Thank you to Life and Legends for publishing “The Hollow Women”

 

http://lifeandlegends.com/armine-iknadossian/

The Hollow Women

“Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow” (T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men)

A.

We are the hollow women.
We are the stuff men leave behind.
Laden with ill-begotten parcels,
our voices crack the firmament
like spider webs. We are quite mysterious
as we digress from the conversation,
return to the table, eat off a hand-held mirror

Sit with us, and you will see our shaded
landscape of tapestries and fruit trees.

Silence has started to return the lies,
but our debt is not what we cling to.
Dismember us; we will not tell.
Night is lost, but only as the hollow women.
The stuff men leave behind.

B.

As if I had a seat
in their free kingdom,
in their civil potential.
There, sons and daughters
climb into their father’s lap.
There, bees get stuck in sonnets,
and women are busy
winding grandfather clocks.
Near misses, near so many
thinly-veiled discretions.

Limit me, and tear
the kingdom limb from limb.
Limit me, and all is not well.
Fat, bloated, no skin, no nails
In between beheaded and dead
No tears –

No tears in their free kingdom.

C.

This is Dad’s land,
badlands cut like diamonds
free from tongues in cheeks,
free from the suck of implication,
from the fatherly burden of proof.

I sit like this
in the free kingdom.
I sometimes walk alone at night,
arm in arm with a ghost,
bumping hips with foreign
patterns and mortal coils.

D.

We women. We realize fear
where there is no fear.
Indestructible.
Highs and lows.
I bequeath this ball and chain
to their kingdom.
Endless fasts.
We grew up together
on a beach void of tombs.
A multitude of lonely men
in shirtsleeves.
Trite anomalies.

E.

We will not sing for you.
We will not sing in the morning,
in the evening or in the afternoons.
You ask, “For whom is the kingdom?”
But we ask, “For whom is the conception?”
You have so many in-betweens,
as if we fall for falling’s sake.
But life is not as long as you think,
and your world, our world, their world
will not end in the sense you think it will,
like a starved dog or a mewling infant.
It will end when we say.

*****

 

My collaborative poem “A History of Tears” in Entropy Magazine. Thank you to Terry Wolverton for the invite to take part in this mind-altering process.

“The Hollow Women” as published in Life and Legends (5th Edition)

Read my poem “The Hollow Women”http://lifeandlegends.com/armine-iknadossian/ published in the very special edition: From the Cradle of Civilization: Contemporary Arabic Poetry

Kalpna Singh-Chitnis, Robbi Nester and the rest of the Life and Legends editorial team need an award! They deserve much thanks and hurrahs for their work with Arab writers from around the world. Read my piece “The Hollow Women” and read an interview with Robert Pinsky! I am thrilled to be published alongside Nathalie Handal, Sam Hamod and other exemplary poets.

Four Poems in Angels Flight • literary west

I am thrilled to announce some good news in my little life. Thank you to Michele Raphael, David Lott and Sherilyn Lee for entrusting me with the associate poetry editor position at AFLW. I hope to learn a lot from these brilliant humans. Here are some of my poems for you to check out on the last day of Black History Month.

A Girl Stands on Debris in Homs, Syria reprinted in The Rise Up Review

Rise Up Review is a landing site for the poetry of opposition. We feature a new poem each day dedicated to making the political personal and vice versa. The poems on Rise Up are meant to be disseminated like manifestos. In that regard, the daily poem is featured as a JPEG on the home page, which makes for easy sharing. William Carlos Williams says that "it is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men [and women] die miserably everyday for lack of what is found there." Poetry has the ability to address injustices and oppression in a manner that is both lyrical and intimate. The best such instances of this power avoid the didactic, because we learn about human evils and frailties, human love and strength, from the stories we tell. Poetry is a hammer is a flame is a rebel flag is an olive branch. We proffer it to you.
Rise Up Review is a landing site for the poetry of opposition. We feature a new poem each day dedicated to making the political personal and vice versa. The poems on Rise Up are meant to be disseminated like manifestos. In that regard, the daily poem is featured as a JPEG on the home page, which makes for easy sharing. William Carlos Williams says that “it is difficult to get the news from poems, yet men [and women] die miserably everyday for lack of what is found there.” Poetry has the ability to address injustices and oppression in a manner that is both lyrical and intimate. The best such instances of this power avoid the didactic, because we learn about human evils and frailties, human love and strength, from the stories we tell. Poetry is a hammer is a flame is a rebel flag is an olive branch. We proffer it to you.

Today, I Vote

I blow into empty eye sockets
and hear the whistle of the slave mind;
the hive mind.
 
When the earth shivers, her spine loosens,
contracts, releases, contracts.
We all stumble around like flees
in her jungles and forests.
We hold on to both sides of the lifeboat
as we flow into her angry breast
 
Today, the appeals go unanswered,
the rummage sale for Syrian villages and young women.
 
And everyone will join hands and cheer,
“We defeated fascism! Yay for us! We did good!”
while rubber bullets bruise the Natives,
while slave labor continues in prisons,
while refugees wash up on the shores.
 
Surely you don’t want _______ to win!
Surely you don’t want _______ to win!
Surely you don’t want _______ to win!
That’s not an election; that’s extortion.
 
And hey white women,
Sojourner Truth was a suffragette too!
Sojourner Truth was a suffragette too!
Sojourner Truth was a suffragette too!
How many I VOTED stickers will be placed on her tombstone?
 
Today a girl in Gaza makes buildings out of ash
(this is not a metaphor).
Her name is Majd Al-Masharawy,
and she calls the bricks Green Cake.
Green like grass and money.
Cake like rich, sweet desserts.
I would like to vote for Majd.
How much sugar can I send her?
I would like to send her all the sugar in the world.