Ali Alizadeh
Listening To Michael Jackson In Tehran After Azar Nafisi by Ali Alizadeh

Listening To Michael Jackson In Tehran After Azar Nafisi by Ali Alizadeh

Smuggled across the fierce chasm between us and the US, and then hidden, stuffed between Farsi and Science textbooks in my school bag, the illegal and sacrilegious cassette-tape ...

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Angelus Novus by Ali Alizadeh

Angelus Novus by Ali Alizadeh

After Walter Benjamin The angry wind has shorn the feathersoff his wings.He levitates on a fixed spotby the highway. Is the windcaused by the floodof the speeding vehiclesor ...

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Jeanette Speaks by Ali Alizadeh

Jeanette Speaks by Ali Alizadeh

1.A bright and barefoot little girlwith a garland of cherry blossomsenters the unattended village church.She makes a shorthand crossupon the makeshift wooden amulet attached to ...

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Languages by Ali Alizadeh

Languages by Ali Alizadeh

For John MateerI'll speak you mine, you speak me yourssince all's in the telling, content, formto mangle the Master's eavesdroppingon subalterns' whispers, going ...

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Aa-Zaa-Dee by Ali Alizadeh

Aa-Zaa-Dee by Ali Alizadeh

How can I define this Realof language in words? Signsbetray its unsayable beinglike a hoax. Has no authenticitycheated by fakeness; condemnsall things to fantasy. How can Ipraise ...

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Ghazal 22 By Attar by Ali Alizadeh

Ghazal 22 By Attar by Ali Alizadeh

Every heart that annihilates its self becomes worthy of the King's confidence.The flower that doesn't assume the heart's hue will be afflicted by its own ...

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Good Idea? by Ali Alizadeh

Good Idea? by Ali Alizadeh

For Justin Clemens Fin-de-Siècle Francemuch more congenialto the glum exuberanceof your thoughts. Exilein the land of mediocrityand gum-trees, no doubtunjust as Ovid’s. Our ...

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Joan Of Arc by Ali Alizadeh

Joan Of Arc by Ali Alizadeh

She and the firefight adjectives. Their concretenessdeflects reificationby language. She simply isa pronoun. It may signifysay, my wife (coming from me'she' often does) or, yesa ...

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Immigration by Ali Alizadeh

Immigration by Ali Alizadeh

I'll tell you why.To survivethe onslaught of religion.To outlivethe ghosts of martyrs.To recoverfrom the world's longest warsince WWII. To livebeyond the hatredsof patriotism. To ...

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March To War by Ali Alizadeh

March To War by Ali Alizadeh

The incorrigible sycophants claptheir wrinkled hands and I won’tpretend that calamity can beaverted. The President has at lastconstructed sentences with good syntaxsignifying ...

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Ghazal 18 By Attar by Ali Alizadeh

Ghazal 18 By Attar by Ali Alizadeh

The word of Love is nothing but allusion. Love is not bound by poetic metaphors.The heart recognises the jewel of Love. Reason has no inkling of this ...

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A Sufi’s Remonstrance by Ali Alizadeh

A Sufi’s Remonstrance by Ali Alizadeh

I’m sick of You. Your magnificenceprecipitates mental pain, ethical cramps. That You continue to shineblinds, asphyxiates, twists the sinews of my words. How dare You bewitchin an ...

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Iran by Ali Alizadeh

Iran by Ali Alizadeh

I cringe (or is it shiver?) every time I hear the wordmotherland. I’d like to thinkmy blatant internationalismfoments the reaction. But is it the latent fear forever held by you, ...

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Dubai by Ali Alizadeh

Dubai by Ali Alizadeh

I can’t pretendthere’s beauty to exhumefrom these slabsconcrete and sandstoneplanted in the sandfunereal totems. I can’tharmonise with the drillfracturing the bouldersbeneath the ...

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Ghazal 23 By Attar by Ali Alizadeh

Ghazal 23 By Attar by Ali Alizadeh

The being that nullifies its self becomes worthy of a prompt Union.The wood that hasn't wiped out the self cannot possibly become incense.This ...

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Coup D’Etat by Ali Alizadeh

Coup D’Etat by Ali Alizadeh

I’m comfortable with your confronting mehurling, albeit politely, the epic queryhaunting your ‘tolerance’ and a feverto my soul. It’s frankly a reliefdecoding the cryptic cause of ...

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Conclusion (The Fall) by Ali Alizadeh

Conclusion (The Fall) by Ali Alizadeh

on the floora little death after a lividorgasm.numb. all feeling gone.out of breath.next to them in the flata small fenced balconyabove it a cloudless sky.Calmed and carefully ...

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Brutus by Ali Alizadeh

Brutus by Ali Alizadeh

After the sin, I slipped outof the cave, bright and bravefor a new world. Father’s bloodpuddled behind inside the darkhouse, the terror of his shadowscraping the floor, the ...

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Ghazal 1 By Attar by Ali Alizadeh

Ghazal 1 By Attar by Ali Alizadeh

Since there is no one to be our companion in Love the prayer-mat is for the pious; wine-dregs and vice for us.A place where people's souls turn and twist like polo balls ...

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‘Feast Of Hunger’ Revisited by Ali Alizadeh

‘Feast Of Hunger’ Revisited by Ali Alizadeh

For Matt HetheringtonMy taut insides twisted in hunger. I wasat the table, my platereflected a callow face. I sensedthe sound of emptinesscreak in my bones. I knewabout you. My ...

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Fetish Commodity by Ali Alizadeh

Fetish Commodity by Ali Alizadeh

I used to be brave. Emancipationeludes me now. There’s nothing real in what I get paid to do. Rhetoricand composition, in-text citation as useful to my ‘students’ as sexeducation ...

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The Suspect by Ali Alizadeh

The Suspect by Ali Alizadeh

Over there, in the Other land, I wasgharb-zadeh, Farsi to the effect of west-smitten. Over here, in 'Our' land, I amMuslim immigrant, nomenclature with graveallusions: ...

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From La Pucelle: The Epic Of Joan Of Arc by Ali Alizadeh

From La Pucelle: The Epic Of Joan Of Arc by Ali Alizadeh

I ––Listen my Prince. This is important. I could feel the dew setting on the leaves and petals of lilies and camellias. I was aware of the soil’s moisture being absorbed by the ...

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The Dervish by Ali Alizadeh

The Dervish by Ali Alizadeh

Schemas and schedules. The price or the worth? Chant of recalcitrance from solitary sandstone minaret protruding from the promenade patched with bikini girl billboards. This ...

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Merri Creek by Ali Alizadeh

Merri Creek by Ali Alizadeh

Rivers are all the same. Dirty waterif you’re lucky, smelly mud and siltincreasingly the case. And drearywater sports, flotillas of filthy plasticbottles and bags; I’d like to ...

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A Familial Renaissance by Ali Alizadeh

A Familial Renaissance by Ali Alizadeh

for Saf Like the Italian one, my family’s rebirthspawned masterpieces, caused a breakdown like the civil wars of the Reformationwith few victors, countless casualties. Mine a kind ...

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Shut Up by Ali Alizadeh

Shut Up by Ali Alizadeh

So he’s shut up. Vilified:an unpatriotic recalcitrant,gagged for penning‘Imperialist turpitude’, thensummoned, sentencedto ‘purgation’ in Tehran’sEvin Prison. How the ...

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The War by Ali Alizadeh

The War by Ali Alizadeh

Are you sure my tears are righteous, not apocryphal, or a crocodile’s? Consider this woman’s: a victim of vaginal mutilation a refugee from an Islamist hellhole in Africa her ...

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The Clash by Ali Alizadeh

The Clash by Ali Alizadeh

Civilisations, it’s often shouted,clash. Particularly mineand yours. At Thermopylaethe Persians crashed into and squashed the Spartan infantry. At Salamis the Athenians sank the ...

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Your Terrorist by Ali Alizadeh

Your Terrorist by Ali Alizadeh

You call me a barbarian.I call you master.You don't speak my language.My wordsnoise in your ears; my poemsmeaningless melodies.Your poemsmasterpieces of literature.Your ...

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The Lecture Last Night by Ali Alizadeh

The Lecture Last Night by Ali Alizadeh

after Howard DossoriLife is a travesty. I've enduredeven worse. Used to bea time when cognisancehad the better of me. When I believedin the aura of authenticity(if I hadn't had ...

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Grey by Ali Alizadeh

Grey by Ali Alizadeh

for Felicity PlunkettiIn this World – which is not a world – blackand white withhold truths. In a worldwe’d have multiplicities, the purityof unqualified impurities. In ours we ...

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The Incinerator by Ali Alizadeh

The Incinerator by Ali Alizadeh

I.You, domain of debris and ash;whose fire constructed your black towers?In whose excited furnace fireand fiery science dared to collude?Which architect designed your wallsof ...

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Writer In Prison by Ali Alizadeh

Writer In Prison by Ali Alizadeh

Your cell is a cavern; the guardsgrinding teeth outside your grottomarginally refined ape-men; youthe last human in the worldof triumphant beasts. Is your penthe key to ...

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My People by Ali Alizadeh

My People by Ali Alizadeh

Snared by nostalgiareduced to an absolute pasto my peoplehow shall I save you? Your faces reduced to eyesthat flicker from the darkoppression of forgetting.How shall my ...

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The Hermit by Ali Alizadeh

The Hermit by Ali Alizadeh

For Edward Said He stands outside the wallswith a torch. To the courtiershis light is a novelty; something quaintflickering like a distant staramusing, at best, but oftentrivial ...

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The Brink by Ali Alizadeh

The Brink by Ali Alizadeh

I sat at the brinkof the precipice. I massaged my frosted toesbefore the leap. My fingershard as marble, aboutto crack like crystal. I knewmy own story: excessin an auburn, ...

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The History Of The Veil by Ali Alizadeh

The History Of The Veil by Ali Alizadeh

…sexuality is originally, historically bourgeois…Michel FoucaultIOnce upon a time: Bedouin shepherd marries into early-Medieval mercantile city-dwellers of Arabia. Freedfrom the ...

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The Letters I Won’T Write by Ali Alizadeh

The Letters I Won’T Write by Ali Alizadeh

The letters I won't writemurmur most inaudibly through the signsof something like thissometimes find the cracks to transmit their noise. I'veno intention to writeto my father ...

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This Thing by Ali Alizadeh

This Thing by Ali Alizadeh

For/with Penny How to begin to define itthis momentous thingbetween us? A monosyllablerhyming with “dove”and “above”, so dulland dubiously religiouscompared to the spiritof our ...

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The Next Superpower by Ali Alizadeh

The Next Superpower by Ali Alizadeh

On the much-publicised full moonfestive youths and families gorgeon overpriced moon-cakesto celebrate mid-autumn. Howvery poetic. Not all that far awaythe plants' wastes flowto ...

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The Traitor by Ali Alizadeh

The Traitor by Ali Alizadeh

We wept and cleared the landof their barbwires and bombs.Their calloused victimswe cheered with our victory.The ruins of invasionwe set to reconstruct withthe songs of ...

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Windows #3 by Ali Alizadeh

Windows #3 by Ali Alizadeh

I opened the windows and saw the giant flagsblack and red, they had covered the windsthe tyranny of human symbols and armshad mangled the air and veiled the sky.Then I saw a bird, ...

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Rumi by Ali Alizadeh

Rumi by Ali Alizadeh

I escaped from the citybarefooted. I escaped from the firesnaked, except for the bagof ancient booksslung over my back.I ran into the desert. The horsemenchased. Their torcheshad ...

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