On joy – a bridge falling asleep

Transitions №4

Author: Vladimir Gandelsman

Translated by Anna Halberstadt

* * *

On joy – a bridge falling asleep
its spans half-closing
their eyelids,
how snow keeps flying onto trees,
into their forever open brains,

on river-bed, where a violet drill
revolving heavily
its burdens,
sways heavy chains of
mercury seines

and my little matchbox –
gets buried-up to the roof – by snow,
gifted for the time-being
by a seasonal severe frost. . .
Two-three landscapes, feelings, two-three themes
and the God of childhood –

this is all there is, all crumbs inside.
On joy, on differences – outside
the stillness’s great.
Soul or body – how any season
is so much better, than they are.

Only the speech, precise, lifted from the bottom,
wet and free-flowing
is what all of this different –
blind, randomly picked up –
speech always equals.

On joy – on how everything around
slowly falls asleep, on how
a militia’s comet flies,
wrapping the greenery of light,
of snow,
around its wheels.

* * *

To stand in the point of the world
to fill it with my heavy body,

tired air turns tender
under the milky skin of the palm,
and it suddenly gains weight,
it becomes aware– with the rain,
breaks into fragments,

and the tugboat moves into the
darkness under the arch,
turning the sleeve of the universe,
inside out, blowing it up,
Have ever been twelve months old?

Shards of pottery, falling fragments of rain,
slow down, and the air runs fresh
and again, snuggles up like a baby,
and my tense neck, harnessed into the collar-bone
turns the human skull
back and forth
and tells me to be.


What kind of god-forsaken suburbs
get resurrected from the dust!
That’s how you suddenly get
touched by lousy poetry.

You‘ll see apartments from the past,–
in passing, that’s how
a poor clumsy soul talks
through holes in poems.

How could get he reimbursed
for trying hard in vain?
How wholeheartedly the cloth of your being
gets eaten by death?

You’ll disappear, as if lost behind
the lining of a coat
into the quiet of the home–
and sleep through the
deadly grip of time by morning.