April 23, 2022

Anis Mojgani

SOMEWHERE IN MY BODY ARE TWO FLOWERS FOR THE SAME PERSON

I do not always have the right thing to say

my foot sometimes moves without me

a wing of my library is filled

with only the knocking of one cuckoo clock

and the voices of yellow flowers

a path of empty vases follows us

somewhere in my body

small memories

fold newspapers by the thousands

turning them into small squares

from Rattle #39, Spring 2013
Tribute to Southern Poets

__________

Anis Mojgani (Louisiana & Texas): “I took a poetry class at the end of high school with Ms. Jean Gill, which first opened my eyes to the possibility of writing poems. The first poem I wrote for her was about summer in New Orleans. The second was about my grandfather’s aftershave. After seeing the poet Jeffrey McDaniel perform in my freshman year of college and buying Jeff ’s book Alibi School, my brain and heart opened further to what poetry could do both on the page and when being spoken.” (web)

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March 2, 2019

Anis Mojgani

THE BRANCHES ARE FULL AND THESE ORCHARDS HEAVY

gentlemen have you forgotten your god?

He weeps out loud
waiting for our dreams to grow like ears
while you are making ghosts out of people
making ghosts from your torah
your koran
your bibles

we have shaved our books down
swallowed them
so that the word of God
might flow through us
but the pages just sit in our bellies
speaking to us in dull murmurs as we sleep
we wonder what to do
make me understand
we wish to become one with our Lord
we hear the voices and think we know what they say
this
is the word of God
i hear this i heard this correctly
so we rise and try to translate this word
with the work
with the heart
we search the bed
through thighs
the blanket the leg the needle twist
fuck and the fuck you
curse of the moon
to find our Lord
and listen more proper-like
but our ears are too small
for our hearts to understand the humming of these sentences inside of us

we are trying to decipher the bang buck braille of Your silent throat Lord
but the voices grow and grow just as fuzzy
so we stand and go to the kitchen
and pick up knives to cut these voices out from inside
we stab ourselves
i must hear You
cutting the flap of our skins
the words twist on the floor of our homes
mixing their sounds with our blood
they drown
but it does not stop
i must hear you
we hear the same songs singing in the stomachs of others
so we grab more knives to cut those out
but there are more and more stomachs
—we need
bigger knives
we need soldiers tanks and missiles
but we still cannot make out the words
we need dead mothers
and children raped from searching
the hospitals are full and overflowing
from us trying to cut our God from our gut
with the blade the pipe
the fingernail twist of the drug
pushed and poked through the arm to the belly
to throw Him up
in the bang of the scream
we find our savior
the shell in the chamber
is a quiet plea to a distant God
asking for us to be remembered by Him
through the tire tread
through the smoke of the tank
the crunch of the skull
through the babies we bury beneath us
we empty their tiny limbs to see if a scrap of our Lord still lingered
somewhere inside there
we clutch throats pistols and palms in the same two handed clasp of prayer
staring into the mirror
we see crypts
fondling the marble of our hearts like they were mausoleums
we are ghosts hungry
for something bigger then what our mouths are kissing

let me see You
let me see You Lord
i have balanced in the middle of the question
black as my eye
beaten by Your hymn
i am holding still

so
go ahead
you gentle

men of God
you tender sinners

take your rifles
raise to my gut and fire on

hear the song more clearly
it does not sing what you wish it did

it is too big for us to see a letter of it
so do not even try

cut Him from me

i wish to drape His face with my kisses
and finally sleep softly

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007
Tribute to Slam Poetry

__________

Anis Mojgani: “I have skinny arms and get cold easily. I have bad posture. I really like MF Doom. His rhymes are totally awesome to the max. I grew up in New Orleans. I have a BFA in comic books. Two months ago I watched my father try not to cry as he read about Baha’i martyrs dying in his home country of Iran. I wrote a poem about it. I like to write poems these days about people other than me. I like to write poems that illuminate the truths people hold in common. I like the myth of the poem, the ancient theater of its mythology. Right now I am writing a poetry book about a whale.” (website)

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October 23, 2009

Anis Mojgani

CRADLE

Set the warriors to sea in a ship stacked with shields, layers of swords, mountains of gold. Lay them out with their wife. With their child. Lay them out with their livestock, with the whole farm. The rain is not coming here. Not today. For today the gods welcome one of their own back home. So set the hero out on the soft waves that will carry him to the other side of the pink ether where he will float on fire until the ash consumes him like the mighty warrior he once was and like the legend he will become. The flames will dance over his possessions, his goblets and arrows, his blankets, his paintings, his passions. The flames will dance across his flesh like the soft fingers of the soft lover he left, and as he sleeps this last sleep, the fires will eat him away, the heat will write his skin across the night sky to join the constellations that will guide the sailors at storm, the herders lost in the clouds, they will all come home by facing the direction his eyes are facing. The heavens are filled with smoke. This is history this is legend this is what we once were. Where the stories come from, what we are. When you fall in battle, they will take your body with the life you made in this world and set it off to sail behind you into the next, so that you will stay a king, remain forever the golden being you breathed as on this side of the mountain. When you pass, may your life follow you like a shadow into the light. When I go, bury me with nothing but my own skin. I spent far too many days trying to outrun this thing called mine, so if I set myself into your arms would you hold me like the earth, quietly? I am yours. Give me a field, give me a big sky. A mountain. Give me your mouth. I’m just looking for a quiet place that I could die inside of.

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007
Tribute to Slam Poetry

__________

Anis Mojgani: “I have skinny arms and get cold easily. I have bad posture. I really like MF Doom. His rhymes are totally awesome to the max. I grew up in New Orleans. I have a BFA in comic books. Two months ago I watched my father try not to cry as he read about Baha’i martyrs dying in his home country of Iran. I wrote a poem about it. I like to write poems these days about people other than me. I like to write poems that illuminate the truths people hold in common. I like the myth of the poem, the ancient theater of its mythology. Right now I am writing a poetry book about a whale.” (web)

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