Straw Gorilla by Khashayar Mohammadi

Poetry Pause spotlight with above/ground press

Name: Straw Gorilla by Khashayar Mohammadi Poem: “memories always start round midnight” - Sun Ra before life became funerals with intermittent drives there was the mountain side omelettes and Hookah a few kebabs on the charcoal watermelon soaked in the cool creek water for dessert and the scenery that pushed past dad’s car window each mile those 5 hour kaleidoscopes road nebulae tiny invisible men running along jumping bee-striped galvanized steel guardrails or even live wires of transmission towers there was a ten foot straw gorilla we passed by each year and grandpa whose hometown knew him by the highest cliff dives was now bedridden and gravebound when did the graveyards become a monthly destination? when we hit a critical mass of those we loved? the ether that is family loving and loved one death at a time End of Poem. Credits: Copyright © Khashayar Mohammadi Khashayar Mohammadi is a Queer, Iranian-born, Toronto-based writer and translator. He is the author of chapbooks Solitude is an Acrobatic act with above/ground press and Dear Kestrel with knife | fork | book. His debut poetry collection Me, You, Then Snow is forthcoming with Gordon Hill Press.

above/ground press is an Ottawa-based poetry chapbook press edited/published by rob mclennan, now celebrating twenty-seven years of continuous operation, having launched its first titles way back on July 9, 1993. above/ground press has produced more than one thousand publications-to-date, including some four hundred-plus single-author poetry chapbooks and three hundred and fifty single-poem broadsides, and currently produces the quarterly journal Touch the Donkey [a small poetry journal], and occasional journals The Peter F. Yacht Club and G U E S T [a journal of guest editors]. Over the past decade or so, the press has been managing some seventy single-author chapbooks a year, providing an exciting mix of Canadian and international authors, emerging and established poets, and experimental and visual works alongside the more traditional lyric, mailing irregular packages as part of both a subscription base and as individual orders. There have been two full-length decade roundups produced-to-date as trade editions—Groundswell: the best of above/ground press: 1993-2003 (Broken Jaw Press, 2003) and Ground Rules: the best of above/ground press: 2003-2013 (Chaudiere Books, 2013)—with a third anthology scheduled for 2023 with Invisible Publishing. The host of The Factory Reading Series, founded January 1993, above/ground recently extended its reach into a new online venture: periodicities: a journal of poetry and poetics and ‘virtual reading series’: The press moves where the editor/publisher’s interest move, as well as where his energies might allow. Where might we go next?