Eugene Ostashevsky

The Two-Dimensional Philosopher

We play at “Is it true I am real
                   and death will come”

We look at the photograph of the philosopher
The philosopher has the wet eyes of a rodent

Alas, but I am not real, says the philosopher
I am a photograph

In my photograph I am depicted
with my favorite phonograph

The phonograph plays through the day
What does it play, say?

I made love long ago
to somebody else

At least I think it was love
Love is, never having to say

am I sorry

She took this photograph
of me and my favorite monograph

And then we played at “Is it true I am real
                                      and death will come”

So what was your conclusion?
we ask the philosopher

Tell us
Tell us
Tell us
           Deaf man, dead man
           ancestor god
           Deine Zunge ist rot
           Your tongue is rot

The philosopher in the photograph
only clutches

his favorite monograph
cause language, what can it say



"The Two-Dimensional Philosopher" is reprinted from the collection Iterature (Ugly Duckling Presse).