Sunday, November 10, 2013

Three Poems (Larissa Shmailo)


Good morning, blind date; like Milton’s daughters, I will read to you.
Good morning, date from hell; why are you still here? I sent you a Dante with a map.
Good morning, birth date and the day that I’ll marry, or die; my biography will read, I was born.
Good morning, date that will live in infamy, or in Queens, which Fitzgerald called land of ashes, preferring East Egg.
Good morning, dried-apple & fig-leaf date that covered my foremother's love, this figured by Ussher as a fall.
Good morning, daylight savings time, falling, falling back, taking time from the bottom and cycling it up top.
Good morning, end-of-the-world and rapture date, since dying is a revelation (and a high).
Good morning, time, curving gently beneath my outstretched palms and slipping through my hands.

I have lost your fingers
Inspired by A. Cigale's translations of A. Ulanov

You are as thick as molasses, brown as oak, and your ears are crêpes suzettes; your cheerful legs are also thick. The pupils of your eyes are small bridges to disaster (after). Your cheekbones cut the cumulus clouds, and your toes are decimal wonders; your pancreas is a mighty fortress to our God. I remember your kidneys, plumlike, and shaped like violas. All your orifices tell of wonders; surely your ass is a wiry insect that I feel but cannot see (woe is me). Your breasts dance; your aureoles are gazelles that sleep in meadows more blue than green. Your vulva is an apple already peeled, as wet as a fresh moraine, alive as snow.
I have lost your fingers and must find them again.

Unglish Translation of “Dyr bul schyl” (Alexei Kruchenykh)

Дыр бул щыл
вы со бу
р л эз

English Translation
Dyr bul shchyl
vy so bu
r l ez

Translation of Zaum into Unglish*
Pot nag chog
vo be na
t g id

*With thanks to mIEKAL aND

These three pieces—"Date," the ode to time; "I have lost your fingers;" "and the translation of Alexei Kruchenych's iconic poem Dyr bul shchyl into Unglish (not English)—will appear in Larissa Shmailo's new poetry collection, #specialcharacters, forthcoming from Unlikely Books in 2014. Larissa Shmailo is the editor of the new anthology, Twenty-first CenturyRussian Poetry and the founder of The Feminist Poets in Low-Cut Blouses. Her poetry collections include In Paran (BlazeVOX) and the album Exorcism.

-- Larissa Shmailo

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