Gartal and the Armenian Poetry Project are proud to release this audio clip recorded live at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City on April 2, 2010.
Click to hear Armine Iknadossian’s reading of her poem
There is no time for apologies,
not time for diapers, not bloated deadbeats
like pennies shining pretty in the sun.
One penny, two, three penny, none
for you. Not for nest eggs,
not years of one-bedroom savings
for dogs in the doghouse, a dirty
doghouse where too many dogs lie.
No this is no time for sleeping dogs
to lie nor to lay down with dogs, not to wake
with fleas. This is the time to send them out back,
shoot or be bitten, put them out of this misery. C’mon
let’s make a killing! A penny for a thought, yours, theirs,
secret Suisse bank accounts, Cayman Island sunstrokes.
A penny in the hand. A penny in the fist. Pennies
over eyelids. Pennies to death. Death pennies.
Dead president’s (made of) pennies.
This is the time to give back the jar of pennies,
coins colored dried blood, color of collapse,
an amber Lincoln sea fit to drown.
Grab fistfuls, stuff pockets, fill up your purses.
Swallow them whole. One penny, two penny,
three. One for you and two for me.
One for tombstones in Virginia, one
for silence, two for mass hysteria.
There is no time to love the sinner, not to hate the sin,
not to let boys be boys, and boys, not to turn another cheek
while one penny is held over a flame
then carried to the skin: In God We Trust,
In We God Trust, In Trust We God. No time to trust, only time
to let meek inherit coffers, steal back what’s stolen,
face the thief in the middle of your living room.
This is no time to settle, not for the smallest slice of pie,
not to divvy up leftovers and not to go home empty-handed,
not to give, not til it hurts, not till you’re bleeding pennies.
One penny, two penny, three penny, more.
One for you, and two for me, one for you again. Don’t apologize,
take it, don’t stay silent for the dogs. Take it, don’t love
the sinner, take it, run, like hell take it, laugh,
take it, it hurts, take it all the way to the bank,
take it all the way to heaven.