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Russian movie poster, detail.


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Anna Logvinova

Translated by Christopher Mattison and the author




***
I am a woman living in the capital.
I strolled around town gazing at the ice.
A drummer plays sticks first
On one then my other clavicle.

At night I say to myself, good nacht,
And hiding in a hollow of the sofa,
Forget that such a friendly act
Is irrationally naïve.

Translated by Christopher Mattison

***

“Anyone who speaks about the nothingness of the Universe
comprehends nothing of the Universe.” — P. Logvinov

Someone’s once again won, the sun like a lottery ticket.
It had brought no one luck for a hundred thousand years.
Do you see, “Good bye” pulling behind it, on a string,
a miniature yellow locomotive “Hi.”

Foolishly concealing the past beneath an umbrella “tomorrow.”
If I had woken early enough to find your arm,
Perhaps at breakfast the dawn boy would have spilled
milk all over mother’s black skirt.

I will live out where there are mosquito bites and no conscience,
and do not think at night I will scream out your name in fear.
It will be different, sleeplessness instead of nightmares,
and I will cross all borders to fall asleep beyond yours.

Translated by Christopher Mattison

***

Things are growing worse
by the hour.
And one hour’s
no better than the next.
The Sun’s rays
reach us from the Sun
not in two, three, five, or six minutes,
but takes a full eight.

***
I dreamed that I’d eaten a thermometer,
and as the mercury melted in my mouth,
it’s not like I became glad, but the thought
crossed my mind that they would work it out.

I arose from the dream on a new sofa
from the legendary store IKEA,
to a rustling in the wardrobe,
almost a singing.

The morning was foggy, but I wouldn’t call it grey.

Translated by Christopher Mattison

***

I wouldn’t see the point in manicures
if I hadn’t opened a mail box,
how simply beautiful: dark blue and red,
and when a letter arrived — red and white.

I wouldn’t see the point in manicures,
if I hadn’t washed a lilac dish,
if I hadn’t read a green book
if I had tossed a gray pipe.

I wouldn’t see the point in manicures,
if I hadn’t now stroked your light hair,
if I hadn’t seen how they search
through dry fresh straw and reappear
as 10 strawberries.

Translated by Christopher Mattison

***

Trees seek warmth.
I’m searching for curlers.
So what if love took off, it’s gone.
But why did you have to leave?

Your copy of Hugo is on my shelf,
your flowers still on the sill,
and whenever I dream of another
he kisses me like you.

Translated by Christopher Mattison

***

The air in that room
weighs more than us
taken together,
one hundred and ten kilograms,
one hundred and twenty.
Yesterday that room
beat me so easily.
And a different
room beat you.
Which is too bad, as together
we would have lasted another day.

Translated by Christopher Mattison


***

She stood on tiptoes and shielded the window with an oak board
he found a match-box and got up without a word
and there they stood like a wooden house and rain
as the house would stand and rain would remain.

One day he told her that winter was at the door.
They should live by the post-office in the middle of town
and she spent her entire day rearranging books on the floor—
Updike went up and Dante went down and down.

And so they woke up, smoked, and cooked their oats rough.
She was motionless and alive from coast to coast
while the rain, as his tears, fell on her from above
and at times her eyes were open and at times they were closed.

Translated by the author


***

Things are growing worse
by the hour.
And one hour’s
no better than the next.
The Sun’s ray
comes my way.
How many minutes
Should I wait?

ONE TWO THREE
SIX SEVEN EIGHT!


Translated by the author

Anna Logvinova

Anna Logvinova

Anna Logvinova (b. 1979, Moscow) won the Russian Slam competition in 2003, and she was awarded the Debut Prize (2004). Her book of poems, Autumn-Winter Phrasebook was published in 2001.

 
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