Shahé Mankerian's manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at four prestigious competitions: the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press (Fall Poetry Book Award), and the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize. His poems have appeared in Mizna.
For February's poetry offering, we bring you two poems by Shahé Mankerian. These poems, ripe with sensory details, surprise with discomfitting and slightly sinister moments -- the snap of a rifle, the lie of a Bedouin -- even as the beauty of the language lulls the reader into a false sense of security.
-- Karissa Chen, Senior Fiction Editor
Crossing Jsir Beirut
We sped toward the bridge
with a taxi driver who knew
how to maneuver with shattered
headlights. The sniper didn't sleep
This poem clearly doesn't quite match with the coming spring, but nonetheless, I loved the play on a well-known poem to turn it into something darker and more melancholy.
--Karissa Chen, Fiction & Poetry Editor
Into the Snowy Woods
We followed the red-dotted trail into the snowy woods.
The injured must have stopped by the farmhouse
and leaned against the withered wheelbarrow.