a performance event about refugees

May 15 2004   the arts brewery    seattle                    click photos to enlarge


Come to me wherever you are
Whatever you have become
And return colour to my cheeks
And meaning to my being
Return and take me into your eyes
Take an olive branch
Take a verse from my tragedy
A toy
Take a stone from our house
So that our descendants
Will remember their way home

-- Mahmoud Darwish

death parting - sobbing fade possible
life parting - sad sad fade never

the land there, suffering, tells me nothing
friend since exiled there, now in my dreams appears
knows that i remember always

exile, prison trapped
but your wings grow, how?
you here, among the earth?... no?
your road, measuring impossible

your spirit here - woods green
your spirit gone - tall mountains dark

i sleep, moonset light wakes me
i blink, look for you (gone)
water rises, waves
drowning, give up, don't

-- Tu Fu


Tell them I admit it it doesn't exist
I will put up i don't care my skin as territory
this country is nothing no it's nothing there never was
this country doesn't happen
it's in a dream
mi boca se desangra
my mouth bleeds
no es nada it's nothing and it's all i have
if not where do i come from
if not from this asterisk
and this country doesn't exist
which why i'm a little dismayed

nevertheless i didn't invent the rain
no one can take that from me
it's the water that defines the border
this globe of light
this little ship miserable and loved
where the sky plummets in a waterfall
me importa un pito
yo nada tengo contra octubre
muy al contrario

i know there was no history
maybe they made fools of us behind our backs
a dirt road in a cloud a little orphan girl of the world

i'm so happy to say that our hero
the only one i can think of for certain
was moreno descalzo pobre campesino
para colmo era un chiquillo he was a kid
he fought against the yankees that's nothing new
i could kiss him

with so much soot stuck to the words
i want to cry and stitch up his wounds
this is done and consummated
we'll have this hero for a long time
damn it i want to see who can take him from me

this country isn't
and i could care less
i can take my own veins and string a kite
and i know it can't compare to a quarter in Paris
and these poor people
who make believe they are almost almost european
and look down their noses at the neighbors

if they only knew

finally i forgive los perdono
i ask forgiveness from my brothers and sisters
salvadorans nicas panamanians
people are innocent everywhere
the guilty higher up
are the pernicious class
we are clear about this

tell them i admit it it doesn't exist
nevertheless i didn't invent the rain
i know there was no history
meanwhile we are at the point of putting it all together
estoy un poco triste
i'm a little sad
i can donate my dress to make the sails
to love with an inexpressible love
this clump of air from where i came
i will put up i don't care my skin as territory
it's logical
that it's learned from loving loving loving until falling apart
this country
it's in a dream designated ours
over the face of the earth
no one dare pull me away
it is all i have
es todo cuanto tengo
plus this heart for seed
and damn it i want to see
with so much love
who dares to take it from me.

-- Ana Istaru



photos by Ken Dean, Rob Becke