by jamh

Am I the only one remembering Malinin?
concentrating to become a bird or a cat
in those thin paperbacks on cheap paper
that crumbled after just a few reading?

Or in the first alternative theater
that showed film festivals for children,
those sparse Russian shorts, in woods,
a few kids lost among leaves of maple?

It didn't take me long to learn
that beneath its western shine
its avantgarde, and forests of ice
laid a magic throughly eastern,

familiar as one thousand and one
stories, on lonely dark nights, told
to a small child, lost too,
in a labyrinth of clay streets
hissing gas lamps, giant moths
and of course forbidden gold.

This escape I loved more than anything
more than the American cowboys
one dimensional in their glory
and forever winning streaks.

hard life, hard wars, some lost
bring about a humility
that you sometimes recognize
like a distant cousin, by chance
or a flash of clairvoyance.



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