"-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"> Frigg | Fall/Winter 2023/24 | From Russia with Love | Jacob Schepers
artwork for Jacob Schepers' poem From Russia with Love

From Russia with Love
Jacob Schepers

Mine is imperfect. A glacier-carved step
held up by aging rivets. Otherwise
the ground swallows itself, gluttonous, self-
asphyxiating. With love being cold
here, at the brink of turning to stone, I
turn to find warmth in rusted gears gone sour,
corroded and tinny. It’s there where friction
means closeness inordinately given,
undeserved. Granted, in sopped-sung mercy
coiled, radiating, just shy of measured,
where currents in a vacuum tube risk all
sputters to blot gold foil with patterns.

Jacob Schepers’ Comments

This piece is a sound-driven ditty that taps into feeling (and showing) love badly, or baldly, or coldly, or clumsily. I think I scribbled its first draft amid a procrastinated lesson planning session on Hopkins for my Lyric Poetry students. Of special interest to me throughout the compositional process was the Russian invasion of Ukraine: this poem, as with the other two in this issue, belongs to a manuscript I’m currently shopping around in which Cold War politics and saber rattling become representations of personal and interpersonal crises. So with that in mind, the nod to James Bond in the title is merely coincidental with Russia’s invasion. And yet the title itself has taken on a rather chilling note, adding a certain sprawling layer to what is otherwise a compact, syntactically twisted sonic bundle.

Table of Contents

Frigg: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 62 | Fall/Winter 2023/24