From Barbarossa: The German Invasion of
the Soviet Union and the Siege of Leningrad
The first sign of arrival fills the air
when smoke appears, dark red, like iodine
poured into ethanol, a helix, thick
and turning. What the burning marks is time—
the seasons, warehouses of food consumed
Lady Gaga says she truly cares about all her Little Monsters
and if you don’t believe her that is just because you don’t know her.
They send her fan videos, tell her about the bullying
and the beatings
and she takes it all in. One night a bulimic approached me
at KGB Bar.
The drill instructor was not in a good mood. He had had a mi-
graine all weekend. The weather sucked. He hated sports and there
were going to be no pleasantries about the Yanks, the Mets, the
Knicks, the Nets, or any other team. He knew as I knew that every-
thing depended on one thing: the book. You went by the book. Fol-
low orders and stay out of trouble.
Land sakes is what we’re always exclaiming, because land is all we’re good for, all the sakes there are or ever will be. Each of us, fifty or so strong, has left a country crowded with kin or else lorded over, every inch of the land spoken for, down to the last hop of hare or squawk of fowl.