Four years old to ten, writing in Persian and French. Then here and letting seep in the ‘Americain’ (what our French friends call ‘English’ lit from the U.S. of A.) Learn others but always propounding new genres, new forms, always fashioning new visions, I think. The work in multiple languages is not accidental. None were ‘learned’, in artificial settings I mean. Each is slightly removed from being ‘native’. And blablabla, really. Why do you write, one interviewer once asked me. To understand why I write, I said.
Nothing maddens like categories. And the consciousness of being in their grip. And the desire, lo, the necessity, to revise them. Refomulate and reconsider. Reframe, to resituate, oneself, one’s body of work, one’s stuff. (I once very seriously proposed referring to all my ‘work’ as stuff. I did not mean to belittle – obviously not – nor was I trying to be funny, or cute. And certainly, it was not a momentary proposition.  I was thinking of pitchers and how we refer to their variety of pitches, with which they try to get hitters out, as ‘stuff’. And how that arsenal, with which they operate, constitutes the material, the base, the foundation, with which everything is built. The various operations then, the creations, are the stuff of one’s arsenal, with which to make sense of the world.) Reconsider and reclaim. Re-envision, really. Yeah, lots of ‘re-z’, I know… Because things are one way, up to us to remake. New genres, new forms, new experiences. New types of things. New species of literary beasts. That’s why on creates. That’s what literary works are for. Alternative visions of the world. The creation of new realities. Literature, I’ve always said, is not about words, it’s about the lack of words…

(Literary works… that means, books, eselos and the open epic. Other publications: essayistic contributions, articles, even a book – but a decidedly un-literary one…)

Literary Works


  • Fragment du cirque élastique de la révolution (69 pages, in French) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2010)

(Came back exhausted in June 2010 from Paris, fresh from an epic 7 hour march and performative readings and writings in the streets of Paris. ‘You brought in on yourself’ a friend told me, and it was true. Reading and re-writing the book, translating it, adding to it, within the ‘nodes-and-gaps’ theory I have, along with the ‘germinations’ from the nodes… With a blackboard on my shoulder, an iPad in my hand, and the book in the other, it was quite the scriptage—ambulatory writing and literary experience, the first one… The beginning never ends: always there, always…


  • Open Epic, as rendered by the Elastic Circus of the Revolution (launched in 2007, ongoing on multiple platforms)


(Launched in a gallery uptown New York, Persian new year, 2007. At the time, I didn’t know to call it the open epic. I just knew it was the beginning of something, and that had to constantly do with the revolution, and that didn’t belong to a genre, a form, or anything else known heretofore – by definition. Lo and behold, without even having measured it, the new year ‘sounded’ while in the gallery, doing the medley of i-and-iran from various books published up to then. It was the first bassadiga. So yeah, the open epic launched with the very first bassadiga, on the Persian new year. How appropriate…)


  • and they were writing their history… Translation of book by Bruno Durocher. (Ed. Caractères, 2007, on the occasion of the celebrations of Durocher’s oeuvre at the BNF)


(The first time I saw this book, I thought, I have to somehow get to translate this. Handsome, simple and powerful… A decade later, with the BNF plans, it came through…)


  • Ifs & Co. (2007) (slo)

(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.)


  • Drive-by Cannibalism in the Baroque Tradition (224 pages, in English) (Non Serviam Press, New York, 2006)

(Still my favorite title, after these many years, even though…)


  • Erre (10 pages, in French) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2006)

(…this title comes in at 1a. And yes, this ten-page book (in large print format), was the hardest ever to write… )


  • Dîvân (57 pages, in French) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2006)

(No periods in a book called Dîvân. Playful take on “divan-é”, the madman, in Persian…)


  • Sil & Anses (47 pages, in French) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2006)

(Repeat after me, sil et anses, sil et anses, sil et anses, and keep going, keep going, and don’t stop…)


  • Fragmen (Studies for the Coming Epic) (2005) (Single Artifact Literary Overture; Includes: Dastan, Letters, and other works)


(The first time I got around to bringing forth the eselo. It was borne very precisely of the twin ideas of a/challenging the notion of literary work as necessarily multiple (not just one) and b/the dissemination and distribution system that we are all used to. Maybe even more, it was to create for the writer, the notion of having finished, when, well, something was written and closed. Why did the painters and the drawers ‘finish’ when they had finished, but the writers, in some weird unwritten rule, had to ‘wait’ for that closure… This is where it all began, and I was already mulling over an epic that was a synthesis of various methods, strategies, approaches etc… but it began with very specific preoccupations…)


  • La révolution n’a pas encore eu lieu (25 pages, in French) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2004)

(Because it never really takes place? The revolution, that is… because it’s internal, and that is all there be to it… and by the way, I’m not allowed to use the word ‘revolution’ in any title ever again… or subtitles…)


  • Onomadopean (– Conversations with Hamid Dabashi) (63 pages) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2000)

(I was adamant, upon the proposal to be part of the series, to give it a title, as in, making it a book: a sort of ‘fiction’, in an underhanded way, that is a portrait, through words an attitudes, of two fictional characters, Hamid and meself. That’s what the draw was, much more than the seeming exchange of ‘ideas’ between the two of us)



  • Tractatüus Philosophiká-Poeticüus (244 pages, in English) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2000)

(Yeah, I’m convinced this is a classic, ehem ehem, if we suspend the necessity to attach it to the oppressive categories (fiction, non-fiction, etc…). A philosophical prose poem that’s a meditation and a treatise, of course, that puts into motion its own tenets… an ars poetica, really…)


  • L’opéra minora (440 pages, in French, Persian, English and Photographic) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2000)

(Begins and ends in both direction, an eternal book of sorts… In the mid 90s, when I would bring up the idea of a multilingual book, because the multiple languages were, justement, my ‘one’, there would be, really, only hesitation, even if excitement. I couldn’t get over how much it made sense though, poetically, philosophically, and everything else… that was way before, on social networking sites, people could write in multiple languages, and these textualities would co-habit in the same textual space… L’opera minora, I’m proud of you sucker…)


  • Kobolierrot (560 pages, in French) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2000)

(A fusion of styles, cultures and worlds, with a unique character, fashioning a poetic epic, early on…)


  • Feu l’encre  – Fable (56 pages, in French and English) (Ed. Caractères, Paris, 2000)

(Launching the literary works with a goodbye, to literature… Not! But it was a time, still is, where the anxiety over the end of the book, end of writing even and literature, is ever-present… or, is it… )



Other Publications & Contributions

  • “Attempt at the re-constitution of a Portrait of Ms. P.”, Armenian Poetry Project, spring 2010.
  • “in.the.middle.of.”, from “Open Epic”, kantô I”, MadBunkers, mash-up issue of Madhatters’ Review and Bunkers Magazine, 2010
  • Meet Me (in English, with F. Rosenberg, L. Humble and C. McGee) (The Museum of Modern Art, New York, June 2009)
  • “Begoo”, Textpiece 3, 2009
  • “The Dance of Bombs, the End of Exile”, Fiction International, 2009
  • “Selection of poems of Nicole Gdalia”, English translations. Trilingual edition, 2008
  • “Alzheimer’s and Art”, in Journal of Safe Management of Disruptive and Assaultive Behavior, Volume XVI/Issue I, march 2008
  • “Preface to the Manifestoes I & II”, for Underfire 3, Seville Biannual, 2006
  • “Fotonameh: Firefighter” Borborygmes.
  • “Engagements and Experiences with Art and Museums – A Framework”, Literacy Assistance Center, 2006
  • “Building Literacy Through the Arts” in Literacy Update, March 2006. Vol. 15 No. 4
  • “The Game of the Name” in Underfire, Witte De With Museum, Rotterdam, 2005
  • “Our Bread and Bombers” in Underfire, Witte De With Museum, Rotterdam, 2005
  • “Last Glance at the Ruins in Our Midst” in Underfire, Witte De With Museum, Rotterdam, 2005
  • “Frontlines” 1-5 and “Frontier Chronicles” 1 and 2 in Underfire, Witte De With Museum, Rotterdam, 2005
  • Fragment from “Feu l’encre – Fable” in Anthologie des poètes français et francophones, Editions Huguet, 2004
  • “All the Other Worlds” in Underfire, Witte De With Museum, Rotterdam, 2004
  • Various articles on news, art, sports and overall community life in The Daily Princetonian, Princeton, N.J. (1986-1988)