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.
The violin was panicking, imploring
and suddenly burst into tears,
so child-like and pesky
that the drum couldn't stand it:
"All right, all right, all right!"
It got weary, couldn't wait till the violin finished,
slipped out onto the gleaming Kuznetsky
and took flight.
The curious orchestra looked on as
the violin wept itself out,
and only the nearby seated,
“What is it?
Who did it?”
And when the helicon,
and covered with sweat,
get some sense!”
across the notes,
I staggered ahead
over the horror-struck music stands.
For some reason, I cried out:
and reached for its wooden face:
“Violin, we are similar
don’t you see that?
shout a lot
and like you, I can’t prove my case!”
The musicians laugh:
“He’s been caught
by a wooden girl, - what could be better?!
But I don’t care what they say
I’m a good guy…
Hey, violin, you know what?
Let’s live together
if the stars are lit,
then someone must need them, of course?
then someone must want them to be there,
calling those droplets of spittle pearls?
in the blizzards of midday dust,
he rushes to God,
fearing he’s out of time
he kisses God’s sinewy hands,
tells Him that it’s important,
pleads to Him that the star must shine!
that he won’t survive the starless torment!
he wanders, worried,
though seemingly calm and fit,
and tells somebody:
“Finally, nothing can
if the stars are lit,
then someone must really need them?
then it is essential
that at least one star
over the rooftops each night?!
From rooftops, tears seeped into pipes
and to the river’s arm drew streaks,
while lips, suspended from the skies,
continued sucking on stone teats.
The sky, relaxed, could now see clearly:
along the sea's resplendent channel,
the sweating cameleer drove wearily
The Neva’s lazy, two-humped camel.
I smeared the weekday map, in passing,
while splashing paint from a glass;
revealed upon a plate of aspic
the ocean’s angled cheeks at last.
In scales of a tin fish, hidden,
I’ve read the calls of lips yet mute.
have played a nocturne
a common drainpipe for a flute?