silva Merjanian 1 Silva Zanoyan Merjanian is a widely published poet who grew up in Beirut, Lebanon. She moved to Geneva during the Lebanese civil war after personally experiencing the devastation of her beloved country. She later settled in California to raise her two sons with her husband. Her poetry reflects a little of what she took with her from each city she lived in. The nostalgia for her roots, her Armenian heritage, her deep sense of humanity reduced and elevated at the same time in life’s events, permeate through her poems. Her work is widely featured in anthologies and international poetry journals and read by Irish actress/narrator Eabha Rose. She has two volumes of poetry, Uncoil a Night 2013 and recently published Rumor 2015. Proceeds from both books are entirely donated to refugees. Merjanian recently was the guest speaker at Ohio State University on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide. She’s also been invited to read in poetry festivals and poetry societies.





A dyspeptic shadow on highways
in my pockets sweaty fingerprints
assurances, blue inked lint

no rooster’s crow in these streets
only in deep sleep one clutched to chest
spreading tacit rumors at dawn
of October rain’s euphony
raising nostalgia in dry heaves
tremor of promises under four inch heels

dull end of tongues grating truth
in lukewarm baths
maimed fox -tailed backseat drivers
washcloth in hand
veins licked raw on extended necks
nights, slurping myopic gods diurnal grins
I, in narcotic cities immune to mockery or praise
in smell of damp pews, dreams hostage
you, a rumor in euphony of rain



Simplicity with which morning casts aside a venal night
no aurorean regrets, but hushed readings
where words stretch a paper- cut in thin air
color-blind wolves retreat
and she catches a glimpse of her self in their eyes
all that spills on night’s curves and corners now half dry sticky mire
on eyelashes sharpened behind muslin lies
artless restraints rust
the light catches their decay in glorious colors
she’s startled by her voice that sounded different in the dark
was that her in a ring throwing gloveless punches and missing every sneer
she comes out with less skin, unlearned fear dripping down a broken crown
years stand rolled into haystacks in a field of mined hindsight
virga of decisions fail to clear a path
but every welt now a blue vein on cupped hands
where she holds a voice that edited the night of its flaws
what pushes against her ribs also pulls a smile on morning lips

she finally fits in her skin although thin at places
and still as crazy as the bird that keeps flying into the window pane
at peace, in the morning that slaps the night when no one’s looking
walks in with a wink and a dance with no backward steps



September’s the new lover in my bed
we snort new lies and hold, in sweet breath
till eyes accustom to the dark
and scent of potpourri is lost between us
September is my summer matured
into a harlequin mélange of elegies

it’s my sleepwalk to the street-lamp ’round midnight
in a city that loves smell of the rain in my hair
and there’s the man under its hazy floodlight
with a 3 day scruff, grinding a cigarette
he promises is his last
I tell him I love him and I mean it for a while
September’s inure to absence of you
now svelte femme fatale flirting winter
or second fiddle to a protagonist
it depends on parried questions of the day
September breathes in your gaping mouth
but don’t hold it to its promises
they’re idle rain on rooftops



My pen thrust under Gordian ribs
you bled in pigments of melancholy
on Egyptian cotton
thread count in verses of lament

you lay on piles of edit
silence under my skin
rain was merciless that year
digging you from every landfill

you, in jazz of ebrious nights
you, on lips insipid leftover wine
absence rising to crescendo
your name slavers on repining spring

silence prises terete sighs
I wake a poem slipping through cracks
in quiver of fingers I once kissed



Words on an epicure’s tongue
that subtle bitter
lost on an audience
handpicked from chorus lines
while I savored buoyant questions
to the edge of your mind
knowing there will be no answers
in suburbs graveled white
but on this night
the universe is crawling
on skin soft with expectation
and I have untied silk rhymes
lifting the bluebird’s cleavage
you might as well have caged it
between your colored doubts
are you listening at this moment
or are you asleep spooning spines
bent where you have dotted
all I ask is for hail in December
charting my hiding
sanding raised eyebrows
I will lie in your embrace
and deal with the aftertaste
at first crack of dawn
in absence of verse hygiene
graffiti clinging to your sunken chest
because the universe is crawling
on skin soft with expectation
and I am lost in a blizzard
that resembles your voice
you see there is no one at home
and home is everywhere
in the vast distance
in memories’ dead weight
in winter’s renewal act
in promise of my eyes
and in your empty palms
where I pressed my face
fearing my many names
but one I left on rooftops



Over there
all that happened
(and didn’t happen)
packed in mental mothballs
stories fading with licked creases
some reduced and softer versions
wonder why I preserve breaths
forced through my lungs in those days
stringed around the eye of a hurricane
circling, demonic, nameless
shaking me shameless for a day
on nights when a collective sigh stings
and I can’t tell
which tale will toll for me
and which nocturnal howl
will lift the dust
through endless times
relive slivers
on a pink tip of my tongue
afraid to bite a dreamt memory
that it might hemorrhage
bleed the night
I want a dripping whiff of that afternoon coffee
instinctively bitter, solemnity and hot
ten minutes when lonely hearts
willed an arching cease fire
and time hovered among us
long enough for my mother
to build castles in my cup
over there
the man flying his doves
on the roof across two streets
remains a blur
but the doves stirring the air
in perfect shades of unison
(I had named them after heroes long forgot)
sometimes still raise dust in my room
of their feathers’ aches and plight
I believed then
I could break away
would break away
I did one day
the doves were left to die
over there
at dusk my father played the mandolin
and my mother’s voice filled all the gaps
between our breaths –
the dam that held surpluses of war
long enough for us to shed in dreams
why do I long for hell
on nights
when I can’t sieve my sigh from the wind’s eye
and I wonder if I ever broke away
from a circle named dead doves
scent of jasmine
still smells like home
back home in the rain

Share Button