Poetry

The Russians Are Hacking My Poems!

1.
Da! It’s true!
Every time I come upon
some clever turn-of-phrase,
they’re in my brain,
they’re at my screen—
hacking, hacking, hacking!

Every metaphor I write
they claim is Dostoyevsky’s!
Every simile is Tolstoy’s!
Every irony—you guessed it!
Chekhov’s!

They turn my language inside-out.
I write moon-June love poems,
and they turn them into treatises
on Revolutionary Aesthetics!

I complain to the Democratic National Committee.
I complain to Debbie Wasserman Schultz!
Surely, she knows about “hacking”!
Surely, she will help me!

“Surely, you know,” she informs me,
“the election is over!
Get lost!”

Nyet!” I cry from my dog-sled.
They are my life’s blood!
The best of me!

Das-vidaniya,” cries Debbie.
“Toodaloo!”

2.
I wander the streets of Moscow,
Maine….
It’s cold! I’m wearing
Gogol’s overcoat.
I’m bound to get in trouble!

Some Siberian serf will mistake me
for Ivan the Terrible!

If our own thoughts betray us,
if we can’t be sure they’re ours,
how shall we take our bearings
when the bear comes with his claws?

3.
I get a call from Vladimir Putin!
He’s worried about my ass-
onance!

He says my con-
sonance is fine,
but my ass-
onance is worrisome!

I tell him I’ve never had complaints
about my ass-
onance before!

He says I’ll get Blitzkrieged!
He says I’ll get blacklisted!
WaPo may condemn me!
(With Dalton Trumbo and the rest!)

I tell him it would be an honor!
He guffaws and guffaws!

4.
Spasibo! I cry, I have seen the light!
I was dialectically wrong!
What I thought was mine was really ours!

What did Cervantes say?
Translation is the tapestry’s backside!
The ass of all our thoughts!

I have written my sweetest lover:
“Come, let us hack together!
Mutual bliss awaiting,
we’ll make a New New World
Order!”

5.
Fathers and Sons—forgive me!
I have wakened from my stupor.
(Vodka-induced, I assure you!)

How can we fashion a New New World Order
when we’re walking the plank of language–
lost in gradations of meanings?
Bobbing in ambivalence….

6.
Erratic?
Why must you call me erratic?

Isn’t it the whirring moonbeams?
Isn’t it the whirring drones?

“Fake news” defines my nemesis!
“Post-truth”—Armageddon!

7.
Who’s not hacking whom?
Every interaction, touch,
each kiss
is something like a hack.

A wink and a nod, and we’re hacked!

Mellifluous…and wrong….
Our imperceptions imbricate.
Our imperceptions nod.

8.
“What is truth?” asked Pontius,
washing his ritual hands.

In virtual reality,
we wash our ritual hands.

Gary Corseri has published and posted his work at hundreds of periodicals and websites worldwide. His dramas have been presented on PBS-Atlanta, and he has performed his poems at the Carter Presidential Library. He has published two novels, two collections of poetry, and a literary anthology (edited). He has taught in US public schools and prisons, and in US and Japanese universities. Contact: gary_corseri [at] comcast.net.