Saturday, November 28, 2020

Diana Der-Hovanessian: Thanksgiving

Love is not all. It is not food nor drink.

Edna St. Vincent Millay


Nor is food love, but palate's sport alone.

Even with ceremony, without  toast or vow,

it is just means of keeping flesh on bone.

But table and altar are confused somehow.

We substitute our food again, again

for rites of love.  Look how this buffet sinks

with golden fowl and platters of grain

and candles for our eyes to drink.

Love is not food. But in the name of those

with parched throats, who could not eat

or pray, whose empty mouths have closed,

whose bellies swelled with pain not meat,

we call it sustenance when it is shared.

And sharing we call prayer.


From  Songs of Bread, Songs of Salt, Ashod Press

Monday, November 09, 2020

Rupen Khajag: Only the war

I spent two hours
Buffing away a century and a fifth
Of corrosion from a doorknob,
To get my mind
Off the madness around me--
So far, yet so close--
While flipping channels on the screen
Between picutres of the war of my people
And the election between two dinosaurs;
While chatting with friends
About the war
And the two dinosaurs;
While pretending to be optimistic
About the war
And the outcome between the two dinasaurs;
While thinking about the war
And the...
Only the war.
Only the war.

Before I know it
Generations of grime are lost forever
And I am looking into a ball of shine.

I wish I had snapped a "before"
On my phone,
Which is overworked
And drained as of late.

This thing in my hand
Was once black and green.
Black and green.
Green and black.
Կանաչ ու սեւ.

The green battledresses of our heroes;
The black-clad mothers full of grief.

Only the war.

Green and black.
Black and green.
Կանաչ ու սեւ.
Կանաչ ու սեւ.
Սեւ ու կանաչ.

Եւ ոսկի կը հագնեն սեւ օրերն հայոց...

#ՂարաբաղԻմԱղբիւրԵսԴու #ԲաշխեմԿեանքսՔեզԻմԱրցախ

R. Khajag
Watertown, 2020

This poem appeared in the Armenian Weekly:

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Armenian Authors Reading Aloud

Amaras Art Alliance is sponsoring a new online experimental project called “Armenian Authors Reading Aloud” initiated by Sharisse Zeroonian. The goal is to have writers and poets of Armenian ancestry from around the world make videos of themselves reading their own work, which Amaras will share online. Interested individuals may contact us via this email:

Please record yourself aloud from your own manuscript as a video clip, the length of which should not exceed 5 minutes.

The language the work is read in should be that of the language in which it was written.

You may submit more than one clip for longer pieces, but each clip should not exceed 5 minutes.

Video clip format should be one acceptable for Youtube (ex. MP4 generally works well).

Send the finished product to along with a brief description of the material, a title and a short biographical statement.

We will review your clip and, at our discretion, will post it to our Youtube channel, Facebook Page, and website.

Thank you.