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About this poet

Kaveh Akbar was born in Tehran, Iran. He holds an MFA from Butler University and a PhD in creative writing from Florida State University. He is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017) and the chapbook Portrait of the Alcoholic (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2017). Akbar is the recipient of the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of America, a Pushcart Prize, and a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation. He is the founder of the poetry interview website Divedapper. He currently teaches at Purdue University and in the low-residency MFA program at Randolph College.

Orchids Are Sprouting From the Floorboards

Orchids are sprouting from the floorboards. 
Orchids are gushing out from the faucets. 
The cat mews orchids from his mouth. 
His whiskers are also orchids.
The grass is sprouting orchids. 
It is becoming mostly orchids. 
The trees are filled with orchids. 
The tire swing is twirling with orchids. 
The sunlight on the wet cement is a white orchid.
The car’s tires leave a trail of orchids. 
A bouquet of orchids lifts from its tailpipe.
Teenagers are texting each other pictures 
of orchids on their phones, which are also orchids. 
Old men in orchid penny loafers 
furiously trade orchids. 
Mothers fill bottles with warm orchids 
to feed their infants, who are orchids themselves. 
Their coos are a kind of orchid. 
The clouds are all orchids. 
They are raining orchids. 
The walls are all orchids, 
the teapot is an orchid, 
the blank easel is an orchid, 
and this cold is an orchid. Oh,
Lydia, we miss you terribly.     

Copyright © 2017 by Kaveh Akbar. From Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017). Used with permission of the author.

Copyright © 2017 by Kaveh Akbar. From Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017). Used with permission of the author.

Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar

Kaveh Akbar is the author of Calling a Wolf a Wolf (Alice James Books, 2017).

by this poet

poem
Throw scissors at it. 
Fill it with straw 
and set it on fire, or set it 
off for the colonies with only 
some books and dinner-
plates and a stuffed bear 
named Friend Bear for me 
to lose in New Jersey. 
Did I say me? Things 
have been getting
less and less hypothetical 
since I unhitched myself 
from
poem

I wouldn’t even know what to do with a third chance,
another halo to shake loose galloping into the crossfire.
     Should I be apologizing? Supposedly, what’s inside my

     body is more or less the same as what’s inside yours—
here, the river girl clutching her toy whistle. There,
the

poem

how much history is enough history     before we can agree
to flee our daycares      to wash everything away and start over
leaving laptops to be lost in the wet along with housecats and Christ’s
own mother      even a lobster climbs away from its shell a few
times