(October 15, 1814 - July 27, 1841)
Today's poets do not enter pistol duels.
They suck cigarettes, sip wine, pontificate
beneath lush maple trees in university towns.
Today's poets marry their chalk-face kind.
Brother, your shade laughs at so-called men
as they sponge dishes and change toddler diapers
while their fatty princesses gibber at each other.
The knuckles of their fleshy hands are scarless.
Fire ran, no compromise, in your arteries,
Lermontov. Women's faces turned rosy
as you passed by, scarcely acknowledging
the probability of warm nights they'd give you.
Horseman-warrior, you sang of honor for the sturdy.
No bitter tears for you tonight.
Yes... the absurdity of depression,
that surprising sadness without reason.
More battle, more whiskey, more poetry!
So much is the confusion of melodrama.
None of that! Bring on the court jesters,
the false poets... bring out the dueling pistols!