June 25, 1939
It's frightening to die, and such a shame to leave
This captivating riffraff that enchants me;
The stuff so dear to poets, so very lovely,
I never celebrated; it somehow wasn't to be.
I loved to come back home at the break of dawn
And shift my things around in half an hour.
I loved the white windowsill, and also the flower,
The carved faceted glass, and also the water,
And the heavens, greenish-azure in their color—
And that I was a poet and a wicked man.
And when every June came with my birthday again
I'd idolize that holiday, bustling
With verses by friends and congratulations from women,
With crystal laughter, and gay glasses clinking
And the lock of that hair, unique, individual
And that kiss, so entirely inevitable.
But now at home it’s all set up differently;
It's June and I no longer have that homesickness.
In this way, life is teaching me patience,
And turbid, my blood now is stirring this birthday,
And a secret anxiety is tormenting me—
What have I done with my great destiny,
Oh my God, what have I done with me!
© Translation by Larissa Shmailo
* * *
it's like a rain wall
or a wall of news
when you crumble like chalk
as if the world lurched
and it could still be saved
only in this way
but the world is precisely this wall of news
into which your chalk is embedded
* * *
speech stones flow around the dictionary of nothing
you have seven of them in your sinus
aporia accompanies lyusis
when you decide to untie
the node of life
* * *
the grammarian distributes the semes
a fraction of seeds
a name is a gravestone
and shiva's wool is dipped in a boiling column
of dancing flames
but the heart
heart in vain
© Alexandr Skidan
Translated by Larissa Shmailo and the author
Larissa Shmailo forwarded the following bio:ReplyDelete
Larissa Shmailo is the editor-in-chief of the forthcoming anthology Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry, poetry editor for MadHat Annual, and founder of The Feminist Poets in Low-Cut Blouses. She translated Victory over the Sun for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's landmark restaging of the multimedia opera; her translation of the libretto was recently used by the Garage Museum of Moscow for its reconstruction of the opera and is now available in print with an introduction by Eugene Ostashevsky from Červená Barva Press (2014), Larissa also has been a translator on the Bible in Russia for the Eugene A. Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship of American Bible Society.
Larissa's newest collection of poetry is #specialcharacters (Unlikely Books 2014). Her other books of poetry are In Paran (BlazeVOX [books] 2009), the chapbook, A Cure for Suicide (Červená Barva Press 2006), and the e-book, Fib Sequence (Argotist Ebooks 2011); her poetry CDs are The No-Net World (SongCrew 2006) and Exorcism (SongCrew 2009), for which she received the New Century Best Spoken Word Album award. Her novel, Patient Women, is forthcoming from BlazeVOX [books].Larissa blogs at http://larissashmailo.blogspot.com.