The National Donkey
After each revolution, 
there appears a donkey.
A donkey to ride.
A donkey to (ab)use.
A donkey to talk about:
Loads of prologues,
loads of nonsensical dialogues,
but never a fruitful epilogue.
Only the endless tears of the martyrs’
mothers are still under the hooves
of a staggering donkey,
waiting for a big t[issue]
to wipe them out of their eyes.
N.B. The idea of this poem was born out of a famous slip of the tongue made
by a famous Tunisian personality during a conference about the national
dialogue in Tunisia. He used the word ‘donkey’ (which means ‘himar’ in Arabic)
instead of the word ‘dialogue’ (which means ‘hiwar’ in Arabic).
There Ain’t No Room

Nobody cares
about your 
true confessions
There ain’t 
no room 
for the marrow
of your 
There ain’t no room.
There ain’t no room.
for your ash.


About the author: Alii Znaidi lives in Redeyef, Tunisia, where he teaches English. He graduated with a BA in Anglo-American Studies in 2002 from the University of Sfax for the South.  He writes poetry and has an interest in literature, languages, and literary translation.  His work has appeared in various magazines and journals worldwide and has authored four poetry chapbooks. Links to his published and forthcoming works can be found at

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