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Anna Gorenko

Translated by J. Kates and Sibelan Forrester


***

imagine something for my sister
my sister who asked me to write a novel
to give her something to read i write
if you imagined that she doesn’t see well
she doesn’t see well she says
i don’t see well yesterday i didn’t see you were writing me
but today i see got through four pages
i don’t get something happened to them in the novel
they say completely different words
make it like it was
i make everything like it was

Tr. J. Kates

***

See the greedy toenail of the sun
Yesterday hanging in the sky?
Let it touch your countenance
Through the pupil of your eye.

A raisin on the tongue tastes of
Tenderness and inhumanity.
I am with you for eternal life
And intimate with immortality.

Tr. J. Kates

***

The queenly pelt of the bee burns and licks my tongue
now I dream of humility now
the yielding door gives in to me
your speech reaches me from behind

your tangible shadow tells lies and listens
heavy and tender and rocked by the damp of sleep
served by her and only she
on the stricken bee, its spread pelt

and then someone will take my debauchery
for soul’s splendor and the gold of marvelous shoulders

imagine she’s myopic and
she sees badly she speaks
I see badly yesterday didn’t see what you wrote me
but today I see with four pages missing
I don’t get it something happened to them, in the novel
they talk in completely different words
make it like it wasbut before me, won’t it be you who gives the speech
on the bumblebee’s death on the bullet that snapped its flight?

Tr. Sibelan Forrester

***

think me up a sister
my sister begged me to write a novel
she has nothing to read well I’ll write
I’ll make it all like it was


Tr. Sibelan Forrester

***

and one stinks so much even the orderlies
wake up all the poets who died overnight
in the hospital basement they fill three big shelves
some are swollen up horribly
others have shriveled up,
drop hints to each other about it

get dressed let’s go see
sixteen prigovs alone
still haven’t counted the aigis
they’re giving their false teeth out to the blind kids
for the Jewish carnival

or instead, you know, let’s stay home
they say there are firemen there and cops
I’m afraid of the cops
and you’re afraid of firemen
Natalia is afraid of wolves
let’s stay, drink lemonade
remembering
how the poets walked in the parade
\ta-rum-pum-pum! Taroo!

Tr. Sibelan Forrester


selections from the cycle Dead Children’s Song

1

You wooden maiden―a ship in place of your spine
You have two brothers―one well brother and the other heron

The maiden with the sea bird sent her brothers a letter.
Brothers, give me a name―it will fly here by itself.

The smooth bird flowed in the needly skies
Pined as a letter in its throat, as the close sun in its eyes

But the brothers long ago sewed another sister of stone,
They put the bird in her hands―don’t let it out of your hands.

The bird drew the maiden of stone into an underwater garden,
The name flew alongside―a fiery arrow.

The sea is that kind of sky, only in my mouth with a moon.
From under the water I see―you burn over me.


3

In my garden wooden garden
Made of sugar bricks
Why did the unicorns sing so
Crumpling with the rustle of the rays?

(the Scandinavian gods Ods passed facing away):
from my eye like a flock of underwater fish. ―
stay here now with me:

stay here now right now never
                                   a tear
flows down along the tendon passing the green cheek
don’t look into their eyes
they have eyes
like us
and from the fear you lose all shame.

Softly the songs of dead children
will leave no trace
i my garden wooden garden
the careless cats hints of owls

And if flying on a taxi
drinking neon for free
it will come
              we are fasting in the room
we chew the starched air
they’ve been yelling since morning
and since morning they’ve been yelling
we’ll simply lead him out to the garden
the sugar
will swallow him easily
like water and milk

4
                                          flowers:
              they have fancy wrists
                                   and this? ―
their icy
       red-hot funnel
                     forgive me
for their ability to wait humbly
to eat the eye
              and eat off the fingers
                                   they live behind the back
and dream of cemeteries
raw beggarly nightmares:
dull damp blows on shameful unclothed skin

                                   living space:
stuck to the skin scorched
and I sit and tear off
of my forearms:
                            it’s sore and funny
you’re frightened and pleased
look past my eyes into the spots―
I flower that way. It’s all the same to me.

Tr. Sibelan Forrester

***

White dusty raspberry for just no reason
given in childhood extra toward the front garden and the neighbors double frames stuffed cotton
while the body has turned pale from white
the desire to make explanations appeared
you see the feminists don’t like me
anything but turn into a feminist!
cast parties in the chill bribed by manganese
they chatter like a shark’s cunt
       Mama
       Mama
anything but turn into a feminist!
Mama not turn into a Nazminority fascist
a pastor’s female a grown woman a Turk
better a fireman a dead child a postmodernist
only not a leader not a bagritsky nor a partisan
                            Mama
my friends are partisans being tortured
                            and
no sooner night opens the stove door and come out of there
I won’t have that indigo milk with foam film
but you ate the rest
              not because you love everything repellent but because
people come in all kinds
certain mothers
certain children
and nottillnight feminists
children cry
mothers cry and eat the film from milk mother-heroines fearlessly wipe off the floor
feminists drink a drink made from soy
                            Mama
It’s only instincts You
could smother me and lie that you’re ten years younger
but the film the film
the mother gives out to the child left in the corner
Amber beads false teeth under the folding bed
a beige suede belt with a blue knit dress
as for life it turned out to be female
I’m sure you’d put the cigarette lighter under the piston
just the same way and grieve at death
but compassion doesn’t define fate at all

Tr. Sibelan Forrester

***

You see the thirsty nail of the sun
In yesterday’s skies?
Let it touch your face
Through the cleft in your eyes.

Tender and inhuman
The taste of raison on the tongue.
You and I are accustomed
To eternal life and to immortality.

Tr. Sibelan Forrester


Anna Gorenko

Anna Gorenko

Anna Gorenko (b. 1972, Moldavia) lived in Israel since 1990, where she published her poetry in various journals. In 1999 she died of a drug overdose. Three collections of her poetry were published posthumously, including Festival of Unripe Bread (2003).

 
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