The Unending Case Of Lenin’s Sincerity


Chapter 1: Sorry He’s Out


Flaps of neck

armed in retrograde

no sign of up or down

spa-less for months, years

piled into the sitting room of a fogged-up Baker Street, demanding an audience with the great funeral-eyed detective Sherlock Holmes.

‘Sorry, he’s out.’


Chapter 2: A Catalogue Of Doubts


Five historians, four anarchists, twelve fascists and seven randos on the brink of Sorel sat on the stained pine floor, dodging pot-shots, stroking Watson, trying with alacrity to present to Sherlock Holmes their litany of evidence.

Banned other parties

stopped visiting factories

went bald

eyeballed Bukharin

shat on Red Star

refused to eat out Fanny Caplan [before and after]

obsessed with tomorrows

speaks to wife

sent Stalin to Perm


but the most cunning part, Mr. Holmes

if you’re listening

is the ratio

four days authoritarian, three days hippie

four being more than three and therefore cementing things.


‘What say you, Sir, can you assist?’

Holmes scratched at his violin

‘Put a bullet in his brain,’ said the fascists.

pulled out the syringe and cocaine

‘Expose his two-facedness,’ said the anarchists.

shot up

‘For the future of us all.’

and void.


Chapter 3: A Trip To Moscow


According to Soft Pravda, the sleekest way into the Soviet Union was through Finland as no one ever checked.

So that’s what Holmes did.

With the porter setting the carriage alight in pursuit of the phrase agreeable heat, Holmes sat with his back against the window, stabbing the tip of the syringe between the gaps of his fingers.

It was cold in Finland

colder than Eris

so he waited until the porter had gone

and the flames were sophomore

then shot up.

An hour later, Watson returned from the improv brothel, sat down in a non-burning part of the carriage and asked if he’d made any progress on the case.



‘Lennnnn   in. Lehn in. Leniiiiiin.’


‘Mother way out there. Edgar fan.’

‘Anything else?’


‘I see.’


Chapter 4: A Complicated Fellow


“Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky Zonky zonk zonk zonk zonk…”

screeched Sherlock Holmes, crawling on pier piles through the gates of immigration

evading both the real guards and the astrological ones

warning Watson

don’t give them your passport, don’t give them your passport, it’s a scam, they take it and won’t give it back, not until you compensate them, it’s a scam, don’t give your passport, don’t give your passport, Watson, don’t give it, scam, it’s a scam, don’t show it to them, don’t give it to them, pretend to be drunk, run, that way, through the desert, off the-




they were there in Moscow, standing on garbage cans

outside ballet school windows

drooling, parched.




Busy man?

Da, that was Lenin, staring down the Civil War, the Menshies, the Left SRs, the anarchists, the fascists, the traitors, the looks of disappointment, marking down the soviets that agreed with him all the time and the soviets that agreed with him some of the time, screaming at pictures of hurricanes, hallucinating, distrusting Bukharin, distrusting anyone ending in in, any thing starting with Kron, any cough and what if

this all sucks up a lot of hours, said the receptionist, therefore

all visitors

please go to the forest

wait in the fishery

he’ll be along shortly.




The fishery had a tunnel long and dark

relatively dark

if this is dark

compared to that


and long

long is a road you can see the end of

can’t see the end of

they could all see the end of this one

all visitors

cos it was well-lit

green bulbs every ten metres

not dark at all




Room for waiting ten Kenyans five Germans seven hundred farmers coffee vodka zines what is to be done, what we did, what we do now, they fucking shot her, that’s why

Holmes and Watson


sitting was expected but they stood

watching the wall for signs of peeling

they’d heard commie maintenance was poor

this would crown it

if it peeled.

Beyond this they tried hard, very hard to forget the corpses hanging from the branches they’d seen on the way in, apparently, they’d been put there by the imperialists, and don’t worry, they were fascists anyway, don’t cry for someone who’d stab your uncle given a fisherman’s chance

but not everyone had an uncle

Holmes didn’t

which is why he was apolitical

in England

blind nationalist everywhere else

not as bad as Watson though

he called people darkies.




A bell was constructed, praised and then struck, one of the guards calling the Kenyans over, strapping them to a sled and pushing them down towards the ONE DAY SOON room.

Then it was Holmes’ turn

abandoning the peel

headbutting the NO SMOKING sign and waking up in a room with one purple-tinted light pointed at a portrait of Lenin.

ceiling talk

replica voice

laying out the lay of the land that had been heroically laid by others.

‘I am sincere. Measure my head. Utopian when it’s called for. Evade ending in in comrades. They can breathe in space. Absorb nebulas. Have you read my old stuff? Read my old stuff. I miss my brother. Once in a factory, happy face. Teacher face. I am soooooo sincere. Print soviets, who are they really working for? Huh? Who are they really working for? Who are they really working for? Who really are they working for?’

The voice coughed

the light went out

shadow Lenin

a beeping sound

the light came back on

giallo Lenin

the voice coughed

started again.

‘I am sincere. Measure my head. Utopian when it’s…’

Holmes increased the size of his eyes 27%

turned to Watson

‘Measure his head, that’s not a bad idea…’

but the space was blank

no Watson

he was still in the room for waiting

nibbling at the neck of one of the nationalists

lionising Walworth.


Chapter 5: Struggle In The Workplace




But in the new factories                                              Germans?

said the foreman

tits shaking                                                                  can’t conquer bread

for a little while only                                                  specialists

                        no real ON button.





Chapter 6: Safely Back At Baker Street


Sherlock Holmes scratched at his violin

‘Well, Holmes…’

took out the syringe and cocaine

‘…that was communism.’

shot up

‘We never did get to measure his head.’

and void.

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