Virus Writing, a Poem by Kamran Mir Hazar

A poem by Kamran Mir Hazar
1. 
Writing viruses
And electronic labyrinths
With a blackout and no computer
In a rented house, at seven thousand a month;
Kabul, the capital!
What silly poem is this?

You ask yourself, is poetry the same lonely words
    that wander in electronic corridors,
Cut off from their existence,
Thrown away, with no choice but to become a poem?
You watch imagination wandering through paths, over
    the paths,
You throw the leash at yet another word,
Trying to subdue this wild one,
And if you fail,
You stop functioning,
Like a crashed computer.

2.
 There was someone, someone who wrote viruses
On a diesel-powered laptop
Looking for URLs and
An anonymous mail would be sent
Connecting you to a site, infected;
“I am from Florida, the USA, and 23 years of age,
Looking for someone to follow the link, and
    make happy”;
To open the mail and to make someone happy?
First, stop the programs;
Passing through security, typing 97, 98, 99,
Approaching the death of romance between zero
    and one.

A virus-writer drank half a beer bottle at once;
Then, computer deaths;
First to the east of Paris, a house,
Australia, three minutes more,
A man is waiting out the last minutes of
    an office shift
Needs to get home;
A party is starting in half an hour;
The Philippines, minutes later,
A 19-year-old girl
In a chat room,
Showing off a used body;
In Egypt, more or less the same time,
And the next morning, Kabul.

3.
You, and you, also you,
Yes, you and also you,
You are all arrested!

4.
 They tell me, stop writing!
You write and we’ll show you Guantanamo
    at home,
You write, we’ll kill you.
Kabul, summer of ’07
Hands in handcuffs, feet tied up;
This is Afghanistan, and this here where it is
    going,
Dead bodies over dead bodies.
The poem has no choice but to stop writing
    itself.
This is prison.

5.
 They asked a Kabul sparrow
Just what is mankind up to?
The sparrow considered this and died!

Translated by Nushin Arbabzadah (with slight modifications)
Publisher: First published on PIW, 2010

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