Saturday, 5 January 2019

Lone Stars #90

Milo Rosebud of San Antonio has allowed a shortfall on postage to send me the latest edition of Lone Stars Magazine, which has that great, wild look of a pamphlet with no print design exonerated by stars and border cartoons.  My entry, on the prompt of  "In another life" glosses an extraordinary, terrible episode in Dostoyevsky's younger years. It keeps bringing me back to the lyrics of Heroes, but Bowie's kisses were for Visconti's girlfriend, and that is fine too.  My poem repeated below, slightly corrected, I believe, for rhythm.

Another death

Taken from a dasha in the heart
of Mother Russia, put on the ruined path
to death, worked over every step,
to every melancholy Gulag

on the eve of execution the bell
tolls One. We pass around the loving cup
with a genie in the bottle,
tomorrow’s close at hand. Is come.

Kisses then, thoughts squawk, white shirttails
at our muddy knees, like Peter Pans
in hen houses except we fly around
all tears, embraces, our dear companions’ faces.

Smoke cigarettes. Prepare, my friends,
for blindfolds and the itchy trigger finger
of the one who fires first
and then the coup de grâce.

Political prisoners in our night shirts,
trussed in groups of three,
they line us up, shoot overhead.
On our knees, some would sooner die.

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