LITERATURE

Palestinian People

(narrative poetry & poem)

'bumpyjonas…

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Photo by Levi Meir Clancy on Unsplash

he lives in palestine. texas. my
next door neighbor. he’s palestinian.
he has never been to palestine, the
country, the land, the place of so
much of the news. his name is george.
his last name is jones. he has lived in
palestine all of his life. he is american.
palestinian.

he don’t sing country
songs like “the” george jones
& did not have falafel until college.
he said his mother came to america
in 2003 from a place called ramallah.
she met a man in the states & they had
a child. him. her lover was named george
jones. he did play guitar though he wasn’t
famous. after he was born my neighbor’s

mother went home to visit family in
palestine & she was killed. george’s
father gave him up for adoption when he
got back to america. the adopted parents
changed his name. his name, once ahmad
mahmoud was suddenly george. george jones.
in honor of his father. the man who

helped bring him into the world. george of palestine.
who has never been to palestine. whose mother is
from palestine & was born there & was killed
there. george who also has lived all of his life in
palestine & is palestinian too though he does not
know what that means. he went to school
& church & boy scouts in palestine. he first got
kissed in palestine. he ran track in palestine. he
graduated from palestine high school in palestine.

CC SA BY 3.0

he first had beer in palestine. he played basketball,
soccer, football, & tennis for the first time in
palestine. he loves palestine. it is his home in america.
he once did a search for palestine online to learn more about
his city but his palestine did not pop up. a place called
palestine did pop up. & a place called gaza in palestine.

this was not his friendly small town in texas. this was a
terrible place. people got killed there everyday he read
& are getting killed just because they are palestinians.
no one ever told him about this palestine. & then he is told
by his adopted parents that this is where his mother was
killed. this invisible place of horror & love. though its
people are so invisible even their deaths are unseen.

george is glad he lives in this palestine. in texas. in america.
he even has a facebook site of him in his city. george is smiling.
it reads —

‘hello i am george of palestine. i love where i am from.’

he posted last week:

‘have you ever heard of this other place called palestine?
life there is terrible. my mother was killed there. the
people there are palestinians and they are being killed
just for who they are. thousands of children are dead
because they are palestinian. how can this be happening? no
one really knows what is happening?’

facebook took down george’s facebook site. they banned
george jones forever from facebook. george was very sad.
he was so sad he wrote a letter to ralph ellison. yes, that
ralph ellison:

dear ralph ellison. can you see me? i am made “of flesh & bone, fiber
& liquids.” my mother was born in palestine. i was born in palestine.
send me a text, ralph. tell me you can see me on facebook. twitter. X,
instagram. threads. spill. tik tok. somewhere, ralph, tell me i am
visible. tell me, i bleed, feel pain, cry, laugh, grow weary, ralph. i play

trumpet like you, ralph, in the school band. all i want is to be seen
ralph. i want people to say, there he is ahmad mahmoud whose name
is george jones now, not the country singer, just a man who is from
palestine & for the first time in his life he wants the world to know,
that being palestinian is a beautiful thing, & the whole world
should know that & everything else about this place called palestine.

& i am not talking about some city in texas.

This is a narrative poem that is fictional though based on conversations with actual people. Unless otherwise indicated, all the names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents in this book are either the product of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

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'bumpyjonas…

word scratcher, baller, shot caller, born in a city made of chocolate.