It Presented as Paradise

It presented as paradise, but was really just California.
Hollywood, it turned out, was especially galling.
They had no desire to live a Wonderful Life.
Yet under the circumstances there was no going back to the old country.
Besides, the sunlight was pleasant, and they could get
Slip-on shoes and off-the-peg clothes.
It never occurred to them to go to the Soviet Union.
They would just have to build their own domes of gloom.
Coherent constructs, however, were becoming more elusive.
Things weren’t going as had been theorized,
And B’s suicide was particularly destabilizing.
Still, there was the pleasure of enduring unhappiness.
A would have preferred to be a librettist
In the tradition of Lulu and Wozzeck
Only starring Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer.
That would have been his revenge on the Americans.
By the time they returned to Frankfurt
They were already an anachronism
Living in a kind of afterlife.
Forgetfulness was in the air.
In spite of their erudite and convoluted predictions,
Some began to bestir themselves.
When the students took over the Institute
They panicked, and quickly summoned the police.

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