Vladimir Vladimirovich Mayakovsky

(1893-1930 / Russia)

But Could You?

I blurred at once the chart of trite routine
by splashing paint with one swift motion.
I showed upon a plate of brawny glutin
the slanting cheekbones of the ocean
Upon the scales of tinny fishes
new lips summoned, though yet mute.
But could you
play
right to the finish
a nocturne on a drainpipe flute?

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