Osip the Wasp – 05/05/2014

Osip, he hummed and
Nadezhda, she wrote him down.

Osip, he hummed and murmured and
as a wasp, he buzzed and his words,
they stung and
Nadezhda, she wrote him down.

She memorized his songs and
hummed them to others and
they wrote them down.

And then they each burned down
their scores by the scores,

humming on the songs
in their minds, the
psalms written on their souls,

poems passed through their palms and
into their eyes and
out through their mouths and
into their ears and

out their chimneys in smoke.


Knocks on the door were
one sign of the times –
this noise of their times was
a flint struck-

and words went up,

When lies become law,
the truth is verboten.

When the truth is forbidden, then
even thoughts must be hidden.

A game of Telephone in the land of Stalin –
where speaking is buying a ticket
for a lottery no one wins except by not losing – and

the only way of keeping your winnings
is holding your tongue, keeping your tongue but
losing its use.


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