Literary Yard

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Standing at 50 Years of Komsomol Crossroads

By: Dmitry Blizniuk

Black wet trees
step out of the curdled space.
Unsteady black tusks.
A crow flies down onto a branch and sticks to it,
grows into the tree,
enters it as if it were a black house,
becomes its part, its fidgety organ,
its restless liver.
I’m standing at 50 years of Komsomol crossroads.
The picture on a huge billboard
changes with barely audible whispering reminiscent of jalousie –
a mechanical geisha waved her folding fan
and changed one mask for another.

A snowflake slowly falls on by unshaved cheek –
a graceful ballet spider –
and immediately turns into simple molecules of water:
was there a snowflake or wasn’t?
Was there a mystery or not? The snow on the curbs
resembles an epileptic with dirty foam on its lips,
and long silver monitor lizards, covered in scabs,
lisp along the road, teasing me with forked tongues of tires.
Another crow dives between the black trolleybus wires,
like a black swimmer, heralding the approaching spring.
A trolleybus stop, 50 years of Komsomol crossroads.

Shall I steal a treasure of the world?
Because I’m a slave in a diamond pit.
I can hide a precious stone in my panama hat or in boxer shorts, or in… Doesn’t matter.
Because I have a suspicion that on exit from this life,
everything will be taken from me. Security officers of nonexistence
will rake out the amazing treasures of memory.
They will scoop out the pulp from the unripe fruit of the soul –
here it is, helpless, its fists clenched,
it wistfully wrinkles its big mushroom of the forehead.
‘ll be used for spare parts, broken into colors and motions –
an unfinished landscape of a genius
used for other, still unpainted, pictures.

Someone throws our lives, like candles, into the fire.
And watches. The fire becomes part of us.
Someone returns us, lost sheep, to the bosom of death.
Oh, huge incompleteness of the world! The whole universe
with its stupid staccato of stars digs its fangs into my head.
But on the surface, it seems that nothing is happening.
Snowflakes peel from the cityscape
like pieces of dry excess skin, but my gaze is not made of pumice,
and I’m still standing at 50 years of Komsomol crossroads,
like a big-eyed road post in the middle of the roadless universe.
An inquisitive sprout on the fishy face of the world.
And secretly envy the crow.

(translated by Sergey Gerasimov from Russian)


Dmitry Blizniuk is an author from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared ‘The Pinch Journal’, ‘The Nassau Review’, ‘Press53’. Dmitry Blizniuk is the author of ‘The Red Fоrest’ (Fowlpox press, Canada 2018). He is nominated for a ‘Pushcart Prize’ 2018. He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine.

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