Eugene Ostashevsky, p.1

                                   for Paul Poissel & Olivier Brossard

DJ Spinoza runs
among thoughts of women

He says to Roland, Sire
There’s been a grave error

Those you fought were Basques
fiercely independent

admirers of modern art
more European than Goethe

They mined your horse
and it blew up when you jumped in the saddle

I should have known they were Basques,
          Roland says to DJ Spinoza
By the looks of their casques

By the widths of their masks
I should have known they were Basques

And when they unfurled
those postcolonial soccer scarves

Then I definitely should have known they were Basques
That’s who hit us with rocks

without so much as an apology
And to think we gave them electricity and archeology

Put down that horn, Laurence Olivier
It won’t bring back Western civilization

DJ Spinoza says to Roland, Sire
There’s been a grave error

You’ve caused them a lot of suffering,
your schoolmasters

Alcuin, first ever minister of culture
Hrabanus Maurus, lover of number theory

and Fridugis of Tours
with his dumb-ass Boethian semiotics

France has got the yearning for the learning
Even the emperor keeps letter blocks under his pillow

because he dreams of one day waking up literate
whereas you… you…

Blow that horn, Laurence Olivier
as a manly dirge for la mission civilizatrice

Roland says to DJ Spinoza
          OK, so we fought the wrong people
What do you want me to do:

smash my sword because of it
next to where my buddy lies dying

Laurence Olivier
from 153 slash ‘n’ stab wounds

got by running through a glass pane
at the new museum

because I mistook it for a mosque
dedicated to “Mr. Apollo”?

There’s so many wars to come on this continent
Who cares what happened in this one

Olivier, can you hear me? I said: Put down that horn
Our deeds will be recorded in minuscule