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The Literary Groong - 08/30/2003

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	THERE ARE MEN STANDING NEAR THE ENTRANCE

	By Ara Arzumanian

	They'll stand there forever, you know, if we let them
	There are men standing there with knives and guns
	A rope
	Waiting for someone like me to walk by
	To walk proudly by, boisterously, confidently by
	I decide to oblige them
	I walk by
	I carry a knife and a gun and a rope with me
	They watch me walk by.  They grind their teeth, they
	snarl, they watch me walk by
	My boots have heels, I seem taller I've a large dog
	with me.  They watch me walk by.
	And I'm one man and I'm leaving so they let me enter

	There are men standing near the entrance
	They'll stand there forever.
	There are men standing there with knives and guns and
	a rope
	You know, deep inside they're good men, just
	misinformed just misguided
	Well after all I must enter, and after all I hope that
	they'll also enter with me
	I bring with me some bread and a book and I ask them
	to partake
	They devour the bread and knock the book out of my
	hands. They mock me and ask me to leave kindly.
	Its okay.  I'll bake more bread and I wipe the dirt
	off of my book.  I'll be back next year.

	There are men standing near the entrance
	They've stood there long enough with their knives and
	guns and their rope
	I convince my friends, our men, that we should go
	together, to the entrance, with knives and guns and a
	rope of our own.
	We're tall and have thick leatherish faces, we bring
	with us some dogs.
	We're a force.  To be reckoned with.
	We draw near to the entrance, with a group of women
	and old people and children following us.
	Engage

	I'm in now, beyond the darkness of the entrance
	I see a group of men, like myself, with knives and
	guns come to the entrance.  The men standing there
	engage them.
	These men are like myself, only in groups
	I decide to do something.
	And so, from the rear,
	I engage.
	I stab a man and shoot two, my dog attacks a third,
	before I am shot

	Many men from our group die.  All of the men from near
	the entrance die.  We shoot them and stab them and our
	dogs attack them.
	We die some of us.
	Those that remain, lead our people through the
	entrance where we post men with knives and guns to
	keep those that would keep us out out.


--
Ara Arzumanian was born in Tehran, Iran and grew up in Glendale,
California.  He has a B.A. in English from the University of
California in Irvine. He was a founding member and Editor-in-Chief of
Usanogh Periodical of Armenian Students until 2001. He works with
at-risk youth in the city of Glendale and writes poems and short
stories in English.

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