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Dmitry Golynko

Tr. Eugene Ostashevsky

as it turned out


as it turned out, they went barbequing
former classmates, college buddies
packed the skewers, the rusty grill
Moldavian wine, marinated meat
a cooler of beer, two plastic bottles
of mineral water, even paper
napkins, home-made dill pickles
mosquito repellant, a tabloid for kindling
six packs of smokes, audiocassettes
inexpensive vodka, though not everyone relished
ethyl alcohol “Deluxe,” pathetic finances
did not allow for “Russian Standard”
all-in-all a choice inventory, downed a screwdriver
prior to leaving, got into
a freshly painted Opel, the guy that drove it
lucky bastard who broke into small business


knew for sure why he took up space
besides him, the car fit four
three had tried themselves out in trade, in commerce
she still lived off her parents
here she alone represented the fair sex
lucky girl, she was tickled by it but also abashed
the presence of one of her girlfriends would have reduced
the uninvited intensity of attention towards her
but she had no use for the superfluous competition
moreover she had already practiced
intimate relations with three of those present
of differing duration but with the same result
with each partner she felt something wanting
she didn’t try it with number four, what kicked in
the instinct of protection from the unnecessary, why
it lay dormant in the three other cases


she explained to herself, lack of experience
youth, curiosity, ants in, there was nothing
to regret, nothing to admire
they parked by the lake, on grounds allotted
to recreation outside city limits, the many fi re pits
had already colored the earth brown, ochre, turned it
grayer than a detective’s temples or an unpleasant memory
and just as vulgar, conforming to the taste
of the average consumer, mom with stroller
boss with gaunt model-quality wife
pensioner couple with miracle of technology radio
they got out, unloaded the victuals, went to forage
for wood chips, planks, sticks, her assistance
clearly not required, she grabbed a can of beer
with determination set out on a footpath
grumbling, I’m going into the bushes, so they don’t bother her


with questions, men occupied with the quest for fi re
generally pay no attention to women
her notification was left without proper response
about ten minutes later she clambered out on the overgrown
bank of a stream, even mobilizing her meager
arsenal of botanical knowledge, she hardly could have
named one tenth of the motley quivering mass
presented by the local flora, in her memory there surfaced
lily, water lily, buttercup, pansies, also the story
told by one of her recent lovers, of how he met
his first wife, she won his heart by reciting
without falter, the names of all the trees and shrubbery
later she turned out to be an ordinary bitch, he added
how sad, she lit up, had she been more assiduous
with the curriculum, the rammed knowledge
she would have seen the world as brimming with more


objects, but instead, a child of the city
disdaining to open to tiresome clatter
she stepped cautiously on the sloping, water-licked
rock, took off her tee, tore out a loose thread
the bastards, she thought, the crap they make
removed her jeans with the side pockets
polyester panties, folded the clothes on the grass
looked herself over, weight is the norm, body decent, yes
fl at stomach, 34C, two defects
skinny hips, protruding pelvic bone
elongated nipples resembling cigarillos
as a girl, she was wildly ashamed of her figure
stayed away from mirrors, totally had a complex
her second, especially third experience reassured her
she understood, men are caught not by the soft curve of a hip
not by the perfect shape of the breast


but by something other, asymmetrical, sharp, particular
a male, carnivorous hand on her jutting haunch
persuaded she’d been a fool to keep herself back
she never passed for sex bomb, wasn’t going like hot cakes
yet enjoyed stable, quite explicable demand
her thoughts shifted, time to stop milking the parents
time to settle down, find a decent job
a girlfriend from school offered her work as a bank teller
paid deservedly, she might even meet a rich client
still, she was scared of being cooped up all day
have a little more fun, a little more wee in the wee hours
on the other hand, it’s time to get married, two three
more years and pop go her looks
youth, spunk, know-how for the life of Reilly
then sadness bore down on her with all its weight
more or less like that time when a plastered lover


cruelly, brutally threw her down, what did I do to you
she asked by knee-jerk, seeing his twisted
absent expression, turned her head, it was useless
in the morning she let him have it, fucking pathetic drunk
for long time after she got the chills, felt gross
now also, she entered the total uselessness
of being here as well as of everything else
for the first time such shock, enlightenment, break through
in risk society, society of endless opportunities
social mobility, private initiatives
the set of winning combinations is so clearly finite
they, her friends along for the ride, just didn’t succeed
selling themselves properly, getting their ass in gear
seizing a seat at the table, grasping the market trends
later she’ll get taken out on the town not once and not twice
driven in a foreign make, brought along to a reception, wined and dined


but that’s it for her former kicks, pleasure, contentment, she’ll sooner
see the backs of her ears, fell asleep at the switch, let it slip by
don’t be a drama queen, she said to herself, it’ll settle, get back
on track, on your block too there’ll be a party
compose yourself, don’t fall to pieces
firmly decide what to do with that miserable pair
of jeans, she had managed to stain them
with olive oil, even Tide won’t wash it out
pulled her clothes on, found the same
way back, one of her companions grunted to her
can you imagine, the skewers we took were too big
as it turned out, meant for another grill
she shrugged her shoulders, wasn’t holding the torch
when they hauled the junk out of the closets
men are so childish, have to keep an eye on them
her stomach rumbled, she felt hungry as hell

Dmitry Golynko

Dmitry Golynko

Dmitry Golynko (b. 1969, St. Petersburg) has a degree in Russian Languages and Literature from Herzen University. He is an editor with Moscow Art Magazine, and regularly contributes critical work to the journal as well as to NLO, Novaya Ruskaya Kniga, and Séance. He is the creator of the literary site Literaturnaya Promoza. “As it turned out” is the title poem of his third book, which was translated by Eugene Ostashevsky, Rebecca Bella and Simona Schneider, and released by Ugly Duckling Presse in 2008. He has been nominated for the Andrey Bely Prize.

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