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The Literary Groong - 01/07/2006

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	By Helene Pilibosian

	Shall we turn to blogs, I asked,
	cybervision like a knapsack
	on my aging back?
	I'll write of the many countries
	that have weighed upon me,
	one taking my arms
	and another taking my legs
	another my taking my head.
	Altogether they've used
	my conscience for their bed.

	I spilled hope of dry afternoons
	on the child that was Turkey 
	and changed its face to Syria.
	They are strangers to me now.
	The wet heat of Lebanon
	didn't dry my forehead
	and Armenia, who called
	as a mother or a temptress,
	lost my imagination.

	America was less perturbed,
	less humid with a message
	for a dime and half a dream
	during Eisenhower's term
	as he stopped my checkerboard ride
	with a passport of invitation.
	I traded all my spaces
	for a knob into its cyberworld
	and a marriage as a haven.


	I spilled my American hopes
	of many afternoons
	on the pavements that wore my life.
	An Armenian daughter doesn't forget
	the name that gets her born,
	the long curls that were shorn.

	My Armenian name
	had a blueberry fame;
	my American name
	owned a tundra at least in dreams.
	She was not an American mother
	who thought I should put cream
	on my morning cereal,
	but the sun was not so sensitive
	that it crumbled then.
	North didn't go south
	when my friends were Mike or Melinda,
	preference for Hayk stated
	as phrases cloned again and again.
	But she had her way.

	Can the difference of names be met
	the way we two met and married?
	How do these branches tangle
	where two languages speak at once 
	of places so disparate?
	Of course, heaven is leavening
	and pluck is luck.

Helene Pilibosian is a former editor of The Armenian Mirror-Spectator
and has published two books of her poetry: "Carvings from an Heirloom"
and "At Quarter Past Reality" as well as "They Called Me Mustafa", a
prose memoir she co-wrote with her father.  These books are described
on the Ohan Press web site at

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