Bad boys. After Chekhov

Masterstroke, is Yegor Vlasych. His rouble makes

a dead weight of his wife’s hand, an artichoke heart

lost in a sea of rye, spectral sceptre. Even the road is

violent; a belt of something straight. What would a

city girl have said? It’s a swift kick to the roublebag

you need Yegor Vlasych. Let our heroes run off the

page, and see today’s news. He gambled his mother’s

house to the ground, almost died by angry neighbours’

scythes. Packed off to Luton, Brantwood

Road. Boy racing up by Barton Hills. He

burns rye, bridges; moves to West Dublin. Pelageya is

here, espaliered, a wallflower. Ghosts of the old country

lacerate her cheeks in straw-whipped vodka soaked disco

Friday hair. They’re out; a hustle of greyhounds behind

glass. Deadbeat hearts mill about beneath shouts, slogans.

Cocaine coursing through his chambers, Yegor’s bricolage

heart recognises an artichoke, would shred it. She has no

balustrade, her friends are in the toilet. Vulpine, free, an

indirigible whose rubble she’ll trip over. Strictly scythe

tongued, he hunts for any cuttable palm.

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