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Poems By David Thornbrugh


The Great Russian Novel

The Great Russian Novel
envies cookbooks and sex manuals,
the way they hog best seller lists
and fly off book store shelves.
The Great Russian Novel
would like to smoke less
but can’t think of any way
to lay out plots involving
seduction of countesses by hussars
and duels at dawn in the outskirts
of a birch forest, except over cigars
and brandy after dinner.
The Great Russian Novel
gets migraines when squeezed
into the corset of a made-for-TV movie,
prefers death by close-range
cannon fire than being illustrated and
served up as comic book panels
for existential illiterates.
The Great Russian Novel is happy
now that Leningrad is again
Saint Petersburg but can see no way
to include Big Macs in a traditional
eight-course midnight supper.
The Great Russian Novel is happy
to be on the internet but blushes
at being three clicks from Live Girls
hot to engulf cannon loads
of gypsy spunk.
The Great Russian Novel lies awake
nights listening for the howl of wolves
over snow glittering with moon-
light but hears only the electronic growl
of digital bears.

First Day Of School

The first day of school never ends.
Your mother’s taste in shirts
grips as stiff as a fresh dog bite.
You will always be too young
to understand Nietsche’s law
of eternal recurrence,
but you know your mother’s cheeks
will always be wet.
The street you’re stuck on
is the widest river in the world.
Somewhere over there on its
invisible bank is school,
fresh continent of confusion.

Playing Hopscotch With The Contortionist

I believe in god
like a blind man
in a snow storm
exposes his ears
to shattering howl.
Night hammers
the soul’s black anvil,
but the prayerful horses
are dead in their stalls,
victims of poison grain.
In California,
lemons dangle
like dainty suns
but here the snow
is up to my knees.
Muffled barking
from far off,
shouts of would-be rescuers
snatched by the wind.
All the salt in the ocean
couldn’t cure
these beliefs
into lasting

David Thornbrugh is an American poet currently living in Krakow, Poland. Recent publications include Hidden Oak Poetry Journal, Freefall, Prism Quarterly and Slant, a Journal of Poetry.



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