Gorky Spat

“The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for.” Dostoyevsky

Under my suburban childhood –
then my laesie apprenticeships –
and away at my vacant universities
I openly embraced an older man –
Maxim Gorky – that Soviet rouser –
within a series of bent secondhand
Penguin Modern Classics – they said –
not knowing – not then – how Alexei’s
rabid hatred of all homosexuality
reduced him to another party fool –
whining of despair (re: Dostoyevsky)
He lived a rich man’s lie in old books

The Last Man in Europe

I see Eric Blair, upright, thin,
his bottom lip fag-lowered,
stiffly at his carried Remington,
posed at the high round keys,

which he knew too well, the sound
of a-e-i-o-u, those strikes
at very-necessary English vowels,
on fret-ish presses, in haste, to complete

The Novel – over coughs, those near-death
rattled expulsions, then later
to another hospital, long after a sniper’s
bullet fell him, blood-mouthed, in Spain.

He removed all his loved from the centre
to the offset Isle of Jura, an Astor invitation,
to her blanket bogs and Brecan’s whirlpool,
which his one-legged brother-in-law swam:

Eric could not row from that same draw,
instead he was guided to a shipwreck
upon a skerry, only to drown,
not much later, in a rip-tide of blood.