LENIN IN ANTARCTICA



82°06′S 54°58′E, the Southernmost
Pole of Inaccessibility, the point
of Antarctica furthest from
the Southern Ocean, there
in 1958, the Third Soviet Antarctic
Expedition of the International
Geophysical Year, with difficulty,
visited and departed, leaving
behind (as easily absurd
as a pre-rippled nylon Old Glory
on the airless, cratered moon
eleven years later) a plastic bust
of Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov
(better known as Lenin), squinting,
as the Muslim prays to Mecca,
in the direction of his pickled
corpse and waxwork head
under glass in distant Red Square.
Though the most recent information
has the old base buried in ice,
yet may he still adorn the chimney
where they left him like a totem,
having outlasted the USSR:
Look upon my works, ye mighty,
and despair!
 The blind white ice
stretches far away.

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