Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Shushan Avagyan: Poems inspired by sculptures


By Shushan Avagyan

Sculpture by L. Bourgeois, 1996

Unhidden from the rest, in the daylight,
the black widow sways on her eight spoke-legs
unmoving the eye,
a spy of some sort, she is weaving her silk net,
spraying each thread with a pungent secretion
from her moist canals - a sack of venom,
using the ejaculate to attract
the prey. A trained hunter, this recluse
how fast her bait can work!


By Shushan Avagyan

Installation by L. Bourgeois, 1989

Like two commas
that cut
a flight of words into halves
these, too, are fat and slow
guarding the stairwell
with their Sphinx eyes
wrinkled in stagnation
there is no exit for them.
But you still can whisk through
to the stairs

hidden so well behind the screen,
first, train your feet
and then
grow a feather with each step.

Note: This poem appeared in The Spoon River Poetry Review,
Winter/Spring 2005.


Gathering Wool

By Shushan Avagyan

Installation by L. Bourgeois, 1990

They feel safe here, behind these walls
as they sit reminiscing, in silence -
the seven of them, perched on antique rugs,
saved from a Syrian desert. Wrinkles carve
memories too atrocious.

Have they forgiven? Nobody
knows -

they are whispering, as if in a secret world
telling each other stories of gathering wool
in the lost country of dreams and bread.

by Shushan Avagyan
Installation by L. Bourgeois, 1999-2000

Trapped in a white dress of crochets I step forward
to hold his thick arm.

I am offered the blush apple
tartness, served on a silver hook.

I take a small bite. Juices trickle down my chin
onto the bleached lace of my bridal dress

stains of blood.

Poison seeping through all inside my veins.
He gently lays me down into the crystal coffin.

Our marriage bed.


Shushan Avagyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia. She is currently
working on her doctoral degree in English Studies, and is a
recipient of the Dalkey Archive Press fellowship at the Illinois
State University.
These poems have appeared in the Literary Groong and have been copied here by kind permission from the author.

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