blackmail press 37
Arezou Zalipour
Iran/ New Zealand

Mere & Child - Penny Howard
Arezou Zalipour was born in Iran and she has lived in Malaysia and now in New Zealand. She moved to New Zealand two years ago to conduct a research project on the Asian Diaspora and its impacts on the New Zealand cultural production, society and culture. She has a long-standing passion for creative writing which has filled her moments all these years being away from home. Her poetry was published in "New Beginnings: New Kiwi Women Write their Stories" in 2013.

For the voice

Not for you
and not for me
but for the sake of the stars
shining over our head every night
… with no complaint
their grandeur
when they fade one by one in the sunrise.

Not for you
and not for me
but for this voice that’s been waiting
to welcome something
… or somebody
that’s not arrived
This unfathomable voice!

If we were water
in the familiar landmark of this moment
we could fall and flow
The stone sank in
and never raised.
Our shoulders of resistance
the invisible coils
of queries and qualms
of anticipations
in a nest empty of existence.
The moment is unlived
The moment is unleashed
Floods of horror
may not bear this child of courage
victimised for holding on to a dream
for so … long.

We throw ourselves into the whirlwind
for our mothers’ sake
for Earth, for Sky
for Love.
Spun on one foot,
we turn around to face the moment
shadows of the past
infertile future
desires naked in the wind
Our eyes whisper to us:
‘Stop the whirlwind!’
turning round and round,
we don’t hear the whisper.
Hoping to reach
we don’t see the whirlwind.
We’re waiting perhaps
to be hit
by something or somebody
… that may never arrive!

How far?

How I wish love could speak!
This love that you sing to me every once in a while
is like a rope of pearls around my solitude
There are thousands of unhinged doors
I have to pass through every moment
to breathe with you
There are thousands of wings
that I should unwind
to flow in your veins
and feed our pigeons
we saved from the rain that night.
(Do you remember?)

You arrived when the dusk of despair was falling
at the dawn of my fears
and spoke to me of becoming a butterfly.
You arrived at the clandestine of God
We sat together
and watched our hands
growing in the garden of fate
Your eyes wild with dread
My lips sealed with disillusionment
We went together
to the farthest corners of humanity
submerged under the clouds of norms
No one will believe us, my dear
… no one
that... we loved.

There are thousands of songbirds in your throat
that have lost their voice
There are thousands of un-blossomed men and women in your chest
that have strayed in distant thunder of years
There are thousands of poems in me
that have been misplaced…
How far we’ll survive?
How far?
How I wish love could speak…

That stranger

Who am I?
Some odd and even numbers
loitering on a document
that expires once in a while
and I pay
to renew myself.

Who am I?
Letters, stamps and signatures
a name that sounds odd
but people here are polite
‘Ah, you have a lovely name!’ they say.

Who am I?
A photo that’s remained a stranger
... all these years
the man behind the fuzzy window
looks at me
the way the photo does
every time I leave home
every time I reach home
my passport tight in my hands
I unpack the suitcase of my fears again
and ask myself:
'Was it the last time...
I killed the stranger on that page?’