rainbow Street, work-and-life-related updates, and a couple of other issues that are of importance to this Homo sapien.

The below piece is what inspired the word bubble for this Cosmonauta illustration.

By the way Cosmonauta 13 will be the heroine of a small tribute piece I wrote; a tribute to Anna Karenina and Solaris.

You can now suspend your imagination ;-})

Word bubble:

“Vronsky my love where are you?”

The chambers were flooded. Air was scarce. Electric signals were incessantly flashing with broken and unconnected thoughts rushing. The pressure was mounting.

Submerged!

It wasn’t water in which he drowned; yet the undercurrent was strong. Emotions flowed. His muscles ached. His mind was confused.

Yuri Vronsky was still alive in the safety of his bed when the sun gave warmth to his chafed cheeks. His space suit was floating next to the aluminum bed stand that was fixed to the metallic floor.

“I shouldn’t have finished reading the book. Anna would still be alive and with me through out this endless mission!” rubbing his eyes he said to himself.

“Karenina! Activate the gravity simulator …”

February 2, 2013
P.S: Cosmonauta 13 is from my series Cosmonauta,  high quality limited edition prints, that are available at the Mlabbas Store at 28 Rainbow Street. This is the link to how some of the posters look like: http://on.fb.me/11voLWZ
I hope you like them!

 

Consumed by emptiness I am,
A hallow man,

Awakened from life’s dream,
A sleepless man,

Burned by our eternal condition,
A mortal man,

Angered by God’s silence,
A soulless man,

Engrossed by earthly pleasures,
A sad man,

Silenced by the vicious howling,
A silent man,

Who shall save this damned soul?

Illustration, “Pan my love show thyself”, by Mike V. Derderian

 

By Mike V. Derderian

October 20 2008

“We have died enough. We die on a daily basis but what enrages me most is that our death is still primitive and happens so easily, which affirms our inability to learn more about it. It is like dying for the first time,” Satirist Muhammad Tommaleih, wrote, foreshadowing but not fearing death that will one day consume all.

The above quote by Tommaleih was featured in an article written in Arabic by Muhammad Shamma, a Jordanian journalist and radio presenter, who mourned Tommaleih, Jordan’s first and foremost satirical writer, who passed away on Monday, October 13.

“To describe him as a cultural phenomenon is not easy but he is a phenomenon. Through his articles and writings Tommaleih gives you a dose of reality and sincerity—honest and blatant sincerity without courtesies or euphemisms. Through his writings he embodies social reality with all its aspects,” Shamma wrote.

“I think that Tomaleh’s death and absence from the literary arena will have an impact specifically among sarcastic writers because he is one of the most influential book cynics among the new generation of writers. Although there are many cynical writers but they are not a creative talent like Mohammed,” Shamma later told The Star, adding, “he has always been strong willed and had a zest for life in spite of his misery.”

Even when he was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor in his tongue in 2004 Tommaleih stood up against life’s cruel judgment and disparaged his calamity in his daily writings in al-Arab al-Yawm newspaper. Still its impact was sensed in his writings whereby he started describing his mental and physical state after each and every chemotherapy session he underwent or a night spent in solitude at a hospital room.

His writings that mirrored life were doused with bouts of existentialism and his language was a hybrid of prose, poetry and everyman’s language, which would explain his appeal to Jordanians.

Born in Karak in 1957, Tommaleih wrote five books: Jawlet Arak (A Round of Aniseed liquor) (1980), al-Khaybah (The Disappointment) (1981), Molahazhat ala Qadia Assassiyah) (Notes on a Primary Case) (1981), al-Awghad al-Motahamsoon (The Enthusiastic Rascals) (1984), Elayha Betabi’at al-Hal (To Her Naturally) (2007) and Yahdoth Lee Duna Sa’er al-Nas (Happens to Me of All People) (2004)—in association with Emad Al-Hajjaj—in addition to the hundreds of pieces he wrote over a period of 20 years for local newspapers like ad-Dustour and al-Arab al-Yawm, where he continued to write since 1997 until his death.

Tommaleih had previously issued two satirical newspapers Qef (Stop) and al-Raseef (The Sidewalk) that he edited. He also worked for the satirical newspaper Abd Rabboh.

“We not only lost a special writer but also a literary figure with a unique creative output and a delicate personality,” ad-Dustour’s responsible editor-in-chief wrote in his editorial bidding farewell to Tommaleih, “Tommaleih always made sure to be a pioneer not an imitator. He was dubbed by many as the father of satirical writing, which is something he used to poke fun at as he only wanted a space, his thoughts and his style.”

Whether it was divine intervention or pure coincidence, I found Yousef Gheishan, a Jordanian satirical writer, standing outside Abu Ali’s Culture Kiosk in al-Balad (downtown Amman) where within its narrow space that was lined with books we talked about Tommaleih. “I wish there is a photocopier within reach so that I could give you a copy of a speech I am going to deliver about Tommaleih at a women’s,” Gheishan told The Star, as he rummaged through a folder he was holding.

“What can I say about Tommaleih except that he prodded us into thinking about life’s precious moments and constantly reminded us that we are alive! Our loss is great but we—his colleagues and readers—are still to feel the brunt of his death,” continued Gheishan, affirming Tommaleih’s title as the father of satire in Jordan, “he started a satirical column entitled Eyewitness at ad-Dustour in 1983 and its first piece was entitled The Sultans of Corridors. Tommaleih was also the first to launch satirical newspapers.”

Gheishan describes Tommaleih’s writing style as being unique and hard to imitate. “We always tried to imitate his style of writing but we never got close [referring to other Jordanian satirists] to his style that was closer to literary writing peppered with sarcasm,” Gheishan explained.

A day earlier Gheishan wrote in his column at ad-Dustour that he won’t request from the audience at a lecture he was holding on satirical writing to stand a moment of silence for Tommaleih. Why? “He most probably would laugh at us,” Gheishan laughingly stated before disappearing in a wave of people streaming by the kiosk.

What is bizarre is the disappearance of Tommaleih works from bookshops and book kiosks in al-Balad after his death was announced in local newspapers. “I don’t have a single volume. People probably are realizing the value of his words and writings, which would explain why there are no books left,” the Kiosk owner Abu Ali told The Star.

“I wept at his family home. His brother made me cry. Muhammad is part of me and it is hard to describe him. Mohammad is a playwright, a moviemaker, a poet and a storyteller. In my opinion he is the best there was in Jordan and the Arab world. He was an avid reader and a prolific writer,” Abu Ali, who knew Tommaleih since he was a student, said adding that he hopes that Tommaleih’s family would soon start reprinting his books that are now in demand as they were when he was alive. “There are no words to describe his words. He loved Jordan and he was loved by everyone, and I mean everyone.”

After my inquiry, Sami, another book kiosk owner, whipped out his mobile and called up his store so as to ask about books by Tommaleih. “Not a single copy. We have to re-order them,” he exclaimed before saying that many people have been asking for his books.

– Usually not suitable for the faint of heart but this post is okay –

The year 2048.

It was a rather surreal moment.

The aircraft slowed down until it was parallel to the alien vehicle. “It is now or never,” Midnight said to himself, as he rolled down the window before incessantly pressing, with the back of his palm, the horn. The leader of the alien aircraft adjusted his position in order to catch glimpse of the driver of the speeding vehicle that was now so close to his.

“Jama suity chewiebacca fala fel hom-ass. Kala wata wati tito teezak ya ghabi homara pota!” Midnight yelled as he flipped the birdie at the shocked alien, “and as we say in earth lingo: Screw you you idiot. Lose the license to ill and stop driving. Piece of shit specimen!”
Midnight then hastily pressed the TBNICOPAA (short for Turbo Booster Now In Case of Potential Alien Attack) hoping to disappear into the horizon, especially that the angry alien armed its aircraft weapons.

While some enjoy the warmth of their beds at 6:00 a.m. in the morning one man is always out there; roaming the badlands of Planet Jordania: Midnight V, the solitary asphalt-farer.

To be continued or not …