Transitions №6

Author: Valentin Alen

Translated by Tatiana Bonch-Osmolovskaya


Pete said it is time
to cancel God –
because he allowed
to cancel Culture –
because it
hadn’t stopped
cancellation of Time –
because it went back
turned around
headed somewhere
to the Middle Ages possibly
(so what, it’s fine there,
said Dima)

Lena said
there they are, senile ones
sitting on the bench
LoutSemion Valerievich
And Eva PauperPetrovna
and Musya the cat
their opinion matters

Death said:
I have no nationality
but some preferences
I do have

Tree said to Chainsaw:
You are just a tool in someone else’s hands

Sema the poet said
Adorno was misread –
after Auschwitz
you can and should write poems
the more
the better

Scissors, throw a stone at me,
Paper said
Kick it. The bitch can take it,
Stone said
Internet is even worse,
Paper claimed
I’m not afraid of Paper, Stone said,
I’m afraid of Water, but she is not here
We are our everything ours, Scissors said
Scissors of Word and Deed
Of Truth and Verity
Scissors of Repose and Oblivion
No, here I am –
Water said.


Black Sea
is black with tears
Red sea
is red with shame
Yellow Sea
yellow from hepatitis
White Sea
is white with anger
Pacific Ocean
is not peaceful at all
4 statements about the seas
3 are false
[a correct answer: yes, Black Sea
is black with tears]


soldiers of hostile armies
message each other
— for the children!
— wraak voor MH17!
they write on shells and missiles
and send them send them
how else could they do it?
— have you received my letter?
— how is your family? how’s Mom?
— what are you doing here?
— your commanders do not mistreat you, do they?
they send letters to each other this way
how else could they do it?
this is not armchair generals
fighting on internet forums
on social networks filled
with mutilated bodies
where commentators compete with wit on
— nicely fried
— a nice rest between battles
and soldiers write and write everything on shells
and on missiles of course
how else could they reach one another?