Hash and Gout

by qisasukhra

A new poem, حشيش ونقرس, by Yasser Abdel Latif (who doesn’t have gout) and which was published recently in أخبار الأدب here.

At night

I wish I could take my feet off with the socks:

Their toes, Achilles heels.

Thanks to gout

I’m reminded of the ant hordes

Once set loose through my veins

By Egyptian hash.

The doctor tells me: Don’t smoke it if it bothers you so.

I say: I love the fragrance of it; rolling the joints.

She says: So choose between the fragrance and your comfort.

Uric acid gathers in the blood

And much Urisolvine Effervescent must be taken

To break those tiny crystals down.

During one bout of hemp poisoning

Each crystal forming

Blew a lamp in the antique radio

And the Sitt’s voice faded into ether,


Like words traced with a finger

Through condensation on a pane.

While he dozes by a brimming ashtray

His feet crawl painfully away

And he chooses

Between his comfort and the fragrance

And sleeps.