4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Eyes are the best bullet proof vests

Two poems by Alex Simand

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.

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.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Carlsbad flower fields, Mission Bay, Coronado bridge

Palomar Observatory, Fort Rosecrans cemetery, the Coaster, the trolley, North Harbor Drive bridge
Next Article

Bub’s Berry Smash: mulling over the mule

A really refreshing cocktail for summertime.
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.

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.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

John Ciardi: edged out by the Beat Generation

American poet and etymologist best known for his translation of Dante’s Divine Comedy
Next Article

Escondido's hidden gems of influence

Paul McNamara seeks advice regarding unnamed YouTube video givers
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close