Jove's Palace (2019-2020)

The river murmurs gently, the peregrin high in the sky at noon, a frisky spring morning, here in Mailuu-Suu, Kyrgyzstan. As the water inches away, eroding the arid slopes, it’s only a matter of time until all vulnerable tailings reach down river into the populous Ferghana valley. An old game of ducks and drakes, the ripples of Soviet meddling revealed like ceaseless waves crashing on a maintenance-free seawall. Lenin’s golden flakes blowing in the wind, the branches flutter

and creak. As the water seeps, so does the international aid into the malignant nest of corruption’s deceit. A fluke of a stockpiling war, a relay race, left for the children. The birthplace of the first bomb, Lavrenti Beria ensured top notch uranium, no less. Only the finest ‘yellow cake’ was once guaranteed here in ‘Mailbox’ 200. Fission sears in the shadow, as the atoms split and the sheep graze quietly at noon. As luck would have it, for people who never wanted to

play. ‘Two urns in Jove’s palace, gifts. One good, and the other, evil’. (Homer, 1997) In time, both received, the stadium empty across a scarred landscape. An open wound, all for show; cost of entry: human. The murals of old shall finally perhaps edify after all. A midsummer’s eve long awaited performance glistening, refracted through the opera glass. Only a Gordian knot for the fool, an equation for the chemist, a brick for the mason in a construction grand enough to welcome on a red carpet; free of any press. Void of any cryptic parlance, the vernacular denominator in unison like a harmony’s climactic opus, faint in the neighbouring valley. Coveted charms, as autocratic as automatic as a transmission that’s leaky; a slug on its last yard. A proletariat's bravura jejune, a legacy’s ambition futile, to the tectonic movements of the deep, rumbling nauseously. Ash and dust yearning to board and tumbleweed away where nothing

exists. A peregrin’s talon piercing a vole’s heart. Hymns sung, washed in the ditch, supporting a structure: a mound from collapsing into the carving viscous sculptor. The 92nd element of the periodic table, sought from valley to steppe, like a yak following a cold snap, before obsidian; the hourglass obsolete. The last line of defense entrusted to the sale of a lightbulb, vodka purchased on the walk home to dull, seeing the skull in the mirror as the days advance.

Herodotus would not recognize any Scyths, only a hydra left in the caverns of old mines.