Zoroastrian Poem

Part of him was eaten by nature and the rest by sharks

03-Dec-2008 (13 comments)
My friend Dolly was the last one who saw P. alive. Peter Rostopovich Stihotvoreniev was Dolly’s boyfriend, but everybody had already forgotten his full name. It was Dolly who introduced him as P. We were both poets. Living in this town, surrounded by the shores of the Pacific Ocean, the tang of civilization had dispersed in the salty waves of our encircling borders and we were slowly being isolated by the rest of the world. A narrow path was the only link between the city and the continent. Many immigrants had found refuge in this far island and we suspected they could be escaping from something horrific in their past>>>



The Kiss

27-Nov-2008 (7 comments)
The first time he kissed her by the elevator in the hotel lobby, she trembled inside. Short of breath, a bolt of lightning pierced through her, head to toe, throwing her off balance. She had to hold on to him. She was 40 – hardly an age to be taken aback by a mere kiss, let alone experience an electric jolt. It was a loving and sweet kiss – not a passionate one. His lips brushed hers apart as he lazily sought to hold her surprised gaze. He held her lips in between his, and then, ever so gently, closed his mouth over hers; and willed her to close her eyes and to melt into the kiss, daringly, deftly, kindly. Time stood still. It was 8 in the morning. They had just come back from a walk by the lake and had shared breakfast. The smell of coffee, the taste of the eggs still lingered in his mouth.>>>


The Newlyweds (20, Conclusion)

Goodbye dear brother. Goodbye again and forever

24-Nov-2008 (27 comments)
It's over. She is gone. I am left behind. I went to her and tried to stop her, plead with her, convince her that I had not betrayed her. Geraldine told me she had already left. She took my wrist and placed her other hand on my heart and told me it's over. I lost Kati like I lost my "other friend", the one who "is in the dark." I blanched. I had not told her or anyone here about Leili. I came home, crazed. I felt like I was the one stuck under the rubble, the rubble of a sham marriage, an unwanted child, a pretend-life. I had dug and dug until I caught a glimpse of sunlight and now it had been taken away from me. This will be the last of my correspondence to you dear brother. I thought when I saw Kati that first day that Leili had come back from the dead>>>


The Newlyweds (19)

I never want to be that Firoozeh again

22-Nov-2008 (5 comments)
Dear Maryam: I decided that the very first person that I will write to inaugurate my new email account is you, doosste aziz. Of course, no letter or email or telegram could put into mere words my gratitude to you, your husband and your team for helping me in my most trying time. I hope that you send my warmest and most heartfelt regards to all of them for now until I can somehow find a way to honor them properly for what they have done for me. Strange to think it has been more than a month since I have said good-bye to you. I know your first questions will be on my life in Iran and how my family has taken the news of the failure of my marriage and my return home. Well, as you can expect, Papa was not thrilled at all but I think it was less to do with the fact that I am back than ... >>>


The Newlyweds (18)

I knew Kati felt the same way as me

19-Nov-2008 (15 comments)
Dear Brother: I never thought that I could be so happy. Kati and I have made our decision. We are going to be together. Together forever like we were always meant to be. I can’t stop grinning these days and it is all I can do to stop myself from packing up this very minute and saying good-bye to my former life, if one can even call it a “life.” It was more like existing without purpose, breathing under water, forever suffocating, dying little by little. It didn’t come easily of course. At first, Kati refused to see me, to heed my calls. When I finally saw her face to face for the first time after the kiss we shared, she put up the resistance that I expected from her. She tried to deny it at first, saying it was a mistake, we got carried away, etc. But every time I touched her, she recoiled like she had been struck by lightning. She kept trying to turn from me, avoid my gaze>>>


Letters to Majid

If I were desirable and beautiful and sexy and interesting, then why did you leave me?

18-Nov-2008 (50 comments)
The alarm went off as the feeble late autumn sun was breaking through the window, illuminating the room, telling her it was time to get up to go to work. She couldn’t. She had woken up from a dream at 4:00 a.m., unable to fall asleep again until 6:00 a.m. She forced herself out of her bed, but couldn’t get very far. She made herself a cup of tea and inched her way over to her computer, where she sent a note to her boss, telling him she wouldn’t be in today. The dreams had become a part of her life over the past few weeks. Each time they visited her, she was useless the next day for she would have spent most of the night recovering from them. Sipping her tea at her computer, she had an idea. What if she wrote him a letter and explained the dreams and her feelings to him? All of a sudden she felt a little burst of energy, desperately needing to write down that which haunted her and ached inside of her >>>


Gregory Peck Was Iranian

It was very casual, Gregory Peck's Iranian-ness

18-Nov-2008 (5 comments)
Gregory Peck was Iranian. That was the only explanation for it. He was speaking in English and his characters had American names like Atticus Finch and even particularly American accents sometimes, but if he was going to be as principled as he was, if he was going to be so attuned to the story of the search for justice, and so sure about how much of that story to tell and how much to hold inside him, then the only explanation that made any sense to me as a boy was that he was more or less Iranian, and languages and names and accents didn't have that much to do with it. He looked it too. Not just the black hair and brown eyes that looked even darker in black-and-white. It was the way he kept something of who he was for himself and something for the world>>>


The Newlyweds (17)

I felt like I had bit into an apple, only to feel wiggling worms inside my mouth

17-Nov-2008 (7 comments)
Dear Brother: I left you last with hope and happiness that I could go on with my life both making my wife and family happy and at the same time fulfilling the emotional emptiness that has plagued me through my friendship with Kati. Well, I have now woken up from that dream. It didn’t take much. Just some good old-fashioned jealousy. The gut-wrenching, night sweaty kind. We were out one night to some cheesy little nightclub in Richmond Hill with Nassim, her ubiquitous pal Mitra, Sam and his girlfriend Lissa, and Mitra’s date, none other than DOCTOR KEYVAN. You remember what a joke that guy is? Well, Mitra was hanging on to him like he was the most precious treasure. That girl is so desperate to get married, to someone, anyone, it is hilarious. I was getting ready for another night of boredom when to my shock, Kati showed up>>>


The Newlyweds (16)

Firoozeh slapped Shahab in the heat of the argument and he then called 911

15-Nov-2008 (3 comments)
Dear Mrs. M., You may have heard about me from your niece Firoozeh. I am her dear old friend Maryam and I am faxing this letter to you after several attempts to contact you via telephone. I think perhaps you are out of town for a few days. Anyways, when you get this letter, I beg you, on behalf of Firoozeh, not to contact her father and share the following news with him, at least not yet. Firoozeh is afraid for his ill health and the shock that this turn of events may have on him. You, who have been her confidant for many months now, will perhaps take this news with more aplomb, as horrible as it may be. Firoozeh is currently in jail. She was arrested a few days ago and charged with domestic assault and battery. Of course, we both know she is innocent and it is her bastard of a husband, if you would please forgive my rudeness, who has set her up.>>>


The Newlyweds (15)

We followed Shahab’s rented red Lexus not to an office building somewhere in Woodland Hills, where he claimed that he was working

13-Nov-2008 (9 comments)
Dear Khaleh: I never thought in a million years that I would ever say this but you and my friend Maryam, or should I say Debbie the Persian Pop Princess, have one thing in common. You both think I should leave Shahab. Except that Maryam put it a little less politely than you did: “Dokhtar jan,” She exclaimed while puffing away on her Cartier cigarette, “Khosh-haal bash Green Card-etto gerefti, chon in martikeh toffam kaffe dasstet nemizaareh. Man agar jaye to boodam, mohkam mizadam dare kunesh, miraftam soraghe zendegim.” I admit it was tempting to imagine for one second that I too could be a carefree adventuress like Maryam, going along on my merry way, with no responsibilities other than to please myself.>>>


Sherri's Story

Pedram is angry and hurt, because he feels Sherri is treating him like a teenager who doesn't know what's good for him

11-Nov-2008 (80 comments)
Sherri's phone rings incessantly. She won't pick it up and she pretends like it isn't ringing. It rings five times and clicks over to her voice mail, and just when it seems like the caller has given up, it starts ringing again. It is driving me crazy. I say: "Maybe it's an emergency." She looks at the Caller ID and says: "No. It's Pedram." Pedram? The young chap Sherry has been seeing privately for the past six months? I thought she had said that little arrangement was going really well. My mind is full of questions. She finally says: "Let me unplug this phone and I will explain." My friend, Sherri, is beautiful. She is an athlete who has been running marathons since college. She is slim and petite, with beautiful long hair, huge eyes, and pouty lips. Married briefly and divorced, she never had any children and this is one part of her life with which she feels the most at peace>>>


The Newlyweds (14)

Subject: [Please don’t worry]

11-Nov-2008 (7 comments)
Dearest and kindest Payam, I know you are worried about me and rightly so. After all, it isn’t every day you receive an email from your little brother saying that he is in love with his wife’s sister. My words were clumsy. I didn’t think. I should have been more clear with you. I want to reaffirm to you here and now, on my honor, joone Pejman, that I have no intention to act upon my feelings. It just felt so good to say those words “I am in love with Kati” out loud (or rather, to have them typed quietly lol). It was a huge release to finally admit the truth to you but most of all to myself, after all these months of masking my true feelings. It is so funny to say but I actually feel much happier now than before, even though I know I will never fulfill my love for Kati other than in a platonic way. I don’t know how to say it other than I feel light, I feel… free>>>


The Italian Girl

If the coup had not succeeded, you would not be sitting in an American bar with a beautiful woman tonight

10-Nov-2008 (3 comments)
She was American really, but she became a little more Italian after each drink, not in terms of how she talked or acted, but in terms of how she wanted him to see her, and after their third round, he'd told her about how a lot of Iranians liked to think they looked like Italians, and he tried to tell her with the right combination of flirtatiousness and Western beauty standards critique. You don't have to lay your whole heart on the table in order to have a good time, he thought. Anyway there's no time when you lay your whole heart on the table, because that would suggest that you understand the whole thing. It was a very sound conclusion to reach after three gin-and-tonics. She was quiet for a moment and then she said, "I don't like the way they protest against Columbus when we have the Italian Day parade in North Beach.">>>


The Newlyweds (13)

Shahab had not paid rent for the past 3 months

08-Nov-2008 (11 comments)
Dear Khaleh joon, You must be getting used to my confusion and distress by now. These are emotions that have filled the pages of my letters to you, now more than ever. I thought at the beginning of this month that some positive news would finally go your way for a change. Shahab had been in a chipper mood than usual. He kept telling me that business was “looking up” without elaborating, of course. Every time I ask him to give me details, he just waves me away laughing, saying “in maamele beyne mardha hasst, khanooma nabayad dekhalat konan.” Just like my father! Finally, one day, he took me out in a spanking new, convertible Mercedes-Benz, which he had again rented out for the week-end. He told me he had a big surprise for me. We kept going up twists and turns on a winding road that led us to the summit of one of Los Angeles’ many hills>>>


The Newlyweds (12)
03-Nov-2008 (23 comments)
Payam jan, Against your best judgment, I went ahead and saw Kati by myself.At the time, I reasoned that I did not have any unethical motive.That it would just prove once and for all that I did not, could not, have any feelings for her, at least not beyond those that a brother-in-law should have. But in reality, I was just making an excuse to see her. Ever since her party for her friend Geraldine, I felt so low.I stopped going to work, pretending that I was sick.I lost my appetite.It was really weird.I would get these frightening hunger pangs and run to the refrigerator, serve myself a huge platter of food and then, when I sat down to devour it, looking at the food before me, inhaling its odors of burning meat and sour legumes, I would be overwhelmed with the desire to vomit.I lost ten pounds since I last wrote to you>>>