En-route to the Pantheon,
weighing 300 grams more
than the average brain,


absolutely quiet.

nowhere left to penetrate—

no red-syndicate idea like a mountain chain,
no gap for lovelessness, no ‘lasting wounds.’

The state surgeons put down their scalpels
and package you off to the Institute;

your self-atrocity condemned or repurposed—

a slow sinking of The Bathhouse,
the heart slow-sapping,

or for those in God’s good management,
a sin that never ends
until warded off with prayer.

The facts dominate:

Russian Roulette
Twice victorious
Twice dead

A sharp grind to the skull,
A three-day pageant for the multi-thousands.

Vladimir, you are that which great minds have left behind—
precursory genius, a lisp in the ashes.

Vladimir, alas, your agonies, your theatre of nerves,
your ‘jail of nights’ for lack of a party card.

The gossip you’d hate,
as the dead undoubtedly do.

But time strikes late,
just past the hour—the ‘Impossible,’
in-leafed and yelling.