Something to Take the Edge Off by Sanbud Tehrani

Some survivors never get their long-sought transfers to the Caribbean

And pictures were never taken of them in family photos on barbecues and roasts so they have no real form to speak of

Frozen things like the love and kitchen cabinets between you and me

The ink inside does not break up nicely nor does it make my day or even the day of a small lizard with reasonable demands

An old man stuck for ten hours in a nice warm bath suddenly feels a cough coming

Thinks of drinking out of the toilet and trading cigarettes for dog food

Unfulfilled unexpressed circuits never put into the packages they were meant to be delivered with

Things paramount to leave alone, and protein shakes dropped on swimsuit catalogs where tasteful bikinis seem described in garbled words written in a typeface that can’t be relied on to keep a schedule or earn a proper living.

Mothers lock up your daughters, do so on the weekends at five and five thirty and especially when you hear unfamiliar violins stirring up symphonies that were undergestated thoughts which had been thought to have died with their composers and were never put on paper for reasons that even blueberry pancakes couldn’t solve.

Sometimes the intensity of the lock and key become vibrations that even poetry and voice recorded messages from puppies can’t hope to help file away and you and every part of you becomes the red plastic buckets and shovels in sandboxes never taken home and a quarter you dropped in the third grade that no one else will ever find or pick up and at that point you realized that there will come a time where the empty office buildings and never opened little bags of pop rocks inside of you become so insistent that writing about them does nothing.

A loyal footsoldier without a bullet left quietly set a small hotel lobby on fire today with only a match and a cup of sugar, betting his stories against his life and having conversations with siblings despite being an only child, and the periods and vowels of this poem didn’t understand why it happened because they were there at the time in an article about diseased horses in the local newspaper on the hotel lobby desk but returned to tell me the tale.

I always stick a few of those particular periods and vowels into my poems from time to time like sprinkling pepper into your food to make yourself less spicy and wish I served half as much purpose and that the consonants stopped looking at me reproachfully, because at some point a poet becomes too full of verses to express them and they burst out of his organs as porcupine spines, usually resulting in the local neighborhood watch beating and molding the body into the materials necessary for a new salon and a small sushi restaurant and maybe even a strip club if the harvest that year proves bountiful.

And this last line was written and erased and written and erased and this poem was held back and might not have been ever written and it might have been better stifled under a pillowcase, because I’m afraid this poem will be the one that doesn’t manage to bucket out enough of the corrosive ocean inside of me and my eyes will drown there in their sockets despite their inflated water wings, some tightropes you find out are too short only mid-cross, as there are many poets who were eaten whole by their own poems or had their poems malfunction and not properly deploy just as they drove into a telephone pole, and you don’t know their names and no one talks about them anymore just like the horror novels and monster myths we have are the ones soft-hearted enough not to have been burned in giant piles centuries ago after striking entire villages of readers down with leprosy and virulent bookborne plagues.



Sanbud Tehrani is a young Californian burnout writer raised and molded for a lifetime in Orange County into some sort of grotesque nightmarish carnival game that occasionally spits out a poem or two as a reward for managing to throw your hoop over the goldfish. His most treasured writers are Graham Greene and Thomas Hardy.