Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry


Ruslan Komadey


from the Veneova Cycle
Translated by Dana Golin and Alex Cigale


Cycles of the earth and mossy crust
weave the conducting circuits a tapestry.
Time passes with its stooped posture
among the snail's distinctive years.

Urgent time stutters on the margins
of specks of wind, grass in boots.
A wise mother lives in your dreams,
inspects details without a stumble.


There on the inside of days
The alphabet of birch bark.
Take a look-see: it contains
your mark.

The penny pecks out its own tail.
A coat's lining: days within days.
All dreams dreamt-you're lying.
Fresh from oblivion, you blink.


So wretched, like beer, and no one to sell air to
Into stiff hands made of ruffled silver foil.
The glistening papery surface evaporates into breath.
Sounding out the letters lie as though telling the truth.

Till soon won't be soon enough and, audibly tired,
Sight clings to the lining of sought for sleep.
Divvy up the uber-paper into exclamations of chapters.
May it not dream up its own sickly whiteness.

From dresses to wings closer than news to windows,
And the street takes aim at thoughts' forest sky high.
What else can I tell you when it was so long ago?
- Here's something to remember me by, likely not....


Silvery foil of street lights.
Boots at around three....
Wings scraping held breath.
The half-season of sleep.
Mothers of widows,