Tuesday, June 28, 2005

St. Pete's

Just catching up here before heading to the Stray Dog and then home to the gostinitza (hotel) which used to be an old dorm for the the technological college of the railroad (iron road.) I went to a reading tonight of Kharms in translation. Eugene read mostly (was very good, dramatic) and then he let Matvei step in. He was good too, but i had a coughing fit in the middle and had to leave. Then I went to a place much like the Bowery called Platform run by a guy named Chicken-little, or anyway a derivative of Chicken, so that was funny. The people i went there with left for Moscow on the overnight train, inviting me to some New Zealander poetry reading there, but I had to turn them down (for better or worse. One of these guys, Sasha, admitted to translating some of it into Russian without understanding it at all.) Now I'm on my own again having been too impatient for the rest of the crew to arrive, and maybe they never would have. They were having dinnerand dinner is a slow affair here, but as I already ate at the Grand Hotel Europe with my family (mostly Charles's doing) a Russian Hamburger, salmon lox between two blini--a blini burger, I was all set. On my way here I saw many interesting things, a mass of humanity lying in the middle of a side street proclaiming freedom--two men:one in a sailor's hat, one in a bashlik with a soviet star, watching them amused. And then I saw a girl, distressed, crossing the street with one of her very skimpy (rather lingerie like) tanktop straps broken, holding it up, then giving up on holding it up. Then I ran into a 19 year old girl in indigo smoking cigarettes and looking intensely and staring at the water in front of the church of spilled blood so I spoke with her for awhile. Another friend had adamently mentioned that he believe the Russian people were intrinsically communist and I asked her about that and she had been staying in one of those Soviet Style apartments, with one communal kitchen per floor, and she seemed to think that was a pain, but they used it anyway of course.

Sarcasm, Irony, I know not these words. I am on 100 grams of vodka (funny how they measure it this way here) and headed home. Each Vodka encounter is served up as a chemistry expirement in a beaker and test tubes. It is fun, but each outcome seems to give a conclusive conclusion.

xo to all you out there. Sorry for the delay in writing I'll be back on a regular schedule early July when I'm back in Tangier. Wish me luck in the motherland. The mushrooms won't be out yet, but there will be smoked fish to eat and nostalgic buildings to picture.


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