The decade starting in mid-1992 marks the most active period in my life as a poet. However, with the turn of the century, and as I turned my attention to political activism, blogging, journalism and policy analysis, the poetic muse seems to have abandoned me in protest. Indeed, my poetic output since 2002 has taken a rather dramatic tumble leaving The Voidman as my only work of poetry to be actually printed.
But The Voidman only included a small percentage of my poems. Soon, after it was printed, I turned my attention to those poems that were left out because they did not fit within its general framework. In time, I ended up creating a number of other volumes. One of them, Abel’s Confessions, was only published in mid-2014, as part of The Irreverent Activist. But the structure of the original poems was changed so that they could read more as poetic reflections than poems per se. Others volumes were compiled and shelved, either because I still had my doubt about their quality or their coherence.
One work, however, “An Oriental Tapestry,” seemed too “finished” to me to left completely unpublished. I had printed and circulated a draft version of it to friends, but the launch of my first personal website, Amarji, in 2002, gave me an opportunity to publish it online as well.
Today, and just as I have done with The Voidman and The Irreverent Activist, I am dedicating a special website to it, having only changed its title to the more appropriate “A Damascene Tapestry.”
There is dark and prophetic aspect to most of the poems published in Tapestry, so much so that in light of the current tragic developments in Syria, many readers may doubt that the poems were indeed written at the stated date, or they have not been “updated” somehow. Luckily, the indispensable website, archive.org has preserved many snapshots of Amarji where the poems can be found in their original form. The earliest snapshot dates back to December 6, 2002 and can be checked here. The only difference one can note is the addition of the poem: The Mount, which I have excluded from the collection at the time, because I had hoped to use it within the context of a novel on which I was working then.
More importantly, they were the dark insights breaking out of the folds of the Tapestry’s poems that have gradually turned me into an activist. They gave me a glimpse of the abyss and what I saw there left me no choice. I had to fight against my own prophecies.