Poems by Ali Alizadeh

Letter to Adam Smith
A simple question: what’s diachronous
in desire? Precisely nothing. The problem
I’m having, have always been having
re: this crisis (from the Greek krisis
meaning judgment): no missing link
in these manacles. Who wouldn’t want
a millionaire? I want to be an addict
truly. Activate endorphins on demand
and supply of cash and commodity
but I can’t. Sadly. The fantasmatic
is too harmonious. Could you love me
if I were only lovable? Subtraction
leads to attraction. Capitalism
is full (of its own shit). My verdict
is harsh, historically inevitable
boredom. Yours sinisterly …


I feel for you
-r antipathy. She’s been removed
from her child to raise another’s
, gracefully. Mao’s mistake: contradiction
alone empowers the State. You
’re so miserable, entitled
to my empathy. They’ve asked her
to sleep on the floor of their son’s room
, kindly. Robespierre
’s logical fallacy: emancipation
transcends virtue/terror. I’ve got it
so damn good I can spare you
my apathy. She cooks, cleans, washes
her face after remembering her child
, impeccably. Lenin
’s misplaced optimism: Revolution
can’t be reduced to a Party. I’m so sorry
Capitalism keeps winning; there, there
, I have my sympathy.



Us & Apes
after John Docker
The origins of violence
tease thy clitoris, Clytemnestra
with an immense affection
unlike Agamemnon. Tanzania
’s chimps, adept genocidists
outdo the desperados of Hellas
inside flanks and fetlocks. Mythic
incompetence feeds vengeance
and Andromache’s boy, thrown off the walls
of the condemned city. Primatology
presages mythology. Agamemnon’s cock
-iness post-Troy, thine
to deplore, o portentous queen
and may thee treat Cassandra better
than Gombe’s finest apes
exterminating the outcasts
in the name of evolution, for our sake.