Fragment du cirque élastique de la révolution

Paris: Editions Caractères, 2010

Fragment du cirque élastique de la revolution is kantô I.1 of the multilingual Open Epic, as rendered by the Elastic Circus of the Revolution. It is a long prose poem written in French.

[read an excerpt]

The Portable Open Epic, as rendered by The Elastic Circus of the Revolution Unfolding

Ongoing, since 2007, multiple platformsCantos and fragments — cantos in fragments — constitute the on-going multilingual scriptural epic that intertwines contemporary life, the American cultural landscape, and the writing of one year (1978-1979) of the Iranian Revolution.Open Epic, as rendered by the Elastic Circus of the Revolution unfolds over time on multiple platforms, in multiple arenas and spaces (private and public), and through various scriptural strategies – from the traditional (handwritten sheets and books) to the new (electronic, web). Narrative conventions are challenged, and poetic, stylistic and performative operations exploit possibilities unique to different languages, mediums and sites. The overall experience is orchestrated through the creation of lasting artifacts as well as ephemeral events and monumental constructs.A theoretical apparatus and a critical enterprise engaged with the history and forms of literature and the reading phenomenon, the work also challenges traditional modalities of publication, exhibition, commodification, dissemination and interaction. Ultimately, Open Epic functions as a collection of stories and chronicles, an almanac of poetic prose fragments, a treatise on writing and a theory of literature in motion, and a universe of ruptures and metamorphoses that intertwines various forms, objects and materials in order to usher in a new species of literary creation (an open epic).

Various cantos and fragments have been published in journals and online and have taken place at different galleries and spaces and in multiple scriptural formats, including the Queens Museum of Art, the Janos Gat Gallery, Rio Gallery, Bowery Poetry Club, Riverside Church, at the Engendered Festival 09 and the Uncomun Festival 08 in NY, and the Baroquissimo Festival in Puebla, Mexico, and in Paris within the Paris en toutes lettres festival in June 2010.

(A litclip Kanto I.4)

… and they were writing their history

translation of Bruno Durocher, “Et l’homme blanc ecrivait son histoire”, 2007

If & Co.

Litstill, 2007

(Ifs, the book, is written in pencil, in French and English. Series of, well, ‘ifs’ – the English meaning, and the type of tree in French. There’s only one, and it’s written in pencil. A cohesive union of material and content. What the slos are all about. The & Co. is other series of stuff written in paper, and in books, always with the material, subject-matter and style creating a unique formal ensemble.)


Paris: Editions Caractères, 2006

An embattled madman, an escaped and enraged – and puppet-like – refugee puts down his bag in the middle of the street and tell his story – or does he: continuously pulling on the strings that hold him up – why: to kill, or liberate, himself – he also proposes the edicts of a poetics. The anguish of his voice, his overall agitation, suffocate his tale from the get-go. But he persists, and carries on. An incantation, a pleading, a howl: to tell, despite it all, to tell still.

A subversion of the concept of  “Complete Works” (the meaning of “Divan” in Persian), fashioning meaning through the Persian and French acceptations of the terms, the book also functions on both the literary and theatrical registers, constantly and playfully — the phenomena of reading and performance. An existential meditation, the piece also puts into motion questions of beginnings and endings, openings and closures, fragments and totalities.

point final (dit-il), crie pas gueule pas (il crie), remets-toi en route te plains pas (il demeure assis), divané –

(une marionette jouant un homme, un ‘divané’ – fou en persan – à la chevelure dorée contant l’histoire du Divan, il a l’air dépourvu et sans resources: un vagabond s’étant échappé d’une guerre ayant longtemps erré, il dépose derrière lui un lourd sac qu’il porte sur son épaule: des cordes retiennent ses bras, son corps et sa nuque, et contrôlent ses mouvements)


Drive-by Cannibalism in the Baroque Tradition

(Or: The Book of Being Sick of It All: It All, It All, It All, Multiplied by Infinity)

New York: Non Serviam Press, 2006

A group of young (and clueless and cannibalistic) revolutionaries are attempting to take over the serene suburban hamlet of Whooton. And they’re perusing of some very, very, very unique methods!  But is that all that Drive-by Cannibalism in the Baroque Tradition is about? Is it not also about a dead man and his remains? About TV-speechefied young teenage cashiers? About riding in shopping carts in humongous grocery stores selling at wholesale prices? Not a satirical romp through the suburban landscape and the lifestyles therein? Not an actual study of the process of revolutionary upheaval? Ultimately about the poetics of character-creation, story-telling, fiction-making, itself? And thus the relationships between reality and the artistic enterprise? No?

No. No no no no no. The resounding answer is: NO. In fact, what the book is really ‘about’ is: parking lots and traffic flow. Parking lots, and traffic flow: remember that: it’s what the book, is all about. (And let’s not forget the subtitle either: it comes in a close second.)

(Parking lots and traffic flow… Parking lots and traffic flow… Sing it now: and a one, and a two:  parking lots and traffic flow, parking lots and traffic flow, yeah…

Sil & anses

Paris: Editions Caractères, 2006

Emerging from silence, art is also the creation of silence. To create is to produce, to fashion a new silence. It is also working against silence, since it is at once the space/circumstance allowing that work, and a silence that is a refusal to produce. A perpetual battle, an infinite cycle.

Sil & anses also constitutes the unfurling of a fantastical narrative where the charcter I. Mann (‘I’, in Persian) actually sees the clinical decomposition of a body, perhaps his own. Always curious, he continues to witness the unfettered destruction of a body, and a being. A stunned cry of despair. A schizography. Or is it, after all, just another tale…

Paris: Editions Caractères, 2006Long Lamento in one breath. Erre: in French, the imperative ‘Wander’ – but also “air”, and the one letter that distinguishes the “word” (“le mot”) from Death (“ la mort”). A book that begins and ends with a comma, and where the wandering is physical and geographical, linguistic and philosophical, through systems, beliefs and worlds. A long atomic cry that questions all forms of belongings, and all notions of fixities – from the self to the worl – and thus of all modes and manners of becoming. To be sung, shouted, told, whispered.
Fragmen (Studies for the Coming Epic)

Litstill, 2005

La révolution n’a pas encore eu lieu

Paris: Editions Caractères, 2004

In a text that intertwines the Pesian quatrain, the alexandrine and prose, a new genre is fashioned, the book-miniature. Through a whole intertextual tram that invokes poets of the past, the book constitutes a defiant gaze and answer, deligitimizes the importance of political revolutions and points toward interior revolutions – individual attempts at the creation of artworks, and elaboration of new forms of becoming – all the while questioning the very possibility and/or meaning of any and all types of revolutions.


Paris: Editions Caractères, 2000

Revolutionary epic that reflects the contemporary plurality of cultures, situations and literary genres, in a new and rejuvenated French language. Kobolierrot is divided into seven songs (‘chants’), each of which is in turn divided in seven sections, creating a multiple mirror-like structure. Indeed, Kobolierrot constitutes the writing of the attempts of an imaginary scribe to fashion the story (and history, playing on the double meaning of ‘histoire’ in French) of a single moment. In turn, this writer proceeds by creating texts of various imaginary poets and artists. Through the union of three cultures, three mythologies and three literatures, through the osmosis and metamorphoses of voices and discourses, it is not only the philosophy of an Instant that is depicted, but the cartography, if one may say, of a very precise Cry: one that provoked the final blows that led to the regime change in Iran in 1978-79 and cemented the revolution. Kobolierrot thus attempts to create a genuine ‘ars poetica’, one that is in constant performance of its many principles and tenets: the writing, of scriptoral invention itself.

“A traveler-troubadour, a writer juggler of words, a theoretician-creator to the bone… All literary genres are intertwined in perfect harmony. It is a radically new language that one discovers… An unprecedented event…” –

L’opéra minora

Paris: Editions Caractères, 2000

(limited edition)

A radical work of art and literary construction that orchestrates the discourses of photographic and alphabetical writings (English, French and Persian) into a coherent new form. A circuitry of tensions, dialogues, correspondences that explores the limits of the literary artifact, the book object and the reading phenomenon. A Book of Writings, of graphisms and of traces. A critical engagement with the discourse of anthropology, travel writing and journalism. An epic in shards and a poetic meditation on migration and displacement. A book of ruptures and metamorphoses, a tapestry of knotgraphs and driftworks. A theory of writing in the context of a contact with the Other.


Paris: Editions Caractères, 2000

Hamid Dabashi, Chairman of Middle East Languages and Cultures at Columbia University in a conversation with Amir Parsa. With a valuable series of insights into Parsa’s aesthetics and philosophy, the book sheds light on the originality, depth and attraction of this young writer’s body of work. Collusion of onomatopoeia and paean, the title is dedicated to the nomadic life, while acting as a nomadic chant itself.

Tractatüus Philosophiká-Poeticüus

Paris: Editions Caractères, 2000

Theoretical, mythopoetic work of prose written in English. Tractatüus Philosophiká-Poeticüus uses various poetic, narrative and dramatic techniques and devices in order to fashion a new scriptoral genre, one that is engaged with critical discourses, even while it reads like a purely fantastical, labyrinthine, story. An aesthetic theory which depicts the path of writing through the deployment of a group of anonymous wanderers and a constantly metamorphosing ‘I’, Tractatüus Philosophiká-Poeticüus also constitutes an answer to the possibility of the death of literature: with its reframing and reformulations; with its changes of rhythms and tones; with its manipulation and treatment of philosophical problematics; and by putting that very question of this death in motion. With each of the book’s sections depicting in essence one ‘station’ on the path of artistic creation, the book is a coherent and organic unit that uses the parameters and the dynamics of the reading experience to construct this treatise on poetics. Finally, through a host of mythological and intertextual explorations, Tractatüus Philosophiká-Poeticüus recreates a chronology of the Iranian Revolution of 1978. A work that defies convenient categorization and tackles, through formal and stylistic innovations, the very possibilities and limits of literature.

“Formidable and frequently baffling, a lyrical riddle and a riddling maze… As alluring as it is obscure and as seductive as it is mysterious, like a rare jewel distantly glimmering among grim shadows of night…”

“No book for casual or indifferent readers. Like an ocean wave, Tractatüus Philosophiká-Poeticüus overwhelms you with its excesses, its cogent convolutions and its subtleties, and its swift spiraling currents will either submerge you hopelessly or, if you are vigorous enough, beckon you toward blithe undersea treasures.”

– Frank Hazard

Feu l’encre – Fable

Paris: Editions Caractères, 2000

Theatrical prose-poem written in French with an interlude (Fable) in English. The marionettes and the mime that constitute the “characters” are affected through successive gradations by the unfurling of technologies, politics and other causes announcing the end of an artistic and literary epoch. Abandonment of writing through writing itself, which reveals the problematics of beginnings and endings. The inevitable and infinite cycle of creation that is played out here is privy to the impossibility of this abandonment.

“Lexical fire-works that end 50 pages later: happy that it doesn’t last longer, one comes out of it drained, a bit drunk and dazed from hearing the soliloquy of this marionette-prophet who challenges us, harangues us like an indolent mass trying to see clearly in the world… His words, taken from an inexistent dictionary, constitute so many worlds, so many rhythms, fashion such a compact throbbing that it’s almost too rich… constructing a book-universe that’s at once hilarious and sad, living and despaired…” – Salmagundi (France)