GOT PUBLISHED!!!

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“Crying Space” and “Gnarled and Naked”
Women Writing Berlin Lab: “Movement” (2020)

Dear Summer, Fuck Off!

Dearest Summer,

It’s not you, it’s me. I sweat profusely, I don’t know how to dress, and, frankly, I don’t know how to treat you right or respect you baby I don’t know. Maybe I was supposed to know you, love you, respect you, feel you because you remind me of my body. An organism with a self-cooling capability that produces water as easily as Mother Earth does from the sky, and I wonder if this was part of your game? To create forced connections with water? To sweat out the discomfort to prove my humanity and to force me to feel something. Yes, I have this body, yes I am real, and yes I do feel … discomfort being reminded of my body’s homeostasis. Its liquid sliding scale.

However, I do intensely enjoy the other component of my fluid homeostasis, but why is cumming so much more pleasurable than sweating? Both create pools in my bed, but only one is a pleasure to sleep in. Okay, in reality neither, and I really need to wash my sheets. Why do we sweat things out? Why do we (some of us) squirt? Why is an orgasm a flood or a push? Why do we create things we push away from when we are really pushing away from ourselves? Why is it so uncomfortable being human?

So you see Summer, I hate that you remind me of myself and my humanity. You will never be Autumn, Summer. Whenever you are in full bloom, I always want to recede and hibernate. Whenever you are smiling, I want it to rain. I know its strange being a Summer baby, but I grow in winter while the trees reserve their energy for the next cycle. You don’t do that Summer, you drain me.

And yet, I do have a fondness for you. Memories I will always associate with you. You are the hills on fire and the ash that I had to wipe off my windshield like snow. You were scabbed knees and burned feet. You will never be Autumn. I didn’t know Autumn growing up. In Southern California, we had two seasons, fire and sun, and there was no mention of Autumn. What did she look like? Who lived with her? I had heard about the changing color of leaves and the rumored “coat season” but had never experienced it myself. Even when visiting Ohio, I was only ever witness to Summer and Winter. You always did like to follow me wherever I went.

But where is Autumn? I had met an Autumn in high school and thought I had found her, but she moved a year later. I wondered if she would ever return. Where did she go? And what kind of cruel parents would raise a kid named Autumn in Southern California. I didn’t have the courage to say hello and, I mean, what would she think of my clothes? I had hoped she was not as judgmental as Wednesday or Noon. Fuck Noon. Her parents paid her full ride to college and she never worked a day in her life, so fuck Noon. Also, your name means “bread.” God I love bread. Bring me your sweet loaf, so I may nestle in your yeasty folds. Okay, that sounded disgusting. Why is “yeasty” so gross? Why is discharge? Why is everything associated with the human body perceived in such negative connotative terms? Especially for women? I can’t help where my sweat collects in my folds.

Giving Birth to a God

Its interesting the adjectives we use to describe our actions or our life choices. When I first moved to Berlin, people would often say I was “brave” and “courageous” for following my dream and deciding to do what I chose to do, but what they don’t realize is the amount of fear involved because I wasn’t just following a dream. I was chasing a lifetime. A lifetime of linguistic specialist, speech pathologist, front-loaded learning, a parents divorce, that I was running not toward anything, but I was finally flexing my wings.

So you see, I don’t run, I fly, and the problem with dreams is that when they are uttered, we give power and raise gods, that’s a really intimidating thing to think about, to think about that possibly, “I could give birth to a god,” and here’s the other thing you have to understand, but, for women, we can do it twice over. With our physical bodies and with our minds. We do it thrice over with our emotions and our communities with our interpersonal understanding of each other’s commiseration.

So you see, people say that I am brave for going and doing this, but what they don’t realize is that I was giving birth to a god that expands beyond our adjectives.

Is This What Bravery Feels Like?

Is this what bravery feels like?

Crying in the middle stall of the Schönefeld  airport

Missing you dearly and not regretting a moment, decision, or choice.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Life in two suitcases

One abused violin

and objects left behind never to be reclaimed.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Denying the handouts

Living in an abandoned warehouse

Sleeping on pallets

because your parents said,

“You chose to be that way.”

Is this what bravery feels like?

Ending a marriage of 20 years

To live in a one room apartment

Racking up debt from never having worked a day in your life

Children visiting every other weekend

Loving you, hating you, never understanding you.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Shaving your head to hide in a basement bar

With foreign tongues lapping your ear for language

As you drink piss tasting piña coladas.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Period sex and discarded tampons

Clots clambering down your leg

Wondering where all the bleeding was truly coming from.

Is this what bravery feels like?

Loving this

Hating this

Living this

Licking this

Just a little taste

And wondering

Is this what bravery feels like?

T.A.N.T.I. Tables. Season 2, Episode 5: Code Switching x Synergizing (podcast)

For those of you who missed my interview and performance on Wednesday, here is the Tanti Table: Code Switching x Synergizing podcast. If you are bummed that you missed the interview/performance, check this out!


Writer, educator, and newly published poet, Allia Sadeghipour joins us this week at the Tanti Table, where we bring together the Thinkers Anecdotes News Taboos & Intersectionality of Berlin & beyond, sip some tea and question the powers that be!

Allia shares how her childhood in Iran and the U.S. shaped her writing style, her commitment to code-switching, and the importance of being seen in our communities. Her new book of poetry, The Ghosts of Berlin traces the haunting and alluring forms of our brutal yet beautiful Berlin. She’s been featured in the magazine What’s Afghan Punk Rock Anyway?, created by our co-host Armeghan Taheri, so we talk to them about Issue 2- the “love” issue, about the different forms of love, and about duh- about punk rock!

Bear Radio: https://www.bearradio.org/tantitable

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/5LXeejZvfnB3IZYJWQHgyU

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/tanti-table/id1454501328?mt=2

Never Thought

I never thought I’d live this long

As a queer,

AIDS or God’s wrath.

As a women,

domestic violence,

if not, domestic servitude

As an Iranian-American,

target for a hate crime

As a ‘passing’ Iranian-American,

a 9-5 life and a Mercedes would have done it

Not to mention —

Let’s not mention it.

I just 

Didn’t think I would live this long.

 

I am reminded of choosing to matter

Looking at my reflection 

I see you

scar on your forehead

almond eyes

three little chin hairs

I see you

 

But does my body?

Does my body know me?

I am forced to trust it 

It is the only one I have

But does it know?

Does it?

Does it truly?

Does the body know,

When something is deemed useless?

Does it know,

about toxicity

and the purging of memories?

Does it know,

When I am frightened and quickens its pace?

Does it know,

When to shut up and turn about face?

Does it know,

That love is infinite

but endorphins temporary?

Does it know,

That I should be able to take mushrooms

(at least once!)

And not purge it from my system.

Does it know,

When ‘it’ is lonely?

Does it? Do I?

Do I? Do I know?

What do I know? 

What do I know about my body?

 

This body on temporary loan

This body of autonomous sub-systems 

This body that moves

through space

To experience space

with this body.

Does it know,

that it is mine?

But is it really?

It truly belongs to my mother

She made it for me

Her prototype

And I’m going to have to give this body back

at some point.

I just 

never thought I’d live this long.

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