mankerian

AUTHOR’S NOTE ON THE PHOTOGRAPH: This is Confucius, not the man with the red shirt and glasses, but the eroded one in the back. The man with the red shirt and glasses is the poet Shahé Mankerian whose poem “Hallowed Books” appears in that golden anthology about Gatsby. The photograph is taken at California State University, Los Angeles. The quote on the statue reads: “Among truly educated persons there is no discrimination.” In a strange way, the quote reminds me of the exchange between Jordan and Tom.

“…I said I’d been making a small investigation of his past.”

“And you found he was an Oxford man,” said Jordan helpfully.

“An Oxford man!” He was incredulous. “Like hell he is! He wears a pink suit.”

“Nevertheless he’s an Oxford man.”

“Oxford, New Mexico,” snorted Tom contemptuously, “or something like that.”

“Listen, Tom. If you’re such a snob, why did you invite him to lunch?” demanded Jordan crossly.

“Daisy invited him; she knew him before we were married – God knows where!”

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Shahé Mankerian‘s manuscript, History of Forgetfulness, has been a finalist at four prestigious competitions: the 2013 Crab Orchard Series in Poetry Open Competition, the 2013 Bibby First Book Competition, the Quercus Review Press, Fall Poetry Book Award (2013), and the 2014 White Pine Press Poetry Prize. Shahé serves as the principal of St. Gregory Hovsepian School in Pasadena and co-directs the Los Angeles Writing Project. He has been honored with the Los Angeles Music Center’s BRAVO Award, which recognizes teachers for innovation and excellence in arts education.