My work day woke to Monk,
the click of typing keys,
clock watched, Spotify playing,
random thoughts rose like bees
to freeze in these jagged lines,
then swarm in threatening flight.
Hours of data entry later,
on a stool, in a bar, a clock's
hands tock, I flick a wrist,
and slur my words concluding
an anguished monologue,
“They call it work, you know.”
Awash at home, in the strobe of
pixelated panel light,
visions surge and dissipate
with the pulse of the night. Osip,
were you tempered to embrace
attention’s fugitive caress?
You etched memory’s texture
with candle soot for ink,
and the gulag’s blackened gaze -
I type lines by hunt and peck
humming Monk’s WELL YOU NEEDN’T,
hoping for an adequate phrase.
Copyright © 2004 Gary Brocks
Osip Mandelstam was a Russian poet and essayist. He a leading member of the Acmeist school of poets. He was arrested by Joseph Stalin's government in 1934, and sent into internal exile. After a reprieve, he was rearrested and sent to a camp in Siberia in 1938, where he died that year.
— From Wikipedia: "Acmeist poetry"
The Acmeists strove for compactness of form and clarity of expression; they preferred "direct expression through images", in contrast to the Russian symbolist poets who strove for "intimations through symbols"
Osip Mandelstam defined the movement as "a yearning for world culture", and as a "neo-classical form of modernism", which essentialized "poetic craft and cultural continuity".
Each major acmeist poet, interpreted acmeism in a different stylistic light, for example from intimate poems on topics of love and relationships to narrative verse.
— From Wikipedia: "Osip Mandelstam"