Tuesday, February 25, 2014

National Translation Month - NTM: Polina Barskova translated by Catherine Ciepiela

1998

what matters is not at what place but what moment
the uncoupling decoupling
of movement outward begins:
in December precisely in Okhta probably
identical buildings of crap leatherette
on which scars of SovHousewares glow in the night
meat vegetables footwear - abstract metamatter.
filth flies as galoshes gallop across
the wasteland: so earnest, you know,
such candor and cha-harm in those nightly sessions!
where the elevator drops you Dante-like circle by circle
to the basement where a blind cat gnaws on a piece of glass
or the anemic grove at the edge of the well-fed park
where a musing imbecile pisses on a rotting mat of leaves
with casual dignity like a faun perched on
one of Peterhof's fountains.
the boudoir protocol of familiar and formal address
eight poets one more monstrous than the next in his
despairing artistic malice,
the burning bush of crude come-ons
flares predictably with goodbyes -
again the deus ex machina misses his cue.
Morning, December, river.
laminated stamped
approved for the shining hell of resurrection.
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