Home // December.19.2017 // Nick Panteli


Crimea South

So, there’s this, a villa on a hill
neoclassical, beige columns, pool
5900 square foot

overlooks the beach
cypresses down a gradient that’ll kill a man.

And acquaintances call him Dimitri Sol,
the ideas which come out of his mouth are,
are not, especially chauvinist or irredentist,
not for the peninsula 2000 kilometres away,
not for the island which makes its few demands:
open arms, citizenship in return
for the security of both.

At least he’s preserved the mosaics—

and he’s worldly, man.
His leathers are Italian, his products
are not found in seas, floating on it (or in it?),
but, ah,
his wife’s a humanitarian
and the market doesn’t moralise.

It keeps everything on time in
its ever-shortening delivery cycles.

It’s not easy to avoid sentimentality about this place;
this panorama’s a freightload, haze-melting cerulean…

Nevsky Prospect may have its slight gradations of names
for snows and greys
but, here, this, it really,
really does take some by the throat—

the Latin East pivoting fast and slow,
two-track, eight-track, 1974
a lodestar with at least three sides,
and a face towards the light from the east.

Let’s be direct here. Things go on but they don’t,
in cyclical memories of violence,
in its overwhelming linear memories, too.

They remember and the island
turns over new leaves.


Banner graphic source: a photo (cropped), dated 27 July 2014, by Alex 'Florstein' Fedorov, showing the Singer Company House (Book House) at Nevsky Avenue in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Used here under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

See also: [NERObooks homepage] [tag:poetry] [tag:originals]

© 2016-present the editors and authors. Questions?