SCENE EIGHTEEN (XVIII)
сколько душе угодно
Pronunciation: SKOL’ka duSHEH uGODna Literal translation: as much as the soul wants Meaning: as much as you want Example: Пой сколько душе угодно. You can sing to your heart’s content.
“POETRY AS LOVE IS AN ACT AND ADMISSION OF TOTAL POVERTY!” Daria yells at Sebastian in the Park as she throws the pages of his poem at him. They scatter on the balding grass.
In District Murray Hill, Isle of Mann Dasha goes twice a week to the Murray Hill District in the east side 20’s of the City to University of New York Baruch. She is studying business administration. Around the corner from there is a dungeon where clients bring her to submit to their cruel behavior. The place is perfectly legal. It has two Chinese themed rooms, a wrestling room, a faux medical clinic, a Spanish Inquisition/ Medieval torture room, a water sports room, a cage room, a glamour room and a tunnel they bring the fuck girls and sissy boys in from. It’s actually a franchise. They say no sex on the premises, but people definitely have had sex there. But it’s not actually about sex. It’s about humiliation and sadistic domination. If just want to rough fuck a whore, you got to a hotel or order an out call. In Newyorkgrad there is an app that lets you order women and men like a pizza. This place near her school is catering to men and women who get off in a different way. Get off beating and whipping and crushing a person into their slavery. Well anyway the work pays well. It’s not her favorite venue, but she doesn’t get to pick. The city seems like one big brothel these days.
Sergei has been funding her bachelors in the meantime. He’s also given her a black Amex card, a monthly allowance and promises soon a car. He pays her rent and is home only once or twice a week. Let her run pretty free. That’s love. Sergei is her official boyfriend. A minor sponsor. He officially works at the Atlas Park Hotel as an accountant. But that is only his taxable job. He is connected to an agency in Panama where the ultra rich launder money offshore. The house on Banner Ave is not his primary residence. Then there is Dmitry Khulushin Koch. Dmitry keeps taking her on ultra premium dates. Dmitry is not her “paper work husband” in that under the patronage and sponsorship of Dmitry she was actually married to a Mr. Maccluskey in a completely fabricated wedding. That cost 25,000. Now she works for the agency, a side venture Dmitry operates more for sport than money. She’s worked off about half so far. Dmitry is a corporate lawyer officially. But in reality he is the Bratva of Sasho Perecheveney. They’re in business together. Illegal imports of cigarettes and people. Brothels of course and lately something about ‘living forever in epic times’. A venture promising immortality by transferal of the soul through neuroscience into a new body. They claimed it was experimental, but really the Oligarchy has done it for centuries.
Kawa, he writes stupid little poems. But that is love too actually.
Kawa is enrolled in a paramedic academy on Kings Highway and works a full time job in salvage and a part time job as a nightlife paramedic. His company the Junk Luggers pulls out the metal from the walls of demolished homes, carts off unwanted sofas and literally ransacks the homes of the recently dead. Black listed for union work Kawa can’t get hired on a legit ambulance anymore. But he still works after hours clubs and raves taking care of overdosing creatures of the night. Daria doesn’t have any appointments today at the dungeon otherwise. Just a boring class. Which is less immediately lucrative than whatever the fuck her john had her do last week with that electrified whip and a ball gag.
She may have drunkenly told a lot of this to Kawa on her last date but he didn’t seem to pity or judge.
They illicitly miss each other. So they text and flirt. Perhaps she can work him in sooner. So they meet on a school night and Kawa reads to Dasha a brand new poem. Entitled “THE ESCAPADE.” He presents it hand written on a parchment page with gold lining. Thus an American Mayakovsky is for a short time re-born in Newyorkgrad.
He reads, ehm, recites:
While others were sleeping; I dreamt with you awake.
We walked those cobblestone streets below big dead glass towers,
Past the very dens of the money changers and harlots,
Near the Golgotha of the Jew Crusader alliance, near Vesey Street.
This sprawling neon jungle blots out the sun, blots out the stars,
God’s moon and hope.
The show of you!
All the way we go from Brighton to the districts.
I could walk tall, in your tight dress, your smile, your crazy all night.
I was skally cap clad; I was winding, I was bullet proof!
Your crazy big blue eyes opened fire on all,
I’ll always remember what you did on that roof.
Your darting hungry look
Cut the line, steal the lightning. Like a dagger when you need sudden surgery.
A reminder I was a new attraction.
But still alive, with a use.
And when we went about the city in waking life what we did at night Reminded us of past times.
We are temporarily blinded by the flood lights of crazy.
Blinded, you captured, captivated and then compelled us to deeds that might make past operations seem like parlor tricks.
Past creations were to be mere scribbles.
To upcoming tomes you’d never bother to read.
Old brush strokes,
Gunshots now. From the hip to move my hips to your hips to your lips.
Now the shots are with the precision of a Cupid coated round.
An Israeli sniper.
I am for you:
And I am aware you are a quite quickly moving target.
I want you to know a lot about me.
When others ask:
Did you kiss me, did you hold me,
You can say “I own him in full”.
Say; “He breathes in this city, just for me.”
“He writes whole worlds into books for me.”
“He moves his limbs up mountains, for me.”
“He take over trains, he battles monsters, he tempts the very wrath of the Jew God and the spirits to be with me,
One more night after night hand to hand.”
You can tell them whatever you want, or our nothing.
It’s an affair after all I suppose.
You can tell yourself what I’m cut from will not be seen about for one thousand years. Once you decide.
In the fall.
Out by Steeplechase pier, by the Eiffel Tower of Brooklyn, Kawa and Daria died night after night.
When the sun rose, we were again alive.
We died in the bars.
We died on the coffin train.
We died in the cholera ships.
But since you tasted my blood, bit my very finger hard that first night;
I’ll drip wax on your back.
Dripped on your shoulders and lower back, dripped on my lion ring, dripped on our hands clasped together in chains.
Your hand pressed in wax to my own. If we really died it could be with such a smile now.
How many nights of one last night?
40 days and nights and counting.
If they take me again it will cheat us both of the magic in this,
The darkness in this escapade.
And the old hope in the old lives, they make me want it too bad.
If I die tonight or in the morning, for real with will be with a small smile.
This is real, it is quite pure. This is Russia white, the good shit.
But don’t cheat me out of an hour a day or a year.
I want a life, with you blond crazy blue you.
A loveless life is not any life. Poems do not cause children,
Ambulances move faster than their Bentleys, relatively speaking.
Less fashion for force.
He can give you credit.
I can show you freedom, which came out cheap.
Not freedom to move and buy freedom from service, servicing loveless nights and boring nights and weird strange nights.
I want credit and freedom, she said. Love and a power broker.
Freedom with eyes wide open to the sky.
Whine mine turn green and yours go silver.
And I can show you a life where you will never be afraid again,
Afraid of a boring lackluster loveless ride.
Dasha, I may ask you to burn a bridge soon you’ve built over 5 years,
I will provide all the petrol.
And if there were things you thought you needed on the other side; I know how to replace them with better things.
I can cook and I can clean and raise children. I can save lives, you have seen me move a mob with words.
I do have the strength of 40 men.
And I know how to actually love!
To thrill you with my words and back them with actions,
My stiff kisses, my hundred thousand years without, nights of white satin and solid gold dice, old-old lover loves.
When you kissed me you saved me.
It was only fair.
You’d just a week before nearly killed us over one single cigarette.
Because you’re fearless like me?
If you were my partner we could take on any army with switchblades.
Back to back, hand to hand.
Or help move a nation to rise, or two. I don’t need you.
To do anything. Just watch my back from dagger men.
Whisper, “Good luck droog!”
“Come back to me alive every day and I will climb up with you!”
I will cross canyons under moonlight.
I will elude the follow-follow men.
I will uncut the spies.
I will break enemy lines under the dark cover and even,
Outsmart the Loupe Garrou in you.
I will make it through the forests.
I will always, life by life get back to you.
And you will in this manifest of energy want for nothing.
And our children, will be the children of heroes.
I am an American.
But this is not any American film.
You are Russian, but kitchens are where I cook, not make self-murder like my man Mayakovsky.
Your man is temporarily a lucky man.
He had five whole years to lie beside you.
I had under forty days to taste your lips, and I would start a war.
Notice the full extent of mesmerization.
Your eyes, they fuck me again, your eyes they tell tales again.
They made love to me before my body could react.
When you first looked at me in the dancehall.
I for the first time, knew sweet surrender.
The taste of wanting to wait.
And as we lay in the forest,
Below the double barrels of the blue moon,
I knew that if you escaped with me I could love you for the rest of my life.
And dissembling, and more lives to come,
I remembered that we’d done this before.
More in the rest of my lives, we reunited our fires, we are very old souls.
We can be old souls forever, if it pleases you.
What the fuck are you on? She asks with a grin.
But in the real world, in the world of woman and man.
It is really just a new kind of Russian novel.
So I will love you, you will love me, you will not leave your man.
And likely I will die with a barrel to the gob.
I will have to open my own black heart and let you try and read it.
Then this majik will be defensible with reason, before it implodes as you claim it will.
It has to be based on facts.
Give me no longer than November, I will plan our escape!
I am a man of my word.
All a man has.
In the end, promises all will be unkempt.
I have always done the things I set my promises intention toward.
Everyone knows that I am Sebastian Vasilivich Adonaev, from a family of warrior women and medicine men,
An endless escapade is coming.
One I’d like to share.
Daria grins in glee and claps. This man is the unadulterated stuff.
He reads to her in the park as the fall falls in. It will be the first round of many, many poems where his emotions entangle her with great worry. Where she cannot read his English writing and has the poem read then re-read by a female confidant. The early poems didn’t rhyme as Kawa began reading Mayakovsky and assumed that to craft such pieces meant visceral images not rhyme. He missed the underlying reality of Mayakovsky being quite famous for his rhymes, but in Russian, only the translations couldn’t pull that off.
Shortly after the seventeenth poem he changed his entire cadence back to rhyme. This impressed her far more, but that wasn’t until later. It didn’t impress her enough even then to give him exactly what he was asking for.
“You’re always so well dressed, so damn fashion forward. English doesn’t have enough words for all the grades of beauty I must be forced to consider whenever I see you,” he says.
She peers back at him with big curious eyes. They are seated in the Park across from each other looking coy. She’s a flowing blue dress and her tight leather jacket and he’s all composed like he isn’t about to whip out a small pistol, don a mask and take over a subway car over universal human rights later in the week, don’t ever tell a Russian woman that.
“You remind me too very much of the dead artist Mayakovsky!” She reminds him.
“Then allow me just to live like him a little longer. And act through him as well. And because this is set in America, with fearlessness I will walk the tightrope between idealism and pragmatic Post Soviet individualism.”
“What does that even fucking mean?” she asks.
“I’m not sure yet.” He replies.
So over time he wrote many poems, each penned just for her then recopied, but they all had cadence alike extolling her virtue and ways, also declaring himself a true rebel, making great cause just for her. Fighting monsters for her real and mostly imagined. Urging her to run away to the West Indies with him.
They sat there in a small Nipponese pub drinking lightly. He confided in her a bit about his past imprisonments, his varying rebel plots. His expectations to which she responds only that she pities him. It is not a pathetic pity, only a smug solidarity.
“I feel like I must make to hug you,” she declares, “that is what we do in America right?”
“I don’t know why you feel like any of this struggle is yours to bear,” she exclaims, “who wants to just fight and fight big inevitable things?”
Then she went back to her college and he off to carry out a wild plot to help take over the A train on the anniversary of 11 Fructidor in solidarity with the Breuklyn resistance forces, coalescing around the General Assembly being held three times a day on the Barclay basketball courts and all Borough uprisings, Staten Island not actually being a real borough, not in anyone’s imagination at all, they say they’re Italian, but their just a bunch of newly soft Sicilian civil servants, they’re happy doing trash, contracting, police work, hose work and the work of the ‘White Church’.
It was a happy pity she now exhibited and in parting it somehow made him feel loved, respected and strong. But that was not what she intended. She kisses him hard then says, “Poetry is still just an act of poverty isn’t it though, how far can you get with pretty little words that can’t be backed up by anything real?”