Poems in Exile: Elham Malekpoor

by    /  February 3, 2015  / No comments

LGBT Flag on Baam e-Tehran. Photo: LGFOnline, Creative Commons.

Iranian poet, LGBT and human rights activist Elham Malekpoor has published several collections of poetry, most of which have been censored in Iran. She particularly deals with child labour and queer rights. Due to the threats against her she left Iran in September 2012. We publish two newly written poems by her.


Let’s mind the door
Let’s mind the wall … Oh, you plastered effigies bursting in the air
A tongue that doesn’t offer a word … a single word … slows down … plunges in
On the face of every wall
A word is splashed
Soldiers returning from war
They have a language that fills every space
And the plastered effigies are forced to burst

The air gets moving
The land gets busy
Applauding them to keep on digging
Shaving their beards and … for each chest a heart is dug
Like almonds on Wednesdays … that can’t be said … no, it can not be said … can’t be … just any word …

I send all dried fruits to the soldiers before they rot
So it can fashion the tongue to speak
On the face of the walls, the tongue gets busy … it plunges in … be mindful to not hit somewhere … accommodate and … each fragment scorches … in the niche of its granted abode

Don’t run in to it
It is acting up
The mouth folds in
And the soldiers similarly … may wither … but will not rot

Soldiers returning from war
I decoded their language …
You are saying … each trench, brackish and salty … like a fish stuck in the crack of the equator
The sun shines
And limited land is found
Saying, “I can always give it a try”
It plunges in
I go in

The hair tells the tale the tongue dare not
The tales behind the walls … be mindful
Behind every door
The ungainly man stuck in the congestion of the hollow
Is secured
You sense every tree wetting their roots in your mouth
It does not rot
Just like the equator … where there is space and each fragment withers


Till your naked body is here
My head in your indolent hands
Right under your hand
Twisting two loose strands of your hair
Using two fingers in the midst of the mane

I have a loaded gun
And I take the other half of me to be dissected
I have a veil
I put the veil over myself
The spare finger comes out from under the hand
And now joins in

Imagining abandoned plants finding their rightful niche
With the composed vigilance of watchful eyes
Leave it to the wind that never blows
Imagine the rightful niches
The groove of words

Foggy and slightly turquoise, stains of yellow
Auburn alongside the wavering mirror
If you want to draw someone’s face

Country: Iran

This article was originally published on December 16, 2014 and is republished with permission from The Dissident Blog.

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