Let Us Anticipate                                                                  by Eileen R. Tabios

What is an oligarch without ostentation? For many Russian elites, the answer is apparently “nothing.” The sanctions threaten oligarchs with a kind of annihilation, similar to the phenomenon that sociologists describe as “social death.” That is why Russian elites were so quick to gather up their expensive toys as soon as sanctions were announced, and why several have taken the extraordinary step of publicly begging Putin for a quick end to the war.

—from “The Russian Elite Can’t Stand the Sanctions” by Brooke Harrington, The Atlantic, March 5, 2002
the impending crisis
for mistresses in London
as marble townhomes
become confiscated
as credit card limits
eliminate infinity
No more shopping
in Hashtag Milano
No more partying
in Hashtag SaintTropez
No more diamonds
in Hashtag Antwerp
“The need to see and be seen 
is a fundamental driver 
of human affairs. Oligarchs need 
not just to be but be seen
as filthy rich, a need that rises
with economic wealth.” Yachts 
to luxury purses to soccer
franchises seen through social 
media now help investigators
freeze assets for sanctions
Let us not forget—let us
anticipate!—bringing forth
those violins smaller
than raised thumbs
with their music rousing
the surgically plastered
to take off red-heeled shoes
and aim at ducking oligarchs
Note: References to hashtagged references and the designated quote are from “The Russian Elite Can’t Stand the Sanctions” by Brooke Harrington, The Atlantic, March 5, 2002 

Eileen R. Tabios  has released over 60 collections of poetry, fiction, essays, and experimental biographies from publishers in ten countries and cyberspace. Her award-winning body of work includes invention of the hay(na)ku poetic form as well as a first poetry book, Beyond Life Sentences (1998), which received the Philippines’ National Book Award. Publications include the long-form novel DoveLion: A Fairy Tale for Our Times

Guest editor Denise Low, MFA & Ph.D., was Kansas Poet Laureate 2007-09. She won the Red Mountain Press Editor’s Award for Shadow Light. Other books are Wing (Red Mountain), Casino Bestiary (Spartan), and The Turtle’s Beating Heart: One Family’s Story of Lenape Survival (U. of Nebraska Press), a Hefner Heitz Award finalist. At Haskell Indian Nations University she founded the creative writing program. She is a contributing editor to Essay Daily’s Midwessay project. She lives in California’s Sonoma County on Tsuno Mountain, homeland of Pomo people. www.deniselow.net


2 thoughts on “Let Us Anticipate                                                                  by Eileen R. Tabios

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