In memory of Mikhail Ugarov

In the museum of our bones
The keeper lights his nightly cigarette;
His doctor says he must cut back
And unlike us, he won’t mock fate.

He leads a reverent life by day
His mother’s bills are always paid
His lawn and pubic hair are trim
His children’s college funds undrained.

His ex-wife can’t remember why
She left him, and sometimes she sighs
Into the silent compliance of a whiskey glass
As crickets kick off in the grass.

The girls on Tinder like his jaw
Good breasts spill out for him from bras;
His friends are jealous, he just shrugs —
“Get what you can,” he says to them.

The wind chime on his back porch tolls
For moths who die because the light
Has told a tale of angel skin
So warm — and almost didn’t lie.

His hands are grooved and good and calm
His legs sap soil like Tolstoy’s oaks
His dogs are glassy with content
His dreams are kind to his dawns…

In the museum of our bones
The keeper hugs a tibia
Stares down the skulls up on their shelf
And maybe wishes he was someone else.


For Mikhail Yuryevich Ugarov, 1956-2018
Artistic director of Teatr.doc
My friend

Photograph by filmmaker Denis Klebleev.

This blog exists because you’re good-looking and generous: No guilt-trip, just good times

15 thoughts on “In memory of Mikhail Ugarov

  1. I can’t believe yo glorify a movie like Death of Stalin. Is nothing beneath you. That’s your history you laugh at when you’re not shoving your boobs in the faces of NATO soldiers. It’s a very good thing that you left Russia because who needs your “art” there. Russia has suffered enough without traitors like you and is now rebuiliding. I used to enjoy your writing until I read your twitter and realized youre a slutty neoliberal war whore. Sad exvuse for a Slav.

  2. It’s totally rational to get mad at somebody for liking Death of Stalin because no Western country has ever produced a piece of art making fun of their own historical figures or leaders ever. The only reason anyone would ever find that film enjoyable is if they secretly wished for NATO to launch Operation: Barbarossa II – Fellowship of the Barbarossa, against Russia for no reason other than Russia is so great and it’s rebuilding, like you say. You’re a totally normal and well-adjusted person who is firmly ground in the real world and in no need of long-term mental health care. That is a totally logical construction you came up with and slutty neoliberal war whores are definitely a real thing that is commonly encountered in the TOTALLY REAL world. All those people in your life who tell you that you’re a moron or who don’t invite you to parties are totally wrong and just jealous of your astounding geopolitical expertise.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to do the helicopter dick in front of a bunch of NATO soldiers as a sign of profound disrespect, because they are Turkish soldiers engaged in a war of genocidal aggression against the people of Afrin! LONG LIVE APO AND THE YPG/YPJ!!!

  3. Although it’s not taught in US public schools, historical fact says that no country has suffered worse injustices than Russia. This is why I really don’t care if SNL makes fun of trump or some other leader. This is not a fair comparison and you know it. You can’t deny Natalia shills for NATO, just check out her project Woke Vets which she founded with imperialist historian/fellow war whore Anna Guzick. Look it up if you don’t believe me. jerk!

    P.S. Death of Stalin is just failed propaganda.

  4. “Although it’s not taught in US public schools, historical fact says that no country has suffered worse injustices than Russia.”

    Injustices like serfdom under the Tsars? Being sent into the maw of machine guns by Nikolai II to save his imperial face? Being sent to the GULAG or shot? Being fleeced and robbed by oligarchs under Yeltsin and Putin? Yeah, you’re right- Russia suffers a LOT of injustices, at the hands of Russians.

    It’s also funny how your “unfair comparison” is based on an example you decided to choose, not one I suggested. But then again, you are a complete fucking moron.

    P.S. Death of Stalin is openly billed as a comedy that in no way pretends to be based on actual history.

  5. As previously stated a product of a US public school education will fail to grasp Russian history. Start by understanding that Russia has historically been surrounded by enemies, literally no country in the world wishes Russia well. Comedy can be propaganda, just look at the failed attempt to lambast North Korea! Honestly you are a neoliberal jerk but I accept no better of the people who read and comment on this vapid blog by a shallowe traitor.

  6. Mikhalkov fan, why would you expect US schools to do a detailed history of Russian history in their curriculum? Also, were you not aware that nobody is limited to their public school compulsory education?

    Scratch that- here’s an even better idea. If you think Russia is always surrounded by enemies and nobody wishes it well, maybe you should stop and consider why that is? If you knew someone whom everyone hated, you might start to inquire about that person’s behavior.

  7. Russia is the world’s eternal and constant underdog which is exactly why neoliberals like you wish to destroy it.

  8. North Korean independence bothers you, Natalia? Of course it does. People like you are only interested in the spread of vapid US imperialist culture and neoliberal markets everywhere. Anyone who resists will be shot by your NATO friends, right? Of course you swallow propaganda about North Korea without blinking. It’s what clowns and traitors do.

  9. I can fully understand why NATO soldiers on Twitter love you. Russians (or even half Russains) who betray Russia play so well in front of that audience. Not to mention your slutty neoliberal agenda. You’re nothing but a well-fed whore, ideologically or otherwise. The sacrifices of your people mean nothing to you, so it’s a wonder why I even try explaining North Korea to the likes of you.

  10. You’re not even Russian and you have an infantile conception of history and politics. You’re lucky Natalia doesn’t send her NATO goon squad after you.

  11. Resorting to threats is very mature, Jim Kovpak. It’s what brainwashed people do when they run out of all other ideas. Of course I’m not Russian but I have a deep appreciation of her history and her people, something you clearly lack. All Russia haters are exactly the same — insecure, angry, prone to threats. It is funny how nothing ever changes for you people even as Putin continually shows you your place.

  12. Well let’s see- you have no understanding of Russian history. Check. You probably don’t actually know any of “her” people. Check.

    You’re basically whining at two people who have actually spent the majority of their adult lives in Russia, lecturing them all about the country they, and not you, actually lived in.

    If you had any sense of self-awareness you’d be begging her to delete your idiotic comments several replies back.

    But alas, you’re oblivious. Thus you will fall easy prey to the NATO Death Squad, which celebrates every kill with a display of the infamous helicopter dick ritual. You’ve been warned.

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