Across the street from Spinozas house

/, Blesok no. 99/Across the street from Spinozas house

Across the street from Spinozas house

THE FIFTIESafter Adam Zagajewski


the first thing I see
every morning
is Dee Dee’s reproving gaze

the man is no moralist,
but his knowing, junkie eyes
have that effect

they give me the urge to start my day off
by apologising to everything: from the flowers in the Ikea vase
to the Pentecostal Church across the street

but in the end
like a born opportunist
I sneakily manage to avoid it

leaning further to the right is Joey
the perpetually understated

with hips like a Russian gymnast
and the hair of a crazy headmistress,
a shaggy Heraclites from Queens

he tells you that everything can change,
that at any moment you can be snatched by a dark avatar,
or end up blacklisted by a secret sect, trade, ministry, cabinet or committee

on the far left – oh the irony! – is the Nazi-schatzi marmot
Johnny, whose face says that he’s in it
(the band, not the picture)

only for the money, the papers, the royalties
and Joey’s ex-girlfriend, leading the former to pen him the ditty
The KKK Took my Baby Away!

beside him stands the amiable Tamás Erdélyi,
aka Tommy Ramone, a Holocaust survivor, born in Budapest,
now a mandolin player with his own bluegrass band,

the steady compass and last remaining member
of the legendary foursome’s first line-up, dubbed by Spin magazine
– alongside The Beatles – as the greatest r n’r band of all time.

so these are my four morning perspectives:
the four blackbirds of Wallace Stevens,
my wife’s four zen-jokes,

who carefully guard
the gentle rebelliousness of her Anglo-American
maiden roots,

all those innocent and rosy dreams
of a perfect world, where Courtney, like Amfortas,
still embraces her dead Kurt

while poet Ann Lauterbach
wallows endlessly in her affectations,
like the ethereal essence of mannerism,

and Germaine Greer lives in a home
on three acres, with two dogs, sixteen geese
and a fluctuating number of pigeon wings,

a world so far removed
from my toothless Balkan accordionists
and their bloody war cries,

a world where it’s perfectly natural
for high school girls to dream of translucent, expensive,
engagement rings,

and shiny, kitschy and smooth,
huge like the lobby of Fitzgerald’s Ritz,

even though these are nothing more
than transitional objects,
as psychologists call them,

which we use to clip the wings
of that sweet bird of youth
before she turns her back on us for good.

2018-08-21T17:22:36+00:00 November 9th, 2014|Categories: Poetry, Blesok no. 99|0 Comments