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AD: Mayakovsky A Poet in the Revolution (a)

by Timothy Cohrs

It is a warm day late in May after the revolution, and Mayakovsky is walking along a dirt road amazed at two things: 1.) how the redolence of the pig farm he is passing keeps washing across his face as the waves of the River Neva once did when he was a small boy. No matter how hard he lunged and screamed then, the river held him tighter, trying to smother him with her palms. He wanted his mother to pull him back onto the sandy path that ran beneath the trees along the river bank, and he called and called for her, but she never came. And when he opened his eyes a huge man with a bristly mustache was slapping him. And 2.) the amount of pig shit covering his leather boots. As he scrapes the pig dirt off his boots with a stick, an ambulance lurches over the rutted road and stops beside him. the driver is British and inquires, in French, whether he knows who won the World Series. Mayakovsky asks what is a World Series, and the driver levels a pistol at his face while another soldier jumps out of the cab and blindfolds the poet with his hands, pulling him behind the ambulance. The driver, meanwhile, has pushed a huge potted palm, like a hairy mole, out of the back of the ambulance, and the soldier forces Mayakovsky to pose before it. After the photo is taken they put the plant back in the ambulance and drive off. Mayakovsky steps off the road and leans against a rotten fence post, one of a series that staggers into the distances along the sand colored road; he watches the white cross on the ambulance doors jar out of sight, and he begins to clean his boots.


Timothy Cohrs has published poems in Green Horse, Falcon and Loon. Presently he is working for his MFA at Cornell. His outrageous essay on Spatial Poetry will be one of the highlights of the next issue of Agni. (Spring 1975)

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