‘My gloom will not be illuminated.’
-from a Cherubina de Gabriak poem

in this house under a pear tree
I lay to rest the overheated verses of my youth
dying in exile for anthroposophical views
my threat distilled to these lines upon the page

wondering what unspoken secret carried me here

to the foothills of the West Tian Shan Mountains
Tashkent’s walls overwhelmed by the Lion Chernyayev
and a Russian Orthodox priest clutching his cross
to echo the destruction rained by Gengis Khan

I now know Voloshin’s prison of discovered places

Apollo, you ignited my star
gentle Voloshin brought the offering
playing the trickster to show the world its folly
crafting my identity to fan their imaginations

conflagration as readers melted with love

Gumilyov became obsessed with my creation
wrote intimate letters to my Silver Age image
more suitable for consumption, mirroring male need
my crippled body hobbled the aspirations of my mind

paeans and poetry, a lyre created for Apollon’s honor

Baroness Cherubina birthed and slain
Gabriak defeated in his impish protection
our ruse exposed through crude sexual aggression
Gumilyov’s love burnished to hate

insisting the duel be fought where Pushkin fell

you will not understand that Cherubina
has never been a game for me
Cherubina was my birth, but, alas, it was a stillbirth –
brine blood of my creative endeavor

I buried her in a child’s coffin at Delphi

mysterious and mystical woman
rich, cloistered, fictitious
within her lay the temptations of sin and my voice,
now cloaked as Li Xiang Zi through another’s invention –
to escape the duality, I must always be fluid

Tell me before the last, will my lands be ever conquered, all my treasures plundered?

* This poem is based in the historical duel between Nikolay Gumilyov and Maximilian Voloshin over the imaginary poet Cherubina de Gabriak (pen name of Elisaveta Dmitrieva)

Posted to Open Link Night at the best place for poetry and camaraderie on the web: http://dversepoets.com/2012/09/18/openlinknight-week-62/

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