Lines Overheard at The Russian Tearoom


As The Russian Tea Room says about itself: "For over eighty-five years, New York's defining cultural moments have taken place at Russian Tea Room. Ever since members of the Russian Imperial Ballet founded the restaurant in 1927, it has been a second home for boldface names and the intellectual elite-an exclusive enclave where actors, writers, politicians, and businessmen planned their next deals and feted their friends' latest Carnegie Hall performances."


Ludmilla’s got herself a husband.
It doesn’t matter that you’re stupid
if you can dance en pointe. —

The tables are so close here:
There’s Donald Trump.
Three tables down, that model
from all the magazines.
That dowager between
with that look on her face?
The poor man can’t count. —

Ya piu nad razorenni dom.
(I drink to our ruined house).
Why did we have to build it
in Florida? —

It was, of course,
a Jewish conspiracy. —

There is no evidence.
Besides, we already have
the green cards for everyone. —

So we played. We knew the music.
He stood there waving his stick.
He was two beats behind us
and never knew the difference. —

No one finds the bodies.
No one. They say he keeps
the eyeballs. He pickles them. —

I have a friend at Coney Island.
For you, he will fix everything. —

Ignore the news, Sergei.
Everything goes
the way we planned it. —

How many people here
would stop dead-track
if I said “Moose and Squirrel?”


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