Aram Saroyan’s Still Night in L.A., a detective novel, was just published.  He is an internationally known poet, novelist, biographer, memoirist and playwright. His poetry has been widely anthologized and appears in many textbooks.  Complete Minimal Poems received the William Carlos Williams Award from the Poetry Society of America. Saroyan's prose books include Genesis Angels: The Saga of Lew Welch and the Beat Generation, Last Rites, a book about the death of his father, the playwright and short story writer William Saroyan, and Trio: The Intimate Friendship of Oona Chaplin/Carol Matthau/Gloria Vanderbilt.  His first prose book, The Street: An Autobiographical Novel, was recently reprinted in a 40th anniversary edition.  A movie version of the book can be seen online at ubu.com.  Four of Saroyan’s minimal poems were featured as “window works” at Dave Muller’s “Three Day Weekend” at the Blum & Poe gallery in July 2015 in Los Angeles. The recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts poetry awards (one of them for his controversial one-word poem "lighght"), Saroyan is a past president of PEN USA West.  From 1996-2011 he taught in the Master of Professional Writing Program at USC.  He lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the painter and architectural historian Gailyn Saroyan.

 

THE CLOCK IN LITERATURE

“Would you mind
If I headed up early?”
Says the husband
To his young wife.
“Follow when you like.”

Later that evening
The beautiful face
And exquisite limbs
Will rise from the table
Of the Southern inn
Having been spied
By the antihero
Across the room
Reading an indifferent book.

Oh, quick—
Let a storm kill the light!

But you might as well say it
To a wall.
We can’t change
A single
Silver setting, or
Even by one day
Reduce
The bright full moon.

The clock in literature
Holds that moon.

“I know I can’t say
A single thing to stop you,”
Says the old man at table
To the suddenly risen girl.
“But sleep on it, will you?”
Not now—
Not ever.

The clock in literature
Holds the ancient rune.

“I wonder if I might
Have a word with you,”
Says the antihero
To the lissome
Dark-eyed angel.

published in “Poetry” March 2015

 

SONNET (TORRENTIAL)

To just stir up trouble
With your insistence on attention
Like a man who takes advantage
Of his position with a young girl
Not out of love, but pure need
Of adulation, the comfort
Of another's eyes and hands

That is contemptible
What is needed is the torrential soul
That will not be overcome
By one's plea, but stands sentry
Before one's terrible need
And says simply, Get over it
I'm here too

Published in the “PN Review”

 

SINATRA & DINO

Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin
were the Hemingway and Fitzgerald
of a slightly later era, and
they paid a price for it, too.

But Frank, at least, was a reader
and favored Fitzgerald,
though you would have to peg Dino
as the Gatsby of the two.

 

 

Aram Saroyan

 

 

2015 copyright by Aram Saroyan


 

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