Poems by Silva Merjanian

SilvaSilva Zanoyan Merjanian is an internationally published poet residing in California She released the first volume of her poems Uncoil a Night in 2013, with all proceeds donated to charity. Some of the publications she’s been featured in are ; Streetcake Magazine, Miracle-ezine, The Literary Groong, Mad Swirl, The Galway Review, The Artistic Muse, Poet’s Basement at Counterpunch.org, an international political newsletter, Le Mond N’est Pas Rond (next issue,)Young Men’s Perspective Editon 4,  The Oddity, Red Fez, and Ygdrasil, a Journal of the Poetic Arts, March 2014 Vol XXII, Issue 3, Number 251. She is proud to be part of the Anthologies The Art of Being Human- An Anthology of International Poetry, volume 3 and 6 (Sagittarius,) The Inspired Heart, Edition 1 & 2, and the Blue Max Review.

Silva was shortlisted for the Fermoy International Poetry Competition 2012, and was invited to Ireland in August 2013 to introduce her book Uncoil a Night.





Over there
all that happened
(and didn’t happen)
packed in mental mothballs
stories fading with  licked creases
some reduced and softer versions

wonder why I preserve breaths
forced through my lungs in those days
stringed around the eye of a hurricane
circling, demonic, nameless
shaking me shameless for a day

on nights with a collective sigh
stinging and I can’t tell
which tale will toll for me
and which nocturnal howl
lifts the dust
through endless times
relives slivers
on a pink tip of my tongue
afraid to bite a dreamt memory
that it might hemorrhage
bleed the night

I want a dripping whiff of that afternoon coffee
instinctively bitter, solemnity and hot
ten minutes when lonely hearts
willed an arching cease fire
and time hovered among us
long enough for my mother
to build castles in my cup

over there
the man flying his doves
on the roof across two streets
remains a blur
but the doves stirring the air
in perfect shades of unison
(I had named them after heroes long forgot)
sometimes still raise dust in my room
of their feathers’ aches and plight

I believed then
I could break away
would break away

I did one day
the doves were left to die

over there
at dusk my father played the mandolin
and my mother’s voice filled all the gaps
between our breaths –
the dam that held surpluses of war
long enough for us to shed in dreams

why do I long for hell
on nights
when I can’t sieve my sigh from the wind’s eye
and I wonder if I really broke away
from a circle named dead doves

scent of jasmine
still smells like home
back home in the rain


We hold our liqueur ‘tween our teeth
celebrate  sisterhood as spit and swear
see our moistened pitted tongues
flick and flatter in daylight
pregnant magnets spinning in flight

we lift and probe with glances, crawl through skin
lipsticked kisses bubble and pop in hazed air
to sink in pinks and luscious reds over raised glasses
acid traces bend bright cherry umbrellas
to hide glare of spiced faces and timid praise grins

we  measure power in galloping breasts
enhanced, reduced, stretched, rounded, supported, bare
they wobble and trounce miles before our voices hound
to hold between our legs knowing smiles
gathered from each others lashed raw backs

we bring our mines to blessed hills with severed sights
flirt within our lips drawn thin over stringed feux pas
we lie in crinoline holding the devil hostage intrauterine
smoldering alone until rivalry rings grow dim
while we kegel our resolve in stories misty and grim

kiss kiss, let’s do this again soon
a lizard licks the last drop of sun off my skin


Fall has not yet licked the sky
against my palm the evening
damp with California dreaming
wide eyed
perched on live wire
I found my place
ancient yet not
not here
this not that
nothing defined
yet no cowering shadows
no doubt plastered on tongues

but clean slates don’t come without cracks
ink dries in carmine on sins and wings
dropped in collection baskets not aired

déjà vu dripping through fingers I dipped
twice in pleas slippery on churned confessions
friction burns, skid marks on longings
barefoot on crows lining the streets
squawks pecking silence of baring trees
I wrung my words
I fled the scene

he said never return to where you were traded
for plucked feathers
till spring when pails are sieved
of bones and carrion flowers
and he finds your fear in California dreaming
skipping on an ocean’s skin
then melt
and mold on lips you want to kiss


September’s the new lover in my bed
we snort new lies and hold, in sweet breath
till eyes accustom to the dark
and scent of potpourri is lost between us

September is my summer matured
into a harlequin mélange of elegies

it’s my sleepwalk to the street-lamp ’round midnight
in a city that loves smell of the rain in my hair
and there’s the man under it’s hazy floodlight
with a 3-day scruff, grinding a cigarette
he promises is his last

I tell him I love him and I mean it for a while

September’s inure to absence of you
now svelte femme fatale flirting winter
or second fiddle to a protagonist
it depends on parried questions of the day

September breathes in your gaping mouth
but don’t hold it to its promises
they’re idle rain on rooftops


On the road to old city of Van
(where Armenia once rose)
in proximity of a ‘slowdown
children crossing’ sign
my jaw bone protrudes
from gravel and dust
sadistic hatred still serves
a caravan of shallow mass graves
my papa’s skull cracked
his pleas convulsing stones
to spare his little girl

no dirge or mourners
nor mercy to cover
my pubescent limbs
my headstone’s but a scream
etched with blood and tears
waking your docile night

here lies your conscience
packed in a scimitar sheath
where there is a ‘slowdown
children crossing’ sign
in weeping killing fields
where truth strewn
slows to a stop

  3 comments for “Poems by Silva Merjanian

  1. Armine K. Hovannisian
    March 11, 2014 at 7:14 am

    Dear Silva,

    This is very beautiful poetry, so wise, so deep and so moving.

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