Excerpted from “Profane Geometry” by Jahan Khajavi
by Jahan Khajavi
“Our name was sworn / onto our forehead, hammered there when born. / With headlamp, in the soft-rock that we hone / our pick against, we're seeking for ourself”
Excerpted from “Profane Geometry”
by Jahan Khajavi
This is how we write a poem: find
& fill an empty room with stand-in words,
the open-ended oft-offensive kind,
then dress them up a bunch of sand-n-words,
our spitting image, following the leader
inwards. Finally, to help the reader
understand, each line is underlined
with overstated rhythm, rhyme, & end words.
As worn & hard as any talking stone,
we speak for all by speaking for ourself.
The codes we chisel are for us alone
to read for filth, critiquing for ourself
the world we will not change. Our name was sworn
onto our forehead, hammered there when born.
With headlamp, in the soft-rock that we hone
our pick against, we're seeking for ourself.
This craft is not a trade. Though often work, it pays
us nothing. Rather it awards us not as much
as we have spent these years with zero holidays.
Red wine, when over-aged, grows sour whereas much
of what our rotten mood & vicious attitude
can do is discern for us the difference of this habit
from a hobby for a body that, of ways
& means to be desired like a thirst, has much.
It's raining & these words start running once they're wet.
The meaning first & then the shape of poetry fades.
We saw a poem once that we cannot forget,
grows even clearer as every other memory fades.
The window of an empty unisex salon
in Long Beach, California with these words upon
the unwashed glass, the services that one could get,
we guess, in off-white vinyl letters: Beauty
“Profane Geometry” is forthcoming from Feast of the Ass, Ugly Duckling Presse, 2023.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jahan Khajavi (1986, Fresno) composes & performs “wildly amusing & explicit queer poetry” (Vogue) & is the author of Feast of the Ass (Ugly Duckling, 2023).
Author photo by Matthew Carlebach. FEATURED IMAGE courtesy of the author.