Transitions №3

Author: Danila Davydov

Translated by Ian Probstein

* * *
                     For Dana

Not to refute oneself
one always needs a reason
there is a reason
which is also the cause
which is also the goal

* * *

I have been in hell
it is dull and unpoetic there
beautiful suffering
torments forcing one to wake up
there is none
nothing is there
there is nothing there nothing

* * *

should be responsible for the humanity
a popular science program,
somewhat inclined on esoteric interpretation
of everything

so what I should do with my C grade—
for me only an earthly garden
and in a bad season,
the snow on Sokolniki park trees

and gray squirrels
and Poincaré you say
like some sort of cream on that, yes,

and it is so expensive because
squirrels, grass snakes, and hedgehogs
yes, really
turn gray

* * *

when I lectured
on psychoanalytic interpretation of castration
a girl plugged her boy’s ears
and whispered loudly
you don’t have to listen to this, you’ll be scared.

* * *

big heart
fiery soul
subtle mind
not implied by any
of the contemporary communities

even if I provide a reference to the idea
that our way is that of lemmings,
you will surely not understand
why and what for
who are those lemmings

but as for those who do understand,
I’d like to look into their eyes,
just look — and run away
far–far away
till the east turns into the west

and the infinitude of the ocean sung by maldoror
a physical obstacle,
a necessity to settle down

* * *

when I see in a late interview of nabokov
a reference to the night in the marx brothers ‘ opera,
where he admiringly reproduces the scene with exact dramaturgy
but mixes up a steamship cabin with an opera box,
I’m trying not to be upset

that in a hundred or even fifty years
even the most subtle of our comparisons
will be ironized
since the precision and speed of retrieving and transferring information
will increase enormously.

I think
that such an effect is inevitable
like forbearance to one’s parents
like diminishing or, vice versa, glorification of the past.

one just has to remember
that we are simply boxes transmitting the code,
and if someone managed to understand something,
it is already not bad at all.