Archive for the ‘Sofia’ Category

Polymath_ Biruni, Pochta SSSR, 1973

The digression

seems to waste my time,

distract my focus, seep my energy.

But, really, “waste” is such a loaded judgment,

and how will I know until tomorrow (or beyond),

the enrichment that this digression might bring.


(To be continued…)








So tired, feeling.

So old, feeling.

So much exploited, dragged through the mud

and left for dead.

I need to sleep.

I *need* to sleep.

But how much life do I have left?

(How much I have missed!)

Can I afford the luxury of dreams?

Can I afford the poverty of dearth?




I woke up with a 1 Ruble coin in my hand.


How and from whom, unknown.

It fitted perfectly into my hand’s curl,

palm receptive.

I felt its curve and brought it up to my face.

I smelled it, for some reason,

then studied *its* face.

1977, Olympic issue,

3 years hence,


I smiled.

I wonder who held it before me,

this coin,

who bequeathed it,

several times over,

in serendipitous turns,


generally unthinking and banal,

fleeting possession, in exchange…

Maybe to buy toilet paper,

possibly bread,

50 issues of Pravda?

Perhaps Andropov himself…




It’s late.

I stare at the Test Pattern,

pretty in a sense,

when quiet,

serene technology of the 20th Century.

But then

the deafening tone shrieks,

public service at work,

to make sure you turn the TV off,

except I can’t.

It’s stuck.

And I’m stuck.

The piercing repeats

and repeats,



Wrong time, wrong place.

A special kind of torture.

I try to shield my ears,

to no avail.

Life, today.




I dreamt I was someone else,

or maybe myself, in another time and place.

I was deep in conversation about the merits of the USSR approach.

“USSR approach to what? Global politics, internal economy, sporting success?” I wondered, wordlessly.

Meandering through neural pathways,

the answer formed like the wind crying






Welcome to 1986.




I slept.

I woke.

I went where they told me.

I did what they said.

I tried not to think.

I worked the way a convict does,

under duress.

Unnatural state of affairs.


Toil and…

A break.

Even slaves get fed,

for expediency.


even a surprise.

Like here, a sweet banana.

I ate, the way one does.

Then a sudden urge to urinate hit me.

I took a few steps


I had absolutely no control,

the dribble became a flood,

down both legs

and into my shoes.

Sodden and obviously wet,

for all to see,

I said nothing.

Relieved (one might say),

I continued to work.

It was a shame,

that I had pissed myself,

but I felt absolutely no shame.

Indeed, it felt like the most natural thing in the world.





the powers that be

decided to be…




sow yet more frustration…

Induced dementia…

Two channels:

one showed chess,

one fencing.

The switch on the set,


allowed me to change between the two.

Frankly, I couldn’t decide,

(a bizarre kind of dilemma).

My mind numb,

confusing commentary,

I wanted to understand,

instead I felt dizzy.

Totally overcome.


I fell down.




I don’t remember how I got to sleep,

nor for how long I slept.

No dreams,

hazy memory.

I came to with a horribly dry mouth,


I felt like I’d been drugged.

The TV was on but silent,

the gray-white-black fuzz they call snow


I imagined it was falling

and, with a tight smile,

I imagine the real thing might be falling too,


My mind’s eye…

It might as well be Saturn.




Superheroes, cops, agents, and the like,


enter commercials, adverts…

selling banalities, souls, and the perverse.

Blaringly loud,

music jingles and clanging voices,

capitalist, consumerist overload…


The TV seemed to be stuck,

it was dementing,

I tried to change the channel,

I tried to switch it off,

I tried to turn it down,

it wouldn’t budge.

It was torture.

“Welcome to the future!”

boomed an ominous tone…

If this was that,

the 21st Century,

then I was glad to be inside,

outside society,

to live and die,

hopefully in peace and alone.




My captors gave me a small television set.

Only two channels,

it reminded me of my childhood.

What were my captors thinking?

Those superheroes of TV,

fighting evil and blasphemy,

week after week,

the kind of shit that would send

normal people into breakdown,

but *they* bounce back,

again and again,

with a smile and a shrug,

to fight another day,

never tired,

never scared.

They are a bad example.