Drunken Submarine


Valery Oisteanu

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 116 in 2008.

Deep in the underwater cave
A drunken submarine lies low
A dream angel swimming in the blue-light
A scuba-ninja with rubbery wings
Smuggles another Russian hit man
Against the wrath of the dark sea
To the far away Rockaway of the soul
To the Far Rockaway of the “gold rush”
To the place of lost and found things
In the jagged dunes, fishermen and fishing poles
An old sailor with a hangover sings a sad ballad,
Backwards in time and space, staring at the stars
Here at the edge of the unending continent
Far East Rockaway, very far away
And the mafia song of a don is wailing
As if an angel holds a gun to his white head
At the gates of Paradise, Saint Solonik stops him
Distorted history falsely recorded for arms merchants
Selective amnesia for super killers
Distressed grannies trying to commit suicide
Questioning why they ever came to America
In St. Petersburg shadows make the walls cry
Till they fade in the night,
Skulls are breeding
Russian Mafia raising its ugly face
Armies of drowned dogs and blind-sailors
Rain falls on the subway tracks,
While trains are rushing
From Far Rockaway of The Body and Mind
To the “lower insider” of “Bratva” in Loisaida.