Two Poems for Truth by Ammiel Alcalay

14 March, 2021

 


Jamal Khashoggi by  Daniel Baxter , 2018 (courtesy of the artist).

Jamal Khashog­gi by Daniel Bax­ter, 2018 (cour­tesy of the artist).

from the ongo­ing series, Impe­r­i­al Abhor­rences (& Oth­er Abominations)

 

 Ammiel Alcalay

 

                               Kashog­gi or Kashog-ji?

 

From an Amer­i­can per­spec­tive
per­haps the most notable thing

about the case of the Sau­di
jour­nal­ist was that for two

straight days, no mat­ter
where you turned, from

NPR to Fox or CNN
they all pronounced

his name Kashog-ji—
it was as if the NSA

had installed a
pro­nun­ci­a­tion

chip into the
col­lec­tive

mind of
the MSM


Trans­la­tion theory

  

Maybe some of these peo­ple who
think they can trans­late Hafez or
Rumi freely with­out even know­ing
the lan­guage ought to try work­ing
GITMO, like my friend Khaled,
where he could­n’t say a word
some­one else had­n’t already said

 

GuantánamoHafezJamal Khashoggimainstream mediaNSARumi

Poet, translator, critic and scholar Ammiel Alcalay is the author of the classic After Jews and Arabs: Remaking Levantine Culture, from the warring factions, the cairo notebooks and other works. His co-edited A Dove in Free Flight, poems by Faraj Bayrakdar will be out in 2021 from Upset Press, along with a new sequence of poems, Ghost Talk, from Pinsapo Press, and A Bibliography for After Jews and Arabs, from Punctum.

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