Fiction   Essays   Poetry  The Ten On Baseball Chapbooks In Memory

Alex Galper

On the Death of Chef Louise
Suicided by Culinary Critics.

surely, life is nothing like diet sugar,
I know -- you fought to the bitter end,
pouring shrimp sauce over frog's legs,
cutting onions with tears in your eyes.
those thugs took away two stars off your rating
putting a knife two times into your heart would be less painful,
and you couldn't take it anymore.

between you and me --
who really gives a damn about Chechnya , Iraq or North Korea ?
we donít even know where these countries are.
there are real tragedies taking place --
a kitchen boy, an idiot, pours too much salt into a soup
or a moron-waiter puts wrong forks on the table.
alas, one has to learn to see the bright side also --
like "to-die-for" smoking steaks a-la-Marsel
or "to-kill-for" raspberry ice-cream "Long Live Burgundy!"
your nerves, weakened by cholesterol
and endless love for pig pork failed you.

in your will, you founded an award
for the best chicken soup,
in the suicide note, you asked
to be buried in a white hat, apron,
and a shiny, shiny pot.

Daring Winter Escape

that December,
rocking in a chair
and reading Rumi,
I ceased to reflect in a mirror.
you broke into tears:
"how can I trust you ever again?"

in January,
I began to levitate
by the chandelier
reading Hayam.
it made you nervous.
you learned to
throw the rope like a cowboy,
pulling me back into bed.

and in February,
I went into spontaneous combustion,
but you, ready for contingencies,
slept with a fire-extinguisher
and put the flames out,
destroying my plan
of daring escape
to the twelfth century Persia.

©2007 by Alex Galper

Being brought to America at the age of nineteen left Alex Galper no choice. He had to keep on writing poetry in the only language that he knew -- Russian, and hope that it would be recognized in his homeland. Seventeen years later, the English translations of his poems have been published in over thirty magazines in the US and the UK, whereas in Russia, he is considered too marginal, extreme, and "too-American" to publish. For more information see his Web site.

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