Chris Khatschadourian in Yerevan

I Missed My Flight

Can you believe it?
I missed my flight.
I was supposed to be in Yerevan,
but here I am still
in Lebanon
having fish at one of my favorite restaurants.

The sea – sometimes blue,
other times silver –
surrounds the restaurant.

Looking out the window now,
I can see
it’s such a beautiful day to be
somewhere else
entirely.

Waves splash on the rocks, try to hold on to the rocks,
but their destiny pulls them back,
their destiny pulls them back
into infinity.
Repetition… eternity.
The day the waves stop trying to escape their destiny
is the day the world ends.

My fiancée is facing me.
A smile remains frozen on her face.
It is a forgotten smile,
a lingering, sardonic, masochistic smile,
a tragedy turned into something funny,
the echo of a shock.

“We can only laugh about it now.”
“We were supposed to be unpacking
in Yerevan, but here we are.”
“The alarm didn’t go off.”

We’re having fried fish and fries
and hummus.
I’m sipping on arak;
she’s enjoying a glass of white wine.

“Don’t worry,” I say.
“We’ll catch the next flight.
For now, let’s enjoy our lunch.”

The table is a work of art.
It reminds me of the Last Supper.
Beautiful,
but we were supposed to be
experiencing something else,
not this.

April 27, 2021

A Sweaty Summer

A sweaty summer is around the corner.
O, we will experience a genuine summer this time.
The smell of perspiration will pervade the air.
Everywhere.
Our homes will become ovens –
waiting rooms in hell.

Ladies and gentlemen,
stock up on deodorants.

“You’re up next,” the politician will say
in a dream, as he morphs into a striped hyena.
And like Virgil from Dante’s Inferno, he will guide you,
take you through the circles of hell –
the hell he and his collaborators built.
“This is your special place,” he will say.
“It’s where herd animals are kept,
and horde animals, too,
like you.”

What a nightmare!
The sweaty summer is already here.
Last night, the heatwave woke you up,
and you got out of bed searching for
electricity.

Looks like it’s time to shave your armpits
to prevent the body odor of your true self
from entering the nostrils of your dear ones.

Lick your lips to taste the salt of your body.
Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth.”
So, taste the salt of your body
like your suffering means something.

Get used to the stickiness as you get tanned
in your car
while you wait for your turn
to fill up your tank.

This summer,
you will be deprived of air conditioning.
You will miss the humming of pedestal fans, table fans,
and ceiling fans.
You will sit on balconies at night
to take a break from fluorescent lighting
or to give candles a break from burning.

From those balconies,
you will see nothing when the sun sets.
Darkness – yes.
This summer,
you will have to stare into darkness.

You will drink warm beer to celebrate
despair.


This poem was born in me yesterday, when I came across the below photo on social media:

I Cannot Log In to Reality

I can’t stay
away from screens.

I barely exist
in the physical world.

For maintenance only.

I disconnect to eat or to defecate.
I reconnect for work and leisure,
like I was meant to become data.

And like a fly tangled in spider web,
it seems, I cannot escape
the World Wide Web.

The ghost of my existence clings
to the Internet of Things,
where the virtualized forms
of everyone and everything
dwell.

And events don’t take place anymore,
it seems, as space is no longer needed.
And I don’t exist anymore –
at least, not in the world I used to know.

Is this the beginning of
the technological singularity prophesied,
or are we already worshipping
the all-seeing tarantula?

When I turn off my devices,
who do I become?
And how do I get rid of this brain fog?

I cannot log in to Reality.

Forgot password.

I must turn on
smartphone, computer, tablet, smartwatch
now.

Authenticating… Connecting…

must
surf.

must
serf.

Connected.