osama-bin-laden-vecchioresized

The Replicant’s Lament

 

When they came to the village

we young men hid.

For fifteen years now

we had been at war

and some of us

were looking for a way out.

“Go to the Pakistani border

because Iran’s not safe.

Sneak inside a truck and maybe

you’ll make it through”.

Almost there, but the last

fifty feet, a road block:

laughing soldiers

peered inside and forced us out.

No, they wouldn’t take our

miserable bribes

One looked at me and mocked me

“Ehi! Good looking,

I think I know someone

who has a job for you!”

And my fate was sealed.

 

Yes, I was taken out of the country

and they groomed and trained

my shepherd ways out of my body.

Fancy barracks

New languages

Orders and high life

Like a Sultan I was to behave.

“Straighten your back!

Put fire in your eyes!

Your lip! Make it stiff

with pride and disdain!

Remember, you are not

some shepherd boy

from the village!

You are the future Caliph

himself!

Put some fierceness

in your eye, you stupid sheep!”

And day after day

for years

until I forgot my nature

but didn’t really know

my mission.

 

My beard grew gray

my cheek caved in

as my bites were counted

No wife, no family for me

I was just  the shadow, spare parts.

 

My mother long ago mourned my death

like that of the neighbor boy

crushed in the underside of a truck in Mestre

with his poems hidden on his body

protecting his soul.

My father figured I hadn’t

even crossed the mountains

I  was such a klutz

with my long skinny body

uncoordinated like a dancer

after an  opium fest.

 

And so the years passed

and I thought “What a waste

of my life and their money

When will death release me?

When suddenly the Captain

called me in to a have a little talk

“In appreciation for your long

years of service

your loyalty

and good nature

we have decided

to reward you

with a palace

and a new life.

No, you won’t be able

to leave the compound

And, yes, we’ll get you

a  woman, maybe three

two older and a young one,

your favorite

Hell, we’ll even throw in

some kids,

a real family life.

We believe in family values,

Don’t we all?

And you know, funny thing is

the young one

is even happy, we got her away from her village

and two brothers like hawks

that wouldn’t leave her side

we had to shoot them dead

 

But you know the rules

Your life is inside

You’ll have your slice of happiness

not too far from

your old place of birth.

We’ve fed you

we’ve housed you

you have known

no want

for all these years

Now one last effort

maybe in a while

you’ll be free.

 

So like the rich man I never met

but whose shadow I was to be

I had 500 dollars sewn inside my clothes

phone numbers in my pockets

and could even play

on a computer

though no internet

was allowed.

 

Days turned into weeks

weeks into months

months into years

in my barbed wire palace

and even got to joke

with the guards

they too from a village

but from the Pakistan side.

And then one night

suddenly

a bullet through my brain.

 

It turned out the one they had on ice

in the cryogenics facility in Emeryville

when they put a bullet

through his dead head

his  brain splattered in

an unnatural way

So it was no good for the pictures

and even worse for the funeral video

 

But me, I was fresh and natural

and splattered just right

for the whole world to see.

 

Too bad they had to dump me fast

with weights on my legs

like the prey of a Mafia hit man

hoping no whale would come by

and create a biblical incident.

 

I’m happy my mother still believes

I died embraced by our mountains

with a pine tree watching  over

my lanky boy body

a hawk circling over my unmarred  head

playing with my soul

Invisible to all.

 

Pina Piccolo, 4 May, 2011

 

L’ho intitolata “Il lamento del replicante” perché la scrivo dal punto di vista del poveraccio che probabilmente ha interpretato il ruolo di bin Laden nell’ultimo B-movie americano. Io me lo immagino come un ex-pastore afghano, fuggito dal villaggio circa 20 anni fa che, mentre cerca di arrivare in Pakistan nascosto in un camion viene fermato da dei soldati. Uno lo guarda e ride e dice “Bel giovanotto, penso di conoscere una persona che ha un lavoro per te”, e da allora il suo destino è deciso. Viene portato in un altro paese, lo addestrano, a forza di male parole gli fanno perdere la sua natura di pastorello, deve diventare, uno superbo, sicuro di sé, il futuro Califfo. Il poveraccio perde la sua natura, ma non sa la sua missione. I genitori lo piangono per morto, come l’altro ragazzino, figlio dei vicini, schiacciato sotto un camion a Mestre, con addosso le sue poesie. Il padre pensa che non sia stato nemmeno capace di superare le montagne, goffo com’e con i suoi arti lunghi e sgraziati, come un ballerino fatto di oppio. Dopo molti anni, viene convocato dal Capitano che gli annuncia, “Vista la tua fedeltà, il tuo buon carattere abbiamo deciso di offrirti un palazzo. Tu ci starai dentro, non potrai mai uscire, ma ti provvederemo 3 mogli, una delle quali giovane, diversi figli, perché crediamo nella famiglia. La moglie più giovane era pure contenta di lasciare il villaggio, ma abbiamo dovuto uccidere i due fratelli che come falchi non la lasciavano. Lì nel palazzo circondato da filo spinato, l’ex pastore fa una vita tranquilla, fa i giochini al computer pure se non ha Internet, perfino chiacchiera con le guardie, anche loro ex pastori, ma di un villaggio pachistano. Come a un riccone, all’ex pastore hanno cucito 500 dollari negli abiti e 2 numeri di telefono. Poi, improvvisamente una notte, gli sparano un colpo al cervello. Scopre che all’altro, quello conservato nel ghiaccio, nel laboratorio di criogenia di Emeryville (esiste veramente, non me lo sono inventato), quando gli hanno sparato un colpo alla testa, il cervello si era spappolato in maniera anormale e non andava bene per le foto e il video dei funerali, quindi hanno deciso di sparare il colpo a lui perché veniva meglio nelle riprese, e poi gli hanno legato dei pesi ai piedi e buttato in mare, sperando che da lì non passasse una balena a creare un incidente biblico. La poesia si conclude con le considerazioni dell’ex pastore che dice di essere contento che sua madre lo crede morto da ragazzo e sepolto sotto un pino, con i falchi che giocano con la sua anima, invisibile a tutti.