Brockton Writers Series 09.11.22: Ayaz Pirani

Ayaz Pirani‘s books include Happy You Are Here and Kabir’s Jacket Has a Thousand Pockets. His work recently appeared in ARC Poetry MagazineThe Antigonish ReviewGuest 16, and The Malahat Review. Ayaz’s new book is How Beautiful People Are, available from Gordon Hill Press.

African Masks

As a kid I’d hate to lose my way

to the drawers of Ornithology or African masks.

I didn’t fancy the Mesa blankets

and said no to all the Walks of Tears, of Fears, of Hunger.

Best was to find myself in the Ice Cream Shop

or Gift Shop,

the white people’s diorama

in which they do not disappear from the Earth.

I still don’t like pinned butterflies

and pieces of petrified forest you take home in your pockets.

I don’t need to see the sunken treasure

brought to dry land.

If there’s a gem

on the Queen of England’s crown

that I know belongs to my bride,

you won’t see me just reach out and take it.

—from Kabir’s Jacket Has a Thousand Pockets


At the party I’d like to be a person of interest

but will end up a person of color.

Instead of agency I’ll get stuck with adjacency.

I worship in gutters, dust ignores me.

Imagine the roar of a lion’s mouth

or a perch on the rim of Ngorongoro.

I’m not coming to greet your waves.

I won’t dance broom to broom.

Don’t ask me to breathe fire or starve a child.

I’m not shaking hands with wilted roses

or standing two-headed like scissors.

I’d rather retreat at the first balloon’s pop.

—from How Beautiful People Are

Dog’s Sleep

I didn’t measure up

to his over-joy.

Rarely did I meet him halfway

in the hallway.

I wasn’t that faithful.

My dog

spoke only one syllable

but I ignored

the very itch

he was interested in.

With Freud’s head-tilt

my dog

kept his thoughts and bones


His grudge

was with the doorbell.

— manuscript in progress


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s