zach chartkoff

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poem, poems


Page 1: Zach Chartkoff

zachary chartkoff

5 poems

Page 2: Zach Chartkoff


Here is one more procession: a long line of our bodies going – somewhere. Shroudedwith pink village dust and wild blue grape vine;tears and sentiment; aryun – Aryun. Blood. We live in such a blood fueled world. Saplingknows its sap; clock its oil. But the wounded can feel their hearts pumping out everythingthey need to stay alive. It is stupid to think bathing the dead a holy act.I've seen horrific wounds. I've worked clotted hair free, bathed putrid arms, washed axed-crackedskulls. My people are gone. To each wasted name I say: blood made you holy, alive.Aryun dwells solely in those who survive.

Page 3: Zach Chartkoff


Go with me; akhchik, girl, im sireli akhchik, my darling girl. I long to tastethe sea once more. You, daughter of gypsymoth and milkweed; glacier moon and snail-pacedtide, go with me. Sea salt my lips. Akhchik, girl, im sireli akhchik, my darling girl, I lick my lips dry. Let our rhythmic laughing mock the ocean – poor, weepingwaves – they dream of us out in this desertwhere there is no water, just endless salt.No dew. No shelter. No creature comfort.Akhchik, girl – let's leave these dunes and basalt. In my dreams we are waves that cling and curl– im sireli akhchik, my darling girl.

Page 4: Zach Chartkoff


No sleep. New flower, nor tsaghik, has sprung.No roots, yet. Perhaps memory will creepback. A new flower, nor tsaghik, has flungout her hennaed song far from where her deeproots were laid, like new blood. That is the songI want you to hear. Do not cheer, do notthink that this small tune can forget its longpast. No cause for applause. Who has forgotto wake and sing? Who has forgot that smalltune they were born under, that will withholdnothing? No pause. Stay awake. Wooden flute,a new flower, nor tsaghik. Now recallthe notes they taught you; recall just how oldthey are; how far you are from the first root.

Page 5: Zach Chartkoff


Evil. No evil. No. Chka chariq, arants bariq, There's no evil without goodness. There is a new devil. We speakabout good or bad; we speak without doubt;nothing is so simple. There is vengeancein me; all shades of gray. The clouds blackout my tracks. I fly. The wind whips my silence. I will shatter the moon; take each worn-outfragment as my knife. I – a new devilcrossing the dunes; blood-drunk on the romanceof my vengeance and there is no evil without goodness. Chka chariq, arants bariq. Evil. No evil. A fragment of moon. The devil is new; night ancient.

Page 6: Zach Chartkoff


All these fingers are dirty – lick them clean. There is dough in my hair – kiss me clean. With a kiss like this. Obscene. All day you've seenme make bread. Lavash. Song of flat bread; mythof dough rolled flat slapped against Tonir walls.Simple song of flat bread; the dead's flat food.Simple smell. The smell of burning. Nightfallsand the dead still burn. The dead's bread; imbued with grief. What else? I am leaving; come kissme clean. Clean all my fingers, clean my soul,clean my lips, my body – like this – like this.When you make bread, you make me; when you rollthe bread flat you touch me. I'll be ghostly so soon. Touch me. Touch me. Touch me.

Page 7: Zach Chartkoff