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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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,
gibberish, beau geste.
Silence then the grassy plains
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
a deep-throated yawn
follows and all's
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."
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,”
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?"
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
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,
what I'd wanted,
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,
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.
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.
Pigs can’t fly.
Though The Simpsons put that theory to test.
The sun can’t rise in the west.
Unless astronauts who seen it do lie.
The stars cannot rearrange themselves in the sky.
But on this moving Earth, that is what I have seen.
The clock can’t strike thirteen.
But on my digital watch that's just irrelevant.
A mouse can’t eat an elephant.
Unless it's elephant-flavored cheese in a can.
A circle can’t have corners.
Well that's just bigotry—if it wants to, it certainly can!
Narcissus surfaced again,
this time his conscious rinsed
of the conceit of his own allure.
He reached for my hands, unconvinced
that I would help. I let him die,
and waited long enough, just to be sure.
In this world no other person
can exist more beautiful than I.
I dreamed of a glass teacup, doc,
filled with tears of baby crocs.
But soon the tears turned into rocks;
I puked them all, which looked like chalk,
Then woke up to my alarm clock....
Tell me, what does it all mean doc?
Young man, the teacup is your eye.
Those tears are yours, do not deny
it! No croc tears, that is a lie.
Swallowing tears is hard, that's why
they turned to rocks. As for chalk, I
think we've run out of time. Goodbye.