Radio Carbon shorts #12

The film poem Radio Carbon was premiered at the Renoir cinema in 2009 as part of the wonderful Zata Banks’‘s regular screenings, and at Port Eliot Festival in 2010.

The complete 27-minute film comprises 24 numbered sections, and may be viewed as a sequence of separate, interlocking filmpoems with recurring motifs.

For this winter, I have broken up the film into 24 parts and will be posting them day by day as we approach the winter solstice, in the style of an advent calendar. Each one is between 45 and 90 seconds each. So start your day with a few drops of imagery …

Here is the twelfth film poem, Simsimiyah


The setting is
the Zhargalal Café
in the Manaab quarter
of Port Said. Old men
of the parchment
hang from their pipes
and fill the known universe
with smoke. The look
of beautification
on the face of Magdi
the Egyptian as the smoke
clears, sweet tobacco
and Lebanese hashish
billowing from the holes
in his face like tusks
of silver wisdom,
the pearly web
of simsimiyah,
Pharoahonic lyre
of Port Said
unravelling its
spell in a café
by the Canal.
the smoke clearing
through time and tide
to a clear blue morning,
toothless mouths
yawning with laughter.


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