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.
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
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