travel blog morocco zellij tile nicholas andriani

Poet Alexander Bacchus on Morocco, Marrakech, Accepting Ones Faults, and Living Intentionally

Nicholas: I first met Alex doing research on a local variation of Darija. (Moroccan Arabic). We both managed to find ourselves in Fez, that day, sitting across from one another and, the moment I saw this cat I realized I found my foil, my nemesis. A sheep in Wolof’s clothing, so to speak, for this cat and I resemble one another down the the Ramani nose and the Obi-Wan Kenobi haircut. Same age, height, and, the exact inclination towards the writers life.

Seated across from from each other at Cafe Clock, both indulging in camel burgers and bowls of hummus, avocado milkshake in one hand, pencil in the other, smudging zataar lead and word. He was everything I was not, confident, published, and fluent. Myself the clumsy, hesitant, and unpublished half. But we hit it off, we doppelgängers, and ever since not a day goes by that we’re not volleying plots for novels, video games, or movies, pitching one another poems that he should write, or I should write. In fewer words, Alexander Bacchus completes me. My muse, my brother in ink. The starry guru that embodies the best of The Dude with a Bodhisattva, and a twist of Allen Ginsberg. This cat is where it’s at, and I hope you enjoy his work.

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Alexander Bacchus, lost and finding another sense of self, in the sprawl of Morocco’s imperial, mud-bricked city of Fez.

In Fez, I lost myself
Amidst a world that I thought I knew
What colors, the smells, oh that sound!
Were all so new, so fresh, so true

I thought I had seen it all
But this city proved me wrong
Narrow alleys, hidden souks
sensing in people, actually to, truly to, belong

What poverty, what wealth
what beauty, what pain
We marry ourselves, a dance
That seemed both wild and sane

I slither and charmers sway
I’m rising to the sound
Of flutes and drum, tasting spices in the air
With a mystic spell, lost, profound

Tasting these spices, lapping these teas
senses electric, senses ignite
Feel the warmth
That welcomed day, night

Walking streets, cobbled and smooth
Citadel, mudbrick walls that bound
This city theater with time
its secrets kept, but cats and scripts, underground

I felt the heat of the midday sun
And the chill of the desert night
And realized that life was more than
The things we thought were knew, right?

For here in Morocco, I learned
That truth is found in every place
In every soul that walks the earth
And every smile that lights a face

And though my heart may ache with longing
For a love so far away
I know that I will find a way,
To my heart, wherever I stay

For in this city, I remembered my soul
And saw the world outside in a different light
And though the journey continues
I know that everything will be

-Alexander Bacchus

What do you think? Not too bad. A little traditional for my blood, but there’s something of a poem in these lines.



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