January 25, 2009


                    The enemy will continue to infiltrate Literature.
                              —Comrade Stavsky (head of the Soviet writers’ union), 1937

The muse strikes

back, but doesn’t walk off the job
for a cost-of-living increase
and insurance.
and insurance.  Empire’s the thing
that totters forward with its mouse
ears on, paterfamilias
of so many little feet become a constant
perfume.  And yet: no praise,
no blame. The grass is still
green to the cheek. And we are heirs

to grace which made the tummler
stay at his Borscht Belt post

and dance. Alack, alas. What say you
soldiers of the lyre, we wait
for some o’clock and then stop
singing? Oh I would stop, oh yes

and let the feckless meadow fill
with xylophones and snow, the striped

tail of the muse slap in her burrow.

—Rachel Loden
from the book, Hotel Imperium (Georgia).

Posted by dwaber at January 25, 2009 05:16 PM