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

chip into the

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



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.

GuantánamoHafezJamal Khashoggimainstream mediaNSARumi

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