Pasternak Time: “General Fear commands the theatre”
General Fear commands the theatre,
His orders paralyse the provinces.
Sycophants are victims by daybreak,
Bragging dogs go silent.
Up in the gods they hold breath
Who prefer to attend nameless;
His box is empty after interval,
The players sigh with relief.
Out on the Front his same old words
Are enough for macho souls
Who by nightfall will be more
Of his brave, misplaced statistics.
But it’s into the best Red surgery he goes.
They attend to his secret wound
While his thieving mistress jokes outside
On her thirteenth cigarette.
She’ll be a footnote in biographies.
His kind of cancer’s inoperable.
The curtain will fall on old wars
As the provinces go out for a stroll.