Ara Mgrdichian
Ara Mgrdichian

Ara Mgrdichian


somewhere beyond
the trying times
folding tears
into earth and wine

cranes nest
along treetop posts
lambs die
on the rocks below

killing innocents once again
foisting lacks upon their skin
with a knife edge heart
and a wandering slit

bloody crosses on children’s lips


you let go of all the names
we used to describe sorrow…

and I picked them all up
to shore up the ever-growing hollow
they left behind…

mixing them with my own
diluting sadness into brine
until there was nothing owed
except your world and the rest of mine



strangers gaze across the street
hobos lag with bloody feet
staring at tomorrow’s flight
blinded by freedom’s night

they somehow all just disappeared…

now just a set of rotting teeth
inside a hungry child’s mouth


persistent memory slips away
a plastic smile saves the day

another host
another boast

then you leave
and go away


a lonesome soul’s muddled toast
spirits dribble down your court
to eventually jump and score two points

dissonant notes
shrill hellos
a parting gift
for a broken soul


generic fears
wasting sin
blotting out
screaming tears

seeping through the dying dream
creasing sharp the callous seam
to flatten out your paper soul
bereft of life’s daunting toll

you said there is no time to waste
that we are getting old and gray
that all our thoughts are impudent
and never what we want to say

counting down instead of up
its time for you to just shut up


you’ve forgotten who you are
but remember every word
of who you’re not…

I want you to tell me
about every member
of your family
living and dead

I want to hear the years
pass in warm numbers
ripe with lives unsaid

I want you to remember…
instead of forgetting…
everything we knew


I’ve returned.
I’m here to stay.

And, I will leave nothing alive.


Ara Mgrdichian is akm. He is a writer, photographer, and counselor who has worked with young people and their families, in and out of the scholastic environment, for more than 20 years. He is a Los Angeles native and matriculated at UCLA (BA) and PLNU (MA and PPS). He was a founding member, writer, and artist for Exile, a bi-lingual, bi-cultural, literary supplement published by Asbarez, and also worked as Assistant Editor for the Asbarez English Edition both before and after Armenian independence. Mgrdichian worked and lived in Armenia, with stints in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic from 1990 – 1993, as well as 2003 – 2004. You may see and hear more at and, as well as


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One Comment;

  1. jeff vance said:

    Back in 1977, you and I were in student government and you wore a black arm band and I asked why. You explained to me the Armenian Genocide- something I had never heard of and could hardly believe- and you cracked my eyes open. Every news item about Amenia and every Armenian person I ever met since then I’ve thought of that day and your familys’ plight. Glad to see you are still opening eyes and hearts.