I prop the door for the smoke
to waft in and remind
the other tenants that I’m
keeping to my rituals and will be up
at 07:30 tomorrow, as always, glazed
in whippet spit, amiable and anonymous
shout out to rising above it all
powerboring, literally speaking. English: polite, circuitous, taking up space, all caps, passive- aggressiverude (hidden messages), lacking punctuation. Russian: (lit. “Idiots, this ain’t no barn!”) direct & aggressive, forgoing politeness for efficiency,making gooduse of punctuation, also all caps. Get the job done.It helps me get through the day if I read this as a “Marriage Proposal.” Solid line between the two: cultural divide.I’ve just been informed the line is a “Design Flourish.” (Editor’s note: now I’ve just been informed the actual translation of the above Russian is “Smurfs 2! Now Available on Blu-ray!” which still helps me get through the day.)
You are thirty-two
years of fingers
fumbling with a razor blade
and a cigarette lighter,
a slow dive from some impossible height,
a missile, a shooting star,
a beautiful and special disaster.
You cannot sleep. Your face
is latex and barbed wire.
You cannot. Your sleep
has become harrowing. You wake
at night flecked with spittle,
sometimes dappled in milky
jizz. Do you dream? You can’t
recall. Your body is a meat machine.
They will never know.