Bill Pruitt

Topics in Early 21st Century Global Studies

 

I.

In 2011, there were towns in Russia 

where stores were out of matches, candles, 

kerosene  People were preparing for darkness. 

 

Prisoners in Colony No. 10 were standing 

in formation when somebody thought 

the earth yawned and even the guards 

began to jabber like baboons, 

so they brought in the village priest to say 

             yes, the world was going to end, 

             but not that way, 

not because of some planetary 

alignment a heathen tribe predicted 

a thousand years ago, 

             but because of anarchy and queers,

             The world would end soon, the Father said, 

but not this soon, not now, not in December, he had it 

on good authority  from the Minister 

of Emergency Situations.  

 

In Moscow, Maria the journalist said the hysteria

was the government’s fault. After all, 

didn’t it charge Pussy Riot with blasphemy, violating 

fourth century writings of Orthodox clerics? 

 

II. 

Two years later, July. The Monastery of Caves in Ukraine.

Candles burned near the holy cross on which

was crucified the Apostle Andrew 

 

The Patriarchs were meeting to celebrate 

the one thousand and twenty-fifth anniversary 

of Prince Vladimir of Kiev’s decision to convert. 

 

Special guest Putin said,  “We are all 

spiritual heirs of his conversion. 

Communism is just a distillation  

of principles shared by nearly all 

the world’s religions! 

Ukraine should look away 

from the European Union that loves gays.”

 

In turn the Patriarch intoned 

“Same sex marriage is not a sign 

of the apocalypse! It is the Apocalypse!

Surely a path to destruction 

worse than the terrors of Stalin.

But God will unite under one Faith 

Holy Rus: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus.”

 

Outside the Holy-of-Holies, 

women from Femen took off their tops. 

Security beat them. They beat photographers too.

 

III. 

In America, Snowden was charged with violating  

the Espionage Act of 1917, the law 

Eugene Debs was arrested for breaking 

when he urged men to resist going to war and got 

sentenced to ten years in prison, did time, 

got an early release, died. 

World War One

became World War Two, and then the Forever War

Snowden left for Russia. 

 

There was a Great Concord 

between Catholics and Evangelicals

the rich and disenfranchised 

the comfortably secure and the uninsured

 

They all agreed their problems came from government.

that Climate Change was a secular media lie 

that lactating nipples should be concealed

and women shouldn’t talk about their pussies

 

A cave tour guide in a national park in the Missouri Ozarks 

lit no candles but told her group

that this part of the Earth was ancient

that it might even be 

thousands of years old.  

  

IV.

That’s all we have time for today, class.

Don’t ask me what it means.

History is just what happened.