Transitions №3

Author: Irina Shostakovskaya

Translated by Ainsley Morse

* * *

know what I’ll move to Lower Nizhny* or maybe some kind of Upper
to your place we’ll laugh long and hard
because those unaware of the power of the word
or even of silence
can only be aware of the power of a blow
so we were taught
so I was
in the past
but the blow only gives movement
along the trajectory
toward the infinitely expanding universe
any point the peak

13 nov 2017

*Shostakovskaya uses the abbreviated “Nizhny” to refer to the Russian city Nizhny Novgorod [literally: Lower New Town].

* * *

what you had:
a few gnawed bones,
bird ashes (you burned birds),
half a bottle of air from the reservoir,
a stone,
you went off a bit further you didn’t even go off a bit further.
what happened was this,
we were sitting together
on the bank of the reservoir
and when it starts saying that you are materialized ashes
why was he breathing the air
we get up
from the bank
see, I almost didn’t screw up

22 jan 2018

* * *

he who’s born nobody
will die nobody
with an uninvented name
his life flowed past in rock
that’s right, the only one
it was hard to look from inside
o these tears in nothing-colored eyes
and of a dreary evening passing like herds of saiga antelope
wrinkled hands
and clouds
some fantasy writer from the Middle Ages wrote that
maybe Tolkien
but here you know was it long since summer ended
when the bee-houses and petals bloomed

* * *

My god
Loves not any of y’all
With eyes shut
With a delicately contoured
Laughs not
My god
Not Christ
Laughs not
There is no god

3 dec 2017

* * *

it was terrifying to live on this earth
with enviable consistency
woke up fine early in the morning, but that’s fine
early in the evening
this is not a poem
this is, best case scenario, a poem by my cat
this is everyday life and in my mouth on the left a scratchy pin
instead of the fourth one on top
the minibuses don’t go to Lower Nizhny
(speaking of topography)
well and likewise to the Right
and Left
now those concerned with the political life of our country will come running
to you too
it’s fine
it’s not running
the transportation crisis
speaking of
you really do have to wait about half an hour for the 92 bus
15 minutes to walk

15 dec 2017

* * *

the taciturn chatters in the right corner of the screen
are not sleeping. this night is giving me a hard time too,
like a difficult childhood (which never happened).
the avatars next to friends’ names
almost replace their faces. just a little bit longer –
and you’ll forget what they look like (it kicked in a few times,
and once more, and quite recently, and better if it never happened).
“that mama hadn’t been upset nine years ago”
(that’s if you write like normal people, but if not –
then no one knows whether they’ll answer you in the lower right-hand corner of the screen,
even when and if their faces are glowing up above,
like a fire striking down food and gobbling up trees).