August 3– WAHHAB AL-BAYYATI
Urbane Iraqi left-communist writer, exile; he revolutionized modern Arabic poetry.
The dictator hides his disgraced face in the mud.
Now he is having a taste of his own medicine,
and the pillars of deception have collapsed,
his picture is now underfoot,
trampled by history’s worn shoes.
The deposed dictator is executed in exile,
another monster is crowned in the hapless homeland.
The hourglass restarts,
counting the breaths of the new dictator,
in the coffeehouse, the brothel,
in the nightclub, and the marketplace.
Read the rest of Bayyati’s poem The Dragon (with commentary).
August 3, 2009 HOLIDAYS AND FESTIVALS
*Feast of Caligo, mother of Chaos.
ALSO ON AUGUST 3 IN HISTORY…
1821 — Knights of Labor founder Uriah Stephens born, Cape May, New Jersey.
1922 — “The Wolf,” world’s first radio play, presented, Schenectady, New York.
1931 — Chicago eviction riots leave 3 dead; 60,000 march for anti-eviction laws.
1954 — French novelist Colette dies, Paris, France.
1971 — Golf… on the Moon!
1999 — Modernist Iraqi poet Abd-al Wahhab al-Bayyati dies in exile, Damascus.
Excerpted from The 2009 Autonomedia Calendar of Jubilee Saints: Radical Heroes for the New Millennium by James Koehnline and the Autonomedia Collective