Louise Landes Levi


The deep diamond
of which the master spoke/ eloquent

& light, of which he spoke, pained
& egocentric, of which he
spoke/ looking for

girls on the internet/ the man w. a
pony tail & blue & white sneakers/to
one he answers:

the genius level people/ like
Nero, eventually disappear

& the ones w. nothing to
say, hang around,



NYC March 2007

Nero—Itinerant, brilliant, young, a poet who at one time frequented the cafés on Avenue A.

* * *

       My loving words had in mind death
       Nadia Anjuman: Gulam i Dodi


                                Nadia, I gave pearls & many
                                  shoes of jade, I decorated
                                        her corpse w. flowers

                                                    made of velvet




                             recited RUMI/ I gave her walks
                                        into the mountains of

                                                      I gave her
                                    poets who lay down beside
                                          her/ singing of grapes

                                                      & gun fire/

                              When she awoke in the Bardo
                                   of Becoming she threw
                                      her burqa into the
                                             fire, she sang

                                full voice in the cafes of
                                the city, she lay long w.
                                       her lover & never

                                 married/ to Nadia, I give

                                     my life of wandering

                                accepting no master, I give


                                THE POEM WITHIN THE POEM

                                 For Nadia Anjuman 1984-2007
                      & the Golden Needle Sewing Circles of Herat


Nadia, the semi circle fr. the word Bardo to the word Herat is the half moon
which protects you/ "the literary journals say what about the left hand margin?"
                    "my heart says 'what about the left hand path?" Louise.

Nadia Anjuman/ rising star of post (USA sponsored) Taliban Herat. Following the publication of her book 'Dark Red Flowers', she was murdered in a domestic quarrel, beaten by her husband &/or poisoned by her mother-in-law.

She was considered, at age 25, to be the major new voice of the Persian ghazal, rising fr.the dust of disseminated Herat, the city, itself, for centuries, a holder of the poetic & musical lineages of Central Asia. She was considered by her family to be a 'traitor . It was unacceptable that a woman should write of longing, symbolic or personal, & beauty. Her husband was a Professor of Literature at the University of Herat, where, after the Taliban capitulation, she was at last able to openly study.

Louise Landes Levi travelled through Afghanistan in the reign of King Nadir Shah. She took the route to India, alone, via Istanbul, Tabriz, Mashed, Herat, Khandahar, Kabul, Peshawar, Rawalpundi & Lahore. In India, she studied the North Indian traditions of music & poetry & made several translations, one of Mira, an Indian singer-saint of the 16th century (Sweet On My Lips. The Love Poems of Mira Bai, Cool Grove Press, 1997 & 2003).

Recent Books: Avenue A & Ninth Street, Shivastan 2004, Uvasi & Mohammed, Il Bagatto 2005 & Banana Baby w. facing Italian translations by Alessandro Tuoni, Super Nova 2006.

Her e-chaps The Highway Queen, Banana Baby & HO are downloadable from Big Bridge.

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Thought you might be interested in a new site dedicated to presenting the life and spiritual teachings of Mirabai.




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