Archives For Fyodor Dostoevsky

Old Shoe

“ . . . my old cracked shoes weep . . . ” i

“ . . . turning an ankle is a Pavlovian fait accompli” ii

Desolation Peak
Minus perks
In the desert
of suburban house
Over fifty and it’s over
Disposable trash
Corporate ash
Old shoe
Friday at three
Judas
Sealed with a kiss
CEO unreined brat
Shallow cad
Foul-mouthed rat
A kiss and dismissal
Crass no class
An imp
An ape
Coward
Fat cat
Loud crude and dull
You killed the swan
Capricious caprice
Capriccio
Listing lee
Solo mio
False drunk miss
(role model for your girls)
Churls
Sweetness gone
“For men [and women] love the fall of the righteous” iii
Too old so go
The way we live now
Loyalty? (lol)
Taken a vow
Poetry and poverty
Words and dignity
Tomes of integrity
The right to choose
Not to color gray hair Never played your games
Never will

i Kerouac, Jack. Desolation Angels. (New York: Riverhead Books, 1995). p. 6.
ii Ibid., p. 84.
iii Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. (New York: Vintage Classics, 1991). p. 312.

Kolya Krasotkin Wept

“. . . when the children guitared
At my footbed,
Kolya Krosotkins
of my railroad”i

Kolya Krasotkin, that little son of a provincial secretaryii
Studied the trains
And for two roubles
Flattened himself on the railroad tracks face down
And let the eleven o’clock train pass over him (without touching his small body)
He fainted (confessed only to Mama) and turned white as snow
On that black moonless Russian night
Forever a hero to the other schoolboys
Desperado in rank
For his mad wild pranks
Ilyusha’s papa’s red beard
Dragged from tavern to square
On that terrible whiskbroom day
The sickly boy’s spirit rose
Defending poor Papa
Stones hurled and flew
Alyosha struck and bitten, too
Met the captain, sir, much ado
Shaggy Perezvon renamed
One-eyed tricks, gray Zhuchka dog stay
The boy’s mind tick, tock, ticks
The goosey goose cracked . . . in the peasant market place
A clever boy, intelligent, big-shot brave boy
Fourteen years old (in two weeks)
A socialist and atheist, too
A reader of Voltaire and books
Onegin knows he
Mathematics and world history
Old man, you see,
I’ve come to love thee
And visit your deathbed
Icons, cannon smoke
Karamazov spoke at the stone
The children raised up the little coffin
Bringing bread for the sparrows
So he lay not alone Flowers
Candles
Farewell sad little boots
All the boys cried
Kolya wept
If we could resurrect our boy
Grief . . . and pancakes

i Kerouac, Jack. Mexico City Blues, 55th
Chorus. (New York: Grove Press, 1994). p. 55.
ii Dostoevsky, Fyodor. The Brothers Karamazov. (New York: Vintage Classics, 1991).

A Gentle Creature

A gentle creature
A slender young woman, fifteen years and nine months
With very large eyes
An orphan who lives with two aunts, mean
They beat and treat her as a slave, and begrudge her daily bread
She has one option: marry a (two wives in the grave) fifty-year-old shopkeeper and mother his children . . .
She tries to get a job . . . but can’t
The pawnbroker proposes
He’s the lesser evil than the fat and watchful shopkeeper
She takes a long time to consider Mephistopheles introducing himself . . .
And marries him, she pawn, he broker (who quotes Goethe)
Pawnbroker is stern . . . and silent . . . and pours cold water upon her happiness
She stamps her foot at him
Aims a gun at his temple
And falls ill in winter
He pays for a doctor and a nurse
Winter passes
One sunny day, she sings
He kisses her feet . . . and she sobs
Plans of Boulogne to bathe in the sea
She thinks and smiles
Opens a window
Clutches icon of Madonna and Babe
And jumps
Nothing was crushed
Just a small spoon of blood
He claims to be only five minutes too late
So thin in her white coffin
“People are alone in the world.”

The short story “A Gentle Creature” was written by Fyodor Dostoevsky in 1876.