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350 Russian Dimitri V. Psurtsev (b. 1960) Third Rome Man I like the wintertime feeling of “Big” and warm, Done up in mittens and boots, long johns and pants, In a short coat of fur even though it’s not really real, Shaggy earflaps tied tight to keep out the cold and the wind— The wind’s fierce—how handy my eyes are Polovtsian slits And the terrible cold can’t get under my high Tartar cheekbones; My moustache does get frosted and my blood’s like chilled vodka: But here I am, happy-go-lucky, at home in the last, the Third Rome, A barbarian scion, a forefather maybe someday, My breathing engraved on its quick, immortal air. F. D. Reeve, 2009 Two Monasteries In the cloister where day tourists scurry Back and forth like phantoms, And the President in a photograph In the vestibule is like a choir director Among full-bearded archbishops, There’s no peace and quiet. In the old monastery there’s no Place to worship, only a brick Ruin like the skeletal frame of a stove With a houseless chimney. The solitary Green-eyed, white-chested, chestnut-faced Lady cat Masha lives here without grieving, And like a Holy Roller having scraped on rusty iron Over the porch of the wing, now rubs herself Against a standing seam on the roof. In this monastery now owned by the city Dimitri V. Psurtsev 351  Where the studios of artists who come and go Are also part of Masha’s world, Where varnishing day has nearly come round For the city jubilee, and there’s An exhibit of the best works to benefit The regional children’s hospital— Here there’s peace and quiet, And like cupolas the clouds float overhead Eternally golden. F. D. Reeve, 2011 ...


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MARC Record
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