Armenian News Network / Groong


The Literary Groong

January 5, 2021



What Is Memory?


What is it of and what is it to the collective hovering to engulf you?


Memory is a sieve, sweeping in and away sediments

Embellishing as it fills or empties, deforming as it surges

To squeeze, infusing your thoughts with the wide flapping

Canopy of others, their unescapable, unowned screams

In the night stacks unknown, until pen meets silver paper,

Records and rerecords in an order only a movie projector

Could reverse in a labyrinthine time machine without wings.


Story with no censor, no anchor, floating in the green sea, memory

Denied anguish reenters, red flushed cheeks render, their flesh weak

And you last and last, sweat like a harbor longshoreman's weekend peak

Beer and oblivion, crooked politics and flowers for the second mistress

Who has a baby who needs new braces and you have a train to catch

clouds come in and out of tunnels and the bedroom smells of anger

Her sheets crumple, strangle your ardor, you think of Hamlet and his sleep.


When you confess to have seen a goat or an elephant in the African tea shop

Tall birds dancing with bikinis tied round their beaks, dollars dangling in a heap

Their mothers at cash registers, ambling through New Orleans wickered balconies

Beads and brass, sex in the high C's, alleys made of rubber chalices, blood of sheep

But the teacher lifts her skirt and you see geography in blue and purple rivulets, not pink

Leading to an overwhelming question, can we do this tomorrow and the morrow

Sacrificed high moral altar ego on the slopes of the Sierras dancing crack to yellow creek?


The turntable sings of rosy reindeer, fire sparkles behind glass, sings a hip hint to bear skin

Football giants, saints, cameras sweep by the playing field, celebrities brush golden smiles on cue

Biting hot dogs made of venison, rending verse tense with Tennyson, Arthur Ash stadium please

Seasons come in a night and grieve but a trace of agonizing leaves interlaced with flakes of snow

Garnished medals, metal pedals, instruments that play themselves and roar at the lips of ecstasy

Church patrons, sit in paid seats, made cliques, hair raising sin swindle bleached pardons parlor deep

Open your eyes hushpuppy, dreamworld morning light, dim and dimmer as time's tremors reappear.


Bedros Afeyan


Pleasanton, CA



Dr. Bedros Afeyan is a theoretical physicist who works and lives in the Bay Area with his wife Marine. He writes in Armenian and in English, and also paints and sculpts. He is the current editor of The Literary Groong.

© Copyright 2022 Armenian News Network/Groong and the author.

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