Some poems Author: Ali Abdolrezaei; Translator: Abol Froushan

  Always Afterwards

 You no longer wish to look

 like the one I liked

 you’ve changed your shadows

 shaved your hair

 and sitting knees apart before me

 thorns of the hidden rose sticking out

You come to my dreams always afterwards

after I wake

I think of you still

Like a rose that buds

under its thorns in late summer

no matter if I water it or not

my hair all fallen at my feet pre-autumn

the children have already denuded

the almond tree


On the sand’s enticing heat
the girl’s acre of legs
and then
the arch of the back
and then
the other killer… Hips
Undulating sea
throwing hands
up on the naked beach
that spurns
and then
the wave returns
dotted the sand
his departing steps…


Doubly naked
two white clouds
and a smoke passed from hand to hand
up to the roach
between hefty fingers and then
a deep puff
a mouthful
lips feeling the labia
puffing the smoke and
then penetrating
two cumulus clouds
A shrill thunder
through pursed lips
eyes struck by lightning – ouch!
and under the dear earlobe
sparrow kisses
lace the neck
sloping up
pause at the nipple
and then a downslope
lips slip down
to the navel
a kiss is closing in now
on the cumulus
to become nimbus
under tummy
between her lips
Phew… a seizure of sex
warm hail
A small explanation for them: hail is formed in cumulonimbus clouds

‘Miss Ziari’*

My eyes didn’t wander
I just wandered in her eyes
those burning embers
I was fuel to
The deft sculptor
to chisel such delicate nose
was me
the butchering of her lips
between the teeth
What a tongue!
Hands of a masseuse hid in her eyes
O my God
someone come light up
this black pair of cigarillos
squirming like seductive serpents
in such grace
this woman
was born
prettier than any bunch of flowers
I ever put to water
I ever lost my marbles
under the skin of those cheeks
H’s still playing marbles
with the little eyes
my childhood possessed
My eyes do not wander
event if under the desk
I’m still climbing up your legs
in the short skirts you wore
to the prep class at Yari Primary
Miss Ziari*

* I was six when I started school. I had long straight hair, a navy blue jacket, wearing a tie of a colour I cannot remember. We had eleven silly girls in the class who kept coming on to me and I didn’t care. There were eight other boys in the class too, but I had become a man, because I was in love with Miss Ziari. I kept coming onto her but she didn’t care. So I kept getting top marks so she would come caress my hair and tell me with her budding lips, Excellent Ali! There was still one year left to the Revolution which put my love in a frame. Tonight when another love was torn away from me, I remembered my classmates and my teacher, Miss Ziari who, I still do not know why, when the schools shut for holidays, they put her against the wall in the middle of summer and shot a bullet in her chest. No, I still can’t believe it. It is impossible to kill a beautiful woman by a bullet.

‘Horse Flower’

Thirty-three Bridge* but grandpa

But stir crazy

In order for Isfahan* to be Majnun*

And what runs isn’t water

But blood

Which has turned

The flowers

The red cells

Now that the lump in his throat has burst

First white then red

and finally black

Thirty three years old

he took the train with London

And landed a seventy-year old in Shirley

In order for Layla* to be the bridge

She’s crazy

To have tied a stem of horse flower

To the water’s face

And the river galloping

Paused under the bridge

In order to take a shot of the moon full

In order that over the bridge

That is bang on the bridge

On a bridge whose girl is passing pissed

In order for the old man

And the loud cry of a young man from afar

To arrive both together

And for all three together to fall

Like the tiger playing with the peak

On the high moon

For the white ball in the depths

Like a lump in the throat to burst

* Thirty-three Bridge is a famous bridge in Isfahan

* Isfahan an old city in Iran

* Majnun and Layla famous lovers in Persian Literature

‘Advertised Love’

None other than your name

is the word

that alights on the lip

like a cigarette

I light up

No other than your name

is the smoke I blow out

in rings like O…O


Stick no finger in this ring

so one yes

could suddenly become a noose

you’re not blind to pretend

you just don’t see how

at the back this pile of paper

becomes an advert

for the wall

except for these pages

that indicate I’m still alive

I have been dead for years


someone is still drumming

in my heart

other than this

I have no heart ache



is the nickname for my solitude

a man who could never be

found in the alley

The reply to a tear

left on the ground

grazed by the cow

tamely eaten

and calmly wept

It’s a dark loneliness

coughing for years

there is no one

to hand him a hanky


A vacuum served in the mirror

An un-fillable ditch

is named

after my loneliness

my loneliness

is a grave dug

for many who fell in

never to come out

others dived

into this bottomless well

and came out of the other side of the world

Many grew big on this name

and some diminished

some shoveled earth into it… still shoveling

some shed tears

what’s the use

my loneliness is a ditch

that no longer can be filled

Ali Abdolrezaei’s poetry shows that the contemporary art of Iran has been hugely influenced by the traumatic historic events of the last three decades and that these events have affected millions of Iranians in one way or another. Abdolrezaei is young and represents the aesthetics and voice of a new, multi-faceted generation of Iranians and their cultural chasm with the past in the face of a repressive political regime. Abdolrezaei gained reputation as a poet, speaking in the voice of his time, in the early 1990s and received wide critical attention. His poetry tackles difficult themes with a mastery of craft. Ali Abdolrezaei’s poems are translated into many languages such as English , French, German , Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish,Turkish, Portuguese, Urdu, Croatian and Arabic.
Ali Abdolrezaei was born on 10 April 1969 in Northern Iran. He completed his primary and secondary education in his city of birth and after receiving his diploma in mathematics passed the nationwide university entrance exams. He graduated with a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering from Tehran Technical and Engineering University.
He began his professional poetic career in 1986 and became one of the most serious and contentious poets of the new generation of Persian poetry. Abdolrezaei has had an undeniable effect on many Persian poets through of his poetry as well as his speeches and interviews. He is also one of the few poets who succeeded in expressing his unique poetic individuality. His 31 varied books of poetry –In Riskdom Where I lived, Shinema, So Sermon of Society, Improvisation, This Dear Cat, Paris in Renault, More Obscene than Literature, Hermaphrodite, A Gift in A Condom, You Name this Book, Only Iron Men Rust in the Rain, Terror, La Elaha Ella Love and Fackbook – endorse his poetic creativity and power. Nearly all well-known poets and critics of Persian poetry have written about Abdolrezaei’s work.
In September 2002 after his protest against heavy censorship of his latest books such as So Sermon of Society and Shinema, he was banned from teaching and public speaking. He left Iran and after staying a few months in Germany, followed by two years in France, he moved to London, where he has been living for the last 6 years.

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