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Poetry

The Incredible Master Lukyanov

October 28, 2020

This is my translation of Удивительный мастер Лукьянов by Борис Гребенщиков [Boris Grebenshchikov]. I am grateful to my wife's suggestion for the rhyme in lines 6 and 8.


To Sophie Grace Shields

As the people's great friend, time and time I am looking right at you;
Like disarming a bomb, with my heart I sense strings strained at hand—
And in palace of fate the incredible master Lukyanov
Builds my manor so that a window looks over your land.

If a sailor I'd be, I would sail off on you like on oceans;
In an alien port, in a tavern my clogs I would pawn,
But the nations they cry, and nobody will help their commotion—
If it weren't but for you, with a comforting branch in your palm.

Live in the dark, wait to discover;
Who's there below—and glass shows only night.
O, fortune mine, you are one and there is no another;
Lived poorly we—enough then; now we'll live in light.

On the crane clock's veneer there lights up the inscription "Departures,"
From a wing to a wing silence to shred on command;
Only who—I won't tell—a new labour's beginning to nurture,
Is now turning to glow, from a window looks over your land.

In evening glow, from a window looks over your land.

Slow

October 19, 2020

With apologies to John Betjeman.


To Rod Moody-Corbett

Come on, dear friend, pick up the phone!
I yearn to chew on that old bone,
To jaw and growl and long bemoan
The state of things!

Come, tell about the women that
Disdain the tipping of a hat
And with the motion of a rat
Would clip your wings.

'Fess up the mess you call a life,
(Much too monotonous for strife),
Your debts, your mortgage, and your wife—
What else is new?

And curse the curse of circumstance,
And talk about the games of chance
That got you into such a trance
Without a clue.

And smash your hand upon the desk,
And in the air draw arabesques,
Explaining how it's quite grotesque
How things turned out.

But disregard your own mistakes,
With beercans play at ducks and drakes,
And smoke and cry and raise the stakes,
Until you shout.

It's not your fault you cannot tell
A cetus from a diving bell.
It's not your fault you fathom Hell
And roar and weep.

You hope and talk of plans and trips,
And fantasize of ample hips,
And in the wake of crimson lips
You go to sleep.

In accurate, majestic plans
Of finely wrought word-caravans,
Taxonomies made with your hands
There find your might.

But here there's nothing more to say;
Tomorrow is another day,
And now I must myself away.
My friend, goodnight.

how I spent september eleventh, 2076

September 21, 2020

sunset was cancelled
on account of explosion
or fire

like a rabid dog
I bark at the burning star

heart like an electron cloud
come
find it in my chest

before the darkness
drops


i feel a shower
and now I take a whole lot better

what to do
what to do

on my way to the kitchen
I pass my wife the satyr
and my husband the fairy

opening letters
from the underworld
I mark all read


with a lecherous wag
of the tongue

I slurp up Cerberus's feast
as she stares up
at her mistress's voice

there's a party
winding up somewhere

you're trying to calculate
if you're the craziest person
in the room


but fail to guess
the area under the curve

you dream
if we are still here

in the spring
you say
I would like me a garden


you wake
to the cooling earth

(gold and land
are about supply
and demand

you let bygones
be begonias

you give me
your views on my
writ reviews


the can of pain
t    stands on the sill

and me
neither alive
nor free

(I'll take a latte
bitte

what is marriage
but constant
class struggle


dreams directed by
Poman Rolanski

a postcard recurring
on my sill  examined daily

is it a promise or a threat
and still i love you palely

as my petit f.m.
keeps coming up
dans mes relevés de crédit


who like a f(lag
was hung (not hanged

like an xmas armament
twixt Lyons
and Nîmes

as I move by the ponds
I feel wet  firm fronds

the smell of fall
the bus ride home
a white fur shoulder on mine


above saskatchewan somewhere
or maybe near the strait of

georgia    pressure systems
rub clits sparking
much needed rain

their wants require
a manual reckoning

the polis fades
you close the file
you save your eyes

Arbeitsleben III

September 8, 2020

(fear) Getting Windows
Ready; please do not turn off
Your computer. (fear)

Navigator

September 7, 2020

This is my translation of «Навигатор» by Борис Гребенщиков [Boris Grebenshchikov].

Crossbow firmly in hand,
And my samurai sword 'twixt my molars,
In a virtual vest, as a rule though, most often, without—
Unfamiliar to you, I soar soft 'twixt the subway controllers,
Argent thief in the night, midst the skies black and white make my route.

On the paintings of saints, I'm—
Invisible inklings of motion,
On the CNN news, I'm—the line after which there is naught,
But to those in the night, I'm—
A mystical star's swirling notion,
And the ultimate glow for all those who knew they'd been forgot...

Navigator! O sing me canzóne another,
But, of course, I'll return—wait for me at the last gates; you ought
Give this turn one more thought—to my heart I will hold close my lover,
And to those with a sword—
I will tell them, "Shalom lehitraot!"

And as long—à la guerre comme à la guerre—all's unworried.
From the dawning of time, we stand still at our daydreams' confines;
In monastical calm, we're—
Associates of the chief Warrior;
Through the infrared sights
We're like Riot Police of the Skies.

Navigator! O sing me canzóne another;
But, of course, I'll return—wait for me at the glad gates; you ought
Give this turn one more thought—to my heart I will hold close my lover,
And, to those with a sword—
I will tell them..."Shalom lehitraot!"

Yellow Shines the Moon (USB)

September 5, 2020

This is my translation of «Желтая луна (USB)» by Борис Гребенщиков [Boris Grebenshchikov].

To Sophie Grace Shields

If you want, you give your heart right to me,
Just because, or with USB;
And maybe in a flash like each other we'll think—
Just as long as we have the same kind of link.

How can I now hear you if I am without ears?
The bats have nested in computers for years,
And up above the reeds the moon is unglued.
I have such a feeling that we're just about screwed.

Minuses don't always make a plus, don't forget.
Hot pagan blues there lie in wait in the 'Net,
The moon is yellow, almost at the tallest of roofs.
Quiet, fast asleep—could you be? Tell me the truth...

Sun's headed downwards, so then
The moon grabs its chance.
Shame to be such a wise guy—
Know it all in advance.
All my lines have curled into
Rings in this place;
How can I see you more clearly
When the spotlights shine straight in my face?

You'll be the heavens where
Loll clouds in their soft arcs;
I'll be an ocean wanting
Fishermen's barks.
All my lines have curled into
Rings in this place;
How can I see you more clearly
When the spotlights shine straight in my face?

So then, if you want to, give your heart right to me:
FireWire or just USB.
Maybe in a flash like each other we'll think—
God knows, you and I, we have the same kind of link.

On Warp and Weft

September 1, 2020

To Sophie Grace Shields

So much depends
On ordering of things.

Every time I uncouple two socks,
I see in my hands:

On the left—I love you—and
On the right—I love.

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