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Mikhail Gronas

Tr. Christopher Mattison with the author



Eight million nine hundred and fifty three thousand one hundred and eighty sixth poem after Auschwitz


This poem was written by the author at night.

It is the eight million nine hundred and fifty three thousand one hundred and eighty sixth poem after Auschwitz (a rough estimate).

It expresses such feelings as longing for homeland, love for loved ones and friendship amongst friends

By words and then ends.


***

I lay the entire day in the palm of falling snow.
Myriads of objects greeted me when passing by.
I sensed no difference between them and myself.

If and when the pack holding my soul comes undone,
I will realize I am not alone in this city or world,
But in something so large no word for it exists.

There are words for time and place,
For rule and law.
But through all the cracks in land and sky
Arrives that which is and is not,
Arrive the guests to the wedding of unnamed light
Of unnamed light and unnamed snow.




When we come to power we will abolish
All colors save white
All events save first encounters and deaths
All words and acts save caresses and interjections.

All power to snow! Huts and palaces for snow!
Snow Über Alles! Snow, blessed be thy name!
Snow, thy kingdom come!
Snow and forever, lashed to the ages!



***

existence condensed to spittle, your pity continues strong

which multitudes have you not created

leaving the reasons unexplained while leading sands out of the desert

Again and again

pray to mucus that you might find some scraps in the trash can


Bush Reggae

                                      When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations’
                                                                                                             (G.W. Bush)
 
When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations’
 

that’s what I said
that’s what I meant

that’s about it
but not yet
 
 


When I said:
“When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’”
I meant:
“When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’”
 

that’s what I said
that’s what I meant
      
that’s about it
but not yet
 


When I said:
““When I said: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’” I meant: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’”“
I meant:
““When I said:  “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’” I meant: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’”“
 

that’s what I said
that’s what I meant

that’s about it
but not yet
 


When I said:
“““When I said: “When I said: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’” I meant: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’”“ I meant: “When I said: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’” I meant: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’”““
 
I meant:
“““When I said: ““When I said: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’” I meant: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’”“ I meant: “When I said: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’” I meant: “When I said: ‘no negotiations,’ I meant: ‘no negotiations,’”““



that’s what I said
that’s what I meant


that’s about it
and that’s it 


Mikhail Gronas

Mikhail Gronas

Mikhail Gronas (b. 1970 Tashkent) graduated from Moscow State University. Presently he is a professor at Dartmouth, where he teaches in the department of Russian Languages and Literature. He has translated the texts of Paul Celan and Pierre Bourdieu. He is the laureate of the Andrei Bely Prize (2002). His book of poems Dear Orphans was published in 2002.

 
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