a journal of modern society & culture

On Talking to a Crowd Always Ready to Deflate Large Balloons

Tell me about the difference between Washington and Moscow.
I want to know how girls open their mouths to speak over there. 

How their skirts swoosh in the deadening zephyrs of October and
          starlight
glints through chicken-wire fences, interlocking around the crumbling
          schoolhouses

and the new handsome billboards. Tell me about your cathedrals and
          idle priests
bellowing the smoke of a crashed zeppelin, the motorcade at 5 am

assassinating no one in particular. I’ve heard about the boyhood of the
          timberlands,
the stall-keepers staring at passersby in the navel of your matronly
          cities,

making the wrong change, and the delivery boys who ride their bicycles
in perfect circles. Park Avenue undulates in the toothless mouth

of our dear Cassandra, sitting on the banks of the Volga; she’s not the
          same
since the good war. Sometimes even the best magicians fall for their
          own tricks;

wouldn’t you say? The radio program forecasts the non-being that we
          ourselves
put away every morning with an expression of inadvertent profundity,

as in a photograph of a smiling clerk whose bones will later be found in
          the snow
under a glittering spruce, not too far from where our children sit in
          Fords

and kiss each other to death. Their fathers, men of the malls, have been
          fighting
at the Arques for centuries. Here they come now—as giddy as children
         stepping off a carousel.

Elvira Basevich is a Ph.D. student in Philosophy at The Graduate Center, CUNY, working in social and political philosophy. She teaches philosophy at Queens College, CUNY.

 

Email this to someoneTweet about this on TwitterShare on Facebook