Poet Jane Hirshfield said "... the feeling I have about poem-writing (is) that it is always an exploration, of discovering something I didn't already know.  Who I am shifts from moment to moment, year to year.  What I can perceive does as well.  A new poem peers into mystery, into whatever lies just beyond the edge of knowable ground."

I bring a different poem to the writing classes each week, not only to inspire but to introduce new poets to the group members.

Characters by Garous Abdolmalekian

There are characters in me
who do not talk to each other
who fill each other with grief
who have never dined at the same table

In me there are characters
who write their own poetry with my hands
who flip through stacks of bills with my hands
who make fists of my hands
who place my hands on the sofa edge
and while one sits down
the other stands up, leaves

In me there are characters
who melt in the snow
who drift with the rivers
and years later
rain into me

In me there are characters
who sit on a corner
and like death talk to no one

There are characters in me
who arrive too late
who are settling
and another one sitting
facing this sunset
sipping tea

in me there are characters
who stab each other
assassinate each other
bury each other
in the cemetery of my psyche

but I
with all of my characters
go on caring for you

~from Lean Against This Late Hour (Penguin Books, 2020)  
Translated from the Persian by Ahmad Nadalizadeh and Idra Novey


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