Three poems by Khashayar Mohammadi


For Joseph Ianni

jo says history is water
swimming in itself
like underwater lakes maybe
and isn’t it silly to talk water
in a cafe?

rain can flood sidewalks
garbage can float in water
downhill where real rivers used to be

jo says I should stare at my hand
and then focus on all the blurry stuff behind
but I don’t fit in with rivers
and Jo says don’t be silly it’s a metaphor
and I put my hands away
but I’ve popped a bubble
can stare past the horizon
and isn’t it silly how so much
of the horizon line is water?
not for Jo he likes silly
he wants to cringe
cuz he thinks it’s awesome
when Jo says he doesn’t like big words
he means he doesn’t like poverty

and I like Jo Jo is my friend
he says asking permission is silly
cuz what if people say no?
I don’t always get Jo but he gets me
and isn’t it silly to tell Jo he’s smart?
not for Jo Jo likes silly


In a Poem Unlimited

for Moez Surani

empty walls of the gallery
white space on my page
I force air to the margin

I’ve read David Foster Wallace
emerged still loyal to language
my turtles-all-the-way-down creator
with self-consuming words

a line on the page
a spelling mistake
a “capital G” god
down a self-same fractal’s
sub-branchest of sub-branches
firing neurons
in the neighbourhood of Awe
maybe one can reach the tongue
or the pen, spell out
that never-heard-before truth
no buddhist or PHD candidate
has ever held court about

my truth is material
that I’ve cut, sanded and shaped
from a purple heart cedar
it now sits on top of my cutting board

tell me it is not truth
(“not really”)
tell me you’ve moved past it
tell me it is last year’s truth
tell me its sophomoric and tedious
but my truth needs repetition
to sand it down to a shine
it needs to live unreconciled
and not of its own accord

so! now that truth is manifest
and tangibly in the palm of our hands
let’s workshop our future
crowdfund our happiness
build children of language
nest beings in letters
and let them hang
on the white walls
as paintings
as neon signs
as a consummate language
consumed with intent
stretched out to extent
othered out and othered in
to include and include and include
until it collapses under its eloquence

words are interchangeable
they are uttered by bodies
bodies are expendable
they are uttered by language
language is irreconcilable
it is uttered by white walls
where we hang for passersby
judgment day for intent/extent

empty walls of the gallery
are the empty space in my poem
I ink the plot
force story to the margin
I ink the words
force the poem to the margin

empty walls of the gallery
are the empty space in my mind
and I ink the self into existence


Pornhub Gay

for Kirby

the bodies I attract
the bodies I’m attracted to
curves and sinews
muscle symmetry
epidermal glimmer
and tenderness
touch electric

no body without warmth
no touch void of electricity
no skin less yielding to touch

the most oppressed bodies
are the most pornographically desired

the most oppressed bodies
are the most pornographically endowed

the most suppressed desires
(of) the most oppressed bodies…

infinitely flexible
bending sexwards
and the oppressed are
the most lusciously bodied
aggressively membered
then dis-membered
and re-membered
in taglines
while cultures fuck each other
into self-consuming wormholes

Khashayar Mohammadi is an Iranian-born Toronto-based writer and translator. He is the author of poetry chapbooks Moe’s Skin by ZED press (2018), and Dear Kestrel by knife | fork | book (2019).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s