Apple of Discord

In the angelic hair of innocence
and the mush-filled minds of normalcy,
in the phony handshakes of politeness
and the muddy waters of indifference
I threw my poem like a monkey wrench--
yes, threw it out there and that's all it took--
all the innocence somehow disappeared,
and all the minds went crazy again,
arguing about something,
like how much testosterone it takes
to turn an angel into a monster,
arguing about the good old days
and never really agreeing as to what
was really good about them--
for, after all, grandpa, would
chase them all with the shotgun
if they ever tried to lay a hand on
any of his money, and grandma
was a real witch, who never liked anyone,
drinking booze like no tomorrow,
and the handshakes turned to fists
and bloody noses,
the indifference turned to laying blame
and curses and insults,
as I observed it all,
knowing damn well that my poem
had something to do with it,
for these were always such
very good friends,
and I smiled and said:
"Ain't life peachy, folks!"
quickly walking away, while they
shouted: "We are going to get you,
you goddamn Russian bastard!",
'cause it was I who ruined
their paradise of ignorance--
but then one of them remembered
that it was not me who fucked
his girlfriend, but his best pal Jim,
and they were back at one another's

                             July 17, 2002
                          --Alexander Shaumyan