Shooting from the Hip #3 (Bolshevik Boogie)

Bolshevik Boogie and Soviet Swing;
nothin' else to it by the riverside that day.
Cheek to Cheek don't mean a thing
behind an iron curtain in a gypsy foray,
where medals are awarded
'for services to Polka', e'ryone talkin' jive,
bootheels shot from so much spinning.
We hadn't laughed so much since Grandma tried
to jump the wall or Uncle Alexei gossiped
he head off listening in for betting tips.

Notes on Breaking and Entering

You’d confiscated my key
so I climbed the drainpipe;
pulled pork, beets and brandy – I dined
well with the folk inside. With all that whisky
spilt down my shirt I couldn’t sit right.

I brought you wine and flowers;
your hound helped tear the trousers
from my legs. While he and I
were making friends, I found
myself chained to the radiator,
with a pair of silver bracelets

that match the drill sergeant’s
epaulettes – he was braced
against the wall, searching
for the alca-seltzer, pawing
through the kitchen drawers.

While a preacher at the faucet
claimed he was pouring holy water,
in the war room your butler
played checkers and a marching
band circled the dining table
breaking tea-cups and jesters
take the minutes of this farce.

All these itinerants were kept raving
by a the extenuations of an alleyway
medicine tradesman prescribing
alcohol for their sores. Offering
to waterboard me at no extra cost,
your lawyers billed the standard fee:
they’d smelt blood playing Double Dutch
underneath the hanging tree.

I wouldn’t’ve guessed I’d be
contested for your lionized
affections – I’d sooner be rid of you
than a pack of hungry dogs;
even with my dying cough I’d rather
roll between the stables,
with your vaudeville chicks painted
head-to-toe, bathed in laughter
and without their clothes.