One of the most enriching, forward-thinking, fastest-growing online creative communities flourishing right now is the Poetry community, especially in those scenes that center on marginalized voices — Women, POC, Neurodivergent, and LGBTQ. Poetry Spotlight is a feature aiming to showcase the work of some of the most talented creators we’ve discovered making waves on the Internet literary circles, inside or outside the mainstream. This new installment focuses on the work of New York-based writer Alina Gregorian.
Alina is a poet and artist. She is the author of Flags for Adjectives (Diez) and Navigational Clouds (Monk Books). Her first gallery exhibition was Talk to Me in Parsley and Tambourines: Artists of the Armenian Diaspora at Babycastles. Some poems of her can be found in Boston Review, Prelude, BOMB Magazine, among others. She can be found at alinagregorian.com
An Oud About the Way I Think About You
Trees on my socks. Green rivers spiraling upward. The clear khorma reflecting even the similar day. This is the sunlight hour. The reason for books. The makeup of normal afternoons, splotched with gray and havas. Take a boat. Go to the edge of hala. But nothing there will remind you of the echo of a neon flower. I, too, am spirally when I am awake. Tired when I am dreaming. There are two clouds on top of each other. Let’s aslan to be like them.
A Triangle in Two Worlds
Talk to me in idioms. The parentheses depend on it. We need people wearing flannel. Depending on each other for goats. Turning on the stove when everyone is home. The tateel on the table, looking familiar. This coffee has been in my family for generations. Just being coffee. Talk to me in vowels. The idioms depend on it. Talk to me in hoolu waves. Like it’s a backpack. Like it’s a forest with almond leaves. Talk to me again. You know where the guitars are. They are in the sky. And the sky is very real. At the Persian store. Say salam.
Fable the Abacus
On the other side of the mountain, there’s a shoe seller. She formulates equations that naana people together. We want to sell her bread, but she doesn’t eat cheese, and we have so much of it. There isn’t much else to pas except we can’t be calm without the stars aligned in this synchronicity. And palto you have it. Now you know our fears. Bright shoes on an apple. Tambourines swimming. Corduroy pants laughing.
[All poems include Persian words Alina learned growing up. Until recently, she thought they were Armenian, her first language. Alina’s parents are from Iran, so these words are part of their vocabulary. The words, if translated into English, would not make sense inside the sentences; they were chosen for the poems because of their look and sound. Alina was never taught Persian as a child, but in a small way, she’s known it all along]