by Andre Gerard

No Samarkand for me today.

No cranky camel-caravans, no soft silks.


Guided by the Oriental audacities


Énard’s eccentric Compass,

I ken,

Grim yet tender,

The Gothic pathologies of Gottfried Benn,

Dissected corpses and delicate flowers

Troublingly united.

Beyond those,

Thanks to Hoffman’s translation,


Plane curls,

Redolent of fir, pine and balsam,

Turned to coarse wood wool.

Through a word the world is remade.

Longfellow’s sentimental allegory

Takes on rough hues

Of carburettor filters and sanitary napkins

As well as serving as stuffing

For furniture and corpses.

No Samarkand for me today,

Only Excelsior,


And so much more!


About the Author

Andre Gerard (@PatremoirPress), editor and publisher of Fathers: A Literary Anthology, no longer earns a living as tutor and apartment manager in Vancouver. He now camps and ocean kayaks among eagles and otters on Salt Spring Island, but his primary residence remains To the Lighthouse.

Post Image

Detail from Jama sadikov: Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 2019 (CC).

Comments are closed.