Anti-Genre #6 brings us Tara Mokhtari’s rousing, film-like vignettes.  Recalling “flashbulb memories,” these poems function like vivid snapshots of a moment, and the circumstances under which we heard a piece of surprising news. 


Fucking Time

Sometimes I’m breathless
under the full weight of its salty
cataleptic body, and I’m
pinned down and resisting for days.

Other times,
I have it by the balls,
and I whisper softly to it:
be still, let me see what you’re made of.


Once Upon A Future

As the sun set for
the last time over Earth
a strange thing happened:

the sky and the soil and
everything in between
turned burning white.

Despite our collective conviction
about The End, and
how it would be,

for the first time in the history
of human experience,
we could see


If I Leap

If I leap
from fourth floor balcony
onto del Marques de l’Argentera
to become the bus driver’s soap opera
the therapist’s bread and butter
the maker of a murderer
(then that would be my legacy)

If I leap and let the chill wind
carry me over the alley
to land on Gaudi terrace
step inside stranger’s dwelling
and into strange new life
to find new suffering…

If I leap with
just Estacion de Franco
for witness:
would I get caught?


Transcending Tongues

The ache is the same
in every language:

massive silver body
bent in prayer

forehead to floor
Arab in Iberian archway

by anything other than


When One

What is one to do
once the desk is tidied
the dresses in the dresser

the dust is swept
the body cleansed
the tears are wept
the letters penned

the studies read
cups in the cupboard
the blood is bled—

Then one is done.


Photo © Matthew Friedman