Divide and Rule
They have no maps. Ours, I’ll redraw.
Isn’t itself, their neck of the woods;
needs a rest – something more than a nap,
and less than death, though death wouldn’t hurt.
In Divide and Rule, Walid Bitar delivers a sequence of dramatic monologues, variations on the theme of power, each in rhymed quatrains. Though the pieces grow out of Bitar’s personal experiences over the last decade, both in North America and the Middle East, he is not primarily a confessional writer. His work might be called cubist, the perspectives constantly shifting, point followed by counterpoint, subtle phrase by savage outburst. Bitar’s enigmatic speakers are partially rational creatures, have some need to explain, and may succeed in partially explaining, but, in the end, communication and subterfuge are inseparable – must, so to speak, co-exist.
Praise for previous books by Walid Bitar:
‘The Empire’s Missing Links are found deep in this poet’s ever-astonishing states of multiple consciousness – astutely attuned to the pressured, violent, mass conformities forced upon us – brilliantly formed into poems as ambitious and achieved as any written in the English language today.’
– Lawrence Joseph, author of Into It