Thursday, August 31, 2006

Archie [Khatchig] Minasian: The Inner Joys

While my friends sought the glitter,
I followed my inner joys,
tramping the gardens and the wilds
in harmony with nature.
I bared my soul
and sought in return
the ways of her infinite mysteries
that nourished my questionings and desires.

I sought and was nurtured,
I to her giving and she to my quest.

I found in time that we were one,
exposed to an abiding law.

When the winds of Time arrived
and swept the weary fields and woods,
and called on all things to submit,
I too as one in harmony,
touched by the icy couriers,
knew my quest had been fulfilled
and naught remained and summoning.

"Prepare thy hearth," I thought,
"for what has been
shall surely be again
for he who cares to seek this room."

Published in ARMENIAN-NORTH AMERICAN POETS: AN ANTHOLOGY (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Manna Publishing, 1974), Lorne Shirinian, editor.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

ՍԻԼՎԱ ԿԱՊՈՒՏԻԿԵԱՆ: ԻՆՔՆԱՀԵՌԱՑՈՒՄ

Կարօտում եմ.
Ինքս՝ իմ մէջ, ինձ հետ մնալ - կարօտում եմ:
Զարթնել՝ անհոգ,
Մանուկ օրուայ հետ մանկանալ - կարօտում եմ:
Դուրս գալ տնից ու անճանաչ գնա՜լ, գնա՜լ- կարօտում եմ:
Գտած մի նոր տողի համար
Աշխարհի՜ չափ ուրախանալ - կարօտում եմ:
Քո մի խօսքից առաւօտել,
Թաքուն բախտով ներսից հորդել,
Փխրել, տխրել ու կարօտել - կարօտում եմ:
Հազար տեսակ հոգս ու հարցում՝
Մէկը մէկից առաջ ընկած՝
Ինձ առել են իրենց տենդոտ հրմշտոցում,
Ինձ՝ ինձանից հեռացնո՜ւմ են, անջատո՜ւմ են.
Եվ զգում եմ մէկ էլ յանկարծ
Որ ինքս՝ ինձ կարօտո՜ւմ եմ…

Silva Kaputikyan: To my Father/ՀՕՐՍ

Հա՛յր իմ, քեզ անվերջ խլել են ինձանից,
Մահն է քեզ խլել առաջին անգամ,
Հետո կրկնակի որբացրել են ինձ՝
Զրկելով ինձ քո անունի՛ց անգամ:

Խլել են ինձնից մահդ զգալու,
Մահդ սգալու պարտք ու իրավունք,
Ու ես բնազդով վանել եմ հեռու
Հայր չունենալու մորմոքը մանուկ:

Ու չի երկարել կյանքդ հետ մահու
Միակ զավակիդ արցունում աղի,
Չես ապրել իմ մեջ, որպես ցավ ու հուշ,
Դու ողջակիզված ցավով քո հողի:

Հայրենյաց սերս՝ քեզնից ժառանգած
Քո հիշատակը չի երկրպագել,
Ու ձիրքս, ձիրքս՝ քո հունդից եկած
Մի տողով անգամ քեզ չի ձոն երգել:

Մեզ անվերջ խլել խլել ե՛ն ինձանից,
Ես անվերջ զիջել, ա՛խ, զիջե՜լ են ինձնից,
Ուշ արցունքներով թախանձում եմ ես՝
Հա՛յր իմ, ների՜ր ինձ…


ՍԻԼՎԱ ԿԱՊՈՒՏԻԿՅԱՆ

We remember Silva Kaputikian (1919-2006)



Armenian poet, orator, academician Silva Kaputikian passed away at the age of 87.

Born in Yerevan, January 20, 1919, she graduated from the YSU's Philological Department and then from Moscow's Gorki Literature Institute.

The first collection of her poems was published in 1945. Overall, Ms. Katoutikian has published 60 collections in Armenian, Russian and other languages.

Silva Kaputikian received many literary awards. In 1998, the Cambridge International Geographic Institute awarded her with the title of "Woman of the Year".

Bibliography courtesy of AIWA

Poetry Books
Oreri het [With the Days], 1945
On the Shores of the Ganges, 1947
Im harazatnere [My Intimates], 1953
Srtabats zruits [Candid Conversation], 1955
Bari yert [Bon Voyage], 1957
Mtorumner chanaparhi kesin [Midway Reflections], 1961
Yot kayaranner [Seven Stations], 1966
Im eje [My Page], 1968
Depi khorke leran [Toward the Mountain?s Depths], 1972
Lilit [Lilith], 1981
Dzmer e galis [Winter Is Arriving], 1983
Tagnap [Alarm], unpublished


Essays
Karavannere der kailum en [The Caravans Are Still Walking], 1964
Khchankar hogu yev kartezi guinerits [A Mosaic Made of the Soul and Atlas Colors], 1976
Im zhamanake [My Epoch], 1979
Ejer pak gzrotsnerits [Pages from Sealed Manuscripts], 1997
Im katsane ashkharhi chanaparhnerin [My Path Along the World?s Highways], 2002


Children's Literature
Pokrik Ara, akanj ara [Little Ara, Listen], 1950
Mer Lalike, sirunike [Our Pretty Lalik], 1955
Tane, bakum, poghotsum [At Home, In the Yard, In the Street], 1953
Mi tarov el metsatsank [Older By One More Year], 1958
Menk ognum enk mairikin [We?re Helping Mother], 1961
Tsaghkanots [Flower Garden], 1984
Partez [Garden], 2002

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Archie [Khatchig] Minasian: A Romp With the Wind

the wind threw rose petals at me,
tugged my hair
and pushed me around.


flattered
I ran with the wind
and called it names.
____________________________


Published in ARMENIAN-NORTH AMERICAN POETS: AN ANTHOLOGY (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Manna Publishing, 1974), Lorne Shirinian, editor.


In 1945, Khatchik Minasian won the Edwin Markham Gold Medal for Poetry. He was born in Fresno, CA in 1913.

Un revolcón con el Viento(Traducción de Carolina Contino)
el viento me arrojó pétalos de rosa,
tiró de mi pelo
y me atropelló.


halagado
corrí con el viento
y lo insulté.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Narine Karamyan: Trio of poems

Click here to hear a trio of short poems read by the author, Narine Karamyan.

Հարցին պատասխան /Ա.Մ./

Հետո, երբ նորից հոգի կդառնանք,

Չէ որ չեմ կարող դիպչել ձեռքերով`

Հարազատ հոգի,

Մարմնավորված

Արյունով-մսով:

Հենց այդ պատճառով,

Երբ հանդիպում եմ,

ՈՒզում եմ գրկել,

Մաշկով շոշափել,

Ձեռքերով դիպչել –

Քանի դեռ կարող եմ:

3/19/05

* * *

Մատներ սեղմված բռունցքիս մեջ,

Հաճախ սառած, փոքրուց ի վեր:

ՈՒժը քիչ-քիչ է կուտակվում,

Իսկ ջերմությունը` արյունում:

Բութերը` վեր, սեղմված մատներ:

Փոքրուց սեղմում եմ բռունցքներ:

28/04/2005

* * *

Դու` իմ կտոր,

Դու` իմ մասնիկ:

Իմ աշխարհի

Շիտակ ընկեր:

ՈՒ ես էլ քոնը

Առ հավետ:

Իմ սիրասուն

Արև-լուսին,

Իմ խենթ-խելառ,

Դու իմ խելոք,

Իմ իմաստուն,

Համբերատար,

Իմ աննման,

Միակ որդի:

Դու իմ հոգի,

Լուսնյակ-արև:

Ամենամեծ

Աստծո պարգև:

18/05/05

Copyright Narine Karamyan

***
Answer to Question (A.M.)

And when we become spirits again,

I won’t be able to touch you with hands:

A twin-soul,

Embodied

In blood and flesh.

For that very reason

When we meet

I want to hug you,

With skin to sense you,

With hands to touch you –

As long as I can.

3/19/05

Finger and thumbs

Fingers as one pressed in my fist,

Since childhood - often cold.

Little by little force accumulates,

Like temperature – in the blood.

My thumbs – up and fingers pressed.

Since childhood – my fingers in fists.

28/04/2005

***

You are my part,

You are my piece,

Sincere friend

Of this world,

As I am yours

Forever.

You’re my beloved

The-Sun-the-Moon,

My head-lost crazy

Smartly clever,

My endless wise,

My tolerant,

My incredible

Solely son.

You are my soul,

The-Moon-the-Sun,

The biggest gift

Of Lord.

18/05/05

Translated by the author

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Yeva Adalyan: Dating Online - recipes and remedies

Dating Online - recipes and remedies

are you not ashamed of things you want to do?
dating corpses is like a profound liberation from my usual occupations
the smell of young dead brains has put a spell on my waiting conscience
tiny souls have tiny problems
here is my prescription -
looking for a down to earth
180 pound
6 feet tall
heterosexual male
preferably a homophobe...formerly a female is a plus...
who has been there done that
who doesn’t live with his parents, but feeds their cats and walks their dogs
who is willing to have pink floating candle-light dinners
who can barbeque shrimp... and vegetables as well...
who will be caring and appreciative of my beauty like no other normal man
who likes to travel, is not afraid of neither heights nor lows
a man with dramatic, traditional family values
rooted standards
strict and rigid principles
a male who’s extremely athletic
a male willing to lend a buffed...or at least fairly built.. shoulder to cry on
a male ready to offer a neutral uninfected ear
a male who likes action/romantic/sci-fi movies, all with happy endings
a male who doesn’t require lingerie every night
who drinks cognac and eats chocolate... in moderation though...
the indoor cigar smoking allowed once a week
with the maple french door half hanging open
a male who’s detail- and career-oriented
silently open-minded towards my talking habits
a male who’s less of a dreamer, more of a neutralist-conformist
a male who has a toolbox both for relationship and car problems
a male who carries a first-aid kit in the car
stores filtered water by the exit door of his house
and keeps plastic construction hats for emergency situations
under our newlywed’s maple wood bed
color: preferably lemon
... I wash my parents’ wishful naivete with my morbidity and sinful hatred
towards their fictitious happiness for me...
I need a male who’ll make me feel unreasonably special and
unquestionably desired, proving it with
guilt trips,
jealousy scenes, and a
single red rose once a week...
...they are getting quite expensive you see...
...and I shall willingly close my eyes when I see him
ogling another woman’s legs...
I want a male who has a fireplace,
a deck,
a washer and a dryer inside the house
a male who has a mechanic friend,
a lawyer friend, and
a DJ friend for family gatherings
a male who doesn’t have any single guy-friends who spread danger...
I want a male with a potential to live on a farm if need be
a male able to make safe,
family-oriented investments
a male who puts his money where his mouth is
possibly a real-estate agent, or
an owner of a company
with a minimum of five million dollars in revenues
a male handsome enough to be introduced to friends
but not enough to be coveted...
for a detailed list of my demands please refer to my online profile...

Copyright 2004 Yeva Adalyan

Yeva Adalyan: The Cat and the Chicken

The Cat and the Chicken

He loves me in my absence
I hide behind curtains when I'm present...
She ran around like a chicken with its head cut off...
occasionally though fixing the lace collar around her neck... by habit of course.
Habit of looking pretty, eating fatty, throwing confetti, feeling shitty...
Habit of throwing carpets before turmoils - a sign of respect
Habit of gracefully opening doors in front of thunder and lightning - a sign of pride
Habit of bowing low in front of boundaries - a sign of strength.
The chicken raised its wings to hold the aching head
and lowered them in disappointment
Where is the head though, the chicken wondered...
It couldn?t possibly be cooked for some candle-lit dinner
It must be around somewhere, the chicken was hopeful.
He loves me in my absence
He has no patience for my presence...
Too heavy to throw away
Too light to be considered priceless...
The chicken crashed insects while it was running...
Had it become insensitive or a bit blind perhaps?
Not enough time to analyze
Not enough time to undo the fact
He hugs me in my sleep
Casting his shadow only when I?m awake...
The chicken slowly losing hope
Hope of a head fried for some lunch
Not enough salt
Excessive pepper
Incoherent absence of brain
Pierced tongue and earrings
Tattooed lips
And lasered sideburns
The chicken gets ready to jump out of the fence
Gets enough courage to join its head, be fried in Canola Oil and Mayonnaise
Salt is too painful
Is holding it back... for a short bit though...
Next step is desperation
The next one is fear
The last one - giving up.
The frying pan's getting excited
Canola starts singing
Mayo losing its texture
Salt acting all innocent
Pepper stays red - unable to hide its shame for participating in this feast...
Feast of forgetting
Feast of rebellion against all memories
Feast of ignored reconciliation
Feast of immature intensities and premature ejaculations
Feast of roast chicken with the wings still shaking
Pierced tongue still infected
Tattooed lips still bleeding
And sideburns growing back.
He loves me naked but my Mary Janes on and unpolished
He likes watching but not touching
He wears striped shirts with a Hustler Hollywood undershirt
He likes to hide but forgets his boxers under my sheets
He asks me to forget his face, accidentally leaving his snapshot in my dresser
He pretends to listen with earplugs in his ears and hands covering their surface
He pretends to see with his eyes wide shut and curtains safely closed.
The chicken is done, well done I should say
Its smell is immaculate
Its taste close to perfect
Its texture most tender
The hunger is quenched
Everyone applauding
Cook left for the night
Gates are all locked
The spirit of the chicken traveling the world
A life short lived though sweet
Time for new skin and bones
Strong wings, toned and stretched legs
Growing feathers, attentive eyes... and a will to fly.

Copyright 2004 Yeva Adalyan

Introducing Yeva Adalyan




Yeva Adalyan was born in Yerevan in 1974. In 1992 moved to Los Angeles with her family. A graduate of Pasadena College majoring in Theater Arts/Acting, Yeva has worked as a graphic designer and has been in an architectural firm for the past seven years. Poetry and making handmade jewelry are her favorite hobbies.

Yeva's work has been translated to Armenian, and can be viewed
by clicking here.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Narine Karamyan - new poems

We welcome back Narine Karamyan with her latest poems.


Ցավս բոլորի հետ փորձեցի կիսել,

Բայց կես չդարձավ:

Մտածում են, թե լուրջ չեմ, կանցնի:

Ասում եմ, ասում ու տեղ չի հասնում:

Հիմա եմ ուզում, որ տեսնեք-լսեք,

Հիմա, ոչ հետո:

Ինչու՞ չեք տեսնում, երբ կենդանի եմ:

Ինչու ՞ չեք լսում, երբ բառ եմ ասում:

Տեր Աստված, մի՞թե անպայման

Պետք է չլինել, որ նոր ուզենան

Քեզ կենդանացնել:

ՈՒզածդ մի բան չէ`

Թողեք, որ ապրեմ…

14/08/2006

***

Դաժան, դաժան, ինչքա~ն դաժան:

Լոկ ուղեղի դաժանություն:

Սիրտը ցավ գիտի, կճմլվի:

ՈՒղեղն է սառը – չափվածություն:

Դե էտ ուղեղին դու ո՞նց փոխանցես`

Տագնապներ հազար, անորոշություն,

Ներքին ձայնիդ վախն ու պայքարն

Ո՞նց հաղորդես, ո՞նց հասկացնես:

Նորից մտնում եմ լռություն…

14/08/2006

Copyright Narine Karamyan 2006

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Ինգա Բրուտյան: Իսկ ե՞ս

Click to hear the audio clip What about me? read by the author, Inga Brutyan.

Երիտասարդներ, ձեր աչքերում կրակ,
Ձեր հոգիներում ճրագ,
Իսկ դուք ել խանդավառ մի էակ:
Սեր եք փնտրում մարդկանց հոգում,
Սեր եք փնտրում մարդկանց աչքերում,
Իսկ ե՞ս…
Սեր եմ փնտրում մարդկանց աչքերում,
Բայց աչքերը խաբում են ինձ,
Սեր եմ փնտրում մարդկանց հոգում,
Բայց հոգին ծաղրում է ինձ,
Հորհուրդ եմ հարցնում մրոիցս ես,
Բայց նա ծիծիզում է կարծես,
Կարծես ժպտում է նա
Կամ քմծիծաղ տալիս:
Չեմ հասկանում ես`
Ինչ պատասխանեց մայրս ,
Ինչ խորհուրդ տվեց,
Բայց գիտեմ ես հաստատ,
Ինչ ել նա անի,
Ինչ ել նա ասի,
Թեկուզ դավեր նա դյութի
Ճիշտ է դա, հիրավի.
Նա ամեն ինչի իրավունք ունի:

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Leonardo Alishan: The Game

Click to hear the audio clip The Game read by Yeraz Markarian.

When papa was in a good mood
he played hide and seek
with my little brother and me
in grandma's huge orchard in Isfahan.

Sacco hid the best.
Papa, the worst. And I
didn't like to hide at all.
But we were together and it was fun.

We went on playing
as the years went by. One
hid in England, one in America,
and papa stayed counting in Iran.

Then we found each other again
and again we played.
But there was a problem now:
whoever hid, could not be found again. . .

Oh, my most beloved ghosts,
this is your brother, this is your son,
and I'm done counting!
Ready or not, here I come.

Leonardo Alishan (1951-2005)

Leonardo Alishan was born of Armenian parents in Tehran, Iran. He came to the U.S. for graduate studies in 1973 and from 78-97 he taught Persian literature and comparitive literature at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. His poems and stories have been published in a variety of national and international journals and have been the recepient of a number of literary awards. Alishan's first collection, Dancing Barefoot on Broken Glass, appeared in New York in 1991. His second, Through a Dewdrop was published in Glendale, California in 2002. "Tired Thoughts" was awarded the People Before Profits Poetry Prize for 2003.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Peter Manuelian: New Year's Day, Azerbaijan

I

The tea house
across the bitter river
sits in its squat of snow
warm against the world.
The story-teller sucks his words
from an ancient waterpipe,
blowing out tales
to encircle the sun
at noon's repose.

II

At a country funeral
maps of snow
idly dissipate
under the warmth
of the afternoon sun,
while donkeys
patiently stand
in mourning,
hind legs
coyly bent together.

III

Beyond the barren flats
seven poplars lattice
the rising moon;
mute storks lift their way
to ascetic perches;
shifting on the scree
of life's banter,
wail of the coming spring.

This poem has appeared in "ARMENIAN-NORTH AMERICAN POETRY: AN ANTHOLOGY" (St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Manna Publishing, 1974). Lorne Shirinian, editor.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Shushan Avagyan: Poems inspired by sculptures

SPIDER

By Shushan Avagyan

Sculpture by L. Bourgeois, 1996


Unhidden from the rest, in the daylight,
the black widow sways on her eight spoke-legs
unmoving the eye,
a spy of some sort, she is weaving her silk net,
spraying each thread with a pungent secretion
from her moist canals - a sack of venom,
using the ejaculate to attract
the prey. A trained hunter, this recluse
knows
how fast her bait can work!

________________________________
NO EXIT

By Shushan Avagyan

Installation by L. Bourgeois, 1989


Like two commas
that cut
a flight of words into halves
these, too, are fat and slow
guarding the stairwell
with their Sphinx eyes
wrinkled in stagnation
there is no exit for them.
But you still can whisk through
to the stairs

hidden so well behind the screen,
first, train your feet
and then
grow a feather with each step.



Note: This poem appeared in The Spoon River Poetry Review,
Winter/Spring 2005.

_________________________________



Gathering Wool

By Shushan Avagyan

Installation by L. Bourgeois, 1990


They feel safe here, behind these walls
as they sit reminiscing, in silence -
the seven of them, perched on antique rugs,
saved from a Syrian desert. Wrinkles carve
memories too atrocious.

Have they forgiven? Nobody
knows -

they are whispering, as if in a secret world
telling each other stories of gathering wool
in the lost country of dreams and bread.
_____________________________
I DO

by Shushan Avagyan
Installation by L. Bourgeois, 1999-2000


Trapped in a white dress of crochets I step forward
to hold his thick arm.

I am offered the blush apple
tartness, served on a silver hook.

I take a small bite. Juices trickle down my chin
onto the bleached lace of my bridal dress

stains of blood.

Poison seeping through all inside my veins.
He gently lays me down into the crystal coffin.

Our marriage bed.

_______

Shushan Avagyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. She is currently
working on her doctoral degree in English Studies, and is a
recipient of the Dalkey Archive Press fellowship at the Illinois
State University.
These poems have appeared in the Literary Groong and have been copied here by kind permission from the author.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Shushan Avagyan: Postcard

Left from Tbilisi today – took a minibus – the road back was spectacular – slowly moving southward to Yerevan. The corporate buildings have no grace here – they turn into chains of naked mountains – each crowned with a church. Meadows of the red, of the yellow, of the violet flowers hand-sewn on a bishop’s regalia – endless fields of golden wheat. Scenery changes in a blink – highways become narrow and unpredictable, serpentine is the word – and the need to completely trust the driver is intoxicating. Cemeteries – scattered on the edge of the road – old and new, with ornamental cross-stones and pictures of the dead, irises – metastasized around the graves – all well taken care of – and yet there is no sign of any locals or villages nearby. Indeed – we are a funerary society.

This piece has previously appeared on the
SEGUE website.
We reproduce it here by kind permission of the author.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Kosrof Chantikian: What we don't know -- a conversation in the Scottish Highlands

Click to hear the audio clip What we don't know -- a conversation in the Scottish Highlands (Summer 2003), read by Lola Koundakjian.

This poem has appeared in the Summer 2005 issue of Ararat Quarterly Magazine.

Kosrof Chantikian is the author of several books of poetry, which are available for purchase in the United States.
He is a poet in residence in San Francisco's Public Library and has edited an Homage to Octavio Paz.