The angel was flying through sky in midnight,
And softly he sang in his flight;
And clouds, and stars, and the moon in a throng
Hearkened to that holy song.
He sang of the garden of God's paradise,
Of innocent ghosts in its shade;
He sang of the God, and his vivacious praise
Was glories and unfeigned.
The juvenile soul he carried in arms
For worlds of distress and alarms;
The tune of his charming and heavenly song
Was left in the soul for long.
It roamed on earth many long nights and days,
Filled with a wonderful thirst,
And earth's boring songs could not ever replace
The sounds of heaven it lost.
Past one o’clock. You’re probably in bed
The Milky Way streams like the silver Oka
I won’t send wild telegrams. I don’t intend
to trouble you and vex you any longer
and now, as people say, our case is closed
the boat of love could not endure the grind
We’re even now. And there is no remorse,
let’s not bring up the sorrows left behind.
Behold what hush has fallen on the ground
The night awards the sky with constellations
at times as these, you rise and speak aloud
to ages, histories and all creation.
She loves me? Not? I twist my arms like I’m crazy
and breaking my fingers, I fling them away
thus people pluck petals of first-found daisies
and guess on them, sending them flying in May
I won’t hide the grayness that the razor reveals
Let the ringing silver of decades grow dense
but I pray that I never regain in these years
the disgraceful common sense
Lightning streaked out of her eye:
“I saw you
with another lady.
You’re the most heartless,
the most horrible guy…”
and went on,
and went on,
and went on, blaming.
Listen, I’m an educated chap, darling,
let’s just end it right there, don’t grumble.
If I wasn’t killed by the lightning,
then, I swear,
I’m not scared of the thunder.
This evening was to decide
were we to fall in love passionately?--
no one would see us.
I leaned over her actually,
I was leaning,
I said to her
like a kind father :
“Emotions are steep like cliffs,--
step away farther.
step away, please.”
The hooves stomped faster,
singing as they trod:
the street skidded.
Onto its side, a horse
the loafers gathered,
as crowds of trousers assembled up close
on the Kuznetsky,
and laughter snickered and spluttered.
--“A horse tumbled!”
--“It tumbled -- that horse!”
The Kuznetsky cackled,
and only I
did not mix my voice with the hooting.
I came up
and looked into
the horse’s eye...
The street, up-turned,
I came up and saw
tears, -- huge and passionate,
rolling down the face,
vanishing in its coat...
and some kind of a universal,
spilled out of me
and splashing, it flowed.
“Horse, there’s no need for this!
look at them all, - who has it worse?
we are all, to some extent, horses,--
everyone here is a bit of a horse.”
she was old
and didn’t want to be nursed,
or maybe, she took in my speech with a scoff,
out of nowhere, suddenly burst,
heaved to its feet,
Wiggling its tail,
with its mane shinning gold,
It returned to the stall,
full of joyful feelings.
She imagined once more
that she was a colt,
and work was worth doing
and life was worth living.
As heavy as a blow.
“Render unto God… render unto Caesar…”
But where is someone
What refuge or shelter is there?
If only I were
like the Pacific Ocean,--
I’d rise on the tiptoes of waves
to caress the moon with the tide.
Where shall I find a love
of my own proportions?
She’d never fit beneath the miniature sky!
Oh, if only I were poor!
like a millionaire!
What’s cash for the soul?--
a thief driven by greed.
The gold of all californias, I swear,
isn’t enough for the ravenous hordes of my needs.
Oh, if only I were tongue-tied
I’d ignite my soul for a single love!
and with poetry, I'd set her ablaze!
If my words
and my love
were a triumphal arch:
the inamoratas of all the ages,
would pass through it gallantly,
leaving no trace.
Oh, if only I were
and the earth would tremble, languished.
If I allow my vast voice
the comets, wringing their burning arms,
would plunge in anguish.
I would gnaw the nights with the rays of eyes,--
if I were as dim as the sun,
Why should I feed
the earth’s scrawny bosom
with my brilliant, radiant light?!
I shall go on,
dragging behind me my love’s huge clod.
In that remarkable night,--
feverish and haunted,--
by what Goliaths was I begot,
and so unwanted?
The moon is emerging.
It going to be here
Now, it hangs in the air, full and stark.
That is probably God,
with a divine
groping in the fish-soup of stars.
The restaurant was rouge from the electricity.
Chairs were soaked with the flesh of the feminine heap.
When the insulted conductor rushed in and explicitly
commanded musicians to weep.
And, right away, the trumpet – swinging -
smacked the sated muzzle with a handful of copper tears
on the one who lifted the thick salmon, bringing
it deliciously close to his beard.
In-between his hiccups, before he could
push a cry into his golden jaw,
the others, battered by trombones and the bassoon,
rushed by, trampling him below.
When the last one, crawling to the door weakly,
with his cheek in the sauce, dropped dead,
commanding musicians to howl beastly –
the conductor went totally mad!
Into the very teeth of the drunken carcass,
he squeezed the horn like a copper white loaf,
and blowing, listened how in the belly’s darkness
the blown-up cry, doubled in size, rung off.
When in the morning, the owner appeared,
hungry and livid, to show him the bill,
the conductor hung off the grand chandelier,
blue as he was, and turned bluer still.
Tobacco smoke eats the air away.
a chapter from Kruchenykh’s Inferno.
by the window,
I caressed you ecstatically, with fervor.
Here you sit now,
with your heart in iron armor.
In a day,
you’ll scold me perhaps
and tell me to leave.
Frenzied, the trembling arm in the gloomy parlor
will hardly be able to fit the sleeve.
I’ll rush out
and hurl my body into the street,--
lashed by despair
There’s no need for this,
Let’s part tonight and end this madness.
my love is
an arduous weight,
hanging on you
wherever you flee.
Let me bellow out in the final complaint
all of my heartbroken misery.
A laboring bull, if he had enough,
and find cool water to lie in.
But for me,
there’s no sea
except for your love,--
from which even tears won’t earn me some quiet.
If an elephant wants to relax, he’ll lie,
pompous, outside in the sun-baked dune,
Except for your love,
there’s no sun
in the sky
and I don’t even know where you are and with whom.
If you thus tormented another poet,
would trade in his love for money and fame.
nothing sounds as precious to me
as the ringing sound of your darling name.
I won’t drink poison,
or jump to demise,
or pull the trigger to take my own life.
Except for your eyes,
no blade can control me,
no sharpened knife.
Tomorrow you’ll forget
that it was I who crowned you,
who burned out the blossoming soul with love
and the days will form a whirling carnival
that will ruffle my manuscripts and lift them above…
Will the dry autumn leaves of my sentences
cause you to pause,
pave a path with the final tenderness
for your footsteps as you depart.