Picture Postcard to O.M.

Poem By Hendrik Jackson

I live within crumbling walls of medieval crudeness.
On the washing lines hang remnants of Slavic cloth.
No Hellenism warms me; the stoves here are fuelled
with low-grade coal; verily, ye horseshoe hangeth
not o'er the threshold; applause goes to the grunting
sounds of heathen revolt. Then again, there's no
Eldorado either, no disembodied hum of a thousand
lights, no curly brackets stuffed with annotations
on this or that indispensable lotus-eater's tincture.
Just a hairy-calved laugh on the screen wall
opposite or the endless chirping of trams above the
firewalls, dozily nodding off into the as-yet-unmade.
but here come the romans, they drink a few cocktails
and, when i call over, amiably nod me the time.
not yours of course, batushka, in your warm furs.

Translated by Nicholas Grindell

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