by Yash Seyedbagheri
waltzing through my mind, Tchaikovsky welcomes me to bowler hats and beards pianos clinking with cascades while winter whispers over white columns carriage wheels clickety-clack over nasal cadences, Twitter, and YouTube invective my mind is vast space my mind is St. Petersburg of graceful gaits and long gowns long live the Romanovs in uniforms pogroms and dead peasants of old conveniently whitewashed mind a canvas of piano notes I could waltz through 1875, 1882, 1892 why can’t Tchaikovsky be on perpetual replay waltz with me faster, Tchaikovsky there’s a volley of nasal voices and fires firing into my mind like so-called very fine neo-Confederates one pause to refresh is fatal more Romanovs, please.
This poem was written in response to listening to Tchaikovsky’s masterpieces, in particular “December,” from The Seasons. I sought to explore how music serves as both a respite from the painful present, but also offers pitfalls in allowing the mind to idealize an equally dark past. The poem is juxtaposed against the present political turmoil in the United States, further highlighting our instinctive needs for respite and to reimagine the past.
Yash Seyedbagheri is a graduate of Colorado State University’s MFA program in fiction. His story, “Soon,” was nominated for a Pushcart. Yash has also had work nominated for Best of the Net and The Best Small Fictions. A native of Idaho, Yash’s work is forthcoming or has been published in WestWard Quarterly, Café Lit, and Ariel Chart, among others.