If I stayed any longer,
I might have gone insane too.
He told me his name.
I never asked him why he was there,
Why everyone else avoided him.
I regret it now
But now is not the time,
There is no time left.
He said he could get out
Whenever he wanted.
He just had no reason to go.
He told me if I would come with him,
Stay with him forever, we’d leave.
Can you imagine that?
He even said he loved me.
The weirdest part is, I think I loved him to.
I would keep trying to remember
Where this love was taking place,
In this asylum but, I always forgot.
All we had to do was walk out.
Nobody touched us.
When we were out, we ran, and ran, and ran.
In the middle of the forest,
There was no way they could find us,
We still wanted to be safe.
We found a cave in which we could stay,
Until we had enough strength to explore.
There was plenty of apples and firewood around.
That first night, I just ate, and ate, and ate.
I noted the big willow tree
and boulder next to the exit.
Natural, and calm.
This was a place of my refuge,
Where I would be happy.
We set out to explore,
The cave must have been close to the surface,
There were cracks in the ceiling that lit our way.
The cave was filled with tunnel after tunnel.
Sometimes the tunnel would split into five or six
And we would have to choose one.
Giving the false sense of direction
As we wandered, aimless.
When I got scared,
He would assure me it would all be fine.
That must have been the worst lie,
Anyone has ever told me.
I finally worked up the courage
To ask him why he was in the asylum.
He told me he could fool the mind.
Fool it into believing its body was in pain,
He said his looks could kill.
He stared at me,
I clearly thought him insane.
He let that slide.
He never kissed me fully, passionately.
They were always short and sweet.
He only brushed my face
When he wanted me to calm down,
Making jokes whenever
I was having second thoughts.
He was using me.
I was a shield, nothing more.
I would have to be disposed of.
Back to staring,
I realized that his back
Is not made of duck feathers.
My scoff doesn't slide.
I ran faster I’d ever run before.
All this flew through my mind
As I scrambled up from the cave floor for the third time.
The exit was just around the corner.
It just had to be.
As I stumbled back
Onto the cold hard rock
The exit came into view.
I saw the light shimmering on the broken rock.
The shadow of a willow tree.
Ironically I was so happy I could cry.
I’d hide in the trees
I’d never have to see this murderer again.
Tripped for the fourth time.
I looked up,
Still sprawled out on the cave floor.
There was a hole in the ceiling,
Sending shattered shafts of light to where I was lying.
I watched the dust fall in lazy spirals.
I jumped off the floor.
Back to my peril,
I heard his sluggish footsteps.
Turned around for one last look.
He stood in those shattered beams of light
Glaring at me.
Now on my feet, I stood
In the dark half of the spacious hall of rock
As if that would help my situation.
If only I could fade into the shadows.
I was trapped.
With no escape but the cave's tunnels behind me,
Or the death awaiting me.
Just a few more steps back.
He’s eyes snapped to my feet,
"You don’t want to do that.”
Back to my face.
His smile was only evident in his voice.
He was right.
I didn’t want to die in that moment.
The room’s light darkened
As if someone had put out the sun.
I knew it was coming.
I loved him.
He may not love me now.
He may never have.
But I don’t care.
If I never loved him,
I may not be in this situation,
I might not be about to die.
But I think just maybe,
It was worth it.
Stolen kisses and touches,
Just the sound of his voice.
Running in the middle of the forest
Away from the asylum.
It was all worth the pain I was about to feel.
We stood staring at each other,
Waiting for the other to make the first move.
The tension mounted.
Hatred started coming off him in waves,
Hitting me over and over
Threatening to pull me under.
I could feel his anger.
The air seemed to thicken,
Weighing down on me,
Forcing from me my last breath.
Draining me of what little strength
I had left to remain standing.
I began to gasp for air,
Unable to feel my lungs expand.
Feel the relief of oxygen in my blood.
My eyes were locked in his
Begging to turn away,
To save my life.
I was mesmerized.
Like prey waiting for the snake to strike
I watched helplessly as his face,
Distorted with anger, began to twitch.
I could see the words that would end this,
Begin to form on his lips.
Waiting to be released.
Slope off his spit stained organ.
After the agony of anticipation seemed to reach its peak.
They dropped like acid into the open air.
I lost the fight against the pressure.
Finally crumbling under the strain,
I rested on my knees.
Holding my head in my hands
Preparing to resist the attack.
It hit me full force
Like a subway train at full speed.
I did all I could not to cry out,
To give in to this miserable existence,
To give him the satisfaction of my death.
I broke out in a cold sweat
As my muscles continued to fight,
Melting with the strain.
Adrenaline pumped through my veins
As the true attack began.
The pain started at the tips of my fingers and toes.
Slowly crawling, burning,
It continued to eat away at my flesh.
Much to my dismay
I remained intact
But paralyzed by the pain
Unable to run away,
To escape it.
I was unaware of the storm of tears
Falling from my cheeks.
Oblivious that he continued to circle closer,
Waiting for his moment to strike.
The pain began to worsen,
Shifting from fire to lava,
Lava to lightning.
It was unimaginable, indescribable.
Then I lost control.
This body– it was no longer mine.
It began to betray me.
It shuddered, then shook spasmodically.
Its back arched knowing what was to come next,
Preparing as the bubble of air was pushed slowly
Up its tongue, against its lips.
Its blood curdling,
Gut wrenching shriek
Lasted mere hundredths of a second.
He comes into view for a brief moment.
My eyes roll back into my head,
And I lose myself in the blackness.
From Hand to Mouth, A Man Gives Birth
Sometimes the pen, unnecessary.
The poem, fully formed, in his mouth, born.
Silent back labor, unbeknownst the existence
Of such a thing, yet knowing now
His contractions, coming fast and furious,
Eyes many centimeters dilated,
The sac's fluid breaks upon the poet's tongue,
He pronounces in a single breath his
When his hand to mouth, goes,
Like Moses, when he touched the burning coals,
The words are signaled, freedom!
The words announce:
We are now created, conceived and
This new oxgenated atmosphere is now our
final resting place.
This child, the poem, this exhalation,
Once freed, is lost to him,
It's been renamed, retitled,
by hundreds of newly adopted parents as
When you hear the poet-man exclaim,
I live hand to mouth!
Weep joy by, for and with him,
For his true meaning now clarified,
An ode to joy has
Been birthed this day,
A child for the people.
I practiced a tone
that propped many an ear,
while waiting for a devil's curse.
The gargle dizzied a fancy,
posing as a friend,
rescuing me in dire trends
to wallow the poisons
and, as you say, become immersed.
Everyday, a death inside,
and every one steals a piece
that perverts my mind to shame.
To nourish such an affinity,
the know in such confusion;
I have taken to such a game.
To debate my love
in my affected state,
surely by perdition,
bats would snack my tongue.
A grave with a familiar name
is hushed on a cemetery breeze;
to never speak their name again,
at midnight I'll be silhouetted as I'm hung.
My heels will click
and fall to Earth splitting soil,
to warrant my need for you
as my last twitching dance
pumps out my bleeding tears
into the ground above you;
seeping upon your rotting palate
to tell a tale from one with woes
of having not a chance!
I told you once,
before I swung from cracked timber,
that I don't deserve your love.
I'm stealing away
on an electric tide
of an ultimate pain,
to Lucifer's chair by bleeding doves!
You tired of my name;
looked to see urine fan the flame
as your empty smiles litter air!
My shields are closing.
All my demons screaming,
sense me leaving;
if you can't reach me in time,
I'm food for crow,
done my way!
The first thing went through my mind when I
saw a beautiful woman was.
1. what does she taste like. Her skin. her mouth. that spot right behind her ear. just inside he ear.
The soft curve of her neck. Her shoulders. The junction where breasts meet her arm. That long expanse of her soft belly. Her sweet lips as they parted to allow access. Tart,salty, sweet all combined. I could see myself eating all courses slowly savoring.
2. What does she smell like. Not her shampoo or lotion or perfume or body oils. I mean her pheromones.
that deep unique essence of her.That smell at the base of her neck. under her chin her armpits,the hollows of her elbows. her belly button, her beautiful mound, that simmering potion be it ever so slight or close to overstated as I gradually slid down to Taste. To nibble at her taint and stab gently with my tongue. Her ass. That never- never land of sensual convergence.
3. What does she sound like in various modes. Her voice lilting, high pitched, throaty, nasal. he cadence of her speech. her laugh nervous, content, sing-song. early upon waking.so many undulations and coloration's.
4. What does she think like. concise open, flowing restricted, guarded,untrusting, fair, fearful,provocative, sensual, sexual,cold, shallow, deep,intelligent, smart,vengeful,hurt,
carefree,calculating,ditsy,unsettled, divided, loving,caring,nurturing.
5. Is she Clit or Vag or a combo of both. And what other erogenous hot spots. Which one gets her out of her head and free falling in unabashed ecstasy. Which hollow or crevasse or soft expanse is a fuse. Another ingredient to her potion. how many stimuli could I apply and keep in her sensual Calliope until a thrashing conclusion or a cessation of movement, breathing or sound that will bring her release tumbling down in near syncope.
6. If she had on no lipstick I would imagine her breasts/aereolas/nipples. brown, wide, smooth , bumpy, pink,caramel thick long endless.
7. what comes through her eyes. my god her eyes. That is another universe worth of endless research and
Now I don't do the subconscious speed of light hound dog amalgam.
Now I just see the woman and see the woman again.
All is still applicable but is casual thing. third nature even.
God. Thank you for your gifts.
Keep this heart,
let down so far,
by letting me see
me whilst standing still
dizzied by her beauty.
Keep me in my shelter,
this tormented cell
that wrestles reason,
sealed tight in bony congress;
if but one wish achieves clarity,
it shall be that treasure
of absolute pleasure
to hold her softly
where a complete man
should be allowed to die and dwell
and leave the stage with dignity.
Keep this life of mine,
slave to refuge of time,
where my words on wayward tongue
sought to show you love through rhyme.
The scent of promise within seduction
of eyes unseen, flesh without kiss,
made apparent by misery of chimes
now heard in echoes
of death's affliction!
Fay sat with Benedict
on the grass outside
Banks House. He wore
his faded blue jeans,
white tee shirt; she
wore a lemon dress
(one he liked) with
small white flowers.
It was warm, a summery
sun was in the sky,
trains moved over
the railway bridge
just over the way.
She talked of a nun
at her school, who
was strict and carried
a ruler around to hit
the hands of girls who
spoke out of turn.
Benedict sat cleaning up
his six-shooter toy gun,
wiping his handkerchief
over the silvery barrel.
Girls live in fear of her,
Fay said, she creeps behind
them and pokes her
finger into their flesh.
Have a teacher at my school
who pokes with a pencil,
Benedict said, digs it right in,
especially when he’s making
a point about something.
Fay’s eyes caught the sun’s light;
he thought he could see angel’s
playing there. She caught me
over my knuckles last week, Fay said.
Did you tell your parents? he asked.
God no, she said. Daddy would
have beaten me for sure; upsetting
nuns and such. O, he said, he loved
the way her fair hair shone in sunlight,
the way she moved her lips to form words.
He put his gun back in the holster
(the one his old man had given him)
around his shoulder. She spoke of
the mass and the priest who came.
Benedict didn’t know what the heck
the mass was, but he just listened to
her talk, watched her lips make words
like some potter makes bowls.
He studied her hands as she spoke,
how they gestured along with the words;
small hands, thin fingers. He couldn’t
understand how anyone could want
to slam a ruler over such thin knuckles.
She spoke of the Host and that it was Jesus
in the form of bread. He was stumped,
but listened on, taking in her every word,
the sound of the word, the way she
shaped it, the way her tongue seemed
to hold then throw out the word.
Then she stopped and pulled off her
yellow cardigan because of the heat.
He saw on her upper arm, a fading
green bruise, like damaged fruit gone off.
She put the cardigan on the grass,
and talked on about confessions,
about the confessional, how dark it was,
how the priest was hardly
visible through the metal mesh.
Benedict half listened; too concerned
about her bruised fruit flesh.
(- This is originally a spoken word poem. Read aloud for maximum exposure.
-Asterisks indicate the necessity to pop your cheek with your thumb.
-Answer the two questions correctly and I will give you a hug.)
He fell asleep while traveling time
where a true name
becomes everything else.
So please give me a minute to explain myself
through the doorways
that I see champagne on a windowsill
walking across the room with blue
and fine china feet
saying again and again
the words become a song
singing and swinging the bottle like a dinner bell for thirst.
A kind that we've settled to quench
and somebody else's dream.
So don't pour my drink.
I'm trying to uncork it with my thumbs.
and I still have a tongue
so I will use it and I
I will use my thumbs to push back time
becomes a baby.
Dr. King becomes a baby.
Until the left and the right and every dead genius in between
Tiny feet trying not to crush the wet salad of the lawn
because it is green,
like my heart
that has learned
how to break fine china.
let me tell you
it's a lot more tiresome than a blue dream
but he fell asleep on a boxcar crossing Germany
where mustard gas
drowns you in your own lungs
and he tries to breath between the joints in the track
Asking again and again,
"Who killed me?"
"Who am I?",
until dinner was served without grace.
Until my head becomes stiff and bubble shaped
having been conditioned by
So we should tell all the baby hitlers,
that become children
that become us,
that a lie
is what you become
when abusing language to distort a reality.
And when you make a fist
you are handing lies out at random on a silver tongue.
But I still have one
and I still have thumbs
so sorry to burst your bubble but,
I don't mean to put
I know it hurts
to have something so precious as the world
But walls hurt worse
and through them only muffled sounds are ever heard
until your world is made of mute prisoners
that have forgotten what silver
really sounds like.
for I also have ears
so give me second place
and I will throw the medal against your walls.
the universe doesn't look like an ebony tub,
with knobs we can't ever see,
full of infinite shining marbles to everybody.
is a library of language,
so free will isn't a book written in english.
those know nothing infants trying to travel,
Belonging like this medal bouncing trying to sing
off your wall
Where again it will ring,
we've all been runner up
we still get annoyed when another doesn't enter our library
instead of trying harder
let me say grace.
Let me set l o n g tables
with the gruel that's been given
served on b r n.
with sterling silver.
with that lipstickless pout
her cat Léon
a "charmant" 2 bedroom apartment
and a once envied reputation
now deservedly sullied
and only getting worse.
Friends tell you she's got
at a sidewalk café
table wobbling on the cobblestones
carafe, glasses of wine
while she argues about everything
with old friends
and the stubborn ghosts
of those dead or gone.
You can still taste her mouth
a hint remains in your wet
almost spongy inner cheek flesh
probe it with your tongue -
late afternoon sun.
Her face ever immaculate
yet always foundation-free
a lesbian's wettest dream
no make-up grazes staining
anybody's Yves Delorne pillowcases.
When you fucked
you could often hear
next door doing the same
will she still whimper
when you make love
and get up to pour herself a glass
immediately after finishing?
When you step out together
later that afternoon
will you feel as though you
deliberately opened a door
into a dogeared postcard
or Truffaut film?
You know she's deceitful
runs to her own schedule
and clearly always had an expiry date
in mind for you two,
one she always kept
to herself -
"Those questions aren't
for asking, on verra..."
The cat has a tendency to yowl
at inappropriate moments
you wish she had a dog instead
or maybe just a goldfish
(there's enough dogshit
on the streets already).
Her apartment will still
smell of stale cigarette smoke
and the geraniums in the window box
and she has asked that you stay
for the full two weeks
(sentimental, unable to resist
taking old lovers back in).
Will she beg you not to leave
burn your passport
in the stained enamel kitchen sink
while you take a shower?
Or will she quietly close the door
behind you as you go -
suitcase in hand
your eyes turned
- - - -
Maybe I shouldn't speak my mind
Maybe I shouldn't let words out of my heart
Maybe I should be silent and frozen in time
Maybe I should wear an prisoner's mark
Maybe I should cut out my tongue
Maybe I should rip out my vocal chords
Maybe I should avoid everything fun
Maybe I should step aside people hoards
Maybe I should stab my ears
Maybe I should eject my eyes
Maybe I should plug up my tears
Maybe I should ignore how time flies
Maybe I should forget my loves
Maybe I should avoid my kin
Maybe I should forget what comes
From being a prisoner deep within
But I shouldn't. I wouldn't be punishing only myself. Others would hurt too, because
They would see me
They would hear me
They would touch me
They would speak of me
They would cry for me
They would still love me
And I'd never respond.
In this state of emotional mind
Of course I cannot see that
All I see is the my own hate
Breathing it and feeling it
I am human
Let go of my anger
Escape the fetter
When I'm like this
I need to stop and think
When my head is clear and cloudless
After taking a watery drink
Then I'll see past the emotions
And into the possible future
I'm at a cross road every day
I'd rather not be someone's butcher
I can take this path
And make everyone else hurt more
Or I can take a different way
Even though my heart is sore
I want to be in pain
It's what I know I deserve
But by thrusting myself onto the sword
I wouldn't ever live, I'd burn
It's a lie to say no one else will care
Its not true, it's not true
While you stand inside your flames
They watch you suffer through
Imagine their pain and see if it compares
He is ancient steadfast
I am sure he was here when the world was created
I am sure he will be here when it ends
His gentle face carved with hard lines
He poured forth knowledge in his native Persian tongue
He called me Shohre
I learned it was his sister's name
He looked at me like a granddaughter and treated me just as sweet
“Ghabl az enghalab...”
Before the revolution...
After which would follow painful reminiscing of
The days before the current regime
When wine bubbled out from Shiraz
Men and women danced late into the night
And soft voices wove love songs in street cafes
“Ghabl az enghalab moalem dar daneshgah boodam.”
Before the revolution I was a university professor.
“Yeki az daneshjooyanam Ahmedinejad bood.”
One of my students was Ahmedinejad.
And in English, clear as hate,
“He was a bastard.”
One night I stayed back for extra lessons
We ate cherries from Costco and
Read excerpts from his autobiography
Pages crafted from right to left, vignettes of
His military service in Mashhad
And consequent teaching career
“Ba'ad az enghalab...”
After the revolution...
Was always followed with war stories
Political dissidents lost to Evin prison
Sharia law imposed on moderate minds
Escaping Iran by night with a phony visa
“Ba'ad az enghalab dar ketabkhane bayad kar konam”
After the revolution I had to work in the library.
“Khoastam yad bedahm, pas man o zanam be Amrika raftim.”
I wanted to teach, so my wife and I came to America.
He has not been home since 1981.
On December third of 2009 he walked smugly into the classroom
Setting a tape player happily on a desk.
He opened a folder from right to left
Produced a well-worn cassette
And played Happy Birthday, in Persian, for me.
He smiled at me with hands folded throughout the song
As I’d imagine he had smiled at
All the other special women in his life named Shohre.
He never played Happy Birthday for any of the other students.
Or gave them cherries,
Or went to their weddings,
Or held them while they cried when their grandfather died.
I do not know what he saw in me
But in each other we found family years and miles away from home.