пятница, мая 06, 2005

1904. Things which were in store

hit the counter. There is a war.
Japan, ever so smiling, gnashes
teeth and bites off what, in fact, in Russia's.
Other than that, in Milan police
crack local skulls. But more common is
the touch of the new safety razor blade.
The nuances of the White Slave Trade,
Mount St.Victoire by Monsieur Cezanne
and other trifles under the sun
including popular French disgust
with the Vatican, are discussed
in every Partisan cafeteria.
Radioactivity - still a theory -
is stated by Rutherford (when a particle
brings you a lordship we call it practical).
And as the first Rolls Royce engines churn,
Chekhov dies but Graham Greene is born,
so is George Balanchine, to upgrade the stage,
so too - though it's sin to disclose her age -
is Miss Dietrich, to daunt the screen.
And New York hears its subway's first horrid scream!

The man of the year is a Hottentot.
South-West Africa's where he dwells.
In a German colony. And is being taught
German. So he rebels.

( A Hottentot )

"Germans to me are extremely white.
They are white in broad daylight and what's more, at night.
Plus if you try to win minds and hearts
of locals, you don't call a black guy "schwarz" -
"Schwarz" sounds shoddy and worse than "black".
Change your language and then come back!
Fly, my arrow, and hit a Hans
to cure a Hans of his arrogance!"

Joseph Brodsky
"History of the Twentieth Century. (A Roadshow)"

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