Get our latest essays, archival selections, reading lists, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Drawer to drawer
of the spider’s diaper –
This lack of faith I confuse
with myself, tripping across such
in redheels of roses.
All around are such seeds, to file and fling and lead
me through our gap-tooth town.
Rats eek through – and the riders of rats in tears, fat ones
that cowl them.
A rose descends my whole body offering it –
It salivates regalia
of poets – butchers – fat flies – I would.
To the real family – its cool, skeletal scarves!
To the future audience I would protect – I would.
With psyched armor and orchard,
With the mass slits of our gap-tooth book.
• • •
Dodendans Class (‘10)
in memory of P.G.
The spun gull the anus of overhearing is
bled – with ease now – the news
is bled. Weirdly it moves,
like a dream’s whip.
Sick: We remember
when your perspective was among us
the first – and net – hand
raised in hell. And we do not fault
this knowing all –
(our lessons nap noons
from sword to sword) though we worry
we have lost.
Low – lower it now, wont
to see God’s face.
For mainly that mountainous curtain
at the throat – drawn
when speaking of father.
A queue forms
of desiring one’s self only in passing others –
Flooding dull hillock and steps of
the grand library, wrapping out the diminishing foyer
with blood grapes and braids of wildflower,
till ten chaps (chapters) descend
on athlete’s foot, which was always with him:
1) Run a man over a woman. 2) Make me an offer,
Child, said George to Charlie, lower
than that stance on earth. 3) Turn the stiles in the worm,
then run that woman over that man –
4) To be complimented
by a bird’s return and manners of sky, arms, arms
5) – Excuse me, said Child, but aren’t we enough
to ride the bulk of hymns, sideshow and burden,
our debt grown and lasting in the gut.
Here is seen, Here is seen, as is good to be, if ever we were intent
in prayer or on skipping snails in the single-file mirror
6) The gull has landed.
Am I – is he not also– bound up in loins with pointed leaves?
7) All angles have now flushed from him; his goal – abroad now –
is taken like a street joker into a straight-up – child’s – arms.
Farnoosh Fathi is the author of Great Guns (Canarium, 2013), editor of Joan Murray: Drafts, Fragments, and Poems (NYRB Poets, 2018) and founder of the Young Artists Language and Devotion Alliance (YALDA). She lives and teaches in New York City, most recently at Stanford Online High School, Poets House, Columbia University, and the Poetry Project.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
Reflecting on three monumental works of modernism—James Joyce’s Ulysses, T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land, and Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus—a hundred years on.
Both regulators and employers have embraced new technologies for on-the-job monitoring, turning a blind eye to unjust working conditions.
But I do miss the hymns, / the small, hard apples with their dimpled skin. I do miss / things.