Apologia for a death threat sent at 4 in the morning to another Russian Jewish poet

by Vladislav Davidzon

If broken, a law of mesira
is a mortifying plume
writing denunciations is no art
high incidence of illiterates
involved in
regressed resplendence
bony spinster's joints
won't exculpate your time     
this feckless guilt
this scarification /
this is even after excising all the violent parts
'palmed gullet, blood stained, to the knobby wrist'
I wish I had not written that
Or sent it to the poor shmuck,
his arrogance accrued only a fraction
of all this
I think he understood:
I just wanted to be friends.
other pale lamentations
might include
'stab thrust lash laceration'
murderous caprice
merely  a rhetorical device
I thought, cadenced
for the sake of internal rhymes
like 'cleaved exculpation'
probing the borders of my cruelty,
even in glorious rage
also the patience of  international law,
a year hence
The liberal in me still weeps at night
my English lawyer in Paris counsels
a poem is not itself an action
not therefore actionable
calling him a 'Kapo' was questionable
but not libel if he was too young
to have been in the camps
in sage taste and tact 
premonition, it was the rage,
please believe me,
I’ll try not do it again.

Caitlyn Garcia