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This poem is taken from PN Review 192, Volume 36 Number 4, March - April 2010.

Two Poems Rachel Mann

The Conclusions of Viktor Semyonovich Abakumov

In order not to spoil the Persian carpet in his office,
a dirty runner bespattered with blood was rolled out
before the unfortunate was brought in…


The worm knows itself only in its burrowing.
Observe it trapped on a pavement -
examine its squirming. Conduct your own
experiments should you require proof.

I am not, you see, an uncultured man.
I know well the beauty of things
which are completely themselves.

(A beauty the Persians have always grasped.)

Here on the banks of the Moskva
we are determined to explore
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