04 June 2008

Three Days in Petersburg in Thirteen Haikus and One Photo

Planning my parents’ trip…

"When will it be warm
in Russia?" they asked. "For sure
by June it will be."


When I asked the cabbie where the money for restoration comes from…

"Of course it’s pretty!
Where a profit’s to be made
it all gets fixed nice."

A different cabbie on Armenians, after learning my parents are from California…

"When Armenians
were born, the Jews cried," joked the
Abkhazian man.

How the cafe at Pushkin’s Apartment-Museum convinced my parents that Russians are really nice people…

Бармэнша was late
to work, so the groundskeeper
made чай с лимоном.

Taking the parents out for a night on the town…


Mom’s first ballet was
at the theater that Dad
still calls the Kirov.

Resting with the parents at the Peter and Paul Fortress…


Romanovs lay dead
while shameless teens grope and grind
on benches outside.

"Anglo Tourismo" Boat Tours

Your name annoyed me
but not nearly as much as
your getting facts wrong.

On why I didn’t look at stuff at the StP Archive of Orientalists…


You could be a king,
she said, but absent that letter,
you won’t get in here.

The joys of language…

In the cab, Mom asks
“What does ‘cee-tee-oh-en’ spell?”
“Stop,” I tell her. “Why?”

Just because one word will comprise the middle line…


In your store I sought
востоковедение.
You said, «У нас нет.»

And even after looking in five bookshops in Piter…


Wanted Факультет
ненужных вещей
but I
could not find it here.

Adventures in eating #1: Mekong Restaurant


Vietnamese joints
that offer Swedish buffets
should always be skipped.

Adventures in eating #2: Stolle


Rabbit and mushroom
pies sold out so I ate the
whortleberry ones.

5 comments:

kg said...

Man, you really got this art-form down :). What's Факультет
ненужных вещей? It sounds like a Borges short story.

BusterPh.D.Candidate said...

Yepper, basically I am aiming to do for the haiku what Andre the Giant did for the rhyming couplet in *Princess Bride*.

*Faculty of Useless Knowledge* (the English translation) is a Yuri Dombrovskii novel that came to my attention as a friend of a friend is writing about him. Then I was reading Novaya Gazeta last week (dirty Western liberal that I am?) and was reminded that I've been meaning to track down the book, since I am incapable of reading novels on the internets.

Some links:
http://lib.ru/PROZA/DOMBROWSKIJ/faculty.txt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yuri_Dombrovsky
http://www.novayagazeta.ru/data/2008/36/24.html
http://www.novayagazeta.ru/data/2008/36/25.html

Lyndon said...

Amazing haikus. Afftar, peshi ischo!

Joe said...

Moscowthroughbrowneyes
haikus and hate crimes updates
make lurking worthwhile

BusterPh.D.Candidate said...

Is that the Joe I know
Or some other schmo?