Ilhem Issaoui

Ilhem Issaoui is a 27-year-old Tunisian researcher and writer. Some of her poems and short stories have appeared both online and in print.She is also the author of a collection of poems entitled Fragments of a Wounded Soul.

On Hell

Hell is that black smock emerging from one’s eyes
Saddened choleric colours coming out of tubes
An artist can never be trusted with her own soul, her own hands, her own body
They are someone’s material
Someone’s brush and world, own world
When outside is eaten with boredom
And everyone is devouring someone else
The artist is aloof, devouring herself
Isn’t he the most benign and banal of all?

Here is the thing

The real thing
Everyone will like you
As long as you keep performing
With perfection
But only you know the pain within
That comes with the aspectabund form you have
You have been formed well to whelve that rancor
A rancor that 
That tingles
At times thorny 
At times an amarulent lump in the throat
They go chasing, chasing, chasing!
Your crooked and fleeting shadow
When it is snuffed out
They are doomed
On the stage of ill-famed mummery called life
You always knew you are alone
They deep down bring you the worst of all thoughts

On Functioning

how is one supposed to function
when thoughts moribund farragos 
inside the skull, the pulverulent, the deathly
you killed one, no you killed many
all is well, that feigns to be well
feigning is an art, to embrace when the light is dim dim dim
this is fleeting, perhaps aeonian, who knows
when you are old with the older 
noblesse oblige, you know 
but we are old before we are young
how is this even possible?
a friend is to slacken the appearance of furrows 
but I want none, I have never wanted any...friend 
I keep the furrows
when everyone is but a temporary cloying lie 
she feeds me sugar, day and night, it will happen 
inside the skull, I take them all, cloying lies, and bury them 
inside the skull, a heinous rat with voices that madden and deafen 
is confined inside a room
that has a window
outside the window, there are prying eyes of golems

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