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Art vs Tyrants

Swamp Lake
by Zarina Zabrisky

Mother lobotomized
Mother blindfolded
Mother sick

Name stained


Wake up!!!

How long will you stay on all fours
the centuries passing you by,
Mausoleum mummies
and Ghosts of Communism having their way with you?

“civilization,” “reflection,” “humanity”
nothing but soap bubbles
in your medieval bear thick slumber

is all you can hear
are the whistles of Cossacks whips
and ululations of clowny priests?

Who is to blame?
Genghis Khan?
Ivan the Terrible?
Poor diet–
lard and young pioneer songs for breakfast?

What to do?
It is not a rhetorical question!

Wake up
Pork jello land,
Shake off the manure and flies
Off your worn blistered skin!

Wake up,
Siberia of the spirit,
The collective farm of the mind,
The labor camp of the soul!

Wake up,
Before it is too late—again!—oops!–
For a millionth time–
oops! epic oops!

Your Swan lake
is a swamp

Look, Kiev is in black flames
burning away from you
like Moscow from Napoleon

History is the nightmare
orbiting with maniacal passion
eternal return
after the eternal return–

It raps in my ears
with Youtube attention deficit disorder
and pre-teen angst


like thousand Bach cellos
fugue furious

It screams barricades, bodies dead,
black blood and BTR blowing up

Wake up,
murderous mother!

Wake up,
hammer and sickles’ armed Oedipuses!

But no!–

This sleeping beauty of my country
is snoring in its crystal coffin
in its drunken stupor,
a rotten herring in its clawed furry paw,
Swarovski-bejeweled crucifix for a pacifier

It is spread out in its own body fluids
ever so comfortably–

So over the cold puddle of the ocean

Let me rap to you–

Listen you,
rapists and slaves,
stuffed dumb with kielbasa, vodka,
and protein rich garbage
from the geyser of the TV sewage,

Here is a blood soaked Kremlin brick
of my heart

into your sordid window
from your forever prodigal literary hooligan:

I divorce you,
Mother Monster,

with all the pain and love
of my Hungry Duck youth–

You must become who you are.

previously published in Luciferous

previously published in Fuck Art, Let’s Dance


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