On the way back from a funeral

The straw man
reduced and thin
smokes a cigar
gobbles down a cup of soup
and lives

lost a limb to a bomb
his stomach to cancer
his right eye to a stray bullet
and all of the rest to
the women of his youth

 – the memory of whom
   still makes him smile

– do you want something to drink?
– what do you have
– let me check

The straw man
Reduced and thin
Pieces of his liver hover overhead
Shadows of his veins haunt his dreams
His bones join him for dinner
Every Friday

Watching movies
Picking up the women of the dead
Mourning their lovers
Weak and vulnerable
Having a drink
Going for a run
Keeping in touch           
       Via whispers           
       That vibrate through
And thoughts of redemption
And empty promises of a better life
Stock market
And the housing crisis
Make a huge supply of things to talk about   

–       It’s warm
–       It is
–       Salvation is a seasonal commodity
–       Like oranges in Africa
–       Abdication is a fact of life
–       When will our sorrows return
–       Tomorrow
–       Tomorrow we go home


–       Relative terms of endearment
–       T.S. who?           

A return to self           
Reclaiming a lost identity
Collecting the pieces
Passing by an image
A mirage
Psychoanalyzed to death
Fires of sorts
Wounds of sorts
Sighs of relief
–       Relief is overrated
–       Perhaps
–       No seriously
–       Sure, who cares
–       I do
–       I discovered something
–       What now
–       Being a straw makes you depressed
–       You think too much
–       Depression is the sign of proximity
–       Are you now a fucking prophet
–       Maybe
–       Maybe not

Paleness, purple, fluidity of state, color, tense, the infusion of yellow and now, before and red, blue, entangled desires, fuzzy boundaries

–       And there is rain   
–       Oh I’m so happy       
–       To be here
–       With you
–       To be here
–       Here and now
The length of an absence
The depth of a temptation
And the intensity of a mirage
–       Mirages don’t form in the rain
–       They do if you try hard

–       You know you’re a psycho
–       You mean like the movie
–       What if it hadn’t rained
–       Who knows; Maybe some fucking
–       With what
–       Out in the rain
–       Caress of the wind
–       It’s cold
–       Droplets of dew
–       Yuck
–       A bed of leaves
–       It’s pouring
–       The inevitability of a wish
–       Somebody is coming
–       A road to somewhere
–       These trees are scary
–       Open sky, spring rain
–       Rain again

–       Proximity to what
–       Divination used to be much more effective
–       My head hurts
–       Something in me is pregnant
–       How do you tube feed a straw
–       What am I going to lose this time
–       Maybe your voice
–       And then

There is a departure
Familiar things perish secretly
And death is an abstract far away notion

               (The narrator declares:
                Though human and in my thirties
                I’ve never seen death in person;
                Never stepped on an ant;
                Or raided a cockroach;
                And no dear thing of mine ever dies.)

–       Chemo happened
–       Who is taking care of your plants   
–       Women?                   
–       Why do my hands smell of charcoal
–       And your breath of extinction

Lullabies sound like funeral marches
And the dead and the unborn are indistinguishable
Tiny replicas of dead heroes
Have names that provoke devotion

–       That’s the thing about religion       
–       What is
–       That



Shahram was a good friend and an amazing poet who died of cancer in Tehran on Monday, Nov 23. 

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