27 April 2023

Four Poems by Mark Young

Inside/Outside: There’s No Upside

There’s really no upside for anybody…

Steven Soderbergh responding to rumors of a rift

on the set of Magic Mike’s Last Dance.


We shot this in zero gravity, in an

actual plane, in the sky. No turbulence

or sea spray, but stress levels were high


& the discharge of faecal solids must be

considered an inescapable outcome.

So, a warning. If you try to replicate


our actions & have an indwelling

catheter, always check that there

are no kinks in the drainage bag.



A second night under curfew


Police in the US state of Missouri

are protecting her ahead of her

upcoming New Zealand perform-

ance where she is set to earn

millions from her app. Based on

the premise that muskets are not

very reliable, nor are old maps of

New York with their modern


accumulations of cellular lipid &

subcontract squandering, it seems

her space camera is the only option

to regulate a sugar metabolism that

would otherwise lead to depression

&/or the decline of small business.



A line from Kurt Cobain


In this trope, in the face of

multi-player mind games, no-

body likes being asked to wait,

especially when it's an old enemy


who's making the request. Maybe

I oversimplify; but it seems those

social circles that are composed

of numerous young men — who hate


everyone that occasionally eats

meat — will never outgrow intro-

version. Which is why self-check-

out lines inevitably get clogged.



A Chord — G Major



G entry

















B onus


















D tale










demesne or demeanor





22 April 2023

N.A. in the Modern Iranian Revolution by Hassan F. Nazarian

Nov. 14, 2023. Mahmood R. Diab Khomeini. 

The first time I was offered opium I said, “I knew this was gonna be weird,” before I smoked it. Weird just smelling, being amongst the caged birds, rugs, oud wafting up and around, and the missing teeth. Everything elegant except for the people’s missing teeth, the lisping. This is vhat we expected. And there—I didn’t seem neglected. Oh, that first hit… I bet you want… No. Nothing happened. Except the taste of the smoke, which was more cultural than druggyist. It takes time to feel the high. 3 days. 1 week for me because, I don’t know, the mental work of the job I had just quit, the work that stopped but had not yet slowed down in my mind, being away from it was gleeful. That’s all I felt. The joy of opium is in the codependence. After that first week I remembered everything about that week but different: strewn cupboards and coffee tables, a basic smudgy framed landscape that felt like an early Dali, pins on the walls, the plastic and silver of cigarette boxes on the floor, and emotions that seemed stray like small bells of poop just outside of me. You laugh, so of course there was something particularly pleasant about this. I liked the nausea Persian tea gave me on an empty belly. But I started thinking, at the time I thought prematurely, I didn’t want to become an Iranian statistic of the hagiographer Hassan Nazarian. I hate that name. All of my fellow opium addicts: Davood, Maymoon, Ohtash, and Ob, they were talking about things that had nothing to do with me, but I thought it was all about me. Davood would say the ceiling fan was rickety, and he was talking about my head. Maymoon said we don’t have to worry about Ruhollah Khomeini now because he’s dead. He was talking about my opinions. Ohtash always blamed any house trouble on me—I left stove on, door open, toilet unflush, ceiling fan on high during cold night—but really he was saying, “Who did this?” And Ob, well, Ob was always sad. Giving me these depressing looks whenever I passed him the pipe. How I was destroying this Tehrani youth, but hey, unlike all of them in my motley bunch, I had all of my teeth. I wonder if I held that as the standard of a nonaddict, because my baba, my father… was a dentist. I got calls from him all the time, he wouldn’t relent. Oh, it makes me weak thinking, rest his soul, but it’s a good, strong kind of weakness. I’m sober now. It’s a fragility in my legs that keeps them from walking into that fire, those ateesh, a delicate soul, but back to my past of addiction: when I heard that, well this… phone ringing, and I knew it was dad baba, I heard a hiss to it. Maybe my phone was damaged because of my clumsy highs. When the paranoia about gossip within the house dwindled down, there was this certainty that they had done something, pulled some secret tricky maneuver to depress me. And it worked. I was depressed. Because of something they did. But I didn’t know what. Then I’d blame it on dad baba. Taking me out of those karate classes to shadow him in his office on Esphahanband St. Fuck, baba was constantly saying, “Son, I know you’re having a bad day, it happens to our family, then he’s say some technical terms about blood types. My days were fine until he said that. The ecstasy of dental drills went south to the jahanam small cages of hell where babies were hugging knees. I’d want to say, “Would you do me a favor, dad?” Then as a serious joke, follow with, “Would you shut the mother fuck up?” But whenever I’d ask if he’d do me a favor, he’d seemingly meltdown, then he’d say, “Anyting for you, my bacheh joon!” Fuck, that oversaturation of love, to this day, true love, ooo it makes me mad. I guess even as I write this I have dry drunk Whac-A-Mole moments. Now I’ve learned, or I’m learning it wasn’t his fault—it’s mine. It was something negative I was doing that made baba Pejhy kiss my ass like that. Passive aggressively hugging me and shit like that nature. I did a personal inventory on my dad. I left a few things out. Now let’s get back to the opium home… Cigars started coming into our rotation, I didn’t know why, something about when somebody comes out of regime office, someone from the opium home, maybe Ohtash, would replace him. And it was happening soon. I don’t know if it was the cigars, I picked up a dad call and I met him up for kabab at Moby Dick. “Your teeth,” he said. “Your teeth, son!” Yeah, I knew, my teeth, but I stopped caring. Or I told myself I did. It’s like getting old, it doesn’t happen overnight, you wake up one day noticing all the wrinkles, that’s how my teeth were. It was as if that stranger dad were trying to wake me up—“Teeth! Teeth,” I kept hearing. I heard him, and I was working to make it hit me, my core. “Teeth, son! Teeeeth!!” I didn’t get it, I couldn’t feel it. But it woke up something in me: I couldn’t get in touch with my core. The part of me that was concerned, the part of me that felt. The part. The integral part of me. Floating outside of me in some intangible I-don’t-know. I almost felt like I was going to kill somebody. I still do sometimes. Is there a difference? Anyways, those next few days I thought of that place I lost that was worse than my lost teeth. I kept smoking with the boys, somehow the highs got better, but as I’d nod off I’d physically grope in the air for my heart. I was awoken by a loud commotion. The sound of fire, glass breaking, but excited voices… happy voices. Then I heard my voice, that part in my heart—the cavity. Then our window broke. It was Ohtash. He broke out our window. “It’s time, Mahmood! It’s time,” he screamed, excited like a slumdog Indian from Bombay, I don’t know. “Grab your tools, let’s go, let’s go!” I was thrown into the fight. I didn’t know who I was fighting but it felt right. We broke up the city of Tehran that night. It was like I was smashing my addiction with every street light, stop sign, storefront destroyed, and trash can lit on fire. My father lay dead next to one of those burning dumpsters. In my anger disguised as fervor and ecstasy it was like I didn’t see him. He was—and I feel misery saying this—in that gone side of my heart, which was sadly okay because one ion left of me was still alive. It sounds lame, but that ion was surrounded around a bonfire roasting marshmallows with newly met HAMVATAN. They spoke to me about N.A.: Narcotics Anonymous. When I opened up about how I was surprised I wasn’t feening, one of the girls said that adrenaline had replaced it. In the midst of the chaos, we retired to our bonfire N.A. meetings, books in hands, every night, 3AM. It was on the outskirts, by a man made river, I think. The days consisted of puking and tearing the city apart, and the nights, doing step work. And now how is it? Imperfect.. overly normalized. Kind of boring, and I have a lack of empathy, but when I lick ice cream, when I hug a fellow from the meeting, when I fuck my girlfriend—I feel it in my heart. I’m not dead. I feel me, you know that? For work… I work for a Chinese company here in Shiraz, Iran. We hand make wooden rickshaws and run Persians around Shah Cheragh, the Persian City of Lights. It’s hard work, I don’t understand. Getting through the construction of a rickshaw feels like luck. But when I feel the cold winds on my face, the pulse in my arms and in my back muscles, and I look back to see that Persian perfect 10 smiling, how can I ask for more? Thank you N.A., thank you Bill, thank you, Zoom meetings, thank you opium, thank you dad... Thank you veneers.