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Fall/Winter 2017



Robert Peake

READING DOSTOEVSKY IN THE JOHN LEWIS CAFÉ

    Welwyn Garden City 
The family before me has left a mess,
and so has Dimitry Fyodorovich--
shortbread crumbs ground into carpet;
blood stiffening his handkerchief.

The service is prompt and attentive
when you flash a hundred-rouble note,
or signal yourself as among the gentry
with a blazer and a public-school smirk.

The revolution has not yet come.
The existence of God remains debatable.
Young Fabians pamper their underdogs.
Teacups clink in fair-priced saucers.

A holy fool, a duel with pistols,
and Gemmas, Gemmas everywhere.
In the fitting rooms, the requirement
to give a strong but considered opinion.

Yes, yes, I am all finished here.
Yes, yes, it was all quite nice.
It is only that I am dying, dear brother--
can't you tell by my untouched Assam?


Robert Peake grew up on the U.S.-Mexico border and now lives near London. He is currently working on a heroic crown of sonnets about the small English villages of Hertfordshire. Follow his antics at www.robertpeake.com.

 


 

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