Monday, April 27, 2020

My Old Bedroom

My old bedroom, a rotten apple,
a museum for clouds, a long knife
made of torn cotton, an empty bus,
a Godless chapel.
My old bedroom, a door with no lock.
The window with a screen to keep out
monsters. A bed for nightmares.
A voice that cackles.
My old bedroom. Posters on the walls:
Wheels, cartoons, and words. On the floor, toys,
books, and pages of poems.
My soul in shackles.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020


One day you may touch what's wrong.
I've wrung my dreams out in verse.
Drip drop drip drop drip drop drip.
Grip strip trip—I saw a soul inside a hearse
singing of seasons past, a silent song.
Sat up, sweat pouring, gasping for air.
Sylvia, many a night, I've touched what's wrong
but woke grasping only the silvery air.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Some Nights I Fear Going to Sleep

I don't recall my dreams, at least
not the narrative: Saw a priest
wearing a cape, fluorescent green,
and warning me that West's now East.

Another dream: A vile disease;
it kills none but weakens the knees,
so people crawl along the streets
and weep sometimes and hug the trees.

Some nights I fear going to sleep;
stay up for hours just counting sheep.
My day's odd but I make it mean.
At night meaningless terrors creep. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

I die, until the subsequent morn.

Deeply thankful
for the curved edge
of countertops,
than those stovetop
kettles, homeworks
done, keys in place.
I’m the morning
rush: mismatched socks,
chewing fast, tense,
skimming the news,
checking the watch,
anguished rocking,
forgotten lunch...
and then I’m gone.
Silence. Silence.
The sun star throws a ring of saffron light
that cradles every heart and calms each soul.
At night, people return and later rest.
 I die, until the subsequent morn.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

May You Be Sunny

May you be sunny in this Christmas snow
And shine on me and help me brighten up;
As moon reflects the sun, so I, your glow.
Your face, my greatest gift; your smile, the bow. 

Saturday, August 10, 2019

That's What I Remembered

The fluttering feelers
of a fattened cockroach
beneath the sink....You say
traditional healers
still use their powdered flesh
when making facial masks.
That's what I remembered
now when kissing your face.

Sunday, May 12, 2019


An ox plows a hillside field
A farmer harvests wheat
A shepherd leads his sheep
And your ghost haunts my sleep.

Monday, April 29, 2019


Clip clop clip clop clip clop I hear
Goddess Maia approaching.  Oh,
It's time once more to change horses.
I bow and smile at Maia.  No,
April, allow me to kiss your
Glistening fingers, and let my
Tears vanish in your cool showers.
Sniff sniff goodbye goodbye goodbye.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Anger, My Love, Protector, Enemy

Anger, my love, protector, enemy:
Did you force yourself on me
or was it I who chose you
while blind drunk on my weakness,
wishing to replace my dread,
pain, guilt, shame, to stop feeling sad?
You, shielding me from the pain of abuse,
from malice, unpredictability,
neglect, incompetence, stupidity,
and universe's cool indifference.
When you take my hands to dance
the fire around your heart scorches my skin
and the ice at your center freezes mine.
How my heart burns! I sometimes
wonder if this is what love must feel like.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Sonnet IX (Bastardized)

Is it because you think you can, that you
engage in so much bow-chick-a-wow-wow
to bring to life another human who
is but a poorer version of you now?
A selfish, ugly, stupid, clumsy thing
that eats and sleeps and burps and pees and poops?
You think yours will become a queen, a king
who will some day rally a million troops
to war and win, a doctor, judge—what bull!
What you been smoking? Just listen to Will:
Homie, the world's already much too full,
what is the rush for having babies? Chill!
And when you do the nasty don't forget
I'd three of them and each one I regret.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Come Find Me

Wrote you a nameless note, said I love you.
Is that enough
for you to come find me?
Perfumed it with the scent of freshly picked
weeds and stale tears. I'm hiding,
will you one day soon come and find me?
Never sent you the letter. It'd said I'm lonely.
Crossed out very and always. Crossed out I. Then
Tore it. Burned it. Spread the ashes. I feel—
Won't you come and find me?
Was always good at hide-and-seek.
Once I hid myself so well even
I gave up trying to find me.
Like a shadow that has lost the sun,
a dream with the dreamer dead, an echo, a memory,
a place gone and a time past, a swamp—
if you are a river, flow this way sometime, find

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Summer, with You

My amour, I hear your sultry voice now
in the breeze over the wave-kissed hot sand,
in children's laughter, humming of the fans;
in the soft thud when sun-soaked trees untie
their gifts—cherries, peaches, mangoes, grapes—
and let the love-parched fingers of the ground
breathe them. My amour, I can hear the sound
of your footsteps nearing. But I feel blue:
Wish I could keep you, hold on to you—how
cruel you are! Won't you stay—say you do—
here a little longer this time around?
Or else, Summer, my love, take me with you.
Take me, take me, take me, with you. With you.
With you.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Poem as Empty Words of Love

We are dead words equipped with sounds,
like pretty mannequins with guns
propped up against the parapets
fake-protecting a fort called love
and not even knowing it. The
susurrus of silken kisses,
neck on neck, breast caressing breast,
naked, exposed, but not undressed,
dead words touching, promiscuous,
lips feverish—mellifluous
gibberish, beau geste.

Monday, April 22, 2019


Silence then the grassy plains
tremble as
a roar slits
the naked air
stares down the afternoon sun
Those eyes orange brown
indifferent beautiful tameless
innocent terribly so
The deep-chested giant growls its mane
moves wild about its head
its four-inches long
canines flash
a deep-throated yawn
follows and all's
silent again

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Soulless Creatures

The Space Needle from below looked so tall
I closed my eyes fearing it might fall
Washington, DC:
From behind the black fence
White House looked so imposing
I felt it was approaching
San Diego:
In San Diego zoo I watched a lion
in its enclosure
sick or sleeping doing nothing
then finally a yawn
Las Vegas:
At Palms the Demon With Bowl
bent down with a terrible cracking
and I stepped into the yawning hole
where its head had been and I let go
into the darkness of its soul.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

So Weird

I was thinking about a recent breakup, feeling
gloomy, drinking coffee, leaning back on my chair,
but my mind began to wander
when I heard a young man swearing, shouting,
"Where my people's at?" They said nothing.
Nothing, I thought, nothing....
"My people humble people who expect nothing."
"Nothing gold can stay." "The lover is crying cause the other won't stay."
"So dry your tears I say."
"No, woman, no cry."
"The woman is perfected." "Her dead."
"Let me die a youngman's death." I heard
now the young man's people laughing, one saying, "Why
you copyin' my style? Dude, you're so weird."

Thursday, April 18, 2019


As I came in and quietly sat
Beside her Persian cat,
Chloe walked in, glared at me, remarked,
-Did you know the cat once barked?
-Even gobbled, clucked, and mooed?
“Few times,” I played along, not wanting to be rude.
-Good, you still remember how to lie.
Have you ever wanted to but felt ashamed to cry?
I did.  I swallowed hard and then whispered, “Okay,
Just what exactly you trying to say?”
-Kindly go back to your selfish life.
-Lowly men like you never deserved a wife.
Men like me? I wanted to object.
No, I wanted to demand respect.
Oh, how small and stupid I felt.
Please God, I thought, let me just melt.
-Quiet suddenly, no retorts like old times?
“Reminding me yet again,” I said, “of old crimes?
Seven years have passed,
This pain, trust me, will always last
Until I have fully paid
Victims I have betrayed.
Why do you think I’m still alone?
X’s all over my life. I feel in every bone
You and the kids and everyone else I’ve caused pain.
Zing me, fine, but don't think I'll ever be free of my own chain,”

Sunday, April 14, 2019

A Mistake

Yew rote
aye halve maid
"a mistake."
Butt yew mussed
byte you're tung.
Eye'm nut

Saturday, April 13, 2019

The Magician

We laughed
When right away he pulled a rabbit out of his hat,
when he pretended to saw a stranger in half,
made disappear my friend Mathew Graff,
when he mimed eating a distressed fat rat,
fire and drank blood-red wine and became a bat,
swallowed a sword and threw up a cat,
then flew away on a winged giraffe.
Now I no longer heard anybody laugh.
Then a man came in, as we had begun to nervously chat,
and said "I'm the magician." We shouted, "So who was that?"

Friday, April 12, 2019

My Black Mug

My black mug sits on the table, watching me,
holds my drink, my cold water and hot tea,
my coke, milk, and coffee.
My humble mug: Silent, patient, loyal, lovely.
Fit for a king or queen.  For heaven.  To hold the sea,
the air, the creation.  You will always be
an anchor in my life, the hero behind the scenes, the kindly
soul who offers to feed the need in me. 
My ceramic wrinkled with cracks, filled with memory,
of touch and trust, you are as real as any
other meaningful reality.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Disconnected I

One I was born, raised, in Tehran.  So long ago.
Another I resides here in Vancouver, haunts
the woods and taverns, coffee shops and seasides, wants
to know
the scent of scentless tulips, sounds of dusty streets, the taste of fumes
that shroud Tehran—the foreign smoke that covers crowds and cars.
To know the empty rooms
that one assumes
perhaps contain some hints.  What was
or could become, I'll never know,
but it is time something connects—something resumes. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Red, Blue, Purple, Brown, Yellow, Light

First it was bright red, like the red rose
he gave me with a kiss on our first date.
Two days later it turned blue
as his eyes, a blue
so cold as arctic air blows.
One morning it changed anew
to purple, a painful purple, purple-black.
That’s when I cried recalling his attack,
and my bones shook.  You low of the lows!
Who said you have the right to abuse
another human being? I don't hate
you—I said in the mirror when the bruise
had turned brown and yellow.  I choose
a life of self-respect now, but you, you lose—
I repeated in my head when the bruise healed late
one evening at last.  You lose because you chose hate.
You lose because you pushed me and I fell, but I‘m back
up, reborn under a rainbow of light. Life is good. I am great.

Monday, April 1, 2019


Please do not move, you hear? Stay there
while I move
these boxes of white paper home, said the stranger.
Under the yellow streetlight,
and surrounded by a thickening fog
descending so late at night,
with my back against the idling flatbed truck
I heard some cardboard box bark.
Which one—and did it bark?
Under the disapproving yellow light,
and unwelcome touches of a philandering fog,
I heard barks again and felt boxes crawl
toward me. Or was it my fingers
crawling toward them? But did I not hear howls?
—Stay there while I move, barked the stranger,
this last box. Stay, stay there, there, the stranger said,
pointing to the revving flatbed.
But did I not hear labored breathing, a coughing dog
or dogs? Did I not reach into a box there,
tongues licking my fingers?
Dozens of puppies, one sick, some sick, some dead,
boxes swollen with sounds, with woof, woof—
Do not move! said the stranger.
Boxes in search of something, something other,
maybe a hero, a savior. Only white papers,
barked the familiar stranger.
But if not barking then what was it the boxes said?

Friday, March 8, 2019

Sighs and Shouts

Sighs folded up in fogs,
shouts in shawls made of flesh.
The world's a feline's eye.
Chatoyant! Chatoyant!

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Houses Lined Up

Houses lined up Like gray
military recruits.
Entering each garden
—where no flowers or fruits can grow—
I then survey
the soil and dig for roots.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018


Tonight I admit this without shame:
I am afraid of death, afraid of dying—
as painless as the latter may be,
and as unconscious the first—
because it's lonelier than lonely,
because—oh what's the use of an outburst?
Its reflection on a tall building...
I see the moon drink it all in.
The moon does not look at me.
But look, I have a name,
remember it please, tell them the sea
and the ocean used to pour into me,
tell them I became
what the universe wanted me to be,
but not
what I'd wanted,
I'd wanted.
Remember that.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018


The lady of the hour
looms up wrapped in whispers—
security officers standing by her sides.
The wild honey of her eyes
inside a hive of scars….
We're very happy
that you're alive,
unconvincingly utters
a voice that’s become
familiar to me.
Much later the voice pours
like lava on a red poppy:
She fails in everything, no?
Oh, how her face is disfigured!
If I were her, I'd rather die!
Something in me thinks,
people can die
even while still alive.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

To Think

I stroke your skin.  I'm not Hamlet.
I'm harmless.  Like the final rest.
Look here, my heart has nails in it.
They stop the bleeding.  Oft I sing
So that I've no time left to think.

Friday, July 6, 2018

What Is Dog?

What is dog?  Darkness that howls at alien sights.
What is dog?  Foolish dark made of bones and eyes.
What is dog?  What looks dog, acts dog, speaks dog.
What is dog—if there is no God?
What is dog?  Dark inside light.
Death is an acquired taste and I still wait
For mirrors that do not work.
And yet I've seen love as of late
Reflected.  I've seen love take another form.

Myriad Dreams

In my dreams Plato practices Pilates.
Nietzche eats cheddar cheese with Chinese chai tea.
Heidegger's a haggard egghead who's hungry.
Kant can count in Catalan and Cantonese.