Poems by Rauan Klassnik
Illustrated by Sarah Ashtari

Published 1/31/2014


In spirals it prods you through various climaxes and then drills you down. A dog sits in my bed. A stuffed dog—a dog made of wind and leaves. A woman kneels in the dirt searching for her earrings. And the dog starts barking. The blind dog: The blue dog—The burnt dog—The dog sliced into pieces. Everyone smiles. And wipes at their face. Like the steel head of a brand-new dream.

[ The Blur ]

Ear-studs smudged into rust. The blur cat sits at the window and blurs at our flesh. We chased her on through the locked restaurant. And we chased her on through the freezer. And we chased her up through the silver clouds—all the way on top of our childhood donkey, its tail swishing back and forth. It blurs at my face. And blurs my neck. Blurs at fish, blowing round us, in a cold, marble forest.

[ Slave ]

Slave’s got the perfect body. Supernaturally and elegantly smooth. Airbrushed perfectly. The tigers ravage the old Christians. And they slide their swords up through their veins. Her navel. Her buttocks. And her lips. Slave, though, is the perfect nurse. Shoves vitamins into my ass. Plays the flute. Pries the gold from my mouth. Goes off. Armed in a nice, quiet life.


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Rauan Klassnik grew up in South Africa and has also lived in Mexico. He currently is in Kirkland, WA with his wife and dogs. His new book of poetry, The Moon’s Jaw, released in February. His other book, Holy Land (note: both books from Black Ocean), released in 2008.
(Updated Oct. 2013)

Born in 1976, Sarah Ashtari is an Iranian artist. She got her BA in painting from the University of Tehran and her MFA in illustration from Tehran Art University. She has had a number of solo and group exhibitions, as well as installation, painting, fabric art, doll and sculpture exhibitions in Iran. She is recently experimenting with printmaking. She lives in Tehran and teaches University level classes.
(Updated Nov. 2013)