Monday, November 21, 2011


I can't help but to imagine your face.
I start at the tip of just one hair on your head,
and that is about as far as I ever get.
I try to conjure the taste of your breath;
but I get stuck at the word 'taste,'
I talk about the meaning of 'you' for ten minutes
and by the time I get to the last word
my mouth has forgotten how to breathe.
I said the "taste" of "your" "breath". Without your breath
I could not taste a thing, without your taste
on my lips, I could not take a breath,
all taste is yours, the taste of the tasteless,
without 'your', there is no life, no eye
can discern the veils of the word 'you,'
else the mirror and its reflection would be one.
Because of 'you' there is no me, only the aftertaste
of that first mortal kiss, and that first breath
after the beautiful death of a world without mirrors.
In the broken corner of this intersection between you and I
I am dying for a 'taste of your breath.' Let me die,
and remember the 'your' before 'breath' is deathless
Let me die, and become the breath of the breathless.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

We're all the 1%

We think ourselves higher than all else
yet we don't have the patience of trees,
or the loyalty of a dog.
We don't have the mercy of water
or the tolerance of great spaces,
we don't have the freedom of the wind,
in our greed, we try to hoard the sun
and confine the stars to our prisons. 


All this talk of who's the 99% who's the 1%
I'm tired of playing the blame game and
getting up on toy horses and pointing fingers
when we are barely the Earth's 1% 

confessions p 13

These tears are not my own
randomly shed dreamscapes
passed down the hands of time
bleeding into my pores.
Strangers begging audience
they're flooding profusely
over my clutching hands
believing me into unbelief
stripping me of every absolute.

To whom it may concern

I owe every word
to anyone who ever played a part in my life, near or far
every emblem of pain or symbol of beauty
every fire that burned me to life
every cold wind that will one day help me die
and to every traveler on this journey of the heart.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

a sneaking suspicion

I have a sneaking suspicion:
that when we move the stars watch with envy
 that this moment is timeless, and hence eternal
  and that we are all on a pilgrimage.
I have a sneaking suspicion:
 that there is an ocean inside every one of us
  that there is a potential supernova within our breasts
   and love, and love!
I'm not talking about the excuse of the word
that we package n sprinkle with a bit of affection
to ration out with so many strings attached-
and the fine print! oh the fine print.
No. I'm talking about that complete consummation
which leaves no room for the consideration of self.
And the eventual eruption of that dormant volcano      
that makes you want to stab through your own chest
so the fountain of your torn heart may write in blood
that poem which no pen can write!

confessions p 12

I'm hanging on to the bottom rungs of this ladder
like everything depends on it
as if I want to be alone among the stars
as if their cold light could warm my belly.
Fuck reaching for the stars
I'd rather know the constellations that shine
in the dark sky of my own heart.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

the alchemy of tears and dreams

Some days I leave these pages blank
but when I hear the passage of seasons
whispering of setting suns
and I remember that I have
only this moment
then I am so overwhelmed
with what I have to say
that I can speak only in tears.
I live to turn these tears to words
to give them expression.
I am a drop, a trickle
a splash in a stream
singing in praise of the sea.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

the walk home

I land on the middle of my feet
gripping the dew drenched grass
with toes bent, tendons taut.
Heels drive downward
clenching at the knee, calves
quads and glutes flexing and firing off.
Every step is a surging thrust
as my hips work furious, legs a flash.

The overnight moisture on the green stretch
kisses the dirt off my bare feet.
The odd protest of a thorned bramble
is crushed beneath the callouses of my soles.
One arm holds firm a laptop bag
strapped and creaking to my right
as the other pumps piston-like
reaching forward and stroking back
with the blade of an open hand
as though through water.

The dress pants rolled up over my ankles
whisper swish swish, faster and faster
as the terrain changes
and thirsty asphalt soaks up
the damp memory of my footprints
left behind like nostalgic notes of a former lover.
My heart beats on a countdown
ticking faster and faster
like a caged bird fluttering its wings
maddened by whispered promises of freedom
in the taste of distant winds.

For an instant, I see the card board cut out
of a passenger on a bus driving by.
I barely notice
weaving in and out of dark shadows
cast by the overflowing fullness of the moon
peering like a pale Apollo through a rippled film of cloud.
As the moon's pocked and pitted face
reflects the terrible serenity of the sun's rays
so too is a refraction of that light
glimpsed upon the mirror of the clouds
and as they catch the Sun's gaze
the whole mass-like threadbare cotton
bursts through with pearls of color
perforated with metallic hues of purples and blues
like a dark rainbow iris around the moon's dilated pupil.

Mirror upon mirror
the sun gazes upon the moon
the clouds gaze upon the earth
each deafening in their promises to one another.
As I hurtle toward the silence
trying to outrun the echo of old oaths


to be cont'd

Friday, August 12, 2011

Watch me

The hairs on my body start to rise
as I feel at first what can only be described
as a low thrumming vibration
and then a discernible rush of blood
to my head, chest and hands.
Face heating, eyes blurring
the muscles in my scalp contract
my whole body stands on end
and I feel like the Universe is watching me.
The night sky bares Her soul,
and between the stars
I see the questioning arch of Her brow
the unflinching mirror of Her gaze
both whispering a challenge

Show me! 
Let me taste the breath from your breast! Let me see what lies inside your chest!
Is that a heart on a countdown, less alive with every beat?
Or a ticking time bomb--waiting to go off and burst through the prison of your shell and explode out through your lips, hands, and feet--every time you hear a sound that reminds you that you are alive?!
and I whisper back
"...Watch me"

Monday, August 8, 2011

Break your vows of love

If your eyes say yes
I will become less and less until I disappear from myself
I will die to myself and that broken basement of regrets.

If your eyes say yes
I will tear my heart out my chest
I will forfeit my king-piece in this cosmic game of chess
I will love them no less that you have left me so blessed
And before I return this body's lease, I will ask for wings from my dreams
To fly my soul to that final destination before death takes me there senseless

If Your eyes only say yes
The four cardinal directions I will bend
Until the past of the East merges with future of the West

If Your eyes only say yes
I will cut out the pattern of the constellations on my breast
Until the stars themselves in my hollow spaces coalesce.
I will go back in time to assassinate the past and pre-emptively kill the future
So there will be nothing but the present left.
I will trample Time and stamp on Space's head.

If Your eyes only say yes
All of this, one day, one day, I will contest
Because today I am compelled to confess
That it is only Man who can leave himself dispossessed
From that which even the stars haven't been blessed.

You see, Love and choice were never made for the mountains, oceans or heavens
Love and choice were never made for even the angels to invest.

...But tell me, truly, dear wonder of the universe:
How can something borrowed love another like itself?

I am a temporary flux--the smallest vibration of a red blood cell
Coursing through the human veins of god.
Everything about me is conditional!
I did not say "Be!" and simply decide to exist.
My every moment is borrowed
Even the intangible between my heart and mind are on lease to me.

How can I make any of these borrowed parts the object of undying Love?
How can I make a vow of Love under the temporary roof of this halfway home?

Are you beginning to see why the ultimate goal of our Love cannot be one another?
We are borrowed beings and we owe ourselves to Life.
We are receptacles for Her blessings.
All of us, in all our differences are Her children.

So you see, I can not give you my heart
It is not mine to give away, and neither can I accept yours
Because our hearts--those mirrors of light
Ultimately only belong to the source of all Light.

Come, throw off those chains around your ribcage
Stop making a gift of your alchemist's stone
To the Earth's passing travelers.
Come, unveil your heart
For a jewel is still a jewel
Even if it is wrapped in the rags of mortality
And auctioned in the marketplace of yesterday's desires and tomorrow's demands.
Come! let us leave this throng of clinging hands!

Let us burn through the frozen shores of our half-loves
And sail past this bay of endings forever born!
Let us stay up all night just to tell the Dawn
That we remember our birth among the stars!
With hearts broken open, let us turn to the sky
And reflect those rays until we flood over with light
So that we just might be like the Sun for one another
Even if it is just for one moment.

Friday, August 5, 2011


I could stand here
and tell you everything about myself
I could tell you
that I am a child of the revolution.
That I have lived
through both religious and material ideology.
That I was born on the longest night of the year
and that to this day
I spend almost every hour of the night awake.
I could tell you
what keeps me up at night.
We could talk of love stories
that put the ink on paper to shame.
I could tell you how the night
is secretly an alchemist
how She turns my tears
into pearls of laughter.
But how will you really know
what drives me?
Or what lies at the heart of my heart?

We see the world as we are

and so I ask
Where is one who has the being, the presence
to see beyond their self? 
Where is one who can close his/her eyes
and see things as they are?
Where are those remnants of stardust, shining
and watching the sea of the universe
without so much as a judging glance or lingering gaze?

confessions p. 11

I don't come to these pages
to write poetry, or any such thing.
And yet, sometimes my words
seem so strange and familiar to myself
in a way only a poem could describe.
I come back to this pen and paper
to reclaim my sanity
which is itself an act of insanity
in the confines of this language.
In reality, I come back to discover a new language
so I can go out and use it in the world.
I come back
through the late hours of the night
bouncing thoughts off the wall facing me
building up the muster to ask
what I am too afraid or busy to ask during the day
and in the company of others.
Sometimes I am transported by a flitting face
in a wave of memory. Sometimes
I see the spiderwebs of my intentions.
Some nights my heartstrings are unloosened
others, they are fine tuned
for the impossible harmony of beauty.
The night is always my confidante.
She is the keeper of my hearts' secrets.
She is my unforgiving mirror.
She knows my words so well
I can only speak to her in haiku poetry.
I whisper to her, yell at myself
and sometimes she reminds me to laugh
and I do, until the sky shakes
and the stars become blurred streaks.


I am a mere passerby
I can pack my life in a bag
and hit the road with a bit of money
and a ready supply of smiles.
I am blessed by the gift and generosity of a sister
by the strength of character of a father
who is also a great story teller
and by the love of a mother
at whose feet lie the doorway
to the only heaven I will know.
I am a wayfaring stranger
a witness, and a recipient.
I am blessed by the ability
to see with my heart.
I am blessed to witness
this sea of being and becoming.
Though I am but the smallest detail
in a tapestry far too intricate for words
I am blessed by the ability to create
instill, and interpret meaning.
And though I am but the creation
of forces and influences
far beyond my understanding
I am blessed
by the ability to think
reflect and make manifest.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I am from a lost generation

I am from a generation of Iranian youth
Jaded from revolutions
And the iron fist of religious rule
In between homes
With no real place to call our own

And I am from a generation of Canadian youth
Jaded from the sugar coated fist of economic rule
With an attention span you could measure
Between instant messaging alerts
And no time for politics

We are from generations
Cut off from the past
In our thirst for the present
We no longer know anything absolutely
We no longer know art if it's right in our face

The revolution [in Iran] only broke the backs of youth
So their bones could support the seats
Of those who scrambled for power
The establishment collapsed
Only to give birth to one more evolved and ruthless

The commodities merely left us wanting more
Disconnected from one another
And the world around us
And the pornographic implosion of images
Only removed us from the very reality
They simulated in the first place

I am from a generation that has witnessed
The commodification of everything
Jaded from images and political ideologies
The pieces of our identity
The intangible within us
The mysteries of the heart
And what makes us alive
Have all been packaged and labeled
On an assembly line, ready for exchange

How can anything take the place of a heart?
How can anyone put a value to life?
Let alone package and trade it?
In this marketplace, everything gets sold
Authenticity, meaning, Gods, our very selves
Even the future lent to us by the next generation

We are from a lost generation
Deaf to any ideology but that of the heart
And in our being lost lies our greatest potential
Because who knows what boundaries of the unknown
We can test together or how far we can go
When the box of the known world
Is just not enough for us any longer?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Clavinova by Yamaha

It is a Tuesday afternoon
she appears decked in black and white.
Soon she is everyone’s sweetheart.

He wants nothing to do with her
curls his lip and grits at her poise
and how she always gets checked out

but secretly, he can not stop
hearing the music in her voice.
A seed is growing inside him.

She takes in his stares, fantasies:
flurry of hands pounding her frame
fumbling furiously for the keys
to release her cry of pleasure.

And one night, he can not take it
he storms out in his underwear
to submit her to those cries
break her silence with hard fingers
and force himself on her, over, and over 
until she sings those notes for him.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Why I write

I write
to make a triangle out of the line
from thought to action.
I write
to use words as whetstones
for the sword of action.
I write knowing the limits
of the word, knowing that thought leads to speech
which in turn leads to action, or inaction
and I write to remind myself that I can act.
I write
because of the serene movement of clouds
I write
because I hear a song in the whispers
of grassblades against the breeze,
a symphony in every storm,
the purest melody in the flow of water,
and because I hear those same songs
in the beating of a heart.
I write because I saw a leaf
hold itself with the same poise
through rain or shine
until the silent dance of its death.
I write
to grant shadows to my tears.
I write
because I am bewildered.
I write
because there is something in me 
that is in everything else.
I write
because I saw the thinnest sliver of light
and through that glimmer I saw only blinding beauty.
I write
because my mouth has a broken way with words.
I write
because I know the darkness of the unknown
to be beautiful beyond imagining.
I write
to remind myself of the divinity behind the universe,
I write
in gratitude to the Source, the One, the Unnameable
that (life-)guiding force that bought me here
and makes every moment possible.
I write
because the images in my heart demand expression.
I write
because tears are not enough
for the flood I feel within my chest.
I write
in the hope that these words,
watered with enough tears
will one day grow into a tree.
I write
in preparation for the day
when neither words nor tears are of avail.
and I write
to remember that this--moment--is really it.
I write
to establish my kinship to the stars.
I write
as testament to the Water of Life.
and to trace my way back to the same
cradle from which I sprung to life.

a night of power

is a night of power.
Tonight I feel that familiar torrent
like a forgotten mountain behind mist
like the tectonic tremble of the earth
before she spews forth her fire.
Tonight, my blood boils in seething calm
my resolve, the flight of a falcon
an extended talon, the curl of razor beak.
Tonight is a night of power
and I have been made to feel this way
and there is no reason to ignore this flame.
Where I'm going, I will need
everyone I've ever been
where I'm going, I will need
everything I am capable of.
So come out from your long sleep!
Revel in this night of power!
Remember your oaths on this night.
Remember your shaking fingers
against this flood within your chest.
For what is your gentleness without severity?

For you

For you
I will open my heart again
and again like a rose in bloom
and I will sing your song as I watch
the petals of my heart wither and fall
to the trample of feet and seasons.
Sometimes, I see a reflection of you
in the faces of this crowd
in a crest of these waves.
Before such reflections I gladly bend knee
tear open my shirt and place the dagger
in their hands before my naked breast.
For you
I would drink the poison of a thousand heartbreaks
each one bringing me closer to you
because none of them are you.
I would laugh through the tears
as I sing out your song louder and louder
every time the world turns its back on me.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jing's wedding poem

They say nothing is more bitter than the separation of lovers
and nothing is sweeter than their union.
And they say "Love is all you need!"
but what really is this word for which a man
must bend down on one knee?

A 13th century Sufi who spent his whole life answering that question had this to say
"Love has no definition through which its essence can be known.
Those who define Love have not known it,
those who have not tasted it by drinking it down have not known it,
and those who say they have been quenched by it have not known it
for Love is drinking without quenching."

Now what do I know? I'm only twenty-something years old
But I once heard a Rumi poem, and this is what it told:
"A lover asked his beloved,
Do you love yourself more than you love me?
The beloved replied, I have died to myself and I live for you.
I've disappeared from myself and my attributes,
I am present only for you.
I've forgotten all my learning,
but from knowing you I've become a scholar.
I've lost all my strength, but from your power I am able.
If I love myself...I love you.
If I love you...I love myself

Now, if I had to guess...
I think Love is something like the sun
in how it shines on everyone.
I think Love, is something like the touch of a mother
or the solar eclipse of an individual in surrender to another.
I think you can hear Love in every heartbeat
taste it in the breeze and call me crazy 
but I believe that Love lies waiting
in the spaces of those moments between breaths.
And I once saw a modern day urban prophet 
smiling like the open sky, laughing like a rose in full bloom
as he repeated the words 
Love is this, and this, and this.

No one comes into this world of their own accord
we are all gathered here through the Love of the Most High
so let us love, and remember our divine beginnings-
our birth amongst the stars
and let us celebrate the lover in each and every one of us
because love is this, and this, and this.

*second paragraph cited from 13th century Sufi and gnostic Ibn Arabi
*"Love is this..." quoted from Brandon Wint

Monday, May 16, 2011

blades of grass

I sat there on the rocks
back against my borrowed home
lawn spread before my feet
river flow of the grey sky serene
and I could hear music from the open window
while every blade of grass
and branch of bough and tree
danced effortlessly
to the soundtrack of the breeze
I took a long drag
watched the smoke do the same
and I could feel my heart breathing
swelling in the music
and blowing away with the wind
and it struck me that this, is it, all of it
And in the face of such simplicity
I felt so overwhelmed all I could do
was shake until my eyes flooded
and I could no longer see.
I don't care for what we make of things
I don't care for resolutions and outcomes
I don't care about endings
I just want to remember that this is really it.

dreaming of a dream

O you who know every whisper of my soul
I would ask of you one thing.
In that quiet hour, when night air is still
heavy and pregnant with the unknown
when words eat words for want of silence
when that moment eclipses my shadow and your sun
I would ask of you a dream.
I will lay down all my borrowed words
everything I have learned, studied
and come to through another
I will grind out the fear, tremor by tremor
through the cells of this body.
I will make of my self a hollow space
free of shadows and pretensions
free of hesitation and preoccupation with self
to accommodate each particle of this dream.
I will think no thought
I will speak no word
I will not raise a finger
until the trembling night takes in to her womb
the beating of my heart and articulates that dream

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The black twisted crowbar of my self is
wedged in a chink on the lock of my heart
and every night, I wench that bar 
till my hands are raw and I can't recognize my own face.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Unveiling

She walks the threshold of the bed, every footstep setting off his pulse. She turns, and the air stills. Her hand
arches over at the shoulder, tenderly undoing buttons and time. The clothe sails effortlessly to the ground,
whispering against her skin, and with each piece, another fear, another insecurity, her every vulnerability, she lays before him. She removes and removes these pieces of herself, until nothing but her hands are left between him and what she holds so dearly in her left breast. As she lays down, completely invulnerable to the world and mortally vulnerable to him, she doesn't see how the stars themselves gleam with envy at the light that bursts through her every fiber, cell by cell, burnt and bought back to life in the raging fires and fervor of love, shining like a path to the very heart of the cosmos itself.


"When the one man loves the one woman and the one woman loves the one man, the very angels leave heaven and come and sit in that house and sing for joy."
Brahma Sutra

Sunday, May 1, 2011


It is late. I accidentally take the longer way. There is no one around. The sounds of cars and the city can be heard in the distance. And under the cover of snow-laden branches, the moonlight shines between a row of orderly pine trees.
I slow down, steps considerate of the snow. I can hear it whisper beneath my feet. I stop, and look back at the length I've covered. At this moment, the shadows, the dry branches on the path, the footprints in the snow, the air itself becomes liquid memory. The breath freezes in my throat. I believe in the sanctity of form, and I wonder what my eyes look like right now, because I am beyond myself with this seeing. The stillness of the trees strikes me as the most beautiful sight I've ever seen.
I imagine later breathing through the quaking of the heart or the swelling messenger of a tear, but I am so unaware of breath. I am so unaware. It is like the night herself kisses my lips and for a moment, it's as if I see through her eyes. My mouth becomes hers, or hers mine...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

confessions p. 10

Please save me from myself

I beg you, I'll break my own feet

so I am always on my knees before you

I beseech you to take up arms against me

conspire with me to betray myself

please, unsheathe your blade

color it in my blood

don't toy with me

stab me through the heart!

Let the fountain of my torn heart write in blood

that poem which no pen can write!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

reflections on dust

I don't know what You're doing to me
but You've got me on my knees
kissing the dirt on the ground
because that's all I'll ever be
all I can hope to be
the dirt beneath Your feet.
So step on me, scatter me
kick me up into clouds
Your light brings out my colors.

When it rains, the water collects in my recesses
the more I recede, the deeper the flow.
In my thirst, I drill holes
through the dustmote island of my self
and seep, gently, into the sea.


I will plunge up to the neck in self
to implode out of my self.
I will crush the grapes of sorrow
into the laughter of wine.
I will desire my way out of desire.
I will break the forms
and put them back together
after tasting their cores.
My bones are wed to dust
but one day I will divorce
everything destined for dust.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

cherry orchards

I remember
sharing glasses of ice water
beneath the shade of the elderberry tree
cool stream bubbling, my aunts chattering
platters of cucumbers, cheese
the smell of fresh bread
and tea, steaming from picnic cups
passed around with a prayer by my grandmother.

I remember
lazy afternoons under the sun
the buzz and drone of grasshoppers
my father’s rhythmic snore
and me, laughing on my back
alongside my cousin and sister
reaching up to twist off cherries of different colors
the way they would burst between my teeth
sweet juices rolling in my mouth
and the sticky feeling of their pits on my fingers.


And now, through air conditioned spaces
and the metallic taste of water fountains
where the midday laze is replaced
with Tim Horton’s double doubles
I still look for those red, pink and yellow cherries
in the colored aisles of the grocery store.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


She doesn’t know how she got to be lying on her back

but she is calm as an empty dead end in Tehran.

Her eyes peer between legs running away from her

as the rip of the gunshot rings in the air.

Hands heavy, palms open, fingers unfurled

she watches the crowd racing, eyes darting, teeth gnashing

and hears them scream and yell as though underwater.

A camera seizes upon her graceful stillness

she sees it, and for a moment

before her last breath like a step without feet

before the lights dim and colors fade so the blood

which pours out her orifices looks no different

than the green of a nearby tree leaf

for a moment, in that tryst of eyes and camera lens

she shares with it her story, her namesake


Sunday, April 3, 2011

dying season

In these downtown streets there are no half smoked butts
only the erratic heartbeat of cars, vents and traffic lights,
the pallid tone of flesh beneath fluorescent lamps
as we break into quick smiles between hurried bites
along fancy store fronts, foul back alleys and the reek
of second hand smoke, cheap coffee and stale glances.
Old christmas lights hanging expired from branches
with amber brown buds about to bloom at their peak.

I seep into dawn and grow with Spring's first call
I long to taste the colored tones
of newborn life amidst gardens of bones
and soak in the sun like leaves before they fall.
I want to consume every scent as daily bread
and listen to the stories carried in the breeze
I want to be overwhelmed in all the season's senses
for a passing glimpse of that unnameable presence.


this is a recycled revision of 3 past pieces.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

confessions p. 9

For years I've answered this call and that, played hopscotch
through different ways to understand the world.
I've snorted beliefs, rolled up everyone
who had an answer and smoked them like I wanted cancer.
I speak their languages, I know their words
I've heard the ideologies, and the revolutionary's crescendo
against Orwellian authoritarianism, I've stormed the streets
and thrown stones at the Silencers
I've known fear like a sickening helplessness.
I've listened to the talk of old men
I know time is both linear and circular
I know the face of my enemy and it looks like my own
I know the detachment of objectivity, the sign and symbol
the simulation and the real, the subject and appeal to individuality.

Every layer only led to another and yet, beyond these...
I've felt the whispered call of the Unseen
I've heard the echo of footsteps in the winding alleyways of my heart
I've wept and danced beneath its sky. Here is who I am
not in between all those words but in this beating.
My pulse is more honest than my tongue
when it hangs somewhere between desire and fulfillment.
I think the only way I can find expression
is through the language of the heart
I've studied the grammar and words
but bear with me Love, I am only just learning
that speaking of the heart of hearts
is seeing the universe through the alphabet.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

full moons

Sleep knocks but tonight
  The moon is like the sun

She creeps in through the blinds
  and caresses the darkness
Like a long lost lover
  with kisses that quench
an insatiable thirst

        I live
To soak in the fullness
of such moments

So when I'm gone
Look for me in the moon

When these words
No longer remember my voice
       Hear me
In the ripe stillness of the night



Monday, March 14, 2011

confessions p. 8

It's four thirty in the morning
I have an overdue essay
and so many other tasks to do
but I can't stop writing about you
in words that betray at every turn
I want to turn off this tap
or let it pour without restraint
here, in the stillness of the night
I am unfolding or folding inside
orbiting around a sun I can't see
blind beloved of an enraptured moon

first steps

To be tossed at sea like flotsam
the waves taking you where they will
to be both guest and prisoner
to see with eyes closed in the dark
to become nothing in the forge
then heated and molded to shape
to grind away stones with teardrops
to be like water receding
to laugh like an unfolding rose
to be so empty of yourself
that you can forget how to breath
to be laid out flat on the ground
and be pronounced dead at the scene
to cremate your own heart, and give
ashes and half-loves to the wind
to emerge from your own cocoon
to die and come to life each day

Sunday, March 13, 2011

the confinement of words p.5

This is how you came to me
like water receding
your story etched like veins in a fall leaf.
this is how you came to me
when I least expected it
when I didn't know top from bottom
but all I felt were rocks around me.

This is how you came to me
like a reflection
when all I could see were shadows
this is how you came to me
like you were there the whole time
but I only just noticed you.

this is how you come to me
wrapped in veils and veils.
Sometimes you peel one back
and I remember why I am alive.

Black Tea Cafe

In these downtown streets there are no half smoked butts
only the erratic heartbeat of cars, vents, and lights
in the rush hours, quick smiles, eager laughter
in between hurried bites and over stressed words
amidst the red, green, yellow, stop, and go
the gray panorama of sky and asphalt
second hand smoke, cheap coffee and stale glances.
Fancy store fronts and the reek of back alleys
don't loiter, don't solicit, don't stop traffic
blue and red OPEN signs flashing like sirens
sea of uniforms, pale faces, possessed feet
pallid tones of flesh beneath fluorescent lamps
old christmas lights sagging expired from branches
with amber brown buds about to bloom anew.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

la petit mort et l'amor

This is how I remember her deathly stare
Frozen mid expression, and so fleeting
Her mouth, the eater of time and moments
Her lips, dark from sucking out all color
Eyes the velvet of the night sky's dark depths
Her tongue, the sword that cuts the throats of words
And her attire, midnight blue breeze
With stars on her ears, the moon on her neck
She smiles; as her teeth grind planets and suns
Yin and yang become one between bites
She is the great desert at the road's end
The one to be walked without steps or feet
Yes, she can choose to be ghastly at times
But I find her wildly beautiful
She is Love's favorite hand to play
And death too requires love
Most often the love of another
For what is each successive death
In a ladder of evolution
Other than an act of love?
Ask the butterfly
Born from the death of the caterpillar
Ask the fetus
Born from the deaths of the fertilized egg and sperm
Ask the human being
Born from the death of the fetus
Death is thus, Love's actualization
Love and death conspired and traded faces
So that they could clean out the whole table
They exchanged masks to collect from everyone
Traded outfits, but death is only Love's night
And Love, the day that follows each night's death



Tuesday, March 1, 2011

X is

Through elbows and exotic scents
we wade through local tongues
and the din of the bazaar.
Lacquered fingernails reach down
she feeds me a piece of coconut.
Her scarf, trailing from her hair
captures the summer nightlights of Tehran

In a cold Toronto January
I try to furnish a renovated basement
with my life packed in two suitcases.
She laughs, and next thing I know
I am waking up in a queen size mattress
to the sizzle of bacon and clatter of cutlery.

Behind a bar in downtown Ottawa
she waves sparklers, short white dress
illuminated beneath golden trails
that appear in the pictures I take.
Someone congratulates me.
She looks my way, her eyes light up.

We lock glances like we've met before.
Beyond the doorstep of words
 we speak the tongue of lips.
Her eyes smile into mine.
  It's like looking at my own reflection.
It's too fast. And it's getting late.

We walk beneath a moonlit sky
feet burrow into the cool white sand
as the ocean makes her nightly confessions.
The quiet expanse of stars
kisses the words out my mouth.
My eyes find hers and smile
as we leave footprints in the sand.

Monday, February 28, 2011


The shadow of your shadow
chases the words from my mouth
and scatters the thoughts from my mind like dust.

To gaze upon your face
can only be likened to staring into the sun
or the darkest depths of a starless night.

How can something be both lock and key?
How can that which is veiled be unveiled
when I am myself but a veil?

The faster I move
the faster these footprints catch up to me.
The more I learn, the less I know.
I have nothing to say which hasn't been said before.
I just want to graze in that meadow Rumi speaks of:
when the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Jul 09 entry:

Every illusion of control
every semblance and comforting lie
of independence
was for me to realize
the underlying interdependence.

Every fall and rise in the song of my life
every curve and bend along this winding road
told ultimately of my return to you.
Every betrayal and loss of faith
every bloody tear shed
in the unwritten pages of the heart
was for me to know this way.
I see only so much beauty around me
and I am ashamed for ever seeing it as anything but.

the veiled beloved

I told her
these words are yours
so too the voice that speaks them
the tongue that sharpens them
my lips, diving board of every kiss, are yours
 the curve of this spine, the hollow in my throat
the spaces between my fingers, every line on my palms
the calluses on my hands and feet are yours
so too the soft skin beneath.
The stories of my stitches and the poetry of these scars
are yours, so too this borrowed heart.

Every living hair on my body remembers your touch.

 For each tear you lent me, I cried another in joy.
Every crease around my eyes, every furrow in my brow
tries to tattoo your name in Persian calligraphy.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

a bleeding chalkboard

Oh but for you
I would be lost amongst the voices
of the crowd inside me.
But for you
I don't know what tongue I'd speak
or which sun I'd seek.
Something of your echo struck a chord
and now that music is all I want to hear.


As soon as I heard the opening lines of your tale
I was beside myself in grief
watching my body weeping out my own voice
so that I could hear yours better.

If my heart were a chalkboard
from corner to corner it would be filled
with broken vows like "yesterday"
and empty promises like "tomorrow"
next life, next never.

If my heart were a chalkboard
you wouldn't be able to see
whether I was green, black or blue beneath.
Every inch would be rewritten over and over
so full that the empty spaces would have long ago gone bankrupt
so full that each letter could be everything from an A to a Z
each symbol and word representing anything to its opposite.

If my heart were a chalkboard
through some magical alchemy
tears would clear slivers of unwritten space
and leave trails of unspoken truth
as they wash out layers of old words
old wounds and chalk scars.


And so I listen for your voice
at the birth, betrayal
death and rebirth
of every love affair
ever told
every saga and epic
every tale of the heart
that made it to word
in the the hope of hearing
that one wordless love story
that draws me to all these words.

Saturday, February 19, 2011


I hear your name whispered
and everything slows down
not to a full halt, but close
like a thrumming vibration
or flickering fluorescent light
and the only thing holding me together
is the reverberation of your name
within my hollow spaces.
I can't think of anything else to do
but carry this refractured echo
the memory of your name;
to wear it like a scar
open, untold
but not unseen.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011




flash forward 25 years, it is the summer of 2009
and I am in Tehran, protesting the results of a stolen election.
In between all the batons, stones and tear gas
I find myself following the footsteps of my parents
playing Russian roulette with the hint of another revolution.
and I'm fired up by all this talk of something greater than myself.
I want to be a part of this revolution! Hell I want to start a revolution! I'll burn down flags and dissolve differences with my words! I'll load these words like weapons and bring systems down to their knees.
Kneel knave kneel!!

But wait a moment...something's not right.
I've been here before...

These bloody words are not mine, they've been said before me. Revolutions come and go. Power switches hands like a juggler keeps an audience in check. Thirty years ago, the generation before me ousted a corrupt monarchy supported by the powers that be. They took to the streets and threw their bare bodies in front of tanks, and corn poppies littered the asphalt, painting it crimson.
And for what?! For a loaded word like freedom?!
You want to see the result of violent revolution? Look no further than my country Iran!

Watch as the Shah, the mullah dictator, and the powers that supplant them one day and support them another--get to die of old age in their gold beds. While a mother bleeds out her heart through her eyes as she outlives her children...because they fell victim to the rhetoric of someone who believes himself righteous enough to order others into battle but won't take up arms himself.

This isn't what I want.

What I really want...is that inner revolution. I want that revolution against my own ego.
I don't care for systems and power-mad politicians, they're always the same though they change names and faces. I want to be an activist to myself and against it. I want to tackle my inner self, ambush it! Light it on fire and let it burn itself out.

Every time it says "I'm better than him or her!" I want to do to it everything the revolutionary would do to the powerful and corrupt. Every time it raises its head and claims "I deserve more!" I want to strike it down like the revolutionary lashes out at inequality.
Every time it tucks tail in fear, I want to break it like the poet breaks swords with his words.

What I really want...is that inner revolution. Because even if all the inequalities of the world were to disappear tomorrow, I would still be found gagged and blindfolded, hands and feet bound through the chains of my own ego.


I want to let my imagination out from those dark little corners it gets confined within so it may roam free. I want it to get a taste of sunlight and come dashing out like the wind; free, unfettered, broken loose.
I walk this world through my mind. When I step on sunshine, on a bed of jewels, or walk through a goldmine, if someone else is at the helm of this ship or if I've filled my storage with so many idols, then I will see neither sunshine nor jewels nor goldmine.
I pray for an empty storage, so that I may walk this world through a mind free and unhindered...so when the day rains down gold on me and the night casts out her jewels, I may see them for what they are.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


This world I may open my eyes to
tomorrow is the cradle of form.
Image is some sort of deity here

but the world between my eyes
the inner one of the heart
is the fountainhead of meaning.

My love for this which I can't describe-
nor want to, is what keeps me up at night.

All I know is that when you come around
words are no longer words
I am no longer me

sight is no longer seeing
and opposites meet like lovers
between random sheets in sleeping streets.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


I want to write poetry without words.
I want to stop seeing in black and white
I want to crack words open
for the kernels within.
I want to break them all
because you're not in words
maybe I can find you
among scattered letters.
Maybe, if I write you
on every fall leaf in October
or if I leave you bread and tears
during my breathless nights
and nocturnal affaires-de coeur
I will be left with just the thought of you

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sunday Afternoon

When there was a match or game on tv
he'd hum and grunt the rest of the world away.

He used the play the game, until he broke his arm
he used to wrestle too, until he broke the other.

He had these hands that split apart fruit like a knife
the scent of garlic bled from his finger trails
and his breath often smelled of apples and oranges.

He dropped out of school
for a revolution in his homeland
and even there he cooked.

When he'd sing, I'd pretend I wasn't listening
so his voice would carry on
it rose from his throat
like a sushi roll of emotive flavors.

Food was his gift to the world, he wore burns
on his arms like a woman wears bangles.

I'd watch him handle steaming plates and pans
like an athlete hones an impossible deke
or a wrestler perfects a single leg take down.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Nocturnal Affair

Jan 27 entry:
I was born on the longest night of the year, and I wrote this one as a tribute to the night, who is my favorite alchemist.

...Here I am again
at the mouth of this strait
chasing the ocean in the dark.


The night, oh the night.
She opens me up like a roasted chestnut.
She peels away my layers
cracks me apart like a pistachio
and discards my words like the shells.
Sometimes she smashes me open like a coconut
other times she splits me in bleeding halves like a pomegranate.

She lets her tresses whisper against my skin
as she slips her bejeweled knife into my fugitive folds
and sweeps out the sun in one stroke.
She lays me out like a sacrifice
and cuts out the pattern of the stars
on my body with her blade
as she spreads cascading layers of honey
over my empty spaces.

She keeps what she cuts.
I give it gladly.
I'm one of her best customers
coming back like a gambler with nothing
who bets the house with each hand.

Sometimes she closes her door to me
and I have to sneak in through a window.
Sometimes she tries to throw me off
with the scent of magnolia and geraniums.
Sometimes she sends her breeze, her cool breath
like an escort to keep me from knocking down her door.
I take everything she gives me and still ask for more.

A hundred thousand jewels
spin--smitten constellations-against the dark sky of her body.
Against that blinding light I close my eyes and smile
as I reach past her star-clustered breast
for the pure darkness within

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

800 years of gravity

When I am with you
I am with everyone.
When I am with you
I melt out of myself
I lose all reference points
but this burning inside.
When you speak
I feel you closer to me than myself.
Your words
like crepuscular rays
fill me up like a brimming cup
and the dams I've built inside
overflow with being
and every moment becomes
a torrent, a flood.
Sometimes it's as if
everything bears your scent
and I am constantly turning my neck
looking for your face.
Sometimes I see you in everything
that crosses paths with mine
and that entire caravan
becomes an extension of me.
Sometimes I hear your story
in unexpected places as if it were my own.
Sometimes every sound is a hint, a musical note
a key to the quiet symphony you've left behind.
You are fire
and I am tinder
begging to be lit ablaze.
You are wind
and I am dust
dancing and blowing away
in your breath.
You are an ocean
and I want to say I'm a drop
but how can a drop
remain a drop within the ocean?

Friday, January 21, 2011

My envy

I am envious of the way Michelangelo removed everything extra
to create the perfect David.
I am envious of an animal's lack of self-resignation.
Envious of how a leaf composes itself in the same manner through a storm or clear day.
And how water willingly flows to the lowest point.
This "I" that speaks these words is what should be discarded
like heavy clothes on a hot day.
Until then, I can't speak of any other "I."
For as long as I talk in riddles
I will remain one.
For as long as I speak of the meanings of meaning
then I will know none.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

the ungiven gift

Maybe, it is the way the door opens
with a grudge
unwelcome, to the cold.
And maybe
it is the way I ran to get here in the first place.
Or maybe
it is this formality of an embrace.
It could be the touch of our hands
like water drops in a hot pan.
Or this sense of an awkward interview
with no follow up.
Or this yell of unspoken words.
Once more, this clap of an embrace.
But the ground again rushes beneath my feet
and the parting image of your back
never belies that black diamond
streaking down your cheek alone.

Jan 16 entry

What is crazy to me
is that everything can be its opposite
in every moment.
And it all coexists-
all those variants
alongside each other
in an extraordinary array.
What I feel inside
is both white and black
like each instant contains
all the shades of gray between the two.
And there I am
somehow both within
and outside
this unfathomable array.
In my hands I hold choice
both burden and blessing
at any given moment.
When I feel weak
it is my strength hiding
and it is always there
just, forgotten..often.
And I can't even speak of it
as my strength.
I have nothing of my own.
If I can't bring it with me
at will into a dream
then it is not mine.
If it can't accompany me
where I go when my body sleeps
but consciousness doesn't
I have no claim to it.
All I have are these thoughts and broken words
these daily acts and breathless nights.

Monday, January 17, 2011

my breathless night

You are each day's moment of truth.
You are the home to my feverish heart.
You are my confession box.
You are my mother, my father
my friend, my lover 
and my enemy all at once.
You wear the face of every voice
that ever spoke to me.
In your silence
breathing becomes deafening
but by that same virtue
my thoughts become words
and my words become tears.
I bring you these baskets of tears
and the ocean of my dark night laughs
as she leaves the aftertaste of something like astonishment
on my lips.

Friday, January 14, 2011

bread and tears

I have form
and form has me.
I want more than form
more than being had.
No, I don't even want that.
Every time I try to know
something absolutely
it escapes me and articulation.
I'm happy not knowing.
I don't trust myself when I move
in the agitation of fear.
I don't trust myself when I'm worried
something will be taken away from me.
What do I really have-
that I could become more or less?
Well, let's see..
I have a few suitcases of belongings
nothing really.
I have this borrowed body..
on what basis was it entrusted to me?
To what do I owe these beautiful bones?
I did not suddenly appear one day.
There is a history in these cells
from which my earliest origin can be traced.
Even now-
looking at the fine lines
of the skin on my knuckles
the perfect orbiting rings on my fingertips
and the untold number of ages
it took for thought to develop
so that I may now contemplate all this-
makes my heart sing.
And when my heart sings
I weep
and when I weep
I feel like I need nothing at all
as if this feeling alone could sustain me
like bread.
If only I wasn't so forgetful
or if only my tears were like rain
and it really did rain all the time.
But this borrowed heart
needs more than bread
more than these tears
to find its way home.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow angel

A small boy stops by the street corner. He drops his bag and makes a snow angel as cars and people pass by.  He makes it meticulously. There is a contrast of car exhaust steam and the steam from his breathing as he moves and flutters his arms and legs. He sits up next to his finished artwork and enjoys a snack, like he's taking in the moment. Four people pass him by. None look at the snow angel he's made. Though he does get a passing sniff from a jogger's dog before it's pulled away.
There's a film of cloud over the sky, with bold streaks close to the horizon where the sun shines through.
A school bus approaches the street corner and stops for a moment. When it pulls away, the boy is no longer there. All that remains is the snow angel he's left behind.

On a bright December morning
a boy hidden in a snowsuit
stops by a street corner.
As cars and people pass by
he sinks into the mattress of snow
and flutters his arms and legs.
A few cars later, he sits up
from the white bed spread
and examines his brushstrokes.
A yellow bus approaches
and vents plumes of gray exhaust.
When it clears
the boy is no longer there
only his picture in the snow.

Subway stop

This little child is standing 
at the subway stop
smiling with her eyes.
This girl of maybe five
who's name I don't know
"tomorrow" written over her face
I can't keep my eyes off of her
but I don't hold her gaze.
All I see are those tiny hands
hands I will never touch nor know
my tabula rasa*
and those smiling eyes.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

confessions p. 7

Before the final curtain drops,
I want to shed every veil and mask,
every lie and relative truth,
so I can look back
without fear or fearlessness
on this incredible journey
that has overtaken me;
where the only thing
more astonishing to me
than the myriad possibilities,
is the heart's eventual return
to the essence in every form.