PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Rebecca WattsThe Cult of the Noble Amateur
(PN Review 239)
Mark FordLetters And So It Goes
Letters from Young Mr Grace
(aka John Ashbery)

(PN Review 239)
Kei Millerthe Fat Black Woman
In Praise of the Fat Black Woman & Volume

(PN Review 241)
Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Next Issue Jen Schmitt on Ekphrasis Rachel Hadas on Text and Pandemic Kirsty Gunn Essaying two Jee Leong Koh Palinodes in the Voice of my Dead Father Maureen Mclane Correspondent Breeze
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
Monthly Carcanet Books
PN Review Blog

This report is taken from PN Review 167, Volume 32 Number 3, January - February 2006.

The Pigeon Wars of Damascus (5) Marius Kociejowski

5

Abed didn't show up at the agreed time. Whatever the vagaries of his nature, and they were multiple, at least he'd always kept his appointments. It was a point of honour with him and so, most unusually for this part of the world, where Arabic Time is at odds with World Time, he was always (if reluctantly) punctual. The morning light, it was true, was too harsh for him. This year, with my having no particular object in mind and also because he needed to rally himself, I'd let the sun reach its zenith before disturbing him. Abed required a less demanding régime. I wouldn't oblige him to translate, or pester him with enquiries, or drag him where he didn't want to be. The régime was, in fact, mostly his. Each evening, at the same restaurant, at the same hour, he always ordered the same - chicken and rice. Would you like to know the Arabic for chicken and rice? (Yes, it was the same eating-house, with the same menu and probably the same prices, although my petty crook of ten years before was nowhere in evidence.) Abed would always order a double portion of pick-les. And then he would eat half of mine. It was hard to disengage Abed from certain routines and even harder to get him onto productive ones. Our days were spent journeying, not as we had always done, over the mind's hills, plains and estuaries, ...


Searching, please wait... animated waiting image