Поэт в изгнании /A Poet in Exile by Dmitry Blizniuk/Sergey Gerasimov

Поэт в изгнании

небо над шоссе низко-низкое —
хитрая собачья морда над дымящейся кастрюлей.
однокрылый ангел рекламы
стоит вдоль дороги и на плоскости намалевано
«аквафреш -вода богов»
а я — несовершенный глагол, человек в ветровке
с кусками брезента в голове
хлопаю, как птеродактиль.
вот и мой сад в стороне
от истории -доисторический тараканиум и прусак
с тяжелыми лапами и усами
стоит на задних лапах,
в белилах, в хитиновой тоске выглядывает осень.

мы разбежались как молоко
из закипающей квартиры. теперь я снова холостой.
солнце здесь скрывается за нахохленным сараем,
желток с кровью на холодной сковороде —
весь вечер с досадой выбрасываю в мусорное ве.
точно гончая с подстреленной уткой
во влажной пасти, сопящий ноздрями, ищу чистые носки.
пришлось оставить город, женщин,
подружится с блаженным миром захолустья.
так Лорка, избежав расстрела, постаревший,
похожий на седого попугая с серьгой,
хранит шпагу в летней кухне,
выращивает виноград и огурцы.
искры сыплются из глаз, когда давление
сжимает имярека, точно тюбик с пастой
и если бы не интернет -в природе меня нет.

котяра по кличке ностальгия
вылизывает яйца на подоконнике.
лампа в абажуре -храм мух, жриц летней шизофрении.
но мне еще вернуться суждено,
ищу в себе силу бумеранга,
что развернет меня и унесет, если не в юность то.
неважно, впрочем, куда.
пусть веко с длинными ресницами
отвалилось от лица
садовой куклы -голубой глаз
теперь не защищен -он беззащитен.
резиновое тело под дождями
сроднилось с садом.
так сколько лет я буду разлагаться в перегное,
в саду богов?
лежать в земле и видеть чернозем,
черную икру в серебряных глазницах
росы, рассвета
и потянусь к небу зеленой спицей,
травой. запах прошедшего дождя точно пролитый клей,
и так свежо и хочется по небу пробежаться.
но -исключено.
поэт в изгнание больше, чем поэт.
а человек? -а человека нет.

Dmitry Blizniuk is an author from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared in Poet Lore, The Pinch, Salamander, Willow Springs, Grub Street, Magma Poetry and many others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is also the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox Press, 2018). He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine. Member of PEN America and appears in the Poets & Writers Directory.

[Originally published in the Russian collection Снегопад в стиле модерн, 2018]

A Poet in Exile (Translated by Sergey Gerasimov)

The sky above the highway is low
like a cunning dog’s muzzle above a steaming saucepan.
A one-winged angel of advertizing
stands by the roadside:
Aquafresh, perfect water of gods.
And I’m an imperfect verb, just someone in a windbreaker,
with pieces of canvas on my head that
flap like a pterodactyl.
Here’s my garden,
set back some distance from the history,
a prehistoric place for ancient bugs,
and one of them stands on its hind legs
in chitinous depression,
while the gloomy autumn stares from above.

We’ve run away from the simmering house
like milk that is boiling over. Now I’m single again.
The sun hangs behind a ruffled-up shed,
like a bloody yolk on a cold frying pan
until the nightfall dumps it in the garbage,
while I’m looking for clean socks, sniffing noisily
like a dog with a mallard in its jaws.
I’ve had to leave the city and women behind,
make friends with the blissful world of the sticks.
Like Lorca, who managed to avoid a firing squad.
He’s grown old, he looks like a gray parrot with an earring,
he keeps a rapier in his summer kitchen,
grows grapes and cucumbers, and
something sparkles in his eyes
when the blood pressure squeezes him
like a tube of Aquafresh.
If not for the Internet, I wouldn’t exist.

A cat called Nostalgia
licks his balls on the window sill.
The lampshade is a temple of flies, priestesses of summer schizophrenia.
I’m still destined to return,
I feel the power of a boomerang in me,
it’s going to bend my way and carry me back to my youth,
or I don’t care where.
An eyelid with long lashes
has fallen away from the face
of a garden doll.
The blue eye is unprotected now,
and the rubber body under the rain
feels so at home in the garden.
For how many years am I going to decompose in the humus
in the garden of gods?
To lie in the ground and see the black earth,
black caviar in the silver eye sockets
of dew, of sunrise,
then stretch up to the sky as a green needle of grass.
The smell of the rain that has just stopped is like spilled glue.
It’s so fresh that I want to run up into the sky, but I can’t.
A poet in exile is more than just a poet.
And a man?–there is no man anymore.

Sergey Gerasimov is a Ukraine-based writer, poet, and translator of poetry. Among other things, he has studied psychology. He is the author of several academic articles on cognitive activity. When he is not writing, he leads a simple life of teaching, playing tennis, and kayaking down beautiful Ukrainian rivers. The largest book publishing companies in Russia, such as AST, Eksmo, and others have published his books. His stories and poems written in English have appeared in Adbusters, Clarkesworld Magazine, Strange Horizons, J Journal, The Bitter Oleander, and Acumen, among many others. His last book Oasis is published by Gypsy Shadow.

Translator’s Notes:

Sergey: Dmitry Blizniuk has an immediately recognizable voice. He writes in Russian as no one else does: rich, sometimes violent metaphors, absence of rhymes that has always been frowned upon in Russian poetry, attention to the eternal questions of life.

His poems are easily translatable because he never tries to use a word the way that abstract painters use a brush or color; instead of it, he values meaning, clarity, balance, and honesty of expression. Some strangeness of his poems is due to the way he thinks, feels, and lives. This strangeness is not just a facade; it’s the way his heart beats.”

ADR Poetry Editor: I noticed the line count is different (54 in the Russian poem but only 51 in English). I expect some variation and wonder why the poetic line is broken differently. Line breaks are very important in English-based poetry because they are more than convenient breath stops. They often create tension, i.e., when the end of an unpunctuated line is reached, it sets up an expectation of what immediately might follow. An effective line break might take advantage of such an opportunity and go in another direction or create an unexpected image. Is there a difference in Russian poetry?

Sergey: Yes, line breaks in Russian poetry are different. They are much more connected with punctuation, with the rhythm of a sentence, and yes, very often they are convenient breath stops. I think it’s the result of the really long and rich tradition of accentual-syllabic rhymed poetry which dates back to Pushkin and, later, achmeists such as Akhmatova or Gumiljov.

Image Credit: A prisoner in silhouette (pixabay.com) behind bars (pngimg.com) looks out at a big red sunset (Kettle Moraine South, Wisconsin/ goodfreephotos.com)