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


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.


Inline Feedbacks
View all comments