:: Article


By Ali Abdolrezaei.

The plain is green
The page, white
And the line, a row of passing sheep
there is no green
But everywhere a blackening
I too – who is writing – am the shepherd
Taking my words to graze
To arrange some fodder
For the wolf of the hills
wound up in the office of the censor
Stalking round for words.
And without me these words are just sheep
grazing as they are bound to
Eat looking for answers
The poor sheepdog too
Is censoring words
Sniffing for bones.
What does the poor dog know
When you are a poet you are Jesus
The shepherd Mohammad, Moses
Upset at all this blackening
Herding after the green that is not.

One of these words strikes out for hills and dales
Another goes after Joseph’s coat of many colours
Takes refuge   in a well
If the mountain goat is faint hearted
Dashes for dale and hills out of fear
To take refuge with the wolf
It is not the poet’s fault that you censored him
It was for him that you released it
The bullet shot in the air
In my air
to spread darkness on the page
for blindness to come in fashion

Distance has always been my close relation
I know exile scene by scene
Five lit windows
A bare and only tree
Behind a naked autumn
The scenery   a few acts in the mist
That I am still directing
A bit of a wink over there   Red
A moment’s embrace over here meaning
Give a bit of bosom without a grudge
Oh son of whoever your father wanted of your mother to bring a son
But where?!
Your poet wanted to bring a spouse
Don’t be peevish
To make a Romeo for Juliet   Didn’t work
Wanted his big words to hit the last wire
No matter what
Now that some bone is left in these pages
It’s the turning of the wrench
A game of nuts and bolts
A rending of the heart for nothing – this loving
A night that spilled out of a parcel
Is more of a goner than the stain
That takes over   this leap year
It’s the turning of a wrench in the flesh
Torture of words   from the front and behind
A Romeo has run away from me
lips that run away with the face
But don’t land a kiss
don’t sort with a Juliet   But the official
A wolf that eats the flesh of my words
Is still censorship

Translated by Abol Froushan


Ali Abdolrezaei was born on the 10th of April 1969 in Northern Iran. He graduated with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran Technical and Engineering University. He began his professional poetic career in 1986 and became one of the most serious and contentious poets of the new generation of Persian poetry. His 21 books of poetry include In Riskdom Where I Lived, Improvisation, This Dear Cat, Paris in Renault, More Obscene than Literature, Hermaphrodite, A Gift in A Condom, You Name this Book, Only Iron Men Rust in the Rain, Terror, La Elaha Ella Love and Fackbook. In September 2002, after his protest against the heavy censorship of his latest books such as So Sermon of Society and Shinema, he was banned from teaching and public speaking. He left Iran and after staying a few months in Germany, followed by two years in France, he moved to London, where he has been living for the last 5 years.

First published in 3:AM Magazine: Thursday, January 13th, 2011.