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crip wisdom ghazal

By Tala Khanmalek

unbound pages carry my inheritance from Baba
a strategy to get around the system, like Baba

after more surgeries and swap meets confined him to bed
how you passed the time in pain, I couldn’t fathom, Baba.

all night he would read tales about the Orient express
each chapter pried out (thrifting was a custom for Baba).

even paperbacks are too heavy to hold, he said—but
the weight of English words, how can we overcome Baba?

I balk at pieces of stories binder-clipped together.
natars, you can rip books apart: crip wisdom by Baba.




Listen as Tala Khanmalek readscrip wisdom ghazal.”

Added: Monday, October 31, 2022  /  Used with permission.
Tala Khanmalek

Tala Khanmalek is a writer, scholar, and activist. She is the recipient of a 2023 Creative Capital Award, among other honors. For more information, visit Tala's website.

Image Description: Tala Khanmalek looks directly into the camera with a cream-colored wall in the background. She is wearing a mustard-colored sweater, rosey lipstick, and eyeglasses. Long dark brown curls frame her face and cascade on the right.

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