Poem, December 2019
Underground Man


She reads a different translation from what’s on the screen.
At the desk, I try to piece together what the Russian was saying,
what he was trying to say to us.
And the whole while the projector is shaking

It shakes the image on the screen

‘The Underground Man wants a contradiction.
He wants a duel, where someone lives
and someone dies.’

There is water dripping from the ceiling

Through the window the trees shake

The leaves are thin, the material is frantic with its own weight

All of it inseparable from the wind, the whole scene moves with it, through it
for it

And the cars bring a heavy, deep sound from the wind
while it whistles on the bricks:
steadfast, burnt red, violent


The beginnings of a dream:

In prison

The gray walls

The same people in orange
plodding from place to place

I like to write at night, with just one lamp. Often I write about the night, though I try to resist it as much as I can. Even at daytime, by the blue window, it seems unavoidable

Up all night again in my room
shuffling the papers in my hands
to see where the night takes me
to what corners