Palestinian reading list #1: “Interpretations”
Barghouti is a fine poet, but perhaps is best known for his gorgeous memoir I Saw Ramallah. The book opens with Barghouti crossing the Allenby Bridge from Jordan into Palestine in 1996 after a long exile. I followed Barghouti’s footsteps across the same bridge last spring , and plan to begin my new book with that scene.
I had hoped to meet Mr. Barghouti during my last trip to Palestine. He lives in Amman now and I was all ready to cross the border just to speak to him. Alas, I wasn’t able to make it happen.
A poet sits in a coffee shop, writing.
The old lady
thinks he is writing a letter to his mother,
the young woman
thinks he is writing a letter to his girlfriend,
thinks he is drawing,
thinks he is considering a deal,
thinks he is writing a postcard,
thinks he is calculating his debts.
The secret policeman
walks, slowly, towards him.