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.

THE EVE MANDATE Series by Tess.Lotta

Notes on Fetish Eve: Keeping Up With the Exoticisms (Panel 5 of 12), the 3rd set of portraits in Virgin/Whore: The Eve Mandate Series by Tess.Lotta

written by Armine Iknadossian

EveMandateRHOLA

On forehead:

Hnazant (obedient/submissive) as in “We named our daughter Hnazant to make sure she does not turn out a slut.”

Lrel (to shut up) when men threaten you.

Fetish as in Kim Kardashian’s ass, breasts and lips

Exotic as in Cher’s nose

Noorp (petite) as in surgical rib removal for smaller waist-line

On right breast:

Chaste – as in hymen reconstruction surgery

Evil as in Eve(l).

Arkant (uterus) as in hysterectomy at 40

Gov (cow) as in “Get off the couch, you fat cow.”

Bitch – as in bitch rescues kitten by adopting it into her own litter of puppies.

On left breast:

Pari (good) as in “Good girls your age shouldn’t ask what the word virgin means.”

Good as in “Good girls your age shouldn’t ask what the word virgin means.”

Girl as in “Good girls your age shouldn’t ask what the word virgin means.”

Hay akhchig (Armenian girl) is hiding behind the fold in the fabric.

Keghetzig (beautiful) – “Will you still love me when I am no longer young and […]”

Slut as in a woman deflowered by someone other than her husband.

View the rest of Tess.Lotta’s series here: Fetish Eve: Keeping Up with the Exoticisms

March Eulogy: Winner of Postcard Poem Project (2001)

Thanks to Terry Wolverton and Writers at Work, this Postcard Poems project is a blast form the past, but poetry is also timeless, not linear, and time is not linear either, so to look back on this poem as a bit prophetic (morbidly) makes me rethink how this mortal coil unwinds. (Click on photos to enlarge.)March Eulogy postcard poemTruly uncanny….my auntie Astrid died on March 16…do the math.  And of course the number 3…always the 3. 

March Eulogy postcard poem back

California Love Poem | Keyhole Press

California Love Poem | Keyhole Press.

California Love Poem

Armine Iknadossian

The sun has an orgasm across the valley
as Pasadena opens up in front of me,
the Suicide Bridge pushing an arm out
of green sleeves, orange blossoms keening
after a mid-spring heatwave,
the Rose Bowl yawning in a ravine.

It is not enough to love the one you love,
to drive toward the ocean just to fall
into bed with them, then return home
alone, drowsy from no sleep and sex in a strange bed.
You want to keep driving East toward
black rocks and tarantulas of Nevada

or South toward the unilateral mirage of water
where the Salton Sea groans in her deadwood hammock.
On a map, California looks like she’s hugging the continent
and Nevada is leaning in for a deep kiss.
She is tentative, he is a sharp-tongued,
diamond-studded menace, kissing her
and at the same time, pushing her into the ocean.

The Next Big Thing: Tag, I’m It

I’ve been tagged by the illustrious Armenian-American poet, Ms. Lola Koundakjian, to do an interview for an expanding blog called, “The Next Big Thing.” Lola was tagged by another writer, and you can read Lola’s interview at http://lolakoundakjian.blogspot.com/ The idea is that I tag other writers to do the same. I accepted the invitation because it will force me to re-evaluate my unpublished manuscript while hopefully serving other writers in the process. Lola is a good example of a writer who is always busy writing, publishing, curating. Her practice is one I can learn a lot from. Who’s to say what can happen if writers around the globe agreed to participate in “The Next Big Thing,” answering the same questions about their work? I suspect there is a lot to learn from one another.

Now, the interview:

TNBT:    Where did the idea come from for the book?

I suppose the confusion of being exposed to Judeo-Christianity from a slightly extremist group of evangelists who put the fear of God in me spurned thematic questions and lifted the resentment right out of my memories and onto the page. Let’s just say God and I are still getting to know each other, on better terms. I suppose our conversation is the book.

TNBT: What genre does your book fall under?

Poetry

Image

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

A movie rendition of a poetry collection written by an Armenian woman? I don’t see Dreamworks shelling out the big bucks for that, but let’s play with this idea just for the fun of it.

I would want whoever cast “I’m Not There” (the Bob Dylan bio-pic) to cast the movie. Patti Smith would have to make an appearance, either as God or my mother. Or both. PJ Harvey would play my alter ego, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club would provide the soundtrack and Jack White would play the devil or God. Or both.

TNBT:  What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

You want to throw stones at a mirror? I am your mirror, and here are your stones. (Rumi) That’s two sentences, but it’s Rumi, so we’ll let it slide.

TNBT: How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

I am still writing the first draft. I have been writing the first draft since the day I was born. I think it’s time to move on.

TNBT: Who or what inspired you to write this book?

I will give you the boring answer here. The MFA program I was attending required it, and I wanted to experience the process of putting one together. I produced something for that purpose at that point, but I was not happy with it as a piece that would live on for all posterity, so I am hanging onto it for a while until it’s ready. It’s past due, I know.

TNBT: What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The title is Dogmata. It was going to be Gnosis, but I figured it would be hard for people to pronounce. Dogmata might change again though. There’s a movie with that name out there, and I don’t know yet if that would be a good or bad thing. The movie is by Kevin Smith, and it’s one I actually enjoyed because of all the religious and dark humor, but in terms of search engine data and such, I am not sure how much that association would help or hurt my little project, so we’ll see.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

I am weighing a couple of options at this point. I have heard great things about Red Hen Press and Write Bloody Press who have both published writers who I know and admire. Copper Canyon is one I’ve always appreciated for their selections. Once I feel ready, I’ll reach out to some of these places and hope for the best.

The writers I will be tagging include: 

Khadija Anderson, Brendan Constantine and Peggy Dobreer

The Ferris Wheel

We all take turns on the broken ferris wheel,

hoping beyond hope the cables do not give,

the structure retains its integrity, every screw

and spigot oiled and tightened, at the ready.

Steady now, it tips towards the sun,

its many teeth swinging along in silhouette

against the empty sky. It whines. It rattles on its hinges.

A red, white and blue axis of rims and spokes,

a hydraulic web designed by a man-child

who liked to draw circles and lines.

And people. Between steel soldered to steel,

best friends, newlyweds, fathers and sons

sit with their hearts racing, their thighs braced

against the evening chill, shoulder to shoulder,

arm in arm, dipping and rising into the night,

hoping beyond hope that they touch ground

eventually, that the thrill of being thrust towards heaven

does not end with a snapped wire, a rusty bolt or nail,

human error or bad luck. So they laugh because

they’re drunk on love, because gravity tickles their diaphragm,

because others are laughing and somebody is screaming,

and because that’s what humans do when they’re scared.

© Copyright 2012 Armine Iknadossian