July 1, 2012

Mostafa Nissabouri

Mostafa Nissabouri [Morocco]

Born in Casablaca, Morocco in 1943, Mostafa Nissabouri is a poet and short story writer. Although he began university studies, he had to abandon them for employment.

     In 1964 Nissabouri and Mohammed Khair-eddine published a major manifesto arguing for the rethinking and modernization of Moroccan poetry. He was one of the founders of the review Souffles, and also edited Integral. He is also a member of the House of Poetry in Morocco.

     His collections of poetry include Approche du désertique (Casablanca and Neuilly: Editions Al Manar, 1999). translated into English in 2001; La mille et deuxième nuit; and the chapbook Rupture et Aube.


Approach to the Desert Space, trans. by Guy Bennett (Los Angeles: Seeing Eyes Books, 2001)

from Approach to the Desert Space


The voyage during which topographies
deserted by their south
are reinvented
is first
an unfinished stretch of land
the presence adjoining
hypothetical regions
of runaway identity
on the verge of spilling out
into a new rectified interrogation

I alone am responsible
for the blank exegesis and the ash
beginning with an observed sky withdrawing
into the depths of pseudonymity

the shore established
from here to the mnemonic
when the moon
glows with dull light
of oracular bones
that in moonlight
statues up to their knees in water
parody periods of angel shortages

and beneath the precariousness of clouds
the entire constraint of the landscape
such as it fell
at the first flight
of suspended morning

—Translated from the French by Guy Bennett

English language translation ©2001 by Guy Bennett.

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