Author: Gennady Kanevsky
Translated by Richard Coombes
the ‘information’ window.
— excuse me,
is it possible
pray, in the final analysis?
all for the motherland I mean.
no, for the motherland
you can do
only two things:
here’s a form.
that will be
interested? join me. we’ll go for a wander
along the uneven side, over yonder.
there all the houses and gaps are unpaired,
dreams have no colour, towns no boulevard,
and the cracks in the plaster on every wall
serve as a book of no changes at all.
on the wall above them i’ll write in my hand:
‘we are passing our days in an odd-numbered land.
three is our homeland, seven our glory,
five — left, eleven — right, and such is our story
that say «six» in public and you, poor wretch,
could wind up inside for a fifteen year stretch.’
and so pass the uneven days, one by one.
did it get dark early? are we here on our own?
how are you? missing the artillery choir?
you haven’t forgotten? today’s incoming fire.
when the iron crows are coming to call
the even sides are most deadly of all.
circles on the spot
yard dog of the ruins
dervish of the outskirts
but even this
you get used to
or that world
at full tilt
to the point on the map
where you are
across the same map
like a plastun
can do nothing
but it’s trying to sing
it’s trying to cry
lies by the roadside
but still smiling
open a window
is making out
that it’s moscow
is making out
that it’s shining
that they’re still there
that it’s still moving
are making out