The pornography of mutilation ~

Original photo by Ali Tareq, reworked artwork by Isabel Ros López

Isabel Ros López wrote this poem on learning about  a boy, at the onset of the Iraq war, loosing his arms as a result of the indiscriminate bombing campaign which according to recent studies killed 1.2 million people. The poem highlights the pornographic nature of many photographs and other media which conveys pain and disaster whilst keeping silent about the reasons why the war was started and silent too about the voices of those affected, especially if they denounce these actions.


The pornography of mutilation

multiplies images

like an disgraceful mimeograph

“We blow your arms off, little boy

but now we are going to take you

to be fixed”

And to make sure everyone knows

“And my sisters and brothers

and my neighbours and my grandmother

my parents and the other

children of my old school?

I no longer have a school

I haven’t had a school for eight years …

At Lava’s house

we learn math sometimes

at Milad’s house

natural sciences and language

but from the skies

countless packaged deaths

keep falling

and it seems

that no one cares…

Who will fix all this?

Who will fix it?

Are they going to take

my whole country

to a hospital?

Of thirty hospitals

four function,

though not well…

Words escape me

to explain

to tell you … but I can’t

I don’t even want to now…

each word of mine is multiplied

each image of me 

a thousand times captured

everyone knows who I am

and I don’t know who anyone is

And those I knew…

are no longer.

Leave a Reply