Misbehavior and Punishment

Detail from Viktor Semenovich Vilner - Embankment, Scenes from Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’, 1971

Detail from Viktor Semenovich Vilner – Embankment, Scenes from Dostoyevsky’s ‘Crime and Punishment’, 1971

 

 

Sniggering little schoolboy, keep that up,

and I’m sending you

to detention

in Raskolnikov’s room.

 

Is that what you want?

 

Exile in

Rodion

Romanovich

Raskolnikov’s

Room?

 

A tiny cupboard of a room

about six steps in length.

 

Toxic urine-colored

paper peeling off its walls.

 

So low-pitched, the ceiling will

transform you into a hunchback.

 

One rickety chair.

 

A slack-springed

sofa for your bed,

chintz gone to rag,

a ratty overcoat for covers,

a balled-up terry cloth bathrobe

for your pillow.

 

Worse, a tattered copy of

Atlas Shrugged

on the bedside table

to be annotated.

 

Sniggering little schoolboy,

Is that want you want?

 

If not, cut it out.

 

Right now.

 

Thank you.