Najwan Darwish - FABRICATIONS

The whole story is a fabrication.
I never believed you had been slaughtered, that your blood flowed all the way to the Mediterranean and the sea drank you up.
I’m sure the whole story is a fabrication:
Merriam Kershenbaum[1] and Shlomo Ganor[2]
every night on Israeli TV
Al-Jazeera and al-Hurra and al-Arabiyya
put them together: al-jazeera al-arabiyya al-hurra
(“the free Arabian peninsula”)
Merriam Kershenbaum and Shlomo Ganor
fabrications, I’m sure
And I’m sure the bills, too, are all fabrications—
who put them in my mailbox?
The family name in three languages
is also a fabrication
and so is this woman who loves me by email

Haifa is a fabrication, so I never go out to the streets, but content myself by casting sideways glances at the sea from my window.

Our friendship was on account of no one, and no one took pains to fabricate it, so it remained true. Wait, I forgot—all truths are fabrications. That’s why, yesterday, I let myself go and shared arrack, apples, nuts, and other things with you.

There’s no pressure on me, and it does not tear me apart to watch them steal our country. For theft, too, is a fabrication, as are the checkpoints. And the soldiers are mere children pissing on themselves. And the elderly Greek Orthodox women crossing the Bethlehem Checkpoint this morning were all fabrications. “In the name of the Cross,” they say, but it sounds like a fabrication.

Good Friday has been fabricated, and so have the Byzantine melodies in the Maronite Church in Nazareth.
My enemies are fabrications. And my relatives—the peak of fabrication.
Hell is a fabrication, but Heaven was fabricated with more malevolence and skill.
(Fuck, is Fairuz[3]’s voice a fabrication as well?)

I’m not plagued by nightmares; these nightmares are fabrications. My biological clock isn’t ticking, I have no quarrels with the sun, and I did not inherit any genetic disorders…. Those labels are all fabrications.

I, too, a fabrication. Not only because I am, but because all pronouns are fabrications.

I don’t hate collaborators. Look—I can watch their broadcasts without throwing up.

I’m not afraid of the alarm clock or AIDS or nuclear weapons. I don’t fear the doorbell or the telephone. The world will not end tomorrow…. All those stories are fabrications.

I’m tired of twenty-first-century romanticism—mixed with consumerist shit from all social classes. You’ve got to get your hands dirty if you want to live.
That theory, too, is a fabrication.

Praise and rejoice: the boxes of defeat stored under your ancestors’ beds are all fabrications. All these years you’ve been mourning the loss of your country. Shame on you: loss is a fabrication. A big lie penned by those who stole your existence.
Miryam Kirschenbaum, Shlomo Ghanour,
Al-Arabiyya, al-Hurra, al-Jazeera,
and that leper holding the remote control.

Roaches and collaborators are gentle creatures: look at the kindness of the one, look at the tenderness of the other’s ugly face. Our stereotypes of them, our notions of their vileness, are fabrications.

Dignified men sit in the living room and listen to The Voice of Israel. Respectable women make tabbouleh and think of how the future will be once our honor’s buried. Don’t worry: all of them are fabrications.

We cannot respect the few trees in front of our homes if we leave the mountains to those who set up snares in our sleep.

On April 22, 1948, Haifa fell—that history is a fabrication.

On December 8, 1917, a few effendis held up a white flag, and a picture was taken as they surrendered Jerusalem. That really happened, but the picture was fabricated; for you can, at any time, gather up a few effendis, ask them to hold a white flag in front of the Jaffa Gate, and then snap a picture.

It’s 11:30 in the morning on April 1, 2010. Everyone’s slept and woken up again, but I haven’t gone to bed yet. The pillows are fabrications. In two weeks I’ll go to Beirut; but the visa, an insurmountable obstacle, is a fabrication.
Our Lady of Lebanon, pray for us (though your prayers are fabrications).

I go to sleep a little while later. My spitfire friend is taking the bus soon—she’s coming from Nazareth. The Hebrew words hover around her like flies—she thinks the enemy’s language is a corpse. So I tell her, “Your ideology’s a fabrication: the enemy’s language is a robot with no sex.” And she laughs that fabricated spitfire laugh of hers. Our sides split. We will not die, Lord. We’ll race on into eternity, our sandals clopping away behind us.
Eternity is a fabrication.
All that has come before is a fabrication, and all that will come after.
And all beings raise their arms like trees now in this fabricated poem.

[1] An Israeli TV producer.
[2] A nightly news moderator on Israeli TV. His broadcasts would appear in Arabic.
[3] (b. 1935). A Lebanese singer and one of the most famous singers in the entire Arab world.