...and don't miss
Poetry and Prose from John Thomas and Philomene Long
The Beats: an Existential Comedy
Eavesdropping on the Boardwalk
Gas House beat HQ
"My body lives in L.A., but my soul
Majid Naficy was born in the ancient and architecturally rich city of Isfahan. A published poet since the age of 13, he comes from a family with a 3,000-book library which had to be broken up and distributed in various hiding places throughout the city because of political persecution.
His university career began with a year at UCLA, where he admired and learned from the student protests against the Vietnam War. The next year, he attended Tehran University, became a political activist, and vowed to give up the petit-bourgeois habit of poetry until the revolution had been won. Looking back, he regrets the extremism but not the impulse.
Majid Naficy's first wife Ezzat, also
an activist, was executed on January 7, 1982 in Evin prison, Tehran.
Surprisingly, the poetic muse returned to his life, along with a second
activist wife with whom he escaped to the United States. Political asylum
in the US did not bring peace. In a Los Angeles demonstration, one of
their friends immolated himself and died after nearly two weeks of what
must have been an agonizing existence.
Here is a sample from the extensive collection of poems about the homeless of Venice.
III. The Hungry
in Venice Beach
in the line
Muddy Shoes, the first collection of Majid's poetry in English, was published by Beyond Baroque in 1999.
His other books in English are Father and Son a collection of poems published by Red Hen Press in 2003, and his doctoral dissertation, Modernism and Ideology in Persian Literature, published by University Press of America in 1997.
"Poet of the Revolution" by Louise Steinman, in LA Weekly
The Stone Turtle of Venice Beach
Ah, sea turtle
October 20, 1994
 A turbaned, guitar-player
on skates in Venice Beach, California. I've known this street-performer
A stanza from Majid Naficy's "Ah, Los Angeles is engraved on a concrete wall at Brooks Avenue and Ocean Front Walk.
© 2004 - 2012 Pat Hartman