by Andre Gerard
No Samarkand for me today.
No cranky camel-caravans, no soft silks.
Guided by the Oriental audacities
Énard’s eccentric Compass,
Grim yet tender,
The Gothic pathologies of Gottfried Benn,
Dissected corpses and delicate flowers
Thanks to Hoffman’s translation,
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,
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.
Detail from Jama sadikov: Shah-i-Zinda, Samarkand, Uzbekistan, 2019 (CC).