Poetry | ‘Domestication’ by Tabish Nawaz | Issue 41 (May, 2021)


Bumping into each other
after a hiatus, we realized
how tamed now
the menagerie is within us
our goats no longer graze our hearts
the birds have flown out of our eyes
the foxes no longer think
the tigers chew the leaves from our hands
even our critters sleep peacefully at night.
We wonder how wild
everyone was back then – pang-ridden, hungry
devouring our timid selves.

(The poet dedicates the poem to Wislawa Szymborska)

Tabish teaches Environmental Science and Engineering at IIT Bombay. He has recently published his first short story collection Opening Clouds, Fermented Rain (Hawakal). His poems, essays and short stories have been published in The Critical Flame, Shimmer Spring Anthology, Ethos Literary Journal, The Punch Magazine, The Conversation, Indian Review, The Bangalore Review, Flash Fiction Magazine among other venues.

Poetry | Two Poems by Sam Cheuk | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

from a forthcoming collection on Hong Kong protests and their aftermath titled Postscripts from a City Burning to be published by Palimpsest Press in Oct 2021.

Nov 16, 2019

I used to be a teacher.
What am I to say
when a student responds,
after confessing I am
too chicken shit to stay,
“We’ll fight for all of us”?

They announce their names,
yelling “I will not kill myself”
while being dragged away,
in case their name is mistaken
for one fallen by mistake.

The student is still
messaging me via
an encrypted app, assuring
he’s safe for my sake.

If you were to die,
don’t die for my sake.
Die of old age, one
neither of us can envision;
die for love, die of earned
sadness, sickness, but
not this, not for this,
not now, wait it out
till my parents die,
till I die, stay.

Nov 27, 2019 (2)

Document the brief life I have
had with you. Note the contours
of my clavicles, times when I chortle
at your jokes, days when I retreat
into myself, looking for answers.

I haven’t found none, time better
spent with you, but I had to look,
to find someone worth your time.
We haven’t got much left.

This is what I will remember:
your outtie belly button,
your rehearsed fury at the waiter
the time when the food ran late,
knives and forks suspended in the air.
The way you snickered beneath
the orange-lit alleyway, taking off
your respirator to win a dare. ‘Twas fun.

Before we grow up into others,
remember our pulsing hearts
pressed against each other’s,
palm to palm. We were young.
Let’s not forget our errors.

Sam Cheuk is a Hong Kong-born Canadian poet and author of Love Figures (Insomniac Press, 2011), Deus et Machina (Baseline Press, 2017) and the upcoming collection Postscripts from a City Burning (Palimpsest Press, 2021) on the 2019 protests in Hong Kong and their aftermath. He holds an MFA in creative writing from New York University and BA in English literature from University of Toronto. He is currently working on the second half of the diptych, tentatively titled Marginalia, that examines the function, execution, and generative potential behind censorship. #香港人加油 #StandWithHongKong #MilkTeaAlliance

Poetry | ‘Front Camera’ by Sharvani H S | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Front Camera

The ceramic crown on your upper molar
Behind creamish, crooked enamel
Hidden by a pout.

Rounder, shorter noses
That flare and protrude
Like it’s not your business.

The common blackish brownish iris
Melanin flavour not in season,
Not seen as anything worth seeing into.

Ears are the same of course,
Nothing special, nothing unusual.
It’s not an Egyptian point of view.

Double chin. Double chin.
Hide it by raising or angling.
Pretend you’re a swan.

Shoulders are flexible things,
Hunched, straight, tensed, dropped
All purpose support, free of charge.

Then – Uh Oh. It’s adult content.
NSFW warning! Blurry stuff ahead.
Dim the screen brightness.

You turned. Why?

I see an arm. Strong
covered in layers. A wide canvas
to fill with an imaginative identity.

Then the mountain peaks are visible
The summit looks interesting
Why are you crossing your arms?

Then the smaller hills. Bounded
by ridges and valleys. An occasional plateau
whose altitude keeps changing.

Some terrain is hard to define
With irregularities, non-standard measurements
Harder still to live with and love.

Ok. I’ll stop now.
You can stop squirming.
The rest will remain hidden.

But you missed out on a lot.
A lush forest that hides a beautiful waterfall
That frequently causes floods unfortunately.

Nevermind. It’s all there for another time.
It was always all there as is, you know.
Just explore a little
by switching off.

Sharvani is an engineer living and working in Bangalore. She has been writing since school and hopes to become better at it soon. Her work has appeared in a few online journals like Enchanting VersesKrityaSpark and once in print in Reading Hour.

Poetry | ‘Reprise: A Confession’ by Molly Zhu | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

Reprise: A Confession

Amir, I bet you don’t even remember this, but
I do. The day you told me you were a Muslim, we
were in the fourth grade and (forgive me) I was young
I didn’t know how to decipher the mass of your words quite
like I do now. I gashed the air around you with my tongue –
I delivered my disgust.
Light drained from your cheeks and the damage I had left
blotched in your skin.
(Suffice it to say) I am sorry now, as I was sorry then,
only seconds later, I immediately wished
I could take it all back, stuff a foam mattress once more into its
vacuum-sealed plastic casing, fish the sun from the Rubicon
and pull it back to sheltered earth.
(Of course, I could not do this).

Amir, I too, am a pawn in a poisoned America. I drink
from the groundwater where the hatred runs off to,
it swells under our homes and our gardens,
in our capillaries, in our swallowing throats.
Then it slinks out from the bottoms of our voices and back
into the air. So, I drink
the morality of the 24-hour news cycle
rolling on a whining hamster wheel, it
blares from the TV, the radio, I look up to what the
men in pressed suits are telling me, to what my parents tell me
in hushed tones whispering into cups of green tea,
I take what is dispatched to me, and
I dispatch that back to you… though sometimes,
(I tell myself) sometimes, I think twice.

Amir, I don’t know if you even think of me or that day,
here I am trying to answer to you, answer to me:
outlier or harbinger? I’m sorry. By the way,
I’m not like that now,
I’m not like that now.

Molly is a new poet and she lives in Brooklyn, New York. For her day job, she is a corporate attorney and in her free time, she loves thinking about words and reading and eating. She has previously published in the Rising Phoenix Review, the Ghost City Press, and 805 Lit + Art. Her work is forthcoming in Uppagus. You can find her on Instagram at: @mlz316.

Poetry | ‘Baldness’ by Romi Jain | Issue 41 (May, 2021)



Baldness defies adornment –

in its embrace of candidness:

whiffs of winds, gush of waters, torments of aversion

fall flat,

when in detesting artifice,

in the unembellished landscape of pride and self-esteem,  

boldness of pores prevail.

Romi Jain is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of British Columbia, Canada. She earned her PhD in education policy studies from Cleveland State University, Ohio, and her MBA from San Francisco State University, California. Her poems have appeared in literary journals such as Off the Coast (Maine, USA), Penwood Review (California, USA), Transition (Canada), Journal of Poetry Society (India), The Tower Journal, Touch: The Journal of Healing, and Munyori Literary Journal, and in international anthologies such as Veils, Halos and Shackles (edited by Charles Fishman), San Diego Poetry AnnualFamily Matters (India)and Poems from Conflicted Hearts. Jain’s poem “India: From the Lens of History” appeared in Harvard Asia Quarterly (Summer 2014), Harvard University Asia Center. Her creative works include The Storm Within (2008; 2011), Poetry! You Resurrect Me (2011) and Voices of Rocks in the Dusk (2012)

Poetry | ‘Kong’ & ‘The View’ by Theophilus Kwek | Issue 41 (May, 2021)


i.m. Emile Czaja aka ‘King Kong’
(b. Hungary, 1909; d. Singapore, 1970)

They called him King. Other names came later –
Samson, Hercules – but this one stuck, a name
he could twirl overhead as the crowd cheered,
one with its own weight class. No longer Emile,
they trembled at the thud as he took the stage,
made short work of the others (Tiger Ahmad,
Gorilla Wong…), the whole Great World rising
to their feet. Even Wildcat Hassan, who in ’47
had gone up against the star of the British base
was no match: everyone knew the ring belonged
to the boy from Budapest with the brazen hands.
Backstage, another world was being formed
in the sharp shadows of those stadium lamps,
each lock and throw an echo of the long night’s
hold, slipping surely into morning. By the time
he wound up at si-pai-por, pulled from a car’s
steel grip, his own gnarled fingers loosening,
the realm he knew had ceded title to another.
A clean flip, it happened right before his eyes.
Years later they said they hadn’t seen it coming.

The View
National Day, Singapore

Somewhere a flag is torn from its plastic.
A child ties the strings to a window-grille
and a blood shadow falls across the room.

There is red over everything. The chairs,
which were always beige, and also the floor
which is marble, and washes easily.

Even on television, the men seem
to redden as they troop into sight. Nothing
escapes. Close your eyes, and the darkness

takes on a pinkish hue, which gathers from
the sides like a flood. It’s hard to see now,
with all this red (that is, if you were one

to celebrate the view before), harder
to imagine how the room could have been
with its softer colours meant to set off

the coastal light. I think of it sometimes –
the low carved table, worn coffee-mugs, and
out our open doorway, the corridor.

Theophilus Kwek has published four collections of poetry, two of which were shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize. His poems, essays and translations have appeared in The Guardian, Times Literary Supplement, The London Magazine, and Mekong Review, among other publications. He serves as Poetry Editor of the Asian Books Blog, and his most recent collection, Moving House, is published by Carcanet Press in the UK.   

Poetry | ‘For Shahid Azmi’ & ‘Valentine’s’ by Iqra Khan | Issue 41 (May, 2021)

For Shahid Azmi

Those startling blue and yellow sheets
Of tarpaulins and toil;
They still appear like azure seas
And mildewed limestone walls still tease
The nostrils. Deonar glaciates
Under time and the cold
Disdain of Bandra-Worli. Still,
The wastelands swell beside your world,
And clammy moons on methane wane.
The only thing that’s changing here
Is this: beneath a spiteful sun,
From a poisonous ground
The children bloom
Into thorns in the mightiest sides.

Your people wake
With you, their morning star.


On February the 14th,
The internet drips with Urdu
And its syrupy tropes
For romance.

The language of love,
With its endless supply
Of affection
Blooming in letters
Like lilies
Draped in syllables
Of gossamer.

Mohabbat. Mehboob. Jaan-e-jahaan–
Love. Beloved. Life of the world.

14 lives of the world
In which lived
Bilkis Yakoob Rasool.

Akhlaq, Asgari’s beloved,
Haunted memory.

49 brothers in Yogi’s kingdom;
Was not theirs to have,
Eternal struggle,
Their only bequest.

But you,
Your unencumbered mohabbat,
Your caste-blessed mehboobs,
Will never speak,
The impossible consonants
Of this language
That make your tongues limp
And your throats convulse.

ﺥKhe for khoon,
Our cheapening blood,
ﺥ Khe for Khudaya,
Our unheard prayers.

ﻖQaaf for qatl,
Slaughtered sunbirds.

ﻍGhayn for ghaayab,
Fading friends,
Forgotten Najeeb.

Mohabbat without justice
Is oblivion,

So send no roses
To this gloom.
Here, is a graveyard
Where poppies bloom.

Iqra Khan is a law graduate from Gujarat National Law University, TEDx speaker and bilingual poet, who writes in Urdu and English. She hails from Bhopal, India, and her work is centered around social justice issues in her community and country.

Iranian Edition (Vol II) | Poetry by Rosa Jamali | Issue 40 (2021)

By Rosa Jamali

I’ve turned to an annual plant, shielded and armed, from the genus of hollyhocks
and broad leaves
Whole five-thousand-year history is turning over my head
It was the moment that you were buried with no shroud
And I’m the weeds and icicles of this land, 
Had been climbing over the flames, it was a black ladder, burning my sole feet
It was the moment that I had chopped my heart, you had sucked my blood in
that woundless bowl
Had been growing like a wildflower, had been living for millions of years
In Syriac over my body:
Nail-shaped herbs had written some letters.
I’m the genius of thorns with wounded heels of thousands of miles travelling in
the oasis
My blistered feet, weary and my parched lips
Shattered by the mountain ranges I had been fighting with my claws
My roots are extended with the fluent liquid in the vessels
Lilacs had grown over my arms and now I’ve turned to the ivy as if burning in the
I left my name on the land I stepped, …
And who’s this weeping human child, lamenting two thousand years in my arms?
Still weeping?! Always weeping?!

I’ve been raising this child for six thousand years
I’ve grown this Persian hero to send him to the battlefield
Breastfed him
And he has grown out of my eyes
This extreme light which has blinded me…

Cyber War
By Rosa Jamali

All Diplomatic ties are frozen
Though we have always welcomed all sides
This Persian Jaguar is going extinct
And we need a cyber co-existence
The Laleh Park is our Public Zoo
We have been pre-occupied by cats
Good news,
The population is rising!
Let’s go on a pilgrimage!
First you knock at the door
Then you vote
The officials are dinning
knock, knock
Time for chocolate cake!
The Unofficials are protesting all over the world
Making too much fuss!
Oh, my Dearest Cyber Army
Dearest Soldiers of my Land
The Republic has turned to a cyber space!
There is no oil
No oil
And we should rely on Solar Energy
Oh our human resources!
Heavenly Cosmic Energy
Nuclear Energy
There is no barrel of oil,
And oil is over!
Neither global warming
Nor a geopolitical force
It’s money laundering
And land grab
And Vegan Life
Green Life
The sea has leveled
Oooo we are getting close
And closer
To the cosmic forces!
You are direction-wise
Welcome to The Republic
No Solution is a Time Zone.

Chess-like City, Tehran
By Rosa Jamali

You see the city in my veins fast asleep
Like the obscure web over my brain
As if destroyed by the fragments of my memory.
In the morning things were perfect
Just a watchdog, which is penetrating incessantly into the eyelids
Things for sure were perfect in the morning.
Signals, signals, and parasites bombarded the satellite TV!
Like a white sheet, stagnant on the washing hanging
Still, things are perfect,
Waves moving around me;
This wretched scorching hot sultry weather
I’m the only driver turning into the highways
Railings like parallel lines keeping us all together
Is the turning forever?
Lack of iron and minerals,
Mercury as fast as death is shadowing the table frame now
Temperature’s just dropped!
Tehran is the city in my veins fast asleep!
Railings are putting us into sleep
The ruins of the city have been left over the frame.
Done with your breakfast?
Shall we exit from the right?
The prism, turning and turning into the wind
As if our torn-up parched lips and the garments in the whirlwind
By watching I feel pins and needles in my arms
The chessboard you made
With all its dead bodies,
Surfing over the waters and waters of the metropolis!

Rosa Jamali (b. 1977) is an Iranian poet based out of Tehran. She’s got an MA degree from Tehran University in English Literature, and is the author of six collections of poetry in Persian, a play, various scholarly articles and is the translator of an anthology of English Poetry in Persian.

Her first book, titled This Dead Body Is Not an Apple, It Is Either a Cucumber or a Pear, was published in 1997. Critics credit this collection with opening new landscapes and possibilities for contemporary Persian poetry.

Iranian Edition (Vol II) | Poetry by Mohsen Emadi | Issue 40 (2021)

Ash Sonata
By Mohsen Emadi, Translated by Lyn Coffin

A stranger always carries
his home in his arms
like an orphan
and maybe
all he is looking for
is a grave
to bury it.

:Nelly Sachs

Folk tales of this city speak of an alien that arrived with a blonde and a suitcase on the coldest day of the year at the oldest house in the city, where he rented a room. No eyes could look at him. He was an abyss in the shape of a man. Upon his arrival, all paired objects suffered damage to their coupling. Oral culture tells us a woman was living in the next room. All she owned was a pair of flowerpots, passed down to her, hand to hand, from ancient times. Upon the alien’s arrival, flowers in one of the woman’s pots started to wither. The woman started crying but only one of her eyes produced tears. The eye without tears now saw only shadows. When the alien and the blonde left the city, the snow that had been falling stopped, and the woman saw two flowerpots on her shelf. One of the flowerpots was full of ashes.

Again I am in this city,
and this time people see me
they sit beside me with their coffees and
they start chatting.
They tell me their memories of me and ask me humorously
If I ate the blonde in those far-off lands?
When I stay silent,
I see fear in their eyes.
Their bodies are paralyzed.
One of their eyes stays fixed and the other moves rapidly from side to side.

Legends say this type of animal was widespread in the world after the great fire of Rome. After that fire, this animal inhaled air and exhaled ash. The ash of this animal’s exhalations on a bed or a pillow caused insomnia or nightmares. It is known that the dead animals used the bodies of the living to speak out and for this reason the living animals do not have agency over themselves and their sexual desires vary depending on the number of their significant dead. To talk to them is to talk to their dead. If you want to learn their language, it is necessary for you and an animal to spit three times mutually into each other’s mouth. When someone masters one of these languages, their skin color immediately changes.

Again I am in this city
and still the weight of time is heavier than anything else.
The place leads all five senses to a deep sleep.
The eye in the continuity of snow rarely faces the discrete occurrence of a house.
The ear in the harmony of silence and breath hears the non-harmonic breaking of a tree in the depths of the forest.
The skin grows numb.
The snow does not have a smell.
And the tongue gets used to hunger.
From the four corners of the earth, my dead
lend me the sense organs stolen from them:
an eye by a shrapnel shell, the skin by fire, the nose and mouth after a chemical bombardment, an ear in the explosion.
With the intensity of all the desires hidden in loss
I look at pavements, snowed
full of the remains of cigarettes
The passers-by are not visible
without a body, without lips
I search for words
that make invisible the visible
and impossible the possible.
Hand in hand with oblivion
I stand in front of a mirror that does not show me to myself
and I start singing.

Homer and Sophocles were not the only ones to speak of them. But the Romans committed a grave error and imagined them as living only underwater. The Greeks had clearer images of them. The survival method Homer used in front of them was the following: All five senses must remain closed and escape from them was possible. However his strategy was not useful after the great fire of Rome. Like many other animals, they have the ability to sense fear in their prey. They are not Eaters of the Dead. The Dead, in their belief, are Gods and therefore when one faces them, it is better to play the role of someone dead. The eyes are the part of the human body that attracts them the most. It is known that they get the shine in their eyes by looking into our eyes and stealing our souls from them.

Again I am in this city and still I don’t know
when your eyes are green
if language is the house of existence
or a battlement of the city

The old victors
were burying captives alive
in crannies.
Your eyes were green
and I know language has crannies,
that one can look at you through them
or can bury somebody in them.

The walls of my language
the walls of your language
and the dead
in the crannies.

Your eyes are green
and my walls are high.

Your soldiers
pass through the crannies of poems
and march over my body.

is always a traitor
and your eyes
always empty

When they fall in love with somebody, they eat them. Usually they start with the deepest organs: livers, viscera and hidden meats. The prey never feels any pain. The empty space of the consumed organ is replaced by a solid or liquid emptiness that functions like the lost organ but is devoid of life. Because the natural environment of their daily life is full of unpredictable events like bombardments or wars, they are used to anything unpredictable and surprising. They may shout without any reason. They may not show any discernible movement. They may even turn to stone suddenly. If you are forced to live among them, never cease your natural routines: play sports daily, take long showers, eat healthy meals. Never forget that no contract with them is considered valid. They use a kind of ink for signing contracts that removes itself when they wish it. In fact what they give to you never has authenticity. It simply does not exist, is either imaginary or has previously been stolen from you. Their songs are mostly melancholic and sad because they never listen to the voice of living beings. They think the music of the dead is the only possible music.

Perhaps again I am in this city
Perhaps in a concert hall
or a studio
where the fingers of piano players
touched the keys
and played this song
the quality of voice proves
the player’s hands are decayed
but I can lean over the scratched notes
as if I am sitting in a train
advancing to the front, to war,
and am supposed to get out at a safe station.
Perhaps in a concert hall
or in a small room
where your lips
were playing on my tremblings
your whispers were close
your hands young.
In another language
you were lying beside me
you were stealing my nightmares through the trembling of my body
and were translating them to your breathing.
The translations were taking you on a trip.
You reached all the harbors of the world
all the sailors were sending you kisses
you were stripping naked in the mist
you were embracing the distances between nightmares
your nakedness was filling up
the space between your breaths.
I was running in that space
and the sailors were shaking hands.
Always the snow falls
in our unconsciousness.
I am still in this city
and a sonata in flat white major
accompanies my breaths.
This music can only be heard by the dead.

To imagine a frozen tomb without flowers, without visitors, under the tones of snow, was disgusting, and Poetry was not interested in the death of the poet in this city; therefore he himself interfered and while the poet was sleeping wrote the rest of the text.

You should die like your grandmother
dreaming of dancing at your wedding:
her colorful shirts
were pouring from her sleep into yours.
But you are born
the moment the angels fall,
and you must die into a word.
A unicorn will come out of your chest
and your body will turn to a sad melody
sailors will whistle when they are trapped in the mist.
Suddenly a waterfront appears
and they pace the street
where you were born.
The resurrection of all the defeated is in that street.

In the geography of the impossible
you were advancing and were kissing her shoulders
and the rest was silence
and the embrace of darkness.
The victors of the territory of the possible
outside the frame of the mirror
outside the whiteness of paper
were lighting lamps
were opening windows.
Far away
you were gazing at the emptiness of her room
the white of the paper
and you did not believe in her death.
Now with flowery clothes
she comes to the street where you were born
and asks for your bride.
You freeze
and awaken in a city
where you inhale air
and exhale ash.

Sleep in your childhood cradle!
This city is cold.
I cannot change the color of your skin,
the color of your eyes
but from shore to shore
I sing you a lullaby:

No woman stole me from you.
Songs stole me from all the women.
They brought me to Malaga.

I cried on the grave of a song in Malaga
and I was born with another song in Seville.
Songs were being buried in the snowy embrace of women,
they were sprouting on your colorful skirt.
I want those Malagaian green eyes!
—Be patient, they are yours.
I want the moonlight skin of the princess of Seville.
—Hurry, grow up, that is yours, too!
No woman had green eyes in Malaga.
There was no princess in Seville.
You don’t have a bed covered with violets
or a red rose in your hand.
This wound, this bullet, this snow-
they were not in your songs.
Now, from Seville, where do I have to go?

Everything in you must attain the quality of the defeated.
Be Numancia
at the moment the Duero gets blocked,
the dead children of Llorona.
One day all the roads end in Rome.

She must assassinate Gandhi in you.
You have to sleep each night in a mass grave,
always condemned,
the one insane drunkard of the city
that searches for the remains of cigarettes on the pavement,
drowned in the darkness of the waters of the world,
a tightrope walker along the borders of the impossible
to be able to compose the melody,
that small melody
your grandmother was singing
in her death sleep,
the one thing that brings you to Rome
and you set Rome on fire

Your grandmother’s shirt
reached you in a package;
it smelled of death and of her.
In a pocket was the ring
she wanted to give to your bride.
She didn’t know that in this city
being born in her house is a crime.
Her language is a crime.
You lie down, place her shirt under your head, and go to sleep,
your sleep turns colorful.
You’re at your grandmother’s wedding,
and her mother puts the ring on her finger.
From the mountains of Mazandaran
to the sierras of Chiapas,
dancing mothers
are singing the llorona:
the red of fire.

Mohsen Emadi is an Iranian/Mexican poet, translator, programmer and filmmaker. He has published the poetry books La flor en los renglones (Lola Editorial, Spain, 2003), We never talked about her eyes (Goo Publishing, Iran, 2007), Las leyes de gravedad (Olifante, Spain, 2011), Visible como el aire, legible como la muerte (Olifante, Spain, 2012), Abismal (CrC, Mexico, 2016), Standing on Earth (Phoneme Media, USA, 2016), Suomalainen Iltapäivä (Olifante, Spain, 2017); as well as the book of conversations with Clara Janés and Antonio Gamoneda, De la realidad y la poesía (Vaso Roto, 2010).

His work has appeared in numerous anthologies and his poetry has been translated into several languages. He is the founder and editor of the Persian Anthology of World Poetry and Ahmad Shamlou’s offical website. As a filmmaker, he has directed several poetic documentaries, among which Querido Antonio stands out, on the influence of the Civil War on Antonio Gamoneda’s poetry; La ùnica patria, which contains the last interview of Juan Gelman, or Donde habite el olvido, about Luis Cernuda’s exile in Mexico. Since 2009 Emadi left the country to exile and consequently he lived in Finland, Czech Republic, Spain and Mexico. His poetic work has received various international awards.

Iranian Edition (Vol I) | Poetry by Khashayar Mohammadi | Issue 39 (2021)

The Minaret









put me on a 

pedestal and watch me recite 

Adhan till I am a moment; 

a gentle silencing of the world around. 

   heads                                turn to the                                        streets, 

the whispers of a generation           being defined. 

   I’ll kneel              at the first monument          and with my voice 

  I divide          the city in two.     I am the definition,     

I am the unwritten howl     

of this                              predicament.

and when the first LED screen 

   cracks under the weight of  a

g     e     n     e     r     a     t     i     o     n

g            e     n    e    r    a    t    i    o    n

g                     e   n   e   r   a   t   i   o   n

g            e     n    e    r    a    t    i    o    n

g     e     n     e     r     a     t     i     o     n

                                         my words             |                  my song 

                                       would have             |                       is translated

                                     faded into                 |                          into


                                                         single hand

                                         beckoning for wine





violets in four colors

and that coquettish cypress

muse-hand tickling the sky


word came:

         the flight of the spirit

         the Aesthetic flight




violets in four colors

the old man’s newspaper in French

and his head            awfully small

from over here


word came:

         the face of the lawful

         the flight of wisdom




violets in four colors

ball pit friendships


and mended


word came:

         the face of the truthful

         the flight of virtue


and years past the playground

divinity become human

in the roaring of Niagara falls


word came:

         Hafiz’s nightingale

         is not the one you hear



superior to the natural




word came:


has neither genus

nor differentia


the deficient

the posterior

the dependent

word came:

         describe this wine


an eternity 

lapsed in an instant

of the ideal

Khashayar Mohammadi is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer, Translator and Photographer. He is the author of poetry Chapbooks “Moe’s Skin” by ZED press 2018, “Dear Kestrel” by knife | fork | book 2019 and “Solitude is an Acrobatic Act” by above/ground press 2020. His debut poetry collection “Me, You, Then Snow” is forthcoming with Gordon Hill Press.