German Photography and Russian Politics

Rich Ives

If you take off Vladimir's dress, you will find that Vladimir's fur is not red. If you donate the dress to an unreasonable charity, you will discover that giving is not always better than receiving a day or two off from the detective squad. And if stroking Vladimir does not appeal to you, well then you probably never really understood your father's beard.

And what do you suppose Helmut thinks of the carefully selected toys a mischievous mind might toss across the room when the playbell rings? Is the most useful dictionary under the circumstances Russian, German, English or the more desperate one deeply buried in Vladimir?

Let's ask all the Vladimirs to recite Mayakovsky. Let's ask the dancing dress to select a new partner. Stand back. Give yourself room. Don't expect the toys to predict the government's downfall. Reunification escapes the dictionaries of great revolutionaries by refusing to function horizontally. How can we predict any oatmeal cookies when the baker's gender is insufficiently prepared for ethnic behavior?

And if Helmut doesn't know Rilke, how can we even imagine viewing a line-up of guilty chin stubble without diving for the scissors in the purse. The last stop before nose trimming is evasive and seems to have no alibi.

Yes, Helmut's got photographs.

Helmut's got art.

With this in mind, we can enter an altered gender plea and begin selecting the jury. But the political inclinations are likely to influence the charity and what Vladimir ever shaved a broken country for a purseful of seasonal relationships?

Rich Ives has received grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, Artist Trust, Seattle Arts Commission and the Coordinating Council of Literary Magazines for his work in poetry, fiction, editing, publishing, translation and photography. His writing has appeared in Verse, North American Review, Massachusetts Review, Northwest Review, Quarterly West, Iowa Review, Poetry Northwest, Virginia Quarterly Review, Fiction Daily and many more. He is the 2009 winner of the Francis Locke Memorial Poetry Award from Bitter Oleander. His story collection, The Balloon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking, was one of five finalists for the 2009 Starcherone Innovative Fiction Prize. In 2010 he has been a finalist for contests in poetry from Cloudbank and Mississippi Review and in fiction from Black Warrior Review and Mississippi Review. The contest finalists in poetry both appear in the Spring 2010 issues of Mississippi Review and Cloudbank and the fiction finalist appears in the Spring 2010 issue of Mississippi Review.