Something: poem by Aram Saroyan about his father

17 Oct 2019

William Saroyan's son Aram Saroyan (born September 25, 1943) is an American poet, novelist, biographer, memoirist, and playwright, who is especially known for his minimalist poetry, famous examples of which include the one-word poem "lighght" and a one-letter poem comprising a four-legged version of the letter "m". There has been a resurgence of interest in his work in the 21st century, evidenced by the publication in 2007 of several previous collections reissued together as Complete Minimal Poems.


My father collects rocks.

He keeps coins in quart jars,

Filled to the brim.

His sofa overflows with books.

Each day, it seems, he makes drawings.

Some are done like this: Hold the pen

Down and don't bring it off the page

Until the drawing is done, one

Continous, circumnavigating, in-

Tersecting line. Time?

One of his favorite games is

"What time is it?"

I guess,

He guesses;

Then he checks his wristwatch.

Whoever's closest, wins. 

I seldom do, but when it happens

He says, "You're in the groove."

He's been around a long time.

He must know something. 

William Saroyan and Aram Saroyan. Photo from the archive of Charles Janigian