Dmitry Blizniuk ~ Three Poems

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.


The Fog

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.