Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Two poems from Eugene Ostashevsky

Now the Lord said to DJ Spinoza

Now the Lord said to DJ Spinoza,
Get out of your country!

And DJ Spinoza said to the Lord,
What country are you talking about, Lord?

And the Lord said to DJ Spinoza,
Good start, good start, for I shall make you lost among nations.

And DJ Spinoza said to the Lord,
Make me lost among nations, Lord, for I am already lost among myself.

And the Lord said to DJ Spinoza,
Why do you bring up personal problems? Hire a therapist—you who made the schools ring with Sic probo!

And DJ Spinoza said to the Lord,
Lord, is not the set of things in your apprehension infinite?

And the Lord said to DJ Spinoza,
All things are one thing but the irrationals are something else. Haven’t you heard of the diagonal proof?

And DJ Spinoza said to the Lord,
So there is another God above you?

And the Lord said to DJ Spinoza,
Read my lips: get out of your country!

And DJ Spinoza said to the Lord,
But surely just the fact that you’re talking in language means you admit of emotions.

And the Lord said to DJ Spinoza,
Do you want to be numbered on the tip of my boot?

And DJ Spinoza made himself scarce. He lived among the deaf and became as one blind. He lived among the blind and became as one deaf. He saw never the sea. He awoke in a room with four walls.

The room moved. He heard the voice of a child but what it said he ignored. He awoke from awaking. He was aged, wrinkled, hairless, toothless. He remembered nothing of what had happened to him.

DJ Spinoza Does Not Fight the Begriffon

Said DJ Spinoza to his friend MC Squared:
Let us go slay the Begriffon!
Frightful is the Begriffon and sharp are his claws,
He disobeys rules and cares nothing for laws,
He is full of effects but do they have a cause?
Let us go slay the Begriffon!
Said MC Squared to his friend DJ Spinoza:
Why should we add to the misery of the world?
Even the wicked have feelings!
They shout and they quarrel
Cause they’re anal and oral,
Problems make them immoral—
They’re wicked because they have feelings!
DJ Spinoza:
Well, what do you want to do then?
Do you want to watch TV? No!
Do you want to play cards? No!
Do you want to go get a beer? “I’m sick of beer, it’s so fattening!”
Let us go slay the Begriffon!
MC Squared:
Are you always so restless because you’re reckless
Or are you so reckless because you are restless?
Can’t you even for a moment
Think of how it’ll make you feel in the morning?
Tell me you won’t be a) whining; b) kvetching; c) moaning!
And besides—even the wicked have feelings!
So the two friends went off to slay the Begriffon. But when they were halfway to the House of Mostly Unlike, DJ Spinoza realized he forgot his sword at home—and you can’t slay the Begriffon with no sword! They had to return for the sword but by the time they did, it was already too late to do anything. They put slaying the Begriffon off for tomorrow and went to sleep extremely content with themselves.
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From the chapbook "DJ Spinoza's Dozen" by Octopus Books and forthcoming in The Life and Opinions of DJ Spinoza by Ugly Duckling Presse.
Born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but raised in New York City, Ostashevsky is a poet, scholar and reckless metaphysician. His books of poetry include Iterature and Infinite Recursor Or The Bride of DJ Spinoza, both available through Ugly Duckling Presse. He is also the editor and main translator of OBERIU: An Anthology of Russian Absurdism published by Northwestern University Press, and containing Russia underground literature of the 1930s. He teaches at NYU.
You can find Ostashevsky reading his work online at Fishouse and at Berkeley.

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