In the dim light of my childhood dream
an old cupboard stands flush against a sideboard.
I can see the dark galleys
and the scent of sea on each damp stone.
Bologna! What lies, like negatives, on my
dream’s dresser floor?
And who captured these scenes on film —
white figures behind the columns?
* * *
A white Viennese chair sets against the sea
and you — time fades in the landscape’s
evening waves. Sculpted cheekbones in profile
and a child’s sand-plastered shovel.
When you’re here, red wine
flows for two, and the bitter wafts into salt air.
when you’re here, everything’s made right
as the sun gnaws away at the beach like moths.
Sunset over the sea! Tragedy’s classic
moment. Silently gazing to a point,
I see not you, but a color — and in it your
silhouette. And this point is not an end.
* * *
а small man in glasses and a beard
unveils me in a foreign tongue,
beneath a moon, mute as a fish,
I’m not sleeping, you’re not asleep,
and my head’s abuzz — something did
happen to me, a bird sang from a branch,
turned into an owl, muttering softly
in its own language, then flew into the dark
through a thicket of alphabet
* * *
a few words on ribbons of language
in a scrawling hand wrapped around
a tree hanging low in the darkness,
incomprehensible to the human mind
from a thousand invisible keys
interlaced in the dark between roots,
a new alphabet deposits —
a brook dodges, a tree burns.
* * *
Overgrown with poetry, like a second skin,
the first covering my face and hands;
all of these more similar to the rhymes
of Blok or even Fet, his fluid sounds —
Overgrown, over time these things take root
as you push aside the dresser of blinds — already
there are problems — prefixes and suffixes pour out,
awash in the soapy water of morphemes.
Overgrown with oneself, a maze of larders,
rooms, where the electric light is always on,
endless staircases — channel embankments — you can
wander yourself the entire night and never find a toilet.
. . . a tree. Stands
in the courtyard, like a condemned
man against a brick wall,
I name it: “Tree.”
It seemed dead, but with
an ear placed against it
I could hear every leaf
that’s ever rustled.
The tree has grown up into the wall
of where I’m staying.
Strange dreams of mead and the sea
drift by, forgotten.
While living there for a year I wrote:
How strange on evenings for one
to wander among classical façades,
as if capsized in the dark,
deafened by the damp snowfall .
with the air grown heavy,
I could feel underground rivers.
An invisible window rapping.
As if I’d risen as a specter.
How many times, my God!
wandering through a vacant apartment,
ascending Beast Bridge.
Cathedrals, towers, cupolas
lay like lairs at the bottom of the canal.
And for some reason I recalled that tree.
“How is it doing against the wall?
A dream shows — there’s no one.”
Slowly goes back.
After all, in essence, we are similar —
we speak, but we cannot say anything.
Even the dreams we see are someone else’s.
We wake — remembering nothing.
And then I saw them.
in red hockey helmets,
running along the roof
as bolts rumbled,
opening panes of the constellations.
No city, but a five-decked ship
ablaze — lifted upwards.
I saw mud clods slipping down,
falling in the direction of bedroom communities.
Mollusks, seaweed, fish glimmering in the sea,
plastered over roots, —
it’s only a dark branch rapping at the window.
. . . Its pattern,
fine as a scarab
descending the morning glass.
I don’t recall a single word.
But since then, as soon as
the stars begin to creak,
it seems as if this language
is not irretrievably lost.
One day it will return
to be the clearest
of all languages