Ara Mrgdichian Poems



The smell of Mastiki gum smelling up my ashtray…

I think of you again and watch the cigarette extinguish against the hardened, chewed up gum you left behind.

I watch me extinguish the cigarette against what was rubbery and vibrant in your mouth–that which was once salivated, full of your spit and movement. It lays cold and hard now, against the glass ashtray and I give it brief heat while killing what usually kills me.


I picked up the dead rat with steel smelting tongs, by the tail. It ate the poison cookies. Greedy parasite of urbanity. Greedy, poor, unwanted pet of production. Just another silent partner roaming the junked up halls.

I pick it up with the tools of my trade and drop it into a zip lock plastic bag and deposit it with the rest of the refuse that putrifies, that was once something, that was once animate.

Poison cookies for the greedy bastards.


La Traviata pours through the rain soaked windows as you drive away from yourself. Seek out a plausible past, seek out a possible future, in between the real places you go, in between all the things you make yourself do, in between your career oriented casual wear and calculated well-kempt spontaneity geared toward garnering a bit of interest from young men weened on music videos and sexual objectification…

Frank Capra movies and detective shows.

In between, you revel in your car, even oblivious to the iconic meanings of rain and La Traviata and driving. But you’re awakened everytime you exit the dream machine and speed. You awaken to a world you are bound by.


You are dead.

I pick you up by the tail with the smelting tongs, out of my ashtray, along with Mastiki gum and extinguished cigarettes–used self destructive consumer items and you.

You hate it, but you’re dead.

And in your own vicious circular way you ask for more, moaning, assuming lordosis position, asking that I grip the tongs even harder.

I hear this as I hear your La Traviata in the rain.

I drive you away this time into a plastic zip lock bag and place you on the heap with the rat and the other things that once were animate.


 Scenic routes and rumbling trees

a transient sight, an ephemeral green

something rustles underneath

across the bank of gray

a tinge of red

and mammalian breath

riding the hard concrete

 a smudge on glass?

an irritant?


brazen and dislodged

the blood and guts of smaller things

broken against your eye

 inert now

 [like you now]

 blind and mute and deaf and dumb


 give us a smudge, an anomaly

 along with waves of grain

purple mounds and majesty

defying rooted lanes

give us respite from news and Love

and give us our daily bread

 give us more dead bugs against the glass

a cow on a hill…a water tank

and the long liquescent road




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