A Variation On Isadora Gruye’s “Document of Discussion 7”, or It’s Not Frostbite Falls For You, Dear Boy

Well, of course he could fly, so he should be some gargantuan super mammal!

She says this with a laugh (which had heretofore alternated

Between genteel tittering and an almost coquettish chuckle)

Which borders upon outright chortling.

We are drinking at a hotel in this northernmost of Southern cities

Which is just upscale enough to have a bar,

All dark-wood paneling and deep green carpeting

Giving it the look of your aunt and uncle’s finished basement.

She is Soviet born, a child of the beetle-browed Breshnev’s era,

Growing up in the Bolshevized Sverdlovsk,

Her childhood home within walking distance of the building

Where the doomed, reluctant Tsar and his equally unfortunate retinue

Received the roughshod justice of the Ural Executive Committee.

She is spending a sabbatical semester at a nearby university,

And has spent the past few weeks meandering through the Midwest,

During which time she has developed a fondness

(Which she freely admits is bordering on mania)

For all things Americana: county fairs, the ubiquitous Elm and Maple Streets,

And, paradoxically, old episodes of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

For the past twenty minutes or so, she has held forth on Jay Ward’s creations,

How he tweaked those on both sides of the Iron Curtain,

And the impossible physical dimensions of all involved,

Be it the compact Boris, Amazonian Natasha, or the title squirrel himself.

Rocky must have been three, perhaps four feet tall,

She all but guffaws, Why, that would make him a creation of the secret labs

The KGB maintained-think of it, world domination through tree dwellers!

She has, in the course of her monologue, inched ever closer to my bar stool,

So much so that her knee is, just perceptibly, touching the outside of my thigh,

My body language apparently registering some surprise mixed with reticence

(I have been in this city several weeks on business,

And have acquired nothing more than a marked distaste

For its cinnamon-and-spaghetti adorned chili),

And her voice returns to its previous playful softness.

You have nothing to fear from me, Comrade, she all but purrs,

After all, I am a close confidante of moose and squirrel.





6 thoughts on “A Variation On Isadora Gruye’s “Document of Discussion 7”, or It’s Not Frostbite Falls For You, Dear Boy

  1. Big fan of Rocky and Bullwinkle. Went back and looked at Gruye’s poem. She definitely got the Russian attitude / fatalism right (few of the regular people called themelves “Soviets.” I like that your’s is whimsical while paying respectful homage to the original.
    Nice work,

  2. I love this parenthetical: “(which had heretofore alternated Between genteel tittering and an almost coquettish chuckle)”

    And also this one: “(Which she freely admits is bordering on mania)”

  3. I do not know the original poem you refer to, but I enjoyed your poem and its delightful web of character, history, flirtation, and new thoughts about Rocky and Bullwinkle and its cold war Russia stereotypes. I laughed at the enticing question you leave us with at the end: Will he trust her?

  4. oh Kortas…..how well you did here. I will trade you my original poem and my step mother for your cleverness. I am in fact honored (strike that, very honored) that anything I wrote inspired something like this. I fucking love this poem, and am also afraid that admitting that makes me some sort of megalomanic. You developed such a rich tapestry and back and forth between the narrator and the visiting soviet. And then also: cut to Rocky and Bullwinkle, of course! I bow to you, sir. viva la

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