11 Jul 2005

Tchaikovsky's Russia

folk themes dance through brass-heavy symphonies
in Tchaikovsky's Russia
written by the people
but you can't hear the people in fateful marching melodies
music stripped of peasantry, 1812 gallantry, romantic grandiosity

and Stalin just slapped a few thousand uzbeki mosquitoes dead
scratched an itch but he's feeling ill, doesn't trust his doctors
they're not looking after him, have it in for him and
what good's an army when your heart’s failing?

the problem with revolutions
is that they're run by revolutionaries
you can't detach the movement from its movers
egos and personalities
calloused hands
hitting all the right strings
and singing of the seven secrets
of highly effective sociopaths

you can only laugh
when the nazi punks rip off Robin Hood
-the rebels will soon take the capital-

and when the tide is turning, it's hardly the time
to purge your Clays, your pernicious poets
the bastards you need on your side when you're fighting a war
who'll sell you out for a book deal, turncoat turned over a new leaf
a gold leaf volume, leitmotif in the animal opera
gotten leather-bound serious, cow-slaughtering serious
imperial industrial inheritance, who'd pass up the chance?

and Stalin can't trust his doctors
they want to phase him out with arsenic

no, you can't sift out that power connoisseur
he knows how to overthrow the czar
chessmaster in the city square with manifestos to spare
will cattle-ize the masses, stealth in stirring grasses,
grassroots flash then back to the balcony
back to seeing the masses
as masses

must see them as an oblast mass
cause the game-counter’s ticking
and the world’s watching
with pawn in palm
what’s his move?

gotta be vigilant against
counter-revolutionary activity, cause god knows
when he’s finally won his revolution, the great contest
between the haves and the really-want-to-haves (and he wanted it more)
he wouldn’t want to harsh his buzz with anything counter
to the revolution

and when he got his great state off the ground
he found himself in a dogfight, hostile skies, surprise surprise
and his eyes were on the nuclear prize
and before long he was the first atom-splitting peasant on the block
and the big boys didn’t like that
so he showed the neighborhood he was no pushover peasant
he could oppress his own people just as well as the capitalist despot next door

he got to the top of the kremlin on the back of the brutes
the rabble's babble's his Babel, his fated to topple tower
cause he forgot the vernacular, the magic slang code
the government could never crack, the uncommon sense
to obstruct the tanks and tear down the wall
and choose the mafia over the politburo
well it’s something new

all walls fall
and the electrified fence
that gated the upper crust
is barbed rust

if we have to re-start the greed game from the ghetto, we will

Tchaikovsky couldn't take the heat, so he wrote the pathetique symphony
and checked out of the kitchen with a little cholera for lunch

Stalin got sick and died

and I can't follow the man with the gun
there's no room for me inside

1 comment:

netinous said...

Tchaikovsky's Russia is so much cooler just because saying "Tchaikovsky" is so much cooler than saying just about anything else, although it makes me want burritos.