from Deaf Republic: 3
Don’t forget this: Men who live in this time remember the price of each bottle of vodka. Sunlight on the canal outside the train-station. With the neighbor’s ladder, my brother Tony “Mosquito” and I climb the poplar in the public garden with one and a half bottles of vodka and we drink there all night. Sunlight on a young girl’s face, asleep on the church steps. Tony recites poems, forgets I cannot hear. I watch the sunlight in the rearview mirror of trolleys as they pass.
Don’t forget this. There sat in the poplar two brothers, the barber and podiatrist, in love with the same woman. They drank there and recited each poem they knew. Not a soul noticed: notasoul.
These poems are from the unfinished manuscript Deaf Republic. This story of a pregnant woman and her husband living during an epidemic of deafness and civil unrest was found beneath the floorboards in a house in Eastern Europe. Several versions of the manuscript exist.—IK