The Inside Assyria Discussion Forum #5


Posted by Marcello (Guest) - Wednesday, May 16 2012, 6:45:52 (UTC)
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MARDOM by the poet, Said Soltanpour, who was executed on June 21, 1981. The Persian word, "mardom", which means "the People", is written with the four letters M, R, D, M: "MARDM". Soltanpour was murdered by a firing squad in Evin Prison in Tehran. The order was given by his religious cellmate with whom he was imprisoned under the Shah's regime, and to whom the poet taught how to read and write, and later widened the religious fanatic's intellectual horizons by sharing with him what he knew about history, philosophy, poetry, mathematics, art, etc. The poet was tortured while imprisoned under the Shah and he was imprisoned and tortured under Khomeini's reign of terror -- but this time it was his student and former cellmate and comrade who did the torturing, and finally, signing the poet's death warrant, whom neither he and his mullah bosses could break, nor could the Shah and his SAVAK henchmen before them.


We know it's four letters
Its letters we memorize one by one
we write it
On air
And on the wall
It is four letters
Unlike the four seasons
It is an awesome, experienced giant
In one season
The autumn of blood
The autumn of a smile
It is an awesome, experienced giant
That is the sea of fire itself
And we the prematured children of these times
We are burning uselessly in the fire of the mythical Prometheus
We talk about it
We write about it
Red scrolls
We always cry out in its defense
We always speak about it glowingly
of the suns not yet risen
Of its large hands
And its mud-houses
Of children, of its children
We speak

The flowers grieve for clothes and rice
The flowers imagine a garden of gardens
Meadow flowers
Factory flowers
School flowers
Wandering flowers
Sunflowers of tomorrow
Flowers on the fabrics of hard times
The branches do not break except under hunger and the whip
Fragmented together and steady
Dusty and unseasonal, in the bitter atmosphere
It rises
The atmosphere with the flavor
Of blood and smoke coated on the tongue.
It circulates on the tongues
Wet and seclusive
Feared and agitated
Like a night moth
Moth singed by stifling
Sea air
Over the lips it escapes
And dead and silent collapses
Before your feet.

We speak of bitter atmosphere
And lick the candied lollipops of our dreams
We speak
About the nights of its
Fatigue and captivity
About the dawn of its awakening and
About the hours that linger on
About dirty sleeves
About tired muscles
About sweat
Sweat dropping on the
Ground and things
About kindness
About bullets
About repression
About strikes
About nights
About the night letters
About the electricity and onions
And only sometimes about a smile
Like a half-colored shadow
Passing on the steel of its lips

And we don't want
And we don't want to believe in its hidden fire
We speak
We speak about four letters
Our speeches become cocoons
We speak speak about becoming its butterfly
And burn in its sorrow in the fire
And we look more like a litte worm
We speak
With the sounds of words, we speak
And while we speak
We forget "it"
We forget the child
We forget the tree
We forget the look and the kisses and the smiles
And the words become the sound of the voice which no longer
mirrors the object

We speak
We speak
We speak
We speak of an awesome experienced giant
Upon whose fire we have shut our eyes
And we know only
It is a four-lettered word

We started with the love of bread
and the love of flowers
With the love of sharing water and the tree
Sharing the school and the wooden benches
Sharing the factory and sharing work
Sharing the forests and rivers and mines
Sharing endlessly freedom
Sharing happiness and sharing tomorrow

We speak
With the sound of words, we speak
In uncertain crowdless spaces we shout
On the armchairs we shout
Beside the coolers, with the bloody memories of
the brick kiln*
We fall apart and shout
We gargle out the bitter memories
We freshen our throats with a glass of milk

Our own wounds
Our own wounds we bind
And on the blood of Karavan-Sara-Sangi**
we gnaw at our breasts and we drink vodka
Ah, my friend how sad we are!

And how fast and easily our teeth bite the flesh
And how sad the alcohol
Slips down our throats
We gnaw at our breasts
We gnaw at the wound
We gnaw at the bloody memories

We gnaw at the hungry stomachs
And the hands of labor
We gnaw at the callouses of labor
We gnaw at words
We gnaw at words
And only with some flower petals
And pieces of a water stream
And a part of an unfamiliar future
(Whoever goes with "it" will know)
Which in the nature of the fighters of the night
Which in the coordianted rages of knowledge and love
The associates of the firestrikers and the flower petal
We have loaned and stepped forward
toward bread and tomorrow

And in the hellish distance, madlike, we divide
the night
We divide the night
We speak
And only the one who goes with "it" will know

Greetings, oh organizations of the future
Greetings, oh organizations of love
Greetings, oh patriotic expansion
Greetings, oh organizations of factories,
organizations of peasants
Greetings, oh organizations

From the broken voice of the people
From the red lovers of justice
From the rose bushes of Arani***fire
From the bloody scream of the summer
From the mouth of the rebellious flower
From the mouth of blood and its defense
From the poetic pages of fires
From the flames
You will rise!

Greetings, oh future giant, greetings!
We speak
Of the PEOPLE we speak

And the awesome experienced giant
In the fire of passing time
Goes and will come
Comes and will go
With the storm stored in its fists!

Footnotes to MARDOM "MARDM"

* At the Koore-paz-Khane, or brick kiln factory, striking workers were shot by the Shah's forces in the mid 70's.

** The Karavan-Saraye Sangi, or Cobble Stonned Inn, between Karaj and Tehran, was the site of a massacre of striking textile workers by government troops in the mid 70's.

*** Arani was the leader of the "Group of 53", intellectuals who opposed the Shah's father. Arani was assassinated by the regime in the 1930's.


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