Happy Birthday, Vladimir Holan (September 16, 1905 - 1980)
Swindled by Marxists, euchred by popes,
you thought an evening with Hamlet could
glisten-up tarnished nights. Solitary mornings...
afternoons of unbuttered rye bread and tea,
rides on random elevators to nod at impossible
milk-white breasts, impartial crimson lips.
At last, overwhelmed by the stench of piss
racing in their veins, you gave up corresponding
with foul-wind Shakespearean scholars.
How goes it in the abyss, Vladimir?
Little better, I suppose, than month upon year
in your Kampa Island apartment by the tomb-
dark waters of The Devil's Stream... center of Prague.
I am with you tonight... your sober-waltz poems.
Leninists and Papish cunts: it was a harmony of lies,
stone grins, bad wine from pus-crusted shoes...
a horror broken every so often by the beauty
of young lovers passing by with what is human:
fresh hope like summer light off silvery pewter.