Maryam Monalisa Gharavi

The seven oceans are reduced to a mere pool of water; the seven planets appear to be but a mere spark; the seven heavens but a corpse; the seven hills but frozen snow. Then behold the wonder which reason cannot comprehend! —Attar, The Conference of the Birds From the Land of the People Without Money Its landscape is invisible. No bread lines or empty suit pockets ground us. I want to dismantle the precise signature of the system — clip the right colored trap wire, press a button, unlatch a crane. Yet the danger goes untraced. Banquet A carbonara dot stained his chin like a mole filled with bulbous plasma. 'Our buffet is pleased to serve a most sumptuous veal' O you should have seen his chin ripple and flap and the blood-mole shake. Exhaling Birds This valley was a continent, so un-new, so un-gilded. They set it ablaze with a strange new flame, absent light or heat: An arctic blueness. They lower an iron wing from a moonless sky, unmoved. Anthropogenesis No Herod or Xerxes but mergers and acquisitions. No universal serpents but zoo docents. No silo But antibiotic hens. We are becoming human, A desirable phenotype. No if/then, but whereas. Global Positioning System The floating corpses that washed ashore belonged to an elsewhere. Before the deaths were indexed they were geo-migrant. Home envenomed, the sea crashed mercilessly north. Oratory Littera canina, Red alert of Rs retroflexed on tongues. Rhotic growl of propelled bullets, chirruped from a rocket. They line up in threes: terror, armed raid, restricted area. Sine Die In the wilderness sits a conference table, guarded by large canine teeth. A typewritten memo announces The assembly’s permanent delay, And from the incisors rouses a terra nullius screech: 'All mammals here are road kill.'

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi is an artist, poet, and theorist. She is an editor at The New Inquiry, and stays hydrated.

(10/11/14 #55)

Illustration by Matt Mawson.