Alex Simand lives and works in San Francisco and writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.
  • Alex Simand lives and works in San Francisco and writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry.
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My Armenian Neighbor Argues about Mushrooms

  • Eta ni lisitchka, my neighbor bellows,
  • words through the threshold —
  • the best place for argument, they say,
  • and the timefield
  • through which he will not pass.
  • I hold the mushroom in my palm,
  • orange, ribbed as an Adam,
  • long as a woman’s neck,
  • brush dirt off stalk, watch it
  • pepper my shoes like faery dust.
  • Are you sure? I ask.
  • It sure looks like a chanterelle.
  • he stamps his foot, shaking
  • the tarnished chandelier
  • at the end of a long hall.
  • His brows burrow into skull,
  • rotating godwards like a carousel,
  • appealing to some lord
  • at the sight of a me, this boy,
  • questioning his fungal knowledge.
  • I shrug and toss the gift
  • into its woven tomb,
  • where it bumps caps
  • with rizhiky and belayi
  • and other colorful brothers.
  • He stamps his foot again —
  • this time a team of mules appears,
  • place their curious heads
  • on his barrel shoulders,
  • and eye me like a traitor.
  • My neighbor turns, his broad
  • back as violent and calm
  • as a king’s private executioner,
  • mounts his takhtaravan, coughs
  • into his fine silk hands.
  • The mules arrange themselves
  • like chess pieces around him
  • and hoist, gruntless, up, up.
  • The team trundles away,
  • leaving me and my mushrooms.

To Those Confused about Why the Black Men in Los Angeles Tweeted Their Car Chase

  • Because eyes are the best
  • bullet proof vests
  • joy is better
  • than death.
  • The only way to keep
  • from getting shot
  • is to tweet your arrest
  • because darkness
  • means body bags.

Alex Simand lives and works in San Francisco. He holds an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles. He writes fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry. His work has appeared in North American Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Mudseason Review, Five2One Magazine, Drunk Monkeys, and other publications. His short story, “Election Cycle,” was a winner of the 2017 Best Small Fictions Prize. Alex is the former editor for blog, nonfiction, and the Diana Woods Memorial Prize at Lunch Ticket. Find him online at alexsimand.com or on Twitter at @AlexSimand.

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