Russell Shorto

I’ll Do Whatever You Say Then Turn Bitter

Hellofa start to a fineday rainslant

And I dont give prizes to winners but stay alone off

To the side abiding mice and tundras never

Mind what the surprise of a peek

Of sun can do for sudden skipping fever and never

Were organ grinders pet concerns catered

To under the old system but we survived

And got strong as thunder against every bet

They laid on the table and believe me

They did

Sureyourway is best there's no contest

I don't stand on legs only break

What passes for fever and sweat allbymy

Self because jeez guess what

This was rigged from the beginning

Who knew that besides everyoneinvolved

Don't give me you told me so I am theone

Who insisted on grand lines like Hamlets

And such dear Ophelia you know just

About everybloody thing and that makes

Two of us who live in caves poked by

Fingers in the sides of craniums temple

Hermits holed up for pentecostalcatastrophe

The sun grows on youyou like to say which

Is a patented lie we all forgive inorder

To maintain what this thing was whatever

We forgot to call it and don't elaborate today

Because it's almost somebody's birth

Day god forbid the applecartcrashes leaving

Survivors who can be honest about

Something in black and white which

Embarrasses really both of us and leaves

No strong smell or stain but can't blanket

This kind of night because it is simply and finally

Too dark


About the Author

  I was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. I have three children (Anna, Eva and Anthony) and three step-children (Reinier, Hector and Benjamin).  I write books of narrative history; I believe history is most meaningful to us when it manifests itself through individuals in conflict. My books have been published in fourteen languages and have won numerous awards.  I am senior scholar at the New Netherland Institute and a contributing writer at the New York Times Magazine. My interests include the past, the present and the future, not necessarily in that order.  

photo by Keke Keukelaar