Monday, February 29, 2016

E-text of Victory over the Sun in my translation (full)

Below is the link to the e-text of my translation of  Victory over the Sun by Aleksei Kruchenych on the Brooklyn Rail InTranslation site.

E-text of Victory over the Sun 

A print version of my translation, edited and with an introduction by Eugene Ostashevsky, is available from Cervena Barva Press.

Victory over the Sun in print

Sunday, February 28, 2016


Be careful, you who straddle
science and inner sooth:
giants collapse, learning
that we cannot reach the sun, and
sages are struck blind,
their heads spun full around; they
turn into prescient hermaphrodites
to plumb the Oedipal truths.

Can truth be done, without the sun?
Can you live without its light?
Can you blindly follow Apollo
with Tiresias through each doubt?
Can you live without your cherished truths,
can you learn to live without?

Saturday, February 27, 2016


I haven’t passed that dream of wisdom,
the borders you crossed through.

I can’t translate the language
I thought I thought I knew.

I see a meaning, watching you die,
hold it in my hands like a graying sigh,

this lock of hair which I comb and tie.
I kiss the head which hears my no,

and meet your eyes, and say: Don’t go.
and leave you to this tongue of dread:

This is me, it cries, this is me and I die.
We will all speak these words in this way 
and then, and till then, what shall I say?

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Girl @theParisReview Says Uncool

The idiot girl @theParisReview says uncool:

that, to critique, the phrase, the trappings of,

is used by “100% pretentious hacks.” And  
the editor @PoetryFound retweets her crap,

and an article on pooping, besides. I was                 

going to tweet a Baudelaire, from “Beauty,” line,

line by displaced line:

I am beautiful, o mortals, like a dream of stone

But thought better of it (a proscribed phrase?)

 —an unpretentious #Stalinist might

tell me not to translate, or Baudelaire not to write.

(But what does this mean:

Je hais le mouvement qui déplace les lignes?

Is the idiot girl @ParisCool right?) No, she is

an idiot, disliking a history without her part,

as I dislike the way the young are heartless, mean,

calling it honest (and I was different @18?)

This poem appeared in Gargoyle.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I am not your insect

Your underfoot, your exterminated, your bug. My unabashedly hairy legs, whose gymnopédies twitch like a chorus for a fatal Sharon Stone, delight in ces mouvements qui déplace les lignes, in the motion, the quiver, the mort, the catch. Mother Kali, you have made me what I am: feminine, brilliant, entirely without fear. Like my mother, I watch and pray for  prey—that it be there, that it give gore, that I feel it die, that there be more

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