Sunday, July 24, 2016

Jacqueline Tchakalian: To Be Beheaded, Armenia, 1915

Jacqueline Derner Tchakalian, a visual artist and a poet, lives in Woodland Hills, CA. Her poems have appeared inEclipseSo to SpeakCalifornia QuarterlyWestward 4and other publications. She was a finalist in the 2010 Tennessee Williams Literary Poetry Contest and the 2007 Conflux Press Artists Book Contest. Previously, she was a co-director of the Valley Contemporary Poets Series and for the Los Angeles Poetry Festival. Her book, The Size of Our Bed, Red Hen Press, was published in 2015.
         For those who deny.

to be the beheader

      is to ignore
      how deeply memories

      embed themselves           

      in tomorrow's 


to be beheaded

      is to lose touch 

      source of thought

      water's web

      sight of blood

            running away

to be an observer

      on site    viewing photos

      watching film    willing or not

      is to be grateful you are not

      the victim    your blood

            recording everything

to be remembered

      victims' dried blood 

      must be washed 

      with clean hands 

      in memories' open

            baskets of language

This poem appeared in the July 2016 issue of Frogpondia.

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