D is for dynasty, enlightened despots in fluted collars
waving white kerchiefs from a balcony, sacrificial
ablutions performed by Alyosha Karamazov,
sainthood and its double, demonology,
inscribed in Dostoevskian tomes. D:
the drunken hour, Rumi at the wheel,
all catafalque and remonstrance (“Out beyond ideas
of wrongdoing and rightdoing there is a field. I'll meet
you there”
). Dawning of diurnal rounds,
dastardly elements in the periodic table
(dubnium) essential to life yet not naturally
occurring on earth. D is the decision
we make to love the dustbowl that is
the stalled engine of the duct tear,
which, if active, would water,
with delphiniums, mes devoirs:
to etch the names (effaced)
on the graves of Lord Regents
thrown from windows during
the defenestration of Prague.


Virginia Konchan

Daniel HerrBreakfast of NGO's (oil on canvas)

Artist's Commentary:

This poem reminded me of the fascination and despair of traveling to Southeast Asia. Here you think you are struggling, and you walk into a place where people not only have it much worse but are living with recent memories of war and genocide. But things progress. Nobody wants to talk about the past. The countryside is beautiful, the rivers are full of plastic. Illiteracy is commonplace, everybody has a cell phone. Capitalism marches forward. No one can say no to the Dynasty.