Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Railroad Through the Oven, راه آهنی از دل تنور; Poem in Persian by Payman Akhlaghi (2017)

راه آهنی از دل تنور
 شعری از پیمان اخلاقی
(نسخۀ نخست)

(*) First published on June the 27th, 2017 at under راه آهنی از دل تنور.

تنها یک بار برای یک میلیون و سیصد هزار تن
رخ نداد.
آشویتس یک میلیون و سیصد هزار بار
برای یک میلیون و سیصد هزار تن
رخ داد،
برای تک تک آنها
که توازی خط آهن زندگیشان
از زنگار خارزار فلزی،
از حنجرۀ سگهای آدم نما
و از گداز تونل آتش گذشت.

تنها یک بار برای یک میلیون وسیصد هزار تن
رخ نداد.

اگر هنوز در دشت شقایق
امتداد زندگی تو نیز ناخواسته
از گِل آلود روزانۀ هراس،
از خشکیده خارزار تعصّب،
از تیزدندان های ذات گرگ
و از هُرمِ تنورِ ذلّت می گذرد؛
اگر چنگال های خشم شرّ،
ورای بُهت سرد خاطره،
آن سوی حِرمان آرزو،
همه را می درد؛
اگر شبانه، آوارِ سقف
جز لایه ای از خاک بر بدن،
رنگین به دلمه های سرخ سکوت،
چیزی برایت نمی گذارد؛
اگر در دل بهشت، همچنان
راهت از جهنم می گذرد —
همان آشویتس تو است.

٢٧ ژوئن ٢٠١٧، لس آنجلس

© 2017، پیمان اخلاقی. همۀ حقوق برای نویسنده محفوظ است.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Conversational: Inside the Bubble; a Short Satirical Sketch by Payman Akhlaghi (2018)

Conversational: Inside the Bubble...
A Short Satirical Sketch by Payman Akhlaghi
(2018, Draft 9)
(*) First published at on June the 29th, 2018 under Conversational: Inside the Bubble...
Faces 12.10.2017.i
Sketches, Sunday December 10th, 2018, L.A.
Pencil drawing, Photo & Digital Modification
by © 2018, Payman Akhlaghi.
- Sir Payne! Here's our next question. Do you consider yourself to be a prejudiced man?
- In certain ways, to some extent, on most all days, I'd rather tend to assent.
- And do you think your preference for such difference would be justified?
- I suppose that I'd be predisposed to arrive at an approving inclination.
- How would you handle the "base rate"?
- Well, imagine a bubble, a big bubble, a giant bubble, with a tiny me bustling around inside the bubble. I couldn't be expected reasonably to account for more than what's been available to me inside the bubble, could I?
- But wouldn't you try to broaden your sample base?
- Shall we say it's an imposed bubble. At any rate, one finds it difficult to poke its wall too hard, lest he bursts the bubble. Too risky for my comfort. You never know what's beyond the bubble. Maybe it's freezing cold out there. Would there be any oxygen?
- But as a thinker, aren't you compelled to find out what's outside the bubble?
- Inside the bubble is my "knowledge", and what's on the outside is my "ignorance". My bubble is defined mutually by both my knowledge and my ignorance. Knowledge delineates the bubble from the inside. Ignorance delimits it from the outside. One defines my bubble by affirmation, another by negation. One is the space, another the negative space. And you can see how my knowledge and ignorance necessitate one another.
- Pardon my surprise, but could you expand?!
- If I were all knowledge, I wouldn't know that I knew. If I were all ignorance, I wouldn't know that I didn't know. To know is to know that I don't know. To know that I don't know is to know that I know. Now, to expand the bubble is to serve my knowledge, but to ill serve my ignorance. To withdraw my knowledge is to serve my ignorance, but to ill serve my knowledge. This has been one epistemological paradox which I yet have to resolve. And perhaps for the better, morally speaking.
- What's the moral significance of the conflict?
- Would you want to be the one to disturb that delicate equilibrium between your knowledge and your ignorance?
- But what happens to curiosity?
- What about our sanity?
- You mean to rather Peaceful Balance even at the cost of Self-denial?!
- Not exactly. Rather to say, Change is inevitable, so why push any harder for it?
- Don't fix it if it's working...
- Ask anybody inside my bubble. They most agree with me. And I can't know of anything outside the bubble. Take Guru Menachem, for instance. He told me once that the pleasure he took from his knowledge of the knowledge of his knowledge increased exponentially every time he almost touched the boundaries of his knowledge. That couldn't be if he knew everything. He's quite fond of his ignorance.
- But if you know about your ignorance, then wouldn't your ignorance too be inside your bubble?
- That's a thrilling thought, indeed. Let's say that I know enough to know that I don't know what I may not know. I may know the outline of my ignorance but not the content of my ignorance. And now that you mentioned, I can see how my ignorance could also pop up here and there inside my bubble. Indeed, you just illuminated a most exquisite phenomenon.
- Did I?!
- You just explained excellently that fizzy air which surrounds my girlfriend, who is more or less inside my bubble. It's rather spooky. We've even merged together much of our bubbles, yet she remains a mystery...
- May I ask if I'm inside your bubble?
- To the extent that you called me and asked to meet, you've managed to percolate into my bubble. But I still can't know if there has been more than you to the outside of the bubble, Unless I take your word for it, which is not the most reliable thing to do, save we can verify your bubble. Therefore, to be succinct, indeed, you and so far only you have crawled into my bubble.
- Well, this interview is coming to an end...
- Thank you...
- ... and I shall be leaving soon without bursting your bubble.

© 2018, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved. (Draft 9)

(*) Payman Akhlaghi is a composer, pianist and piano teacher based in Los Angeles. His repertoire covers Classical music, as well as Persian (Iranian) Music, Pop Music, and Film Music. For information on the lessons in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Encino, Brentwood, etc. please call: 310-208-2927. Thank you.