Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry


Alexandr Skidan


dear fingers,
please tell your fingerprints the other's skin 

still bear an ash
of their narrative

dear fingerprints,
please tell your nails the narrative 

was fragmented
yet readable 

dear nails,
you are almost irrelevant 

<mistake: illegible> 
but please tell your arms the space 

between male and female
was ground zero

or so they called it
while measuring gender differences by means of mouth and tongue 

dear tongue,
please tell the differences or so they called it 

in august
penetrated by dust

dear last, 

Translated by Larissa Shmailo and the author

* * *

it's like a rain wall
or a wall of news

when you crumble like chalk
as if the world lurched
and it could still be saved
only in this way


but the world is precisely this wall of news
into which your chalk is embedded

* * *

speech stones flow around the dictionary of nothing

you have seven of them in your sinus
mouth, nine

aporia accompanies lyusis
<unleashing decision>

when you decide to untie
the node of life


* * *

the grammarian distributes the semes
a fraction of seeds
sacrificial miniscule

a name is a gravestone

and shiva's wool is dipped in a boiling column
of dancing flames

but the heart
heart in vain

Translated by Larissa Shmailo

* * *

<melting of ice>

thaw of the substance of value

global warming

                    in a relationship
between ectoplasm and stem cells
cortical computer and alpenstock

        your mantle, o Earth nomos!
        your solar corona on the ecliptic!

cognitive dissonance
cognitive capitalism

        in a trap of love

tuft of light gapes

                  dry ice

lost <forever?>
swimming in printmaking

          absolute referent

-la mort