Ali Alizadeh

Ali Alizadeh’s most recent books include Ashes in the Air (UQP, 2011) and Iran: My Grandfather (Transit Lounge, 2010). With John Kinsella, he has edited and translated an anthology of Persian poetry in English, which is forthcoming in 2012. Ali is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Monash University, and has a website:





I can’t find my phone. Plato
couldn’t find the Beyond, denounced

Word vis-à-vis Voice
as inherent poison. This weekend

the planned occupation of Melbourne
by activists, to announce the end

of ‘corporate greed’. I dial a number
and burn the Other’s ear with irony

of hidden envy. No, Word isn’t
the perpetual deferral of a signified. Void

is Truth misnamed, a-voided. ‘Greed’
the very tip of the most visible iceberg

of Capital’s glacial matter. I can’t
stop talkin’, talkin’, don’t care who’s hearin’

the repetition of unfulfilled urge; tomorrow
a song may ‘unite the human race’. Marx

the only dead thing I can’t speak ill of
(who hasn’t sensed a ‘spectral’ Real?)

which makes me hang up the phone. Use 
written words to formulate the unspoken

and the unspeakable. Yes, I’m out of credit
and too stingy to finger the alphabet

and text-message bored friends. Capital
-ism may be its own undoing.


Thus Capital

Capital is the Real of our lives.
Slavoj Žižek

I’m here for an encounter
with Power. Can’t accept It 

has nothing to offer but ice-cream
and pink lingerie. I prowl the mall 

to catch Its sordid eye. Never mind
the sales, reduced symptoms

disguised as fetish. What haven’t I
disavowed? I’ll serve in the society

of disrobed spectacles. I’ll see
the naughty bits. Ethical consumers 

fumble with fig leave; not fair
trade indulgence, what I seek. I aspire

to bow before Its grisly form, kiss
the slimy rings on the all-too-visible

hand of a festering market. Then relish
the stench of Its anus. So free, so real.