from “The Book of Absence”

translated by Erfan Mojib and Gary Gach

 

The foot
that brought me to You
now
in a bread line
plays with a pebble

*

Missing someone
is a mother
who leaves the front door ajar

*

I want to open a door
onto a sea & a night
I want to open a door
onto you
who are the sea & the night

*

As the seasons change
the plums
are replaced by persimmons
longing
by
longing

*

He told Adam
“Your fall is temporary
You’ll come back to me”
but Adam built a house
and called it home

*

I’d wanted to be the wind
in my beloved’s hair
but am only a breeze
amidst gnarly shrubs

*

Between me and you
I am a wall
Take me down

 


 

«علیرضا روشن از «کتاب نیست

 

پا

که مرا پیش یار میتوانست برد
اینک
در صف نان
با تکه ریگی بازیبازی میکند

*

دلتنگی
مادریست
که در را
پیش میگذارد

*

کاش دری بگشایم
به دریایی و شبی
کاش دری بگشایم
به روی تو
که دریایی و شبی

*

فصل عوض میشود
جای آلو را
خرمالو میگیرد
جای دلتنگی را
دلتنگی

*
آدم را گفت
هبوط ِ تو موقت است
به من باز میگردی
آدم اما
خانه ساخت

*

باد میخواستم باشم
در مویِ یار
بادم اینک
البهالی ِ خار

*

بین ما
من دیوارم
خرابم کن

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from "Surge"

A long night I spent
thinking that reality was the story
of the human species

 

the vanquished search for the vanquished

 

Sounds come by, ruffling my soul

 

I sense space’s elasticity,
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Why do seasons who regularly follow
their appointed time, deny their kind of energy
to us?

 

why is winter followed by a few
more days of winter?

 

We came to transmit the shimmering
from which we came; to name it

 

 
we deal with a permanent voyage,
the becoming of that which itself had
become

Elegy for the Disappeared

Though no word called me, I looked again. 

Each wave of supposition hammered against the black wall. 

Sometimes meaning, like an expiration date, is blurred. 

Then emptiness takes a bow, extending its invitation. 

Like that interval between the performance and the bravos. 

What was there before it dropped away? Was there ever anything beyond this lingering, felt presence? 

Erosional debris piles up in a rift valley. 

As the world pours into me, I pour into the broken word. 

Suggestions, you come to realize, will be dispensed in installments. The poor and the brutalized. A prayer bruise. 

If letters act as synapses, you become a neurotransmitter, conducting the message between them. Trans latus. Carried across. A form of translation. 

But what detonation blew these letters apart? 

Caesura: a gap between words. Mind the gap. 

Yet it’s precisely what’s missing that beckons us. 

When we read, what transpires but a yearning between letters? 

The b is all that’s left of bitterness. The p introduces pain. 

Like opening the door only to be handed a summons. 

Where the house previously stood, now a wind blows. 

Though its first and last plank held, the bridge plunged into the ravine. Given up, left behind with a terrible longing. 

Or thrown overboard and drowned in the middle passage. 

The p and b are testaments of survivors. 

The bodies of letters lying apart from their trauma. 

Cells on opposite sides of a wound draw near and begin to merge. Phantom limb. Though what is absent speaks. 

As I imagine what is nowhere to be found, my own substance grows porous, my life more elusive. 

A glyph, a provocation, and you respond. Art blossoms in the mind. Hey abyss, you still don’t possess all of me. 

Bringing about this call and response. 

How to cure a phantom limb with a mirror? Let yourself see what is there.