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Illustrated by Farr Q. Daufeen. Site design by Simona Blat. All thanks to Michael Seidenberg. Copyright 2014.

Brazenhead Poetry: November 24th, 2017

November 30, 2017

Leon Trotsky is now on Facebook

 

Written & read by Elana Seplow-Jolley

 

Comrade, you have memories to look back on today with Stalin
Would you like to share them on Facebook?

He’s scrubbed me from the photographs                                                                                                                                                   and to the right of Lenin there is always only a smudge—
a shadow shrugging off a shadow coat
a blur standing tall and proud
a patch of shade sitting beside brethren
Malkov, Rahja, Tomsky, Lashevich…

Before he learned to disappear my face
before he taught a country to look through my body as well
(to a disarmingly well-kept staircase
amid otherwise crumbling soviet décor or 
an unsettlingly serene swath of the Neva
beside more fractious waters)
there were invitations to picnics, rallies, meetings—
mainly I suspect to ensure that Lenin would come.

Sometimes he even wrote on my wall for my birthday:
C Днём рождения!
Or at least commented on Lenin’s post, always that video
of that cartoon alligator playing the accordion
in the rain on his birthday.
Always that made me laugh, Vlad knew,
until hot tears pushed out from my eyes.

But now I see Stalin posting photos
of that grand rally in cobbled Sverdlov Square
and I am vanished from them, along with Lev Kamenev.
For a moment I anticipate a wave of roiling anger
though as soon as it breaks it washes quickly away,
as emotion tends so often now to do.
I should text Lev, see what he’s up to now that we are all dead.
 
What a thrill this electric hum was at first, like nothing I had ever dreamed.
But even though I can listen to “Kalinka” on my phone
read Vvedensky on my Kindle,
I feel a hoarse rasp within me
straining at my wrists, my ribs, my jaw
and the flowers and their loam that fill my eyes
the teeth behind my petaled cheek.
What would I not give to be whole again
replaced within my pictures at my comrade’s side
added back in granule by grey granule into frame?
 
I picture it often, imagine being restored in truth, particle by
particle to the grey streets of Leningrad.
But as I grow speck by blurry speck
and the industrial tang of oil and grit fills my sinuses
I feel a pain between my shoulder blades
and with a sigh turn again to check my feed.

 

oblivious


Written & read by Dan Chung

 

what do clouds know of
existential loneliness
floating above all

yearning for flight / light
sun shines through the underside
of bird's wings flapping


imagined distress
begetting begets begot
loop identified

 

memories obscure
blockages of harmony
interconnection

wallflower weirdo
envious of happy folk
jealous of their ease

choosing to be sad
toughness no longer serving

outdated methods

 

remove the armor
concealing a cosmic smirk
sacred fool dancing

new song repeating
r&b lamentation
pure sincerity

buddha in nikes
believing one out of place
and mistaking which

 

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