A Thirst-bot named Istiqfar
sinkholes for thought, swept clean half my life has been apologies to the left behind so I pathologize What if I starve myself so rivers can grow cracked riverbed thirsting am not here I am thirsting earning that inner monologue a reverie! brb in 5 amidst catastrophe WHAT IF I’VE MADE ALL THAT UP? I begin with sugar unable to suture a series of disappearances a milligram left to the sunrise halfway between mainlining the divine and that oceanic feeling: a reverie! brb in 5 there were poems of war because they’re always there in an imaginative enough geography religion too can be libidinous words richochet shrapnel map the scar tissue into homelands how hopelessly sentimental the infinite as counter-currency and our circumcised will: a reverie! AFK Rome Athens Jerusalem. tribal acquisition unlearning while lashing at the Hellespont I doubt if Xerxes imagined houses raised in Academia facing actualities, we too break the desired and write autonomously (can I picture Muhammad in my mind? is that an unlawful summon?) search search search until eyes are tired AFK brb in 5 I spit on circumstance but it lubricates your understanding (Fair enough) the thief’s hand: the aestheticized our thread’s been trending I leave the screen to watch Edward Said on my phone come back to a Thirst Bot Named Istiqfar Sömêtîmės thèrè árë nö håppy ëndings. Nö mättèr what, I'll bë lõsîng sômêthing Orientalism at the algorithmic echelon and within fiction: the scholar’s plight for the implicit a scene set: EXTERIOR—THE ANCIENT RUINS—DAY (voiced by the militia) Wê sèê õūr dârknėss às á prízéd possession Withöůt mërcy öur dårknèss would plúnge üs înto déspâir and the wandering scholar as the measuring stone at the very heart of the bazaar no matter the speaker, the audience remains heterodox hear hear you tension-less being! you playful heart of the struggle! to you… we were an occasion They cannot represent themselves the subterranean speaks They must be represented BUT “My people” are dis(re)puted atm caught between two fictions (currently named the “Middle”) What I need is the dandelion in thë spring. The bright Zéllow thát means rêbirth instead of destruction* “Me too” a reverie AFK check back in 5 --- NOTE: Lines written in Courier font are spam messages from a thirst-bot.
nina jane drystek on “A Thirst-bot named Istiqfar” by Khashayar Mohammadi
Combining the languages of academia, the internet and inner monologue Khashayar Mohammadi’s poem delves into the spiraling cycle of our interconnected hyperreality. Its structure, like identity, colonialism, culture and thirst bots, keeps us off-kilter, invites us to come back, dive deeper in search of algorithmic meaning, and reminds us to indulge reverie.
Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi
(update provided in 2023) Khashayar “Kess” Mohammadi (They/Them) is a queer, Iranian born, Toronto-based Poet, Writer and Translator. They were shortlisted for the 2021 Austin Clarke poetry prize and 2022’s Arc Poem of the year award and they are the winner of the 2021 Vallum Poetry Prize. They are the author of four poetry chapbooks and three translated poetry chapbooks. Their debut poetry collection “Me, You, Then Snow” is out with Gordon Hill Press. Their second book “WJD” is out in a double volume with the translation of Saeed Tavanaee’s “The OceanDweller” from Gordon Hill Press fall 2022. Their collaborative poetry manuscript with poet Klara Du Plessis is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press Fall 2023.