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Dmitry Bushuev

Tr. Rebecca Gould and Peter Golub

An Angel’s Dream on an October Night

An angel’s dream on an October night:
smoking throne, flowers, books,
a girl with a basket of foxberries
(the daughter of an absent-minded priest).

It’s a bit dark in the hayloft. Rays
drift the dust from .
I peer through the crack: my neighbors
gather cherries in the landscape (Muscovites).

God knows, a kopeck candle is worth more to him
than the entire service of the patriarch,
(their priests do not make friends with us
they calmly rap the door of the commissar.)
I cannot light the candles in my attic,
and so I sometimes pray in the bathhouse,
(and sometimes pass a hangover
with a born-again kolkhoznik).

And I remember the autumn moon,
how the peonies fell onto the marble
the icon incandescent (Flora and Lavr,
martyrs of the Christian courtyard).

The Holy Ghost is rarely here:
at times, in the attic, in the green corner of the nursery,
God knows, (where is it to go, not in the Soviet church
they visit us with tears and warmth.)

This is how we live (drifting through clouds).
Stringing ornaments and flowers  
around the birch trees on the holy day,
(we did not shine at parties.)

The kolkhoz of these poor parts has long ago,
expired, and life came to a fall,
(the Soviets weren't thrilled,
black stains still streak their flag.)
The Devil with them, may God have mercy!
The village name is: “Muddy Hills,”
(It's true, royalty has yet to emerge from here
but we look abroad and to the sky!)

The heresies out here are few
(and if it grows it's not for long),
the girls tossed  garlands into the Volga,
everything lies according to its cannons –peace and quiet.

The women here make borsch out of old axes,
it looks as though this place will empty soon.
They pray as cabbage steams, and hail beats at the window
and Yeltsin hides like a domovoi.  

I think the angel's flown away
from our little slanted church
(old women now go to the city
ironically the cross there hasn't rusted over yet.)

It’s time to reprimand the deadman!
But in the dark they circle in spiritual lust
a Godless authority on the church’s platter,
hail beats at the window and Putin hides like a domovoi.  .

I forgive everything. Save me, Stockholm,
in your baroque and in my desert,
we sinners never did see Russia,
as for this filth cover it with fog.

So as not to fall entirely into the gloom,
I go to the basement for a dusty bottle
(The lame demon heckled by the dumb one
falls into another demon's jaws).

The angel's dream on an October night:
dimmed candle, the closed book,
foxberries spilled by the country girl...
And there is nothing with which to help her.


Golden Chersonese: temple ruins, jasmine, bees,
honey dripping from clay cups, lamps, incense, coins,
my tongue changed, and I myself  become anachronistic,
Clement and I do not observe the Friday or the Wednesday.
Our language changed: Danes, Slavs, Greeks
(particularly a lot of Greeks in this city of stonemasons),
We buy oil, wine, and nuts from the wagon,
the youth look awry on our cohabitation,  
but we're just anchorites,  fortuitousbrothers in prayer
we might be lovers (but only spiritually),
you were called to compassion and I was called to arms,
this is how we served, each how he could, our country.
Clement, Clement, you’re droll, not of this world, a stranger,
pure, light blue eyes, the mind swims in the Testament
I'll give you a dove or a basket of cherries,
and never forget these light blue eyes.

Heroes of Russian Prose

comely cooks and sinful women
sentimental travelers addressees of letters
indigent princes landlords
(lonely pedestrians who smoke into the sky )
sensitive and frivolous provincial girls
pure youths courtiers inveterate villains
masons actresses and monks
neznakomki and secretive widows
lieutenants addicted to passion and delusion
merchants and two-faced grafters clerks
and all those benefactresses
police captains drunks gamblers and prodigals
petite bourgeois with canaries by their icons
old generals in love with young women
economists floozies and homely girls
retired soldiers priests and cavalry
amiable well educated confidence men
cousins and  muscovite coquettes
neighborhood wardens and lovers of the theater
potential inheritors of fortune file clerks
pawn brokers devoted servants
sorcerers and bandits pious women
cabinet-ministers oberjägermeistersat the court
distinguished boyars clever courtiers
inspector generals vice-counselors field marshals
majors from siberian provinces
prisoners of the caucasuses,
gypsies royal poets
fugitives hussar divisions
pedantic germans staff captains and aged warriors
society belles with their mothers
polite collegiate clerks with pleasant physiognomies
dim lackeys couriers lovers of vodka and conversation
governors postal clerks chairmen of civil commissions
(all of them addicted to cards)
merchants and millionaires
retired generals with wives nearby
peasant mistresses
honest country doctors sly french ladies
aunts with sovereign tempers
pallid thin youths dying from tuberculosis
deranged holy fools
rude merchants’ sons with generous souls
dishonored curators with umbrageous temperments
cantankerous generals' widows
people with connections and information
musical women who paint
smart happy sisters
leaders of leftist movements and founders of schools
elderly frنuleins with excited natures
eternal students, governesses and maids
illegitimate profligate girls
old-believers carpenters carriage drivers
liberal professors
selfless priests and deacons
emancipated tax clerks
with revolutionary convictions
pusillanimous princes fickle and in love
nobility passing summers at their estates
school teachers with their concubines
comrades in billiards drinking cards
kind old women
shy effeminate schoolchildren
plain people with simple convictions
officers and captains with abrasive humor
students exiled for subversive activity
dirty long-haired nihilists
lecherous petersburg clerks
senators revolutionary terrorists
provocateurs from the security police
merchants’ sons siding with the revolution
merciless bolsheviks handsome leathery men
workers drowned in their home-brew
ideal cobblers
soviet ladies performing abortions monthly
anarchists and communists madly in love
the garrulous insouciant youth loafers
unlucky philosophers working in communal kitchens
publicists dramatists writers
political activists
ministers of provisional governments demonstrators
futurists engineers bibliophiles and pilots
literary critics opera singers
legendary schemers thieves soviet swindlers
agronomists pharmacists supervisors of factories
intellectual plumbers match-sellers
archivists chairmen of communist bureaucracies
lovers of public transportation the former nobility
youth in dormitories
doggerel-versifiers and portrait-sketchers
soviet hacks graphomaniacs
thespians of avant-garde theatre
vagabonds and hermits meteorologists
komsomols parachuters enthusiasts
lieutenants sailors gunners
editors translators scuba-divers archaeologists
bolsheviks ship commanders
adopted orphans peasants jacks of all trades
communist workers appointed from the district
unfrocked priest red army fighters and commanders
former anarchists former officers of the white army
enemies of the bourgeoisie atheists
chess players third-generation intelligentsia
jewish socialists chauvinist proletariats
sons of railway engineers
editors of thick journals authors
orphans of merchants administrators
accountants philistine squabblers
nurses and psychiatrists
informers and betrayers the cheka and the maids
cossacks fighting with the reds
rural poverty machinists witch doctors
red army commanders commissars of all genders
bosses of headquarters commanders of battalions
emigrants who passed their death
absent-minded biologists failures
owners of apartments for spies diplomats
associate professor philologists former communists
physicists mathematicians chemists
workers with bad fortunes grad students
human-rights activists dissidents
businessmen bandits murderers the poor....

Dmitry Bushuev

Dmitry Bushuev

Dmitry Bushuev(b. 1969) is originally from Tver, but spent much of his childhood in Ivanovo, where he graduated with a degree in philology from Ivanovo State University. In the early 1990s he lived in Great Britain and worked as a sports writer. In 1992 he was awarded a prize by the poetry journal Yunost. He has published a book of poems The Estate, a novel Who Does the Harlequin Resemble, and a Collected Works. He lives in Stockholm Sweden, where he works as a sports manager. Much of his poetry and prose can be found at samizdat and his author’s page

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