A Thinking Reed
It’s a rainy morning with a sweet odor of petrol –
like a goblet with wet screw bolts and linden pollen in it.
We have nowhere to hurry: no one is waiting for mankind.
Good and evil dissolve in each other, like a knife in acid,
and they are not a knife and acid any longer.
One day, we are going to disappear this way too, for no reason at all.
It’s not epochs that separate us, but petrified individuals,
gargoyles of Notre-Dame de Paris,
porous dross of ideas.
Devil walks among us, like a gloomy fisherman in shallow waters,
and moans quietly –
You can’t live on those small fry of souls.
Oh, where are you, Faust, with the panzerfaust of evening fog…
Shipbuilding forest used to sing in the wind here,
and now all that is left is
young growth of identical toothpicks with minted ends,
each in a transparent plastic cap.
I don’t like the smell of the epoch –
A dense, hallucinogenic musty smell of a totally full stomach,
the reek of the consumer, the smell of a new plastic mousetrap.
A sickly sweet smoke and tons of sugar in sacks –
it’s all that is left of the thinking reed.
The Smell of Bricks
The smell of bricks:
a rat with thousands of nostrils and a docked tail
has run across the road.
A sculpture of a gray, faceless, like a stone spoon, woman.
Who are you, the one who builds cities
where we live and play
and suffer and languish and love?
Where we smell the reek of booze and hear swearing?
And you run –
from the bus window,
while passing the market,
you see young goat-legged transmission towers.
Who will you give birth to, my epoch,
a firefighter pregnant with fire?
An obscene construction site,
a ponderous porno of substances,
of raw materials,
and dirty baby jackets of melting snow lie all around –
the baby princess of spring has wetted herself.
Like Winston Churchill, the building site is chewing the huge cigars of the piles,
and shed skins of sinners
are soaked in tar.
has been carefully poured into
the leafy saucer of the orchard, like milk tea.
A see-through spotted cat of silence
softly takes my mind by the scruff of its neck
and transports it to her,
to her small house with a window opened wide.
She is not sleeping, watching TV,
and the lilac wind from outer space is sweeping across her face.
Even in the twilight, I can see freckles on her cheeks and forehead,
as if a sick salmon has thrown into her face a handful
of light-brown grains of roe,
“Hey, I’m going to die so nurse them instead of me…”
The fog is a smoke-gray dog of forgetfulness.
It tags after me into this evening world,
that looks like inky kefir.
Drink it with your eyes and ears while it’s fresh.
No one has noticed when night fell,
But now I see it, see the corrugated, jaggedly-looking moon,
the fin of an orange fish –
why did not you want to make my wish true?
Why did I love so much to bury my face in her hair,
like a thief that hides in a haystack?
Why are fogs so tasty here –
tea with milk
and the salmon-girl with green eyes…
(translated by Sergey Gerasimov from Russian.
The author holds the rights for the English translation of all poems)
Dmitry Blizniuk is an author from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared in Poet Lore, The Pinch, Press53, Salamander, Grub Street ‚The Nassau Review, Havik, Naugatuck River, and many others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is also the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox Press, 2018). He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine. Member of PEN America.