Progress

Like mad Russian poets

we converse with the moon

 

when we're drunk and forget

every word when we're sober

 

Years and years and years of prose

and the ecstatic response

 

so brief, yet it's almost enough.

Success is therefore inadequate:

 

Modernity's a businessman

tortured by its crazy Russian soul

 

Is there enough vodka left

in all of Siberia

 

to change us into Pushkins for a second?

Once poets could get drunk on water

 

Even some businessmen listened.

Progress: drugged, we need drugs

 

to rise above our prose hometowns,

find even for a moment that

 

which turns our steeples upside down

as we dance light-to-light with the moon.

 

Thomas Dorsett