Maryam Parhizkar

What the ear recalled but the hand could not hold

(a fugue)



something as a haunting ––or

an attempt to determine a source:

The friction between two untreated surfaces––

The car’s weight against the old track––

The chain speed runs against a steadfast component––

The variations of many components within one larger object:

The larger object comprised of many smaller objects
& some are filled with air.

A greaseless wheel as an inversion of how things should be
Some things —

––something as a haunting. Inversion of expectation causes friction creating
a source of tension. Tension as a pulling force between two places. Fingers put
upon a string make a measurement. Hair pulled across metal makes vibration
the result a circular motion evident in the complete image
at slower motion:

I consider the contact of surfaces:
consider how the effects of this contact
touch the air.

The friction between two sources —
two components of your sense of being
be they anything at all. Air expelled
as breath. Something—

I have been considering the pull
and the production.

I have been considering the process
and the thing that is made. One pull
may take place of another
may produce one kind of resonance:
the other letting go— breaks—
breathes outward  its air.  Consider
the difficulty  of breath
how breath is the product
of a series of pulls
& then vibration. A larger
object comprised of many
smaller objects– if not objects
what then.

What might it be
to be peripheral noise: as –– ––

Something as a haunting-— What prefers
          to go unnoticed except out the corner
          of an eye. It corners the eye so that
          only the eye itself is noticed. No sense
          of a mouth. A voice comes out with air
          but there is no mouth visible only
          the eye. The mouth in painstaking
          movement asks how an eye is capable
          of loudness.

To speak something softly:
making a large smallness
in other words an extremity.
A tension between two ways
of declaring a presence and something  –– –– ––

or: how might your love be
peripheral. Your love becomes
loudness in a tender way. A large
a small  not  a thing but
something else.  How might
your love summon an apocalypse—
a rotation in a small
loudness. A rotation
as revolving.

A revolving as a full circle. The string
vibrates in full. A vibration
as an ellipse curving around itself maybe
a grammar. All comes back full
as a moon. A full moon
pulls   makes   a sea change. Throw
a stone into water and contact
between stone and water make
waves travel through water from
stone making circles and moving
very far, shifting something though
not  things themselves but something—

something else entirely—

A stone and the capability of a largeness.
A smallness becomes loud had you
been aware of it or otherwise. Smallness
breathes loudly making air making wave
making an avalanche ––



Wanting to produce a noise but
knowing that if it falls  ––





Embedding bodiless music
a thing itself or not
a thing or

something else entirely…..


Embodying ballad knowing
this becomes a making
of a body apocryphal:

this, how you will keep the ones you love…..


This is how you will keep the ones
you love, outliers at the edge
of a sightline– a thing you
didn’t see coming but occasionally
it sounds to tell you that it is there.



there it is. A bird sounds
almost as a person in morning ––
at least we think: it is almost
a person but how would you be
so sure—


Sound a song a thing not
a thing slowly cutting air
singing noise but if a bird
sings and no one knows then––


The coming of full circle.


How far a wave travels: ask
could it come back to itself:
It waits for a thing to stop it….


A thing does not stop the wave
but sound moves through it:
sound moving from its source —
a practice maybe yes in not being
as a thing itself  but moving through it.
Move through the thing:

so far along the edge you could almost see yourself in it—


So far along you could almost see yourself in it.


To be perpetually outside yourself
so as to overcome: a noise comes
from a place but leaves it: a body
embedded in the music singing

I am so tired I could sleep for all the years……


To embed the noise in the ballad makes
the apocryphal — and if –– it falls — but —
it falls….
But if it strikes and no one knows–

As the years go by as the years go by
as the years go by……..




The production of a resonance a consonance a dissonance against all but all goes through it: what is it.


What is it. The source of a sense of things. The source is sensation.
Of waves sounding –– something that is not but moving elsewhere.


An inversion of you maybe: all I have come to know so transitory.


A vestibule of a building and everything goes through it. The shine comes off: recognition
of time moving and compulsions all modulating. Forgetting all those judas kisses:


How we were never intended targets but came to be:


Though at the time we did not know we have come to accept:


what is not an austerity but an insurance against future betrayals ––


the thing –– it injures ––


or, to dodge the motion should it move towards us again. For we cannot be beloved
or save others desiring distant modulations, new schema––


And so, a schizophrene state divides you in two.


How to remember necessary pulses against the presence of others:


A fear in two that you cannot hear what is happening in one:


And so, drawing on your own soft note you become a secret:


For each thing inscribed something is lost: a necessity of sparseness as breathing room for a repertoire. All the noises deeply inscribed in a ballad:


Seeing yourself embedded in a beloved song:
seeking resonance for a beloved you cannot hear:


You cannot love a beloved as you wish to hear them because you are split in two:
one looks from outside wanting and the other makes the kiss.


Which is truly outside–– or, are both embedded there listening in secret:


Body becomes ballad becomes apocryphal.


A kiss from the mouth, loud but only the eye is visible.  But if a mouth moves––


The secret listener whose name is silent for the fear of killing. The listener is unaware of the mouth: the eye speaks volumes volumes volumes……


The eye which cannot find its mouth.


As if always ––  as if: as an attempt to determine a source.


A haunt of a smallness seismic within the grandeur of a divide:

something goes:something:


as –– –– ––


Photo by Arthur-Moeller

Maryam Parhizkar

Maryam Ivette Parhizkar is a writer, musician, and scholar interested in sound, resonance, migration, family myths, and finding ways to use them to work through the constraints of the English language. Part of the editorial collective of Litmus Press, she is the author of two chapbooks: Pull: a ballad (The Operating System, 2014) and As for the future (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2016).