A Novel, Nonetheless

A Novel, Nonetheless

Outside his Moscow window,
night had fallen, dark and black,
as it had done on previous occasions,
so many times, he had quite lost track,
causing pavement pedestrians and carriages
to make their way by unsteady lamp light,
little helped by cloud hidden moon and stars.
Yes, life went on, inevitable
as the toll of births, deaths and marriages.
Dimitri sat alone,
there being no one else in the room,
in his high backed chair,
glared at his empty Vodka glass,
owl eyed the length and frost white of his beard
that fell from his chin to his chest.
Would be the envy of an Orthodox priest, he thought,
as he lit candles in the gloom.
Ah, but the years of youth
that had come to swiftly pass.
Lovely young Lizaveta, he membered,
the way she lent over the samovar
that kept the water for tea, hot and steamy,
and the way her eyes beamed like blue lamps
on that sleigh ride many winters gone
when life was long and dreamy.
No, it was good.
He could not write a Russian novel.
For one thing, he was not Russian
but English as Shakespeare and roast beef,
and his soul could not rouse an epic tempest,
only a breath to blow a leaf.
So he knew he never really should.
Ah, but it would be good
to be part of that grand tradition.
He loved those works, if only in translation.
Maybe Franz Kafka held the key.
An existential tale of a man
perplexed by the age of belief in nothing
with no true route to be free.
Or maybe an English novel,
a Thomas Hardy rural romance
that could only end in tragedy.
Certainly, he was drawn to science fiction,
the far off horns of fantasy.
But no, a realistic novel it would have to be,
rooted in the twenty first century,
not in the past, about peasants and gentry.
Maybe it’s all been done. No, not so.
Otherwise they would have stopped writing
after The Iliad and The Odyssey,
put down pens, long ago.
What he would write, he could not guess,
but it would be a novel, nonetheless.


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