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(for father)


December 8, 2005

I have found the secret to which persists like a wintry book that wont shelve itself

I have written a poem, trying to remember the sound of home

The blood which dissolved when my father unquietly reminded me that I will never be

A real Iranian man or a worthy son or even a man to begin the proud end of his furlong cropped

Last (place here) Name… no better gift to give your teenager than the freedom from unborn children

And now years later, I offer my relatives waves of reflection

A shift in lessons, for my father, from the first day we sat as a family from Tehran and thus began the

Poor connections

Given as questions veiled as answers

When did I, Arash the Iranian, and Arash the boy, decide that I’ve heard enough of the humming

From the tired old country; for a while I thought that I was doomed,

That I cared more about school, math, and obsessive vacuuming than girls

About a distaste for marriage and an appetite for blonds, skateboarding in empty pools

Just to escape tea time and dates and my mother’s earsplitting “talking long distance vit yor gerandmoder”

Telescreams remind me why I’d rather travel far far away no matter where I was,

And the underground market for Michael Jackson that connected me, until it was time to fall back into

The traditional likeness of girls of my own breed

Unpronounceable names and family stories much too far-fetched to be less than Iranian Housedress

Sans the lost chins — now raised stumps below their bellow portals called mouths,

Their imported husbands, Jewish diamonds, Italian gold

And now this weed, this wedge, whatever you call it lies between this space called

“Forgotten lessons not slapped enough into my head” as my father would say, or just too American

But I imagine that I’ve worn the damage of my culture quite well, Farsi or not,

My Mother’s Country or not, Opportunity has been another lesson

Far beyond the frame of The Holy and Dead

For letters section
To Arash Daneshzadeh

Arash Daneshzadeh


Book of the day

Three volume box set of the Persian Book of Kings
Translated by Dick Davis

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