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Russian movie poster, detail.

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Pavel Goldin

Tr. Peter Golub


A light armada settles onto Trabzon
Bright motley bazaar mutiny
The morning after snowfall
(Within an hour the hills change their hue)
No minarets, nor sign of homes —
Only the rustle and the singing...


I walk into the empty lot:
In front of the house
A blind guide scurries to and fro
With a small wooden horse,
A lonely mouse
Chews on hazels and raisins
Down the rickety stairs
The idiot waddles  
With bubbling drool
And the coryphaei tremble,
Before such a mouse
And rock someone’s cradle
While dreaming, the fairies barking
I go over the edge
Through Riga, Dvina, Zarasai
Beyond the border of Palanga
And encounter myself
While an angel, in the form of a soft feathered owl


White and wet morning
Like sheep cheese or school chalk

The fog is scattered by the precious trash
And every yardman seems an Adam

The Romance of Stephan

From Ljubljana to Tarusa
By the light of the full moon
Travels Stephan, mustache drooping
In his iridescent armour

The law with all its seals is after him
The shooter with his harquebus
The reverend with his holy cross
The devil with his pointed tail

Now he rides through the dark silence
And the moon shines high above

Stephan rides through open wheat fields
With a broadsword at his side
And presents intrigue and wonder
For the local vampires

— greetings, greetings, kindly stranger
what far lands have you been traveling?
for that frock-coat made of metal
who did you have to defeat?
and good friend what brings you here
riding by our lonely graves?

Stephan sighed and then dismounted
Hung himself on an old oak

On the ninth day he awakened
Pulled out of the noose and vanished


All night
My wife
A toy for the child
From an old overcoat
— Honey, honey, it’s moving!
...a humorous creature sits, and glares with cupric eyes...
— It’s nothing, go to sleep
...right, sleep...


The soul set out for the bird ball
In the costume of a swift with pointy wings.
After some time the wind died down
And everything grew still
No sign of land in sight
It flies alone above the water
A silver beard beginning to emerge


The superstitious lover
Is pitiable
Like a rabid dog
In Venice.


While walking past the Mausoleum
I saw doctor Pirogov
Advertizing a lotion
To protect us from our natural enemies


Though Orpheus walks with a limp
He picks the wild flowers with ease.
And if Bacchus does not catch him
Then the other will piss in his milk.

For this Bacchus is pretty unhappy
And Orpheus isn’t particularly brave.
There’s an ax hanging over his mantel
And well burnished is his candlestick.


He’s stupid, fat, and greedy
He eats and sleeps too much
Immodest and ungainly
The aging ancient poetaster

The gods laugh at him
As do the women on the cows
He writes them eclogues
In the tongue of birds:

I’d like to turn into the Goddess Nike
Be between marble fingers
Winged, without a countenance
O, and to be free of this head

Pavel Goldin

Pavel Goldin

Pavel Goldin (b. 1978, Crimea) holds a graduate degree in biology from Tavrical National University, where he now works at the zoology department. He is a regular contributor to Vozdukh, and his book of poems, A Flock of Long-Eared Goldilocks was published in 2006.

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