(for Dylan Thomas)

Don't go quiet into that bar tonight,
O poet, rebel, demon, you should know
That in that trendy place with strobe lights
You'll be a clown in a circus show
Of phony idiots--Now go, friend,
But if you go there, scream and curse
This generation with your frenzied verse,
Weep, laugh and shout till the very end.

Let beer flow, let the vacant smiles
Amuse your fancy like a big parade--
Don't go stumbling in a drunken state
But go unrestrained and infantile.
Where all the fellows brag upon their stools,
And all the girls just giggle and pretend,
Just go in and howl like a wolf
And roar like a tiger till the end.

And you, my father, with your scholar's ways,
You worked so hard to win the world's respect,
I've learned from you how to be direct
And I, like you, have seen the light of day--
So bless me, curse me if I've gone astray.
But if the wise and reckless can agree,
Then I will never waver in my choice,
And I will always heed my inner voice,
For it's the only thing that makes us free.

                                                    March 31, 1996
                                                --Alexander Shaumyan