nameless & rhymeless

April 3, 2011

when you depart your old name is set free
released to roam the space of predicates
shorn of their proper hosts and even if later
yours is awarded to another someone
who was your lover or a bitter foe
will kiss or curse a void the one who bears
a name once loved or loathed is an impostor
the laments and the imprecations hit
nothing they have no target of their own
and are like leaps over a one-sided chasm
it would have been much kinder to dwell as
a nameless creature in this world so that
when you are gone no one knows who to miss


* * *

March 26, 2008

cast bread on water so that the reflected
birds would not starve up the eyeless void
the most to ache for is the one who never
could ooze out i am nobody said one
in an old tangled tale which was a lie

i am the very nobody who never
more to the point the one whose every when
is never who is powerless to yield
to a temptation of an adjective
whom nobody would label with a he

back to those birds who are not there as well
meaning they are quite there within the bounds
of water but undone beyond the shore
they are untrue unless somebody sees them
there is nothing i could say about these birds

oh how much love remains unlived because
there is nobody to live it and if ever
you burst into the mirror circle tell
the living we are weary of this flight
beyond the water with no bread whatever

[This is translation of my Russian poem]

memory is a silent medium

March 24, 2008

now i imagine her in sepia even though
she was never a photograph always live
old memories have the faculty of fading
when chemically treated by brain juices

the backdrop was the first to dissolve
into stray pixels bush engulfed by the wall
an aspen a fuzzy x-ray carcass of the sky
under which she haunted my youth beyond
the scalloped edge of my coarse recollection

senility is silent from inside
there is no such thing as sepia sound
when the discourse within is desiccated
we are ready to surrender

and suddenly i find myself so old
in the star system where she never loved me
and what remains of her escapes my x-rays
there is hardly me and barely her to speak of
we are but dumb images of each other
recursive reflections in our brains
turning brown

exile’s complaint

March 15, 2008

yes indeed it’s a bother
to be born russian
where breath is scarce
and the sky is ashen
ever tasted winters
that never end
let me tell you
about my native land
of life unallayed
by a single kmart or sears
wild pelmeni with hay
and all your tundra to roam
you shoot from the porch
to keep off the fucking bears
yet sometimes they usurp the crown
and rule the realm

if you think it was a zoo
you are not too far off the mark
should have seen my school uniform
from bast and bark
mother used to boil it after a while
to make porridge
once the winter
was so long and cold that we
stayed indoors for years
so i never went to college
with my only playmate
a domesticated flea
it’s my wasted youth
with which i am most annoyed
never a ball game
scarcely a trip to the mall
this is what keeps me running
you see my point
the people were bad enough
but the bears were worst of all

i am much better now
sipping my riesling
rather be a traitor
than a bear quisling
longitudes hardly matter
i skip them at random
wasting my sweaty rubles
biding my time
guess they just called my flight
thank you madam
appreciate it sir
the pleasure’s mine

near miss

January 12, 2008

any shakespeare today i’m teasing my neighbor
heartily pounding the keys
full of my morning banana belch
does the flings and barrows of courageous sound right
asks she not really hopeful
my carriage return gets stuck all the time
and I think I’d rather be doing cervantes

sure i respond they should have given us laptops
and diapers before the entire project sinks
never mind the illiterate fleas interfering
also some alternative types like cyrillic
to improve the meager chances perhaps pushkin
will do as well as any old shakespeare

suddenly out of the blue she hits it
nutrition facts serving size one bar
servings per container six
and we stop the billions of us
we hush and stare in amazement
could it be that we have reached our destination
and this time the universe will turn out right

the london period

December 9, 2007

having served her with a divorce he moves to london
and carouses there and spends his funds with abandon
never unpacks the laptop contacts unbidden
then he dies
the maid collects from his room the crumpled linen
sundry braces and ties

they will later call it his london period
to ennoble the spot where he disappeared
having left us if not his shell his oeuvre entire
paintings or books or whatever rife
the laptop never unsheathed brimming with fire
yet somewhere she is still his wife

every now and then they raise academic ruckus
whether he or so-and-so was the greater artist
while in a tropical flophouse where the sky is louder
hiding behind a pillar enclosed in a salsa din
he spots her across the hall in front of the counter
checking in