This one's drunk, he's passed out
Right on the couch, and that one shouts
Something familiar and obscene.
And that one digs the local scene.

This one's bald, that one's long-haired.
This one's throwing a chair
Into the darkness, while this one screams.
That one's bumming, and this one beams

With dazed eyes of someone tripping,
While our life is slipping, slipping
Through our fingers like a dream.
That one's bored and tired, it seems.

This one's speaking of damnation,
That one's promising salvation
To whoever will follow "Him,"
While this one follows his every whim,

Every kick, every desire,
This one's dead, that one's on fire,
This one's brilliant but insane,
And that one simply has no brain.

This one--here's a surprise--
This one won the Nobel Prize--
Then alone in his room
Took his pistol out and "Boom!"

This one here's the well-known poet--
Look at him! You'd never know it--
In his coat are manuscripts.
This one's working on a script.

That one soon will die of AIDS,
This one's happy--he got laid.
That one gets nothing at all,
This one's big and that one's small.

This one always whines and bitches,
That one goes to soup kitchens.
Here's the one that kills for fun.
That one sleeps beside his gun.

This one beats his wife at night,
That one's proper and uptight,
Speaking lectures in a drone,
That one's always on the phone.

This one speaks with knives and fists,
That one's mellow, this one's pissed.
This one goes to church on Sunday,
That one starts to drink on Monday.

This one's pierced his nose and nipples,
That one's short, and this one's crippled,
This one's poor and that one's rich,
And this one's just a local leech.

Here's a slut, there's a hooker,
Here's a dog, and there's a looker,
And here's an easy lay indeed--
Here's absurdity, sex and greed.

Here's the one whose voice is drowned
Amidst the mainstream, the underground,
The overground, the overkill,
Here's the one who's standing still.

And on this autumn day the clouds
Seem to be saying to him out loud,
Up in the sky dark and overcast:
"Yes, even this, even this will pass..."

                                November 13, 1993
                            --Alexander Shaumyan