P R E L U D E
Two little partisans hide in safe house in Russia.
The snow fall was exceptional. It was as if god had pulled a vast white blanket upon us to tuck Russia to bed, and then the devil and a host of petty bureaucrats did not take the time to keep the power running, and so this winter was the winter that tens of thousands across the country, were tucked in without heat into a long kiss goodnight.
But I have a very supple and extraordinary woman lying naked in my arms and below a great burgundy comforter she slumbers gently as I prepare to read her epic verses of Amerikanski poems written in her name while I caress her soft blond lioness mane.
“Where did you find that?” she asks like a pouty German baroness.
I am paging through a leather bound compilation written in what she recognizes with a dismissive glance to be English. The room is dimly lit with the flickering flames of candles and a dim glow from the night stand casts a thrilling ambiance. The flat itself is on a fourth floor walkup just fifteen minutes strolling on the prospect up to the Arbat. And of course so close to the center of everything our heat is on just fine and the room burns with reverberations of a passionate exchange. But yesterday a general curfew was issued and the capital placed under martial law. Everything has been locked down and there are tanks in the street. So we bolted the door turned down the lights and made love in the only three ways we knew how.
Waiting for the government to lift the curfew.
Having given her every bit of me, my life included several times via deed and also a contract she humors me sometimes when after love making I read her old poems from past lives we led long ago.
To remind us that while the great uprising is not yet over, we are free because we have finally found a quiet little place to love each other roughly and via our previous assignments, absolved ourselves of our past crimes. Thus our hard work has allowed us now to have a simple life where we can carry out the only justifying and partially redeeming characteristic of the species; expressive and wanton love. To do so we must now hide in plain sight.
In a well-fortified safe house buried in the heart of the Russian capital.
I lock eyes with a woman who in another life broke me down and sold me as a slave. Her eyes, her eyes! Even the bluest day on the Caspian contains no such expansive shimmer; there is no comparison for this level of captivation. All things we have done, or did or may even still have to do are only so that we might never have to bear again the painful agony of our tumultuous separation.
“Read then my little bleak one, my Mayakovsky,” she says disarming me.
“Dedicated to me, Dasha Andreavna,” she exclaims right back.
Her hands pantomime the ghost of quotations for that name is certainly not the one she was born with. She recites; “Life of the slave show, let us remove you from your tower and observe how we helots live in the wilderness below!”
“Daveigh,” I exclaim, which means ‘enough’ “Poem #038: Moscow Hostage Crisis Part One.”
Moscow Hostage Crisis
Life of the slave show!
I will remove you from your castle and make you watch the way we live in the wilderness below.
And she slips off her high heels into a star-crossed stare down,
She always calls the shots,
Gun shots to blood soaked makeshift cots.
The shots she calls are complicated.
She must find me highly dedicated.
She mostly deals with the haves, and I am the have nots.
The rules are anything goes, but no know one “knows”.
If she’s been known to steal the weapon from my over coat,
I’ve been quick to remove my clothes.
I spill_ for the thrill of those invited, I can kill on compunction, I still have the will;
To activate the full facilities,
Of word play, and use of allegory_
To execute deliverance of a blue-blood-bleeding testimony_
A Former Soviet love story.
Involving a Chechen peasant and a woman once of Penza now mostly of night.
It will be of little glory, the way I tell the story.
It’s based upon real people. Real blood_ and real bleeding_
Of taking-of wanting-of feeding the need.
Of fucking and fighting and the will to survive in a City of glass, steel, and greed.
Real emotional explosions_ her eyes are always so bright,
She has long since urged me to put down the weapon and give up the fight.
But I have a last name that is easy to place,
I could buy some new papers, but not a new face.
They can spot us on site!
It’s the ongoing struggle of those who lead:
A tragic_ unyielding life of night.
We’ll sell a sordid tale.
I wish I had found her back when she was nineteen or twenty_
Before she had to do what she did,
And does what she still do,
To keep from starving in the shadow of plenty.
My objective and travail_ is to recruit the members of this audience into a clandestine apparatus_ And harness our collective clandestino_
To force a mighty train to prematurely jump the rail.
I wear suspenders with buttons, a Mayakovsky cap, and iron plated under shirts.
I dreamed up a plan to get revenge on a man, or a series of men, hit them in their pockets,
Hit them where it hurts.
I called her late at night_ bleeding all over the place,
She said don’t get your bleeding heart on my red carpet,
And her mother fixed me midnight supper.
Herring, beets, Palemni.
And she wiped the cake of crimson off my bloody Chechen face.
“And the snow fall is phenomenal this year”_
“Don’t get French with me my dear.”
_They really punched yer ticket_ did a number on you in the district, this time.
(She loves the way I make the Ameikanski noire lingo mix out elequently with a touch of old Fenian rhyme.)
The pay phone call cannot be traced_
The weapons hidden in the drywall_
In the space your men replaced_
The ice cold taste of 9 proof Baltika is refreshing, albeit haram_
Those good patriot informers_ those zombies_ those follow-follow men.
They beat me for a fortnight,
Demand I sign a grim confession,
Attesting to the building and/or placement of some near but unexploded bomb.
“Why can’t you be like normal men?”
I told her: “I’m hungry for my freedom and I’m never going hungry again!” (Sung)
And she says;
“I cannot love you if you’re dead.”
Please put the house in order,
Use the lithium,
Use Russian Standard Vodka; use my lips if necessary,
To rectify the madness as it expands inside your head.
I’m not saying that I love you now or later,
Simply I refuse to cater_
To all the “incidents generated lately” when you do not behave_
Explain how you plan to court me_
From a black-bag-disappearance.
In frosty, shallow, unmarked open grave.
If you’re going to dedicate, in your exacerbation,
Resistance efforts to a woman (me) who can only love you out of pity,
In this bleak and foreign city_
Even if the words sound epic, also pretty_
Fuck it man! You’re doing it again!
I sigh and then reply:
“Did I tell you lately you’re my dorogaia and if not for loving you_I’d surely be dead a thousand times at the hands of ten thousand lesser men?”
Oh, when last we wrote I spoke of devouring her, for hours.
To tease her- to please her_to want her to need her- amid a bed of hand-picked, Peonies; or provincial-wild-flowers.
She isn’t one for single serving dancehall roses, she moves too fast for poses.
Her bright eyes beckon as they dart about the room filled with bluff and imitating glee_
“Accelerate your tempo of evacuation_
The checkpoints separate the have everything’s_
From the people who are dressed like you_
And carry paper work like me.”
I suppose you and only you_ the woman that I trust and choose_
Can entrap these men of business with their whoring,
With their thirst for further treasure_
With long lines of china white running from the mouse trap to their nose.
How many slaves does it take to keep this neon play ground running?_
I know via your profession you can undertake a series of transactions_
Blonde dynamite distractions_
Before any know exactly what’s in store.
Reduce the need for automatic weapons,
Acquire us the proper routes and channels_
And guide us through a tunnel to the vile trading floor.
She looks at me and rolls her eyes and says in Russian “Lord have mercy.”
I said “I don’t have imaginary friends; there ain’t no need to curse me._
Where we met is unimportant.
Did I mean to enlist her?
I couldn’t resist her.
I had causes and struggle and vengeance and plan.
I shouldn’t have kissed her
And longed for her touch,
For surely she lays nightly in the arms of some husband, some man.
We have become a most curious spectacle_lately.
You hate me? Push further,
Took you home from the bar stool,
She could have killed me that first night, just with things that she said:
I looked at her once.
And the wheel was turning quickly but the hamster was dead.
The wheel was her cold rationale,
The hamster was the morals that once governed the wheel.
And there were bright lights, that up lit her eyes_ and whatever that implies.
Separating what she does_
From that which she’s still willing feel.
“You take up so much clock!
Blood from a rock!
I must return to District work which begins at moon rise.
And the steel trap will slam shut_
And bind me behind those District walls.
And the men of that vile district,
Will use their credit cards_
To try and pay for my flesh and access to between my thighs.”
She said “root for me.”
I’m going voodoo out tonight_
To earn my money the City.
If you truly are my friend,
Understand that I’ve been hungry and I’m never going hungry again.” _(Sung)
I am looking down the barrel at my pin striped enemy.
And the columns we’ve been shaking
And lives we’re always taking,
I was seeking sweet surrender and I sought it at her feet.
You think you’re not a target? You pay your taxes don’t you?
Are you blind to their transgressions?
A cavalcade of charging bulls rampaging down the street.
Everything from here out, it’s true,
My bones rust, from your star dust, your fairy eyes_
I loose myself to you.
She says, “Oh the things you might do,”
Our harsh and untenable positions have emboldened us_ as we know no one cares or pays attention, or even has a clue.
If we want it bad enough we can get it:
“For the rest of our lives_
Even if that life, she says, will last no longer than another a day or two.
Kiss me _fight beside me Dorogaia,
Even if to you my name and words are sometimes strange,
For what they do to your body and mind,
And what they did to my family,
Help us create a major crisis at the Moscow Stock Exchange.
You’re crazy she said,
You’re crazy won’t get me dead.
Well talk about your ridiculous plan in the morning.
It’s all a slave show, and if you didn’t know.
Russians who help rebels aren’t even given a funeral, much less a warning.
“Are you blushing yet?” I ask her in jest.
“We know not how,” she is all she replies.
She then claps with excitement, kisses me wild eyed then retreats under the covers.
“Did you like it?” I ask following her under the vast red folds of the heavy blanket.
“I like very much it when you try and talk so dirty to me in American,” she says in Hebrish with a devilish little smile.
I wonder when she learned to speak like that.
“I am capable of just about anything when you believe in me,” I remind her.
She laughs at that. Though knows the full extent of it.
“I believe, that you still believe in Brooklyn Soviet,” she says softly and kisses my lips.
“You whisper always of dangerous things,” I tell her slyly.
“Story time tovarish lover. I challenge you now. One for one. Two for two,” she purrs.
“The trouble sweetness with your stories is that not a single one of them are true,” I say to her. She feigns a pout.
“The greatest fun with your stories is that so many of them are!” she retorts.
“Dasha, what will be the prize for the partisan with the premium story?”
“The usual my daring Valera,” she says with a smile.
And licks her lips at my obvious arousal.
Her amusement and our perpetual survival had gotten us in quite a yarn of danger. She’s been worth every bullet. As well as dirty things I dare not reveal at this juncture that I do to women as well shaped as she. Or worse the tender things I do to balance those out and then so let my guard fall, completely.
Under the folds of the burgundy comforter we languish in the sensual embrace of each other’s longing as our pillow fort assumes new dimensions. A vastness will unfold with the power of words and the only distraction from the yarn of escapade will be the fortified lusts we will unleash when a parable wears thin. She will draw on fairy tales and I will spin from the ghosts of my dead friends and the darkness still in me. Somewhere in between that space hope will float perhaps. We expect and encourage each other’s full participation.
“Ladies always go first, for this is the code of the Haitian gentleman” she declares and launches right into her opening tale.
Let the mind games begin.
Daria thus exclaims;
“If I am woman, and he attempts to be man then we are easy prey.”
For the gods, the spirits, lesser demons and also human devils! Sin and general winter are historically undefeated. That’s a fact. Above all those forces seeking to make us base slaves, we are bound most to our own wild passions!
I am creature ruled almost selfishly by my passion, and so is he. Inevitable really that so much did burn.
I do not make any remembering when we had this conversation. Only that it occurred.
It was sometime after our very first meeting.
Sometime before I found myself handcuffed to a chandelier fixture in the Millennium Hotel awaiting my deadly snuff and torture! Sometime after blue moons of their Bohemian festival. Sometime before that murderous uprising called “the Great Disorder”. Sometime after the Great Revolt. Which was its more articulate, yet ultimately more homicidal older sibling.
Before I sold soul to a devil without making ask of questions!
Certainly after I realize I loved him as I have never loved a man before in this life or the next, or one after that.
Before I realized that I had loved him several times before. And that we are both so dangerous when in love. To each other. Also world at large.
And that Russian love, and American love have very different expectations that come with them.
I will now make careful my choice of my words.
Speaking his American language with my Russian thoughts is to attempt placement of entire Caspian Sea into hip flask. My English when spoken without any intoxications hints that I will speak more clearly with my actions. Were he sober then when we found each other on that roof top, instead of passion punch drunk he’d not have ignored the threat our lusty adventures soon presented. We would have walked away. Despite his fascination with me. Despite my overwhelming beauty.
But that is not how the story was to write itself!
He could deny me nothing. But no one dare should point the finger to me that I did not give warning! Perhaps we were blinded by the vodka lullabies, the bright lights of the towers and the good night moon.
“I’m going to use you,” I announced on the roof of the district. And he didn’t care.
“Completely and utterly so that I may get from point A to point B.”
Did I say that to him, or did he say that to me?
“I consent to such use, use away,” he immediately retorted, “we will see how far in the alphabet we can climb with you on my shoulders!”
“The Russian alphabet, it has more letters. The letters also can take different subtle meaning based on where they are placed. The sounds, they will completely change. Some hard, some soft.”
“Place yourself besides me for now,” is all he said to that.
“I shall, but tomorrow this will be finished. How long can you make more of your favorite poetic noises, your rhymes in American English as you devote your life to something hopeless that cannot ever be?”
He looked at me with big bright hazel eyes.
“I like the way that all sounds, he claimed, “I like way the way the word ‘hopeless’ rolls off your lips. I am an Amerikanski, as you accuse me. Hopeless is just a call to arms.”
What could I say in the face of mad idealism! His passion did touch me.
My eyes flashed blue silver back.
“I’m going to devastate you, you know,” I casually mentioned and I took his hand and thrust it against my heart so he could know that I was flesh and blood like him. No angel. Or Devil. Or ghost.
“Well we shall not later claim I wasn’t given a fair warning,” he whispered but for some reason did not try to kiss me.
“Had we met in another time, were I a different person wearing a different life; I would still know you,” he declared, “I cannot put the emotions that I wear like cufflinks to my funeral to bed as easily as you.”
In the darkness of the district night. In the wilderness of North America I repeatedly told him nothing but white lies. I did what needed to be done.
“It is sad that it all has to end,” I remarked.
These were the first words uttered in acceptance of a risk and a warning between myself Daria Andreavna and the mad idealist named Sebastian Adonaev. Our love and the totality of our affair will be thing of Post-Soviet lore and Amerikanski voyeuristic fascination. There have been many doomed loves before. Captured artistically in bright theatre lights of both empires. There have been tales of hard hearts which remain unbreakable. And wild bohemian longings that conquered heroically the conventions of their day.
Often Valera, whose American name was Sebastian would ask me, whose Russian name is Daria Andreavna; “Is the story of our love to be more like Russian literature or more like American cinema, mere Paramount Pictures?”
I would cryptically respond, “General Winter has never been defeated, not once ever.”
So we performed miracles. In the wilderness to remain together a variety of strange longings took shape and bore most irregular fruit.
That much is clear.
The first miraculous act was turning his tragic tears into vodka. This was my happy gift to him. To turn an unusual and storied past into a heroic song and dance. And make his dead mechanical heart beat like a war drum as the waves of the uprising crashed upon the nation we shared or really I should say, co-inhabited.
The second miracle was the theft of the blue moon itself. Such a task was just a starting point for him to please me, also my ransom. He took to heart that the materialism of a Russian woman is but an ante up to play a most choice and high stakes game of loyalty.
The third miracle was for us to put bullets in the devil himself. In retaliation for crimes of the past committed against us, and our love, and humanity in general.
The fourth miracle act was that I could truly come to love him. And forgive him for what he had to do in my name. In the name of his long dead wife also.
It took several lives and a solid contact between us to accomplish these four miraculous acts. They will make wild tale and epic song. Mine I did with ambition first and then secretly, begrudgingly with love. His he did to please and save me and avenge his fallen tortured soul. Via my company and our secret series of kisses we made war on the devil and his entourage. And we painted together a portrait that in the end makes Russian literature look like tame romantic comedy, and Amerikanski Cinema, just flickering soma on telescreen.
To beat back brutal hunger and or feed those dependent upon them; to meet the benchmark called survival; human body and mind capable of any number of general sins.
At times grossly unpalatable to human soul. If you believe in such things! It is not just question of what we all must to do to preserve our own selves. The shifting of alliances in pursuit of securing our deliverance from the wilds of worldly living is exhausting. Strange bed fellows make and break even the strongest of hearts.
The wilderness at night is vast and treacherous place that to some is source of fearful panic. To others bevy of potential opportunity!
In darkness of night fallen angels appear as demons at times. Most treacherous are our human misjudgments. The nuances of intention are lost to perceptions of trickery. Violations of trust. Devils can look angelic for a time and humans with host of mixed motives can see best kept secrets revealed like so much dirty laundry blowing in the cold winds of night.
Not here to talk to you about night! Or about all the devils that thrive in its long shadow.
This just story about when feeling returns to the heart when the body has been dead for many days. So many that the world of the living is but a restored memory. Also about the selling of souls and the banding together of destinies. Also about whether poems can feed anything more than hope in the face of hopelessness.
And whether more reckless and brazen hope, is indeed the only cure something so called hopelessness invites.
So it’s Haitian love story, also a Vodka Lullaby staring brave Russian angel from Penza me! And devilish American paramedic born in New York. If that’s how like look at it. Little like the Christ Story, has less violence and more nudity and good deal more vodka from tears in place of water into wine.
And it also about trying to steal away another man’s wife. Which is whole category of sin onto itself. It’s about old souls coming back for each other, even if just for a fall.
This yarn is play with words based on true Brooklyn noire based on two people not “being in love” or “missing each other” or “being tortured by our supposed fate”, but instead some wide range of prophesized events which we set in motion via of our high impact knowing of each other. Maybe like in a biblical sense.
But with more carnality! And gun play.
Set not in heaven or hell like the Bible but in the Holy Land of Brooklyn and the Wilderness of the Financial District in the City of New York, mostly to glow of blue moon light at night and structure fires by day.
In Moscow! In Haiti! In the heart of Brooklyn Soviet! In places that were and also soon could be!
This not just the story of Sebastian Vasyli Adonaev and I, Dasha Andreavna Skorbogatova; it is also a tale of forbidden-impossible love in the age of anarchist trials; of great train robberies in the former Soviet Union, and of a tavern in the wilderness where lost souls find short but wholly tumultuous company in post Capitalist America on the eve of a global human rights revolution.
And so begins the tale of Daria and Sebastian, a Russian me and a most irregular Amerikanski he and the partisans we led into a vile battle. Star crossed lovers with the moon as our witness, fuck and vodka as our means of cross interrogation and higher ground beyond the waves of hopelessness and fate as our primary objective.
He begins with memories of a murder and a war. I with a warning but a promise of deliverance via passionate love, once adequately demonstrated.
And yet, “We begin our tale with a double funeral!”