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Russian movie poster, detail.

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Mikhail Kotov

Tr. Peter Golub


the sun is everywhere the same;
moscow cooks smog by its own recipe
your sarcasm conned bulgakov
like a coarse sweater. laughing — a loose thread
it is important to arrest the future
amnesia — ahasuerus heals  
jah, accustomed to swallowing and conserving words — satiated
with the world. your breath — my atmosphere
the same sun, but the sky grows bluer
than the vein underneath bracelet
laugh today i hid you in my sleep
once and for all stop growing up


                          lee’dа, the angel is sometimes real
                          i am convinced.

                                              h. matisse

leaf through to the end — tree — epilogue
the future is now present — was not.
girls sleep. the heart — beats the ball of time
girls sleep in milk more listless than gypson...
the clocks: late. the time: snuck in
but for us an infinity to them — into bliss
sleep. suddenly some piece of one’s own body fell
onto the bodiless. asleep drowned in
april’s thaw
they sleep under the old and fusty leaves
in a word — spring
white — more sincere than dreams
girls girls girls girls...
each — daughter-mother to you
freckled breasts, a pendant on the foot
electricity adjacent crisp as a baguet
joy — to watch the water with them
joy — into the air
joy — for in-
spiration us with lee

любовь lights

illusion is a balloon. inflated it? well then release
put on the other heart for them
time is a mound of sugar
in every espresso — bergson

all, which is not the sun, a protein. the protein-plaster
closes a break in will
don’t be afraid of white holes, though heed:
the darkest is a sunaholic

(they baptize only once
submerge into a dream
to brush the bottom of the lethe with their heels

...minty girls — paris hilton
the body is god’s armor...)

fall into yourself. quicker than the reflection
into water. more complicated than flight
the ceiling has on every story an indef-
inite parity with the floor:

stiffen from the cold. hula-hoop-holocaust
freeze under the word “monsoons”
from milk the scent of children effervesces
the insomniac reads to sleep

(fevered air. the mercury jumps)
from “sunny” to “hellish”
if you dive right into the reflection
at the end of the fairytale

*  *  *

on the blade of grass the ichor of the world is a symbolic aquavit
month with a female name slides — a drop of glass across the water
time empties jumps like a sliver of soap through the fingers
upon whose wrist hangs

the brown eyed versions do not cohere
an old bruise on the retina from the sun
the center tanned
the bad friend turns
spins around the corner

ravishes the air like someone who barely makes it to the water
more or less her friendship was hopeless
the way she looked at things, to which they answer blinking
the stairs stretch like a spring

in the sink a child rolled behind the freckle in the iris  
emptiness falls — a bookmark between the arts
and with the speed of darkness pushes walls, braced with five legs
a cold weapon to the temple

the circumstances of time and place changed, unclear what became what
travel around the room like a lamprey like a minotaur like a publican
tetris couples fold in elevators
the door crawls off the hinges onto the resident and lies closed

you draw standing on a bridge made of smelted leaves
it breaks
to reach your dead man through the ceiling of the water
a mated photo abwhored looks from the bank
the light spining around.

usury usury

shadows crawl from the coats of clerks and casanovas  
so damp they recommend you drink
any dry thing seems a phantom
from the same cloth as the succubus  

and in the pipe opium warms the killer of intrigue
falls poison in the ear which pierces through at times
hard to understand if love managed to happen
or have your vocal chords been tied by procrustes

i am an effete drop, meniscus to the asphalt
of course then comes ambrosia out of a pyrex beaker
each grain seems to logos — you must change
you know? censurecensurecensure

and in the pools and in the rusted showers
there is a heat but I want warmth
inhale you — animate
exhale I — incarnate

month with a female name just now i
begin to live or no
...I think, someone
commercial happiness
a bit more convincingly

Mikhail Kotov

Mikhail Kotov

Mikhail Kotov (b. 1983, Moscow) studied in the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages. He has published one book of poems, Corroborated Tenderness (2005). His poetry is protean and revels in language games. He often creates English-Russian chimeras as in the title “Любовь Lights.”

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