Azam Obidov

Azam Obidov, Tashkent, Uzbekistan


AZAM ABIDOV (Aazam Abidov, A’zam Obid), poet, translator, short short story writer, cultural adviser, was born on November 8, 1974 in Namangan, city of flowers, Uzbekistan. He trained in philology. He has several books of poetry and translation to his credit, including Tunes of Asia (English translation of contemporary Uzbek poetry), The Island of Anxiety (poems in Uzbek, English and Spanish), Dream of Lightsome Dawns, A Miracle Is On the Way and I Leave You in Complete Boredom. He also translated some ghazals and epic poem (‘Farhod and Shirin’) by Alisher Navoi, father of Uzbek poetry, into English. Azam also translated novels and short stories by famous Uzbek writers such as Erkin A’zam, Evril Turon and Salomat Vafo into English. Azam’s poems have been translated into more than 20 languages and published worldwide. He was a Creative Writing Fellow at the University of Iowa in the U.S. (2004) and a writer-in-residence at LCB in Berlin (2017). He attended poetry festivals, creative writing workshops and cultural events in over 20 countries. In collaboration with Uzbek poet Bahrom Ruzimuhammad, Azam compiled two international poetry anthologies, Fish and Snake and The Language of the Birds, involving hundreds of contemporary poets from around the world. He is also a World Poetry Movement’s coordinator of poetry events in Uzbekistan, and one of the founders of Maysara literary and cultural club at the Yudakov and Oybek House-Museums in Tashkent. In 2018, Azam launched the first-ever Writer/Artist Residency Program in Uzbekistan for foreign authors and artists (http://azamabidov.uz/?cat=29). Azam lives in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

I wish I were gigantic

(I dedicate this poem to all innocent people killed and living in conflict zones, including in Nagorno-Karabakh.)

I wish I were gigantic,

Those who launch a war

Don’t tell me you are leading,

You laugh,

You watch,

Ignore,

You keep my soul bleeding.

I wish I were gigantic,

As big as Planet Earth,

I ain’t romantic,

I’m antique,

I’ve not sense of self-worth.

I let you call me villain

And stop my heavy breath.

So choke me! Then I fill in

With my body Planet Death!

I wish I were gigantic,

Comes after me Full Bliss,

I leave the world sans panic,

Sympathetic and in Peace!

I wish I were gigantic!

Oh, my blossoming soul

My strength is enough to shed tears from my eyes,

I tie up chains to my hands,

I always drink love

And eat love-pricks with great pleasure.

To our life that is mournful and brilliant

Phoenix comes asking refuge

We fly and to our wings

The sky comes near and near.

I don’t care of my body,

Oh, my blossoming soul is the capital of my spirit.

In the slum which is unseen and full of love

A pregnant Happiness bears a child.

There is a bird

I was told, that I’m a bird,

All the seasons fit me.

To know myself never I could,

To fly around wings to be.

However, do not sing for me,

So much of eulogy, don’t arrange.

There’s such a bird, you set it free,

But it flies back to the cage.

Please never say I’m like that bird!

Gabriel, touch me gently…

(Ghazal)

Gabriel, touch me gently with your wings,

Oh, my gracious - from the backstage - woe stings.

Graves are either gardens of endless delight

Or deep holes of the hell, where Evil flings.

I want to be a spot in hairs of the camel,

Like a leaf my life in windy weather swings.

The task of time is killing of all lavish gifts,

It never comes anew – life’s chimes – it never rings.

Among the dead, be the most attractive, Aazam,

As Solomon is the best of all earthy kings!

I am clay

I am clay –

Liquid and weak.

I have neither tongue

Nor mouth, to speak.

Everyone likes

To make some figure

From me,

To make a shape.

I am clay –

Liquid and weak.

I always go

Through palms.

I leak…

I leak…


Too long

We

strive to go to rich countries

send our husbands and wives

they do hard work

or sell themselves

The other people in this country

have luxurious weddings

from the sent money

and sing a song of happiness

We all work for the government

The tongue of the government is too long.

A bat and a man

A bat could smile,

Bear a child and breastfeed

and also menstruate.

The bat really wanted

to laugh and weep

like a human being.

So the bat summoned a man

In a market fair

For a feast

And have an affair.

The bat treated the man

With a piece of her flesh.

And now

The bat knows

how to laugh and weep.

Her laughing sounds

Like a mourning

Her weeping sounds

Like a laughter

And is heard and spread

All over the world.

The cursed friendship

Sparkles in the sun.

Farewell to earth

Where is your forehead,

Mother Earth?

My Facebook friend

From Vietnam

Is taking me to his

Space Station

He has built in his blissful childhood.

With the same creation,

The same flesh

And even the same God

We are not working enough

To promote

The Exchange of Love:

My tears cannot extinguish

Big fires in Australia,

I cannot keep breathing anymore

Because of dying humans,

Animals and birds all over.

My friend told me

I will be the first poet

In his station,

So I can take some fellows to join

From elsewhere,

Including from Iraq,

North Korea,

Iran and U.S.

To foster our poorest exchange

And be able to cast

The Shadow of Peace

Over you –

Mother Earth.

You deserved all

Wonderful things

Existence could offer!

But I don’t deserve you.

So where is your forehead?

I want to kiss and thank you,

And say good-bye.