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Russian movie poster, detail.


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Dina Gatina

Tr. Peter Golub



***

    drawing is good:
on the trees apples, mushrooms, squirrels
on the water ducks, lilies, battle cruiser
underneath a mermaid, a scuba diver, fish
in the sky sun, moon, clouds, birds, plane, helicopter, rocket, Gagarin
this first lie is from joy, what do you know,
from childhood
    then the apples disappeared from the pine trees,
    then the fish grew gills,
    then the fish themselves disappeared,
because you can’t see them under water.

***

once, standing at home
undressing,
for some reason I began
to notice the sparks
from all the synthetics.
everything’s off,
I’m still standing
itching itching
the fabric
it it   
felt so beautiful.
the charges obediently glittered
under my fingers,
and then everything ended.
I so needed
the charges,
I sat on the floor
(just before the film “Sabrina”
with Audrey Hepburn was on)
and slid my palms
under the waist.
these jeans
were a little too big,
when we got them
from the Vietnamese woman
at the Vietnamese market.
suddenly I realized
(or it just seemed that way)
that my behind, is probably,
going to be bigger than
Audrey Hepburn’s.
that is, if we were stood together,
then after all, so to speak
proportionately, I think
mine would be bigger.
I thought, well now,
my behind is already
bigger than Audrey Hepburn’s.
or maybe I said it aloud,
it could certainly be,
but it was pleasant
to feel this soft place
with my hands.
one might think
that I stood there for a while
squeezing my butt;
it’s not so —
it wasn’t long at all,
because suddenly a more
urgent thought came to me
about miracles and awe,
that a long time had passed
since I thought about tiny fairies
who count ships
and live under the pier,
where they are scared;
that I forgot
the words you say
to turn from a bug
into a boy,
that I’ve already stopped thinking about
cats,
dogs,
but the color of my pen
is now very important
(for example, I wanted to write
all of this in red ink, and am writing in red ink,
even though there is nothing red
in these words,
what horror, I am beginning
to develop
a preference in ink!)
and so what
if I don’t think anymore
about the tiny fairies.
so I stood there for a bit
and decided to lie on the couch
and write about this
in red gel pen,
but instead began writing
about my butt
and that
Audrey Hepburn.
I, by the way,
have never finished that film
there is too little to understand there,
and it’s already night in the courtyard.

though all in all
what a butt
that Audrey Hepburn has!

***

downtown at night,
a centaur might walk up
I’ve nothing
simply skipping out on
the battle and harvest.
on the way back
ran into Misha the executioner,
we chatted.
and further on by swamp,
just as I wanted,
in a green coat,
I exemplarily lead
you and I, like a Swede,
to clean water
into the shower rooms.
the bandages losing their gilding.

***

you see we’ve come out for you
with our drawings
guinea pigs statuettes
artifacts of historical
value
and went no further
we would have gone to the store
for you
are you willing
to fight
someone asked
(we — o yes, of course...)
and pulled the pin
everything illuminated and blew up
we had so wanted
to leave the house for you
but we were told
your guinea pigs could
change the entrance/exit
at night they molt off
everything, coughs
the secret chambers

***

with rain the ash sprung out
the yellow leaf
with it we’ll augur and desist
the brilliant sun and limpid portent
we are distracted dismantled in the dance
it is now beautiful behind the house
though uncertain
we are now beaten
off the point and perch
but it was clear from the beginning:
yellow


***

the bald ash, impossible
scare, blood with milk
how frightening — Kustodiev, your girls’ pulp
   My powder, children,
   My powder, where’d it go?
just you wait
gardener, harmless
why fume?
But if there was a rattle
But if there was saufe moi, a two meter stream,
a royal holster  saufe moi!!!
We split the orange.
the nesting doll turned out to be bottomless
how terrible — your carved up girls
caesarean toys, how terrible
   I want — Kissing
under the wallpaper, of small size, no, no
stop vacuuming

                              stop vacuuming

***

butter fingers
it’ll make the control happy
bird in hand
laughs
the wooden crane for the well
             the brother  
buried chest deep in the earth
I’ll hear my good poor friend
transmit by radio
butter fingers
             butter feet too

***

if the next time
I fly out voluntarily
I’ll surely take a look
into your office.
maybe I’ll have time
to hit the window with my sandal.
or else doctoring
the hooves with a soldering iron
across the paper
crawls a friendly
insect
on the midnight cookie
splendid life, image.

***

my advice to you,
catch the sun as it’s setting.
like plumed tomato
roll it into a jar,
though I warn you, in pursuit
such things will happen
you’ll be sorry.
although do
what you like
I’m going
I’ve an arrow
at the swamp.


Indoor Questionnaire

in this room snow falls up
how old are you?
where there is sun, it wakes me up, but more
often — I wake it
my favorite pills are calcium gluconate,
my favorite sweater is grey with a hood
most of the time it’s warm here
I have a boyfriend
won’t tell you his name
the windows squeak open and close,
but keep the sound out, meaning
on the street they also don’t hear.
what is your favorite dish?
how old is your boyfriend?
what is your favorite drink?
most of the time there is no one home,
there is a phone, in the phone there’s a rabbit, in the rabbit a duck,
in the duck another rabbit
my favorite film is “Arizona Dreams,”
I’ve grown used to it
my favorite drink, before me
was written coca-cola, — Coca-Cola
copy-cat — uncle bat
uncle duck
uncle rabbit
in this room snow falls up
or the chickadee raps
rapping from the floor, if it’s loud above,
it can be loud up there.
have you kissed him? are you a pair,
looked into each others’ eyes?
it could be tidied up here,
make for yourself and people,
we’re a pair, we kiss,
no haven’t looked.
the floor is laid very evenly, very well
your favorite animal? cat
many years ago, relatively many
panda, lemur, koala, jaguar, puma
my favorite writer is Darrell,

I don’t know Lawrence,
in his books he seemed very mean
I should probably love him, now
this is best.
pasty swan and pallid fluff
who will love this burdock stuff

   
Dina Gatina

Dina Gatina

Dina Gatina (b. 1981, Saratov) lives in Moscow, where she is an active participant in readings, poetry festivals, etc. She was awarded the Debut Prize in 2002. She has one book of poems, Bumpy Road (2005), and her poetry was anthologized in An Anthology of Contemporary Russian Women Poets (University of Iowa Press 2005).

 
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