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Poetry of Issue #8        Page 58

Festival Coronation

gilt crowns assume their place on bearlike regal head,
tubas and pomp, hollow and grand, and
bassoons accentuating ritual,
demanding fealty brass instruments
drown peasants, trying to hold onto a potato
Jews huddled, wondering, why us, when is the next pogrom?
but everyone listens to the tuba, bearded man on the throne
watching with suspicion

make Imperial Russia Orthodox again
only Russian will be spoken, his bear voice proclaims
anyone who speaks Ukrainian or anything else
subversive. We want all things Russian,
proclaims bear
father of his people
anointed by God, just as God gave him permission to

starve peasants, while proclaiming fealty to them,
call Jews Christ-killers, looking the other way
as his son will, another regal parasite
yes, they beat up Jews, but they were true patriots,
they argue. devoted to tsar and God
priests and rampaging royalists and peasants
lines drawn in the tundra
real people love him. dissent is

faux news, lese majeste.
lock them up. lock them up,
better yet, five years in Siberia
after all, locking people up is the only answer
freeze free thought from their minds
but on this holy day, the tubas and bassoons roar
with coronation glory
the prisoners in Siberia freeze
Jews wonder when some other asshole will get the

blame for Christ and revolutionary sentiment.
but the tsar insists. they just have to have the tubas and bassoons
and the crowns and robes. order is alive, peasants starve for
their own good. subversives bleed
the tsar gets crowned
goes fishing while Jews and workers bleed
people who proclaim obsequiousness rewarded
God save the tsar

God save humanity

rot in hell, bearded tsars

  Yash Seyedbagheri