A Paean to Nobody

“Tolstoy?”

“Privyet, proto-comrade.”

“Got a minute?”

“For you, I’ve got two.”

“Indebted to you. Can you tell me, in that case, how to write a poem around a single, memorable, line from a Smiths song?”

“Come again, comrade?”

I am the sun and air, of nothing in particular.”

“What is that pretentious crap?”

“It’s an allusion to, like, the sun and the air being, like, nothing…in particular.”

“But they are something. In fact, they are everything, for without them you would not be here asking me these pointless questions.”

“It’s just that I’m emotionally repressed. I’ve got unresolved issues stemming from a one-time thing that didn’t quite go my way. I fell hard, right, and I want to say something dark and brooding about the way it left pustules of resentment all over my soul. You know? The anger should be directed at me, but I’m too narcissistic to do that to myself.”

“Your two minutes are up. Do-svidaniya.”

“Be like that. Who needs a dead writer to speak for their feelings, anyhoo?”

20 minutes later……

I am a volcano about to go dormant.

I am the sun and air of nothing in particular. I am prisoner in your niggardly arms, hostage to your nether beating pulse. 

You sap the life from me when it suits you and when it doesn’t you sap the lifeblood from me all the same. 

You are a ghost that doesn’t deserve my afterlife, a memory that bullied your way in. You whine through the ventricles of my heart, groan in the pit of my stomach. 

You are the moon and water, of nothing in particular, dead light and choking waves. 

Take that, Tolstoy, and lodge it where the sun don’t shine. In your cold Tsarist heart, for instance.

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