Sherlock Holmes’ Daughter (6)

I still remembered and felt every word I had brushed on her


Sherlock Holmes’ Daughter (6)
by Ari Siletz

Part 10 - Part 9 - Part 8 - Part 7 - Part 6 - Part 5 - Part 4 - Part 3 - Part 2 - Part 1

I slid my fingertips inside Katayoon’s blouse, thumbing her top button out of its buttonhole and gliding my hand inside her shirt. “Stop,” she whispered clutching my wrist tightly and slowly pulling it away from her breast. She held me from herself in this way for a long time, staring a meaning at me that I was not understanding. How disappointing to have said, “but you told me to undress you.” That much was apparent. She was saying there was a key to her body that I should find. But how could I be sure?

“I should go,” I finally said getting up in confused embarrassment and walking towards the door. When I put my hand on the doorknob I saw Tank trundle sleepily towards me wagging his tail. As I reached down to pat a goodbye on his head, he gently lowered his head to my feet and put his mouth around my ankle.


I felt a pity for the old animal, too old to ask to be taken out for a walk. “Did you teach him this trick?” I asked Katie.

“I told you, my dad liked to teach him tricks. I thought you wanted to know how he worked. Now you’re taking off?”

“I’m not into games, Katie.” I frowned. Usually that line opened up the most difficult Peggy Sue to a torrent of counter accusations, revealing all that was going on in her mind.

Instead an alluringly amused confidence appeared on Kataayoon’s face as she recited verses for the occasion in the Persian custom,

از چه کنی‌ اخم مگر من بدم؟

بلکه ملولی که چرا آمدم؟

من که به این خوبی‌ و رعناییم

دخترکی عشقی و شیداییم

گیر تو افتاده ام‌ای تازه کار

بهتر از این گیر نیاید شکار

خوب ببین بد به سراپام هست؟

یک سر مو عیب در اعضام هست؟

هیچ خدا نقص به من داده است؟

هیچ کسی‌ مثل من افتاده است؟

این سر و سیمای فرح زای من

این فرح افزا سر و سیمای من

It was too late for “Oh crap. ” With all my soul I had always known Katayoon was no Peggy Sue. How could I have let those sea blue eyes and sunny hair fool my brain? It felt as though the key that opened her body to me had invisibly locked that front door. My soul couldn’t leave even if my brain wanted to.

“There’s ink and brush in the bedroom,” she hinted.

“I don’t know what you’re asking me, Katie,” I said. She did not reply.

It felt clumsy just to walk into her bedroom looking for the clue she had dropped about ink and brush, so I went back to her, lifted her out of the sofa into my arms and carried her into the bedroom.

Her bed was covered with a pale blue sheet. On the nightstand a small painter’s brush leaned inside a bowl of ink. I lowered Kataayoon onto the bed and bent over to kiss her on the mouth. She turned aside and pushed me away. I expected that, but had to make sure I had understood her meaning. Taking the brush out the ink bowl, I began where I had left off by spreading her blouse open at the opened button and softly writing a word on the skin of her chest:

She sounded the word out loud with her eyes closed, letting me know she could read my brush movement across her skin.


She giggled ticklishly.

I continued slowly as she spoke the words.

تکمه به زیر گلویش هرچه بود

با سر انگشت عطوفت گشود

Then I put the brush down and undid all her buttons. She let me!

“You know the poem,” she said.

“Not all of it.”

“Too bad for you, then.”

“Help me remember,” I said.

“Uh-uh,” she teased, “Let’s see how far you get on your own.”

Hesitantly, I wrote:

گاه بیا پیش که بوسی مرا

رخ چو برم پیش تو واپس گرا

I put my hand under her head and brought her lips to mine. She kissed me back so deep and long that I had to come up for air several times. Then she unbuttoned my shirt and went back to kissing me that way over and over again until I learned how to breathe her exhalation and exhale for her to breathe. As I took in the moist air from her mouth and nostrils my hand reached impatiently towards her thigh. She slapped it gently away, chiding:

"گر ببری دست به پایین من

ترکه خوری از کفّ سیمین من

ناف به پایین نبری دست را

نشکنی از بی‌ خردی بست را"

I dipped the brush into the ink bowl again. Now I knew why Kataayoon had prepared the fireplace for early morning lighting. This was going to be the longest night of my life.

“I have to undo your bra for this next verse,” I said. “ Would you let me?”

She narrowed her eyes at me. “I don’t believe you. Write a hint right here,” she said drawing a finger across the top of her bra.

I wrote:


She grinned and arched her back for me to reach the buckle, raising her arms in front of her so I could slip her bra off her breasts. Her eyes kept her gaze on me so she could see my pupils sparkle at the loveliness I beheld. “Second base?” she said, rubbing it in for my falling for her Peggy Sue feign.

“Damn you!” I said. “Witch!”

“Well, is it going to be curses or verses?” She said, closing her eyes for more.

I began writing:

باش تو چون گربه و من موش تو

موش گرفتار در آغوش تو

گربه صفت ورجه و گازم بگیر

ول ده و پرتم کن و بازم بگیر

طفل شو و خسب به دامان من

شیر بنوش از سر پستان من

By the time the reddish hue of dawn streamed into her bedroom, Katayoon, her bed sheets and I were thoroughly spotted and striped in ink. Black butterflies fluttered over a male and female pair, part leopard part zebra. She took me into her shower to wash the ink off. I watched as water and steam slowly rinsed away the record of what we had done to each other the night before. Between her thighs I had run out of Qajar verses and resorted to modern prose. A soap soaked sponge wiped away the last letters of


Yet underneath the creamy soap rinsing down Katie’s legs I still remembered and felt every word I had brushed on her. Starting on one knee, spiraling around her thighs upwards and around to her pubic hair were the last lines she had read out loud to me as a promise of what she was about to do and feel:

من مست گرمای بدنش مثل یک پیچک جوان به دورش پیچیده و پاهایم را دور پاهایش قفل کرده بودم. صدایی که از دهان من در می‌‌آمد و در گوشم میپیچید برایم ناآشنا بود.

She had screamed to fill the neighborhood.

‌ با چه ولعی‌ صورتش را درون چاک سینه‌ام کرده بود و نفس‌های بلند می‌کشید.

خیس عرق بود. از عرقش بدم نمی‌‌آمد. دانه‌های عرق را با نوک زبان از روی صورتش پاک و زیر لب زمزمه می‌کردم. زیر سنگینی‌ بدنش احساس خوبی‌ داشتم که هیچوقت نداشته ام. با چه اشتیاقی این مرد را میبوسیدم. لبم را دور گلویش از یک بنا گوش تا بناگوش دیگر می‌کشیدم. خر خره‌اش را میمکیدم و دلم نمیخواست از خود دورش کنم. با ذره ذره وجودم او را میبوییدم، میبوسیدم، می‌خواستم. نفهمیدم چه شد که یکهو یورش یک احساس گنگ و خوش از درون من برخاست. از میان پاهایم بالا آمد، و به قلبم ریخت و در سراسر بدنم پخش شد.

We dried each other with a big towel then, wrapped in blankets, lit the fireplace and sat in front of it, each with a cup of coffee. Tank also got up from his mat to move up to the morning fire. He rested his chin on his paws, eyeing our conversation. Katie’s hair was still damp, dangling around her face in rope-like twists. It was the first time I had seen her without her slight mascara and she looked more gorgeous that I had ever seen her. As I sat marveling at her, she suddenly jerked up her blanket over her head like a chador and laughed.

“Stop it. I was looking at you,” I said.

She peaked from under the blanket and said, “What am I wearing under my chador?”

“Poetry,” I said. “I can still feel it written all over you.” Then I wondered if she were to take off her chador, what could she be wearing underneath that would do justice to the dress she had made me ink on her the night before. Slowly the understanding dawned on me. “So that’s what your dad did to his models,” I said.

She nodded, staring into her coffee steam. “He wouldn’t stop trying different materials, colors, cuts, angles, folds, until every piece of cloth said exactly the same thing as the verse it covered on his model. Took months sometimes.”

“Months? Did they ever fall in…?” I started to say, but quickly her eyes flashed a warning at me. She knew I was no longer talking about her dad’s feelings for his models. My unfinished question had to do with what she had stirred in me.

“They were prostitutes usually. Hey, you want to hear a story?” she beamed.


“My dad is fourteen years old and his friends take him to a brothel in South Tehran. He’s never been to a brothel and his ears are red as beets with embarrassment. They go into this waiting room and the prostitute calls him into her chamber. His friends have to push him through the door and the prostitute is teasing him to stop being so shy. So they go inside, she closes the door, and my dad is so flustered he says he has to leave right away because he has homework from school.” Kataayoon slapped me on the knee as we both guffawed at the awkwardness of this first-time Romeo. I pulled her close to me, hugging her in her blanket as she went on.

“So she shoves her boobs at him and says, ‘Here, do your homework on these and he’ll give you a really good grade.’ My dad starts to run out the door, but she blocks his way, and says the only way she’s going to let him out is if he either fucks her or does his homework on her. I guess she didn’t want to lose the money. So he takes out a ballpoint and writes on her just so she’d let him go.”

“Wait a minute, he got his first inspiration from a prostitute in old Shahr e Now?” I asked flabbergasted.

“Yep! After that, he realized he couldn’t stop going back to her every week. After a while he got to know her really well and she started asking for gifts. One day she asked for a dress. He spent the whole week looking to buy something that felt right on her, but all he found was the trendy I’m-better-than-you stuff; nothing honest that just said ‘want me the way I want you to want me.’ Finally he had to go to a tailor and draw the right dress on paper. Guess what happened after she got the dress.”

“A lot more customers,” I said.

“Her business went through her ceiling!” Katie’s eyes widened elatedly. “Then somehow a pimp from North Tehran found out about things and started paying my dad to design dresses.”

“For high class North Tehran prostitutes?” I asked.

“Sorta, but sometimes my dad spotted his dresses in European magazine articles about Iranian Royal family women. Thinks that’s where the money came from. Of course my Persian grandparents had no idea about any of this. They were getting ready to send their nerdy nineteen-year-old son to London to study accounting. So the first thing my dad does when he’s in London is go from brothel to brothel looking for the right prostitute to feed his habit. Finally he finds the right one, and the same thing happens as happened in Tehran. Her business picks up, her price goes way up, and she gets to pick richer and richer clients until she’s only booking Buckingham palace and the like. Doesn’t take long before the rich wives pick up on what’s going on, and my dad starts getting noticed. The rest is in the tabloids.”

I shook my head slack jawed. “The Gorgani fashion empire, all because of a prostitute in old Shahr e Now.”

“Um, don’t forget the London prostitute. She helped a lot too.”

“Yes, what happened to her?” I asked.

“Mom lives in Los Angeles.”

To be continued.

Farsi poetry by Iraj Mirza (1874-1926), Zohreh va Manouchehr.

Farsi prose from Setarvan, a selection of short stories by Shirindokht Nourmanesh. PO BOX 321022, Los Gatos, CA 95032.

Part 10 - Part 9 - Part 8 - Part 7 - Part 6 - Part 5 - Part 4 - Part 3 - Part 2 - Part 1


Recently by Ari SiletzCommentsDate
چرا مصدق آسوده نمی خوابد.
Aug 17, 2012
This blog makes me a plagarist
Aug 16, 2012
Double standards outside the boxing ring
Aug 12, 2012
more from Ari Siletz
Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

Many thanks. Just in case some folks aren't in on what you may be referring to, here's what New York's Museum of Modern Art has been up to lately. Must feel odd squeezing through two naked strangers in the narrow exhibit doorway. But it's no more than the NY subway experience with some imagination (perhaps humor) added. The same imagination, by the way, that keeps Tehran buses segregated. Tellin' ya, religion is installation art spilled out of the museum into streets and homes! 

Anahid Hojjati

Ari, having Farsi and English text intermixed on IC is good but.

by Anahid Hojjati on


Ari, in your comment adressed to me, you wrote:"What would be playful and fun on IC is having Farsi verse in the middle of English narration, or vice versa. " I agree with this but one problem is display of text when we do this.  Even when this is done for comments, the format is not the best.  It would be nice if IC could improve this so comments and blogs are displayed better when Farsi and English are used in same comment and/or blog.


Very sophisticated erotica

by Monda on

Ari jan, this piece reminds me of an Installation Art project :o) You and Katie are a very compatible match. Both brilliant in your imagination and knowledge of your own creative game.


thanks ari

by humanbeing on

for the follow up.

what a beautiful verse.

a parallel for persian-to-arabic transition, from prose anecdote, just popped to mind, namely in the beginning of the fourth discourse in nizami-aruzi's 'chahar maqhala', in an anecdote (no. 36) involving ibn sina's diagnostic abilities in the case of a young man afflicted with lovesickness(that's to keep on-topic). here there is an interesting structural pattern, the narrative is in persian, and the dialogues are in arabic (i would compare this with tolstoy or dostoyevsky putting french into the mouths of aristocrats within the russian narrative, perhaps even in free indirect discouse, but it's less consistent). i'll insert a bit, so you can get the feel; i believe the free indirect discourse here stays in persian, but i'm really a pre-beginner. i give quite a bit of context in the run up to the transition (i am a quick typer, but it's almost 3 am here, so i will definitely have typos, you can check pp. 79-80 of the edition i think of browne from 1910)

پس ابو علي را طلب كردند وبسر بيمار بردند جوانى ديد بغايت خوبروى و متناسب اعضا خط اثر كرده و وزار افتاده پس بنشست ونبض او بڴرفت وتفسره بخواست وبديد پس ڴفت موا مردى مى بايد كه غرفات ومحلات ڴرڴان را همه شناسد

I skip the details (I gave the first bit for context and an example of non-transition). The climax comes when ibn sina hits on the diagnosis after correlating between disturbed pulse and a name of a certain girl in a certain street in gurgan:...همان حركت حادث شد آنڴه ابو على ڴفت تمام شد پس روى بمعتمدان قابوس كرد و ڴفت اين جوان در فلان محلّب ودر فلان كوى و در فلان سراى بر دخترى فلان وفلان نام عاشق است و داروى او وصال آن دختر است و معالجت او ديدار او باشد

Now I skip a few narratorial details (youth abashed, qabus summons ibn sina to an audience) and get to the on-topic dialogue in arabic embedded into the narrative


: :قابوس آمد ڴفت أًنت أًبو علي ڴفت نَعَم يَا أيُّها المَلك المُعَظَّم

perhaps the arabic is just for greetings or other formulaic material.

good nite

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

Fascinating about Aristophanes 'Acharnians.' will follow up.


Interesting to note that this inter-language (first line in Arabic, sescond in Persian) from Hafez is one of his most beloved:


الا يا ايهاالساقی ادرکأساً و ناولها

که عشق آسان نمود اول ولی افتاد مشکلها

Loosely translated:

Wine bearer, bring the cup to my lips 

For Love came easy at first, but oh what a mess afterwards



The photo is from Shirin Neshat's works. The editors picked it for this story. Here's another of her works. 


helplessly romantic ?

by Darveesh on

best of luck, enjoyed your words.


poesie en prose, 2

by humanbeing on

thanks for the explanation. breaking out into poetry is as old at least as the menippean satires in ancient greek tradition. it is associated with certain genres and authors. moving from one language to another was not usually practiced in greek literature except in satiric drama, aristophanes usually making fun of other dialects of greek. in fact the one real language crossover is the imitation of a persian! in aristophanes' acharnians. ( not offtopic, a rarity for me).

love experimental writing 

 i'll definitely look out for 'mullah with no legs'

(speaking about taboo, is the the hand on our left in the pic an iconic allusion to the straps used in prayer?)

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

 Thank you for your attention to this story. P_T_B_A was kind enough to point out my "Mullah" collection. 

If you happen to teach literature, there are some anthologies that contain some of the stories, a good one is Modern World Literature (high school level). Another is International Management Insights From Fiction and Practice (college level).

Ari Siletz


by Ari Siletz on

Breaking out into verse in the middle of prose would be very nice to see in modern Farsi literature. As you know, the tradition is quite old, Saadi being one of the great masters of the form. What would be playful and fun on IC is having Farsi verse in the middle of English narration, or vice versa.

 Iraj Mirza, being active during one of the most dynamic phases of Iran's history understood that a society and its literature change in lockstep with each other, and did his share in staying mindful of social changes so he could reflect it in is writings. In his case the increased contact with the West had to be made relevant in Persian litetarture:


روی زمین هرچه مرا بنده اند

شاعر و نقّاش و نویسنده اند

گه رافائل گه میکل انژ آورم

گاه هومر گه هرودوت پرورم



 Note that the names in the poem cannot be translated into Farsi equivalents; they are going to have stay strangers and mehmaans to the Farsi language. A powerfully insightful literary statement from Iraj Mirza about the globalization of human languages.  






by Proud_To_Be_Anonymous on

Try his "The Mullah with No Legs and Other Stories".  It's great.


Great Story ...

by Harpi-Eagle on


Thank you, that was a great story, now I'm gonna go back and read the previous episodes.  Please pardon my ignorance, I am only familiar with your work through IC, are you a professional writer and if so, can you give the name of some of your books or short story collections?  I would love to read more.  Thanks again.

With kind regards.

Payandeh Iran, our Ahuraie Fatherland

Anahid Hojjati

Ari,this story is giving us ideas; such as breaking into verses

by Anahid Hojjati on


Ari, In my previous comment, I forgot to write that by your story, now you are giving us ideas such as breaking into verses in middle of action :).

bajenaghe naghi

Ari jan

by bajenaghe naghi on

I enjoyed reading this episode very much. I did expect shirts and pants to come off, but all that body poetry writing and teasing and the hot breathing technique were not expected but thoroughly welcomed. I loved it.


O Ari

by Esther on

As another non-Farsi speaker/reader, with already unrealistic standards for men and Persian poetry, I can only say that you are raising them.  I will also say that your characters are very interesting, although (or because) I don't always like them.  Ah yes, curses or verses, the eternal question ... .

Ari Siletz

Some replies:

by Ari Siletz on


LOL! I had my share of cold showers as I researched Farsi erotic literature for this chapter.

Anahid: Looking forward to some works from you along the same lines. Your have a knack for accessible Farsi rhyme, which is as important a form of literature these days as the customary 80 proof spiritual contemplations. 

JJ:  Glad you're following this story, and thanks for providing the free forum. Khalghi environments like IC are where the arts traditionally take root.

humanbeing: Your positive reaction to this experimental piece confirms my belief that a story could work even if parts of it aren't explicitly understood by the reader. In fact in this case, not precisely knowing may even enhance the "forbidden" experience. 






poesie en prose

by humanbeing on

even without understanding the poetry passages, it was distilled pleasure.

Jahanshah Javid

Magic touch

by Jahanshah Javid on

What can I say? Erotic, artistic, fantastic. Magnificent Ari!

Anahid Hojjati

Dear Ari, great story, I really liked it.

by Anahid Hojjati on


Ari jan, what a fantastic story.  Poetry, art, fashion... I loved it.  Some of my favorite parts were when the story got into poems and also phrases like this:

“Well, is it going to be curses or verses?” She said, closing her eyes for more.

Ari, thanks for this great story.


Oh boy,

by Proud_To_Be_Anonymous on

I took two cold showers to finish this part!

Good job Ari.