People with hopelessly outdated professions

People with hopelessly outdated professions
raise their eyes, once full of tears
down Tverskoy a procession of processions
of poets being taken seriously

they stop in at taverns, stores, and banks
at Ecco Shoes and the bookstore Moskva
and for their sonnets, tankas, and rondeaux
are given new kicks, refreshments, and grub

everyone’s happy, but the gays complain:
why can they parade, but we’re forbidden?
we allow it because they’re going for good
today’s the day of their valediction

they gather joyously at Lobnoye Mesto 
the most serious of the scribblers takes the stage
a local ventriloquist backs him up
singing along with her labia:

we’ve filled the cracks, every lacuna 
we’ve pressed and ironed everything
we’ve knocked down every single goalpost
no place left to stretch a string

you see, we send them off this way every year 
it’s quiet for a while, but it doesn’t last
so this time by the ring road we’ve built a scaffold
the mayor’s promises—more bombast 

yes, as long as there are children with sophist parents
as long as the rich aren’t barred from fucking
these people will find an audience, 
and so this black day will come again

some dance, some sing, some attitudinize
some yell, “What is this? Poetry, or butt?” 
and on Tverskoy people trade their poems
for heaps of useless or useful stuff