NO!LOVE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[PAGE 1 / NO FOLIO]
 

 

 

 

 

 

ALSO BY ALEKSEY DAYEN

 

Poetry in Russian

 

(1993, )

. : 1994-2002 (2003, -)

(Bilingual edition, translated into English by Mindy Rinkewich. 2005, New York)

2- (2007, )

(2008, )

 

Poetry in English

 

Nor (2004, New York)

Absinthe Then Love (2006, New York)

 

Fiction

 

(2003, )

 

Poetry in Translation

(Bilingual)

 

M. L Liebler: The Fragrant Benediction of Life (2004, New York)

A. D. Winans: The Wrong Side of Town (2005, New York)

Stanley H. Barkan: Crossings (2008, New York)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[PAGE 2 / NO FOLIO]

 

NO!LOVE

 

Aleksey Dayen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[LOGO]

Cross-Cultural Communications

Merrick, New York

2008

 

 

[PAGE 3 / NO FOLIO]
 

 

Poetry Copyright 2008 by Aleksey Dayen

Russian translations Copyright 2008 by Aleksey Dayen

Cover design Copyright 2008 by Mark Polyakov

Photograph Copyright 2008 by Pavel Antonov

Art Copyright 2004 by Alexander Valdman

 

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

Some of the poems in this edition, some in slightly different form,

were first published by

Lips, Orbis, and The Brownstone Poets 2007 Anthology.

Grateful acknowledgment is accorded to the editors and publishers.

 

 

ISBN 978-0-89304-224-0

ISBN 978-0-89304-225-7 (pbk.)

 

Library of Congress Control Number: 2000000000

 

 

Sponsored in part by Stiftung Stutzpunkt

 

Editor-Publisher: Stanley H. Barkan

 

Published by

Cross-Cultural Communications

239 Wynsum Avenue

Merrick, NY 11566-4725/USA

Tel: (011 516) 868-5635 / Fax: (011 516) 379-1901

E-mail: cccpoetry@aol.com

www.cross-culturalcommunications.com

 

Russian Poets #1

 

First Edition

 

Printed by AngoBoy

Tel: (00359 2) 981 06 12

E-mail: angoboy@abv.bg

 

 

Designed by Tchouki

Printed in Sofia, Bulgaria, 2008

 

[PAGE 4 / NO FOLIO]
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With gratitude to my dear friends:

 

 

John Dotson

Eckhart Holzboog

Anna Salomone

Aldo Tambellini

A. D. Winans

 

 

As well as:

 

Ex-wives &

U. S. Army

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[PAGE 5 / NO FOLIO]

 

CONTENTS

 

 

9 No!Love

10 Long Island Waves

11 Pine Cones

12 Jailbird Blues

13 Being

14 Price

15 E-4

16 Unbroken Mirror

17

18 Ice Queen

19

20 Pills

21

22 Sad

23

24 A Strange Call

25 Liars

26 No Ideas

27 A Little Victory

28 Another Slut

29

30 Maybe

31

34 What?

35 Transformations

36 Lefortovo

37 Koons, Warhol, etc..

38 Coffee Cups

39

40 01/06/2007

41 06/01/2007

42 Old Jockey

43 All Thats Left

44 Looking at Her Body . . .

45 ...

46 Two Lines

47 No!Love: Take Two

 

[PAGE 6 / NO FOLIO]

 

 

 

 

 

 

48 Homeless on My Block

49 Out of Silence

50 Today

51 No!Love: Take Three

52 Snow

53

54 March

55

56 The Meteorologist Said

57 My Friend Said

58 My Mother Said

59 For N. C.

60 To My Older Friends

61 Broken Lives

62 Love a Live One

63 At 3 a.m.

64 A New Book

 

66 About the Artist

67 About the Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[PAGE 7 / NO FOLIO]
 

[ARTWORK VALDMAN 1

TURN RIGHT]

 

 

 

[PAGE 8 / NO FOLIO]

 

NO! LOVE

 

Here or there

no difference

all I see

and feel

is a haunting past in every move stocked by solitude

and ghetto produced by Chernobyl and WWII, and

Moscow's flat, and Hebrew-speaking Great-

Grandma killing every essence of me in a carpet-

surrounded small room with the essence of my

passportno picture and a few lines as a mark of my existence.

Memarked by a hotel of imaginary self-explanatory distortion.

And there she wasrespect for beautysore eyes

surrounded by short black hair. No hair aligning itself

with eyebrows of sorrow. Eyelashes shooting desires

straight into the skies. New machine age.

Piece of shit vomited bodynot so human

more alive than Mr. or Mrs.trigger resolving wishes.

There she stoodribs shooting out therekilling

dead Evapinkies aligned with shoulders.

Devils in my head abnormally taking my muse for a ride

fucking her in the ass with a bottle of absinth.

Name it.

Call it despair.

She stood there naked hugging her vagina and thinking

no imagining what I imagined without an intercourse.

 

It takes a man to say NO!

It takes an animal to shut up.

I've been told that she's good looking,

knowing that she's the best one

presenting her pussy as an accordion to play with

just note and push.

That's what life is aboutpush alive.

My lifeis huntingto killkill my past,

my father inside of me.

Killing the past makes present and future alive.

Every day

I've made a killing

waiting to see it happen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9
 

LONG ISLAND WAVES

 

Jones Beach

where window washers

wives

go about their stanzas

and call themselves

Nobel poets

while waves crush

the shore

and

the stones

on the sands

try to become

part of the mountain

bordering Uzbekistan

 

And their libido

seems ridiculous

and tormented

and useless

 

Like this broken line

written: Waste of Time.

 

10/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10
 

PINE CONES

for Chad Green, E-1

 

Four flights down

to smell old pine trees

Play football with

baseball-size pine cones

Sit on a pile of

thin fallen brown leaves

Look at the red warm plate

and a cold one

One on the other

horizons side

Take the hat off

and let the wind

Punch that bald spot of mine

 

Enjoy every fraction

of each second

Before filling

the barracks again

Where face hits the pillow

on a lower bunk

Where the heart wishes

for dreams

While ears listen to the

drill sergeants explicit orders

delivered over the intercom

 

11/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11
 

JAILBIRD BLUES

 

I have only two more days

to serve

And I have a hundred blank sheets

Ill arrive home before my mail

gets there

So what am I gonna do with these

paper sheets?

I can turn each one into

a little plane

But my cell is too small for flights

I could write a poem on each

paper piece

But I dont know how to rhyme

 

If I knew how to draw

Id draw my wifes portrait on every

paper sheet

But I dont know how to draw

And my wife left me long ago

 

I can get home faster then

any postman

To find a pile of letters and postcards

in a puddle

on my porch

And grow that pile with a hundred

blank sheets

Then see if my key works

 

11/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12
 

BEING

 

being an old man pushing forty

and being a young man pushing the same

being divorced for the fourth time

being a father of two bastards

being an author of lost books

being the son of vodka-mother

with a few talented friends

being the son of the resistance

being an uncle of acrylic paint

that flashed nycs subway rats

into habitants minds,

I declare silence

can you keep up with me?

 

11/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13
 

PRICE

 

I look at myself

and into myself

and all I see

wrinkles in a mirror

deep dents in x-rays

 

This pilgrims soul of mine bemired

drawn in ken of shore

but despite it

I walk the sand

and hold my betrayers body

saying to myself:

 

Youre paying for those left in the sea

and the price

is close to nothing

like rubles in the early 90s

 

11/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

14
 

E-4

 

Farting, snoring, and jerking-off

orchestra

surrounds the barracks.

Stink of feet

like a bug

trying to fill my nostrils.

 

Drop-off ceiling

only a foot away

silently

looking at me.

 

Im an E-4

in someone elses chess game

trying not to move

without success.

 

11/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

UNBROKEN MIRROR

 

Im sitting alone in forgotten Queens

with only two things torturing my mind:

you and the Russian snow

meters deep and high hugging my ankles

when Im trying to cross the lake

in suburban Moscow

to get to the convenience store

that sells the cheapest cigarettes.

The 80s and 00s populated

and isolated my mind like . . .

I dont have the term . . .

I cant speak the right word,

or a wrong one . . .

I hate myself for being

loud earlier with you today.

I hate myself. Period.

That snow is something I miss

and you would love.

The same snow happened in New York in 95 . . .

I wont break the mirror, but I should . . .

 

11/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

16

 



. .
.
, .

...
80-
.
... .
. .
.
.
95-... 95-...
, ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17

 

 

 

 

ICE QUEEN

 

9 1/2 on a scale from 1 to 10

she sat at the counter and drank

something white

with ice

white girl with cold eyes

drinking alone

 

no one tried to approach her

or pass a barman dollars for her drinks

cowards, afraid of rejection

 

I looked into her eyes:

ice queen

was crying

 

I sat down next to her

said nothing

took her palm into mine

without a word

 

we sat like that

for about an hour

silently

ordering gin-&-tonics

with the barman,

putting those drinks

on my tab

 

then she broke the silence:

what time is it now?

almost midnight, I said

she excused herself

went into the ladys room

 

and never came back . . .

 

a decade has past

and Im still wondering

if shes OK . . .

 

12/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18
 



9 1/2

-







,

















:
?
,




...




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

19
 

PILLS

 

taking pills every morning

isnt so sad

when the woman you love

puts them next to your coffee cup

 

12/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

20
 






 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

21
 

SAD

 

I told her to google my name.

She did and called me the next morning,

which proves that writing poetry makes sense.

 

I saw her the next day,

took her out to my favorite jazz-club

and back by cab to my place.

 

We made love,

and I felt sad

for admiring her.

 

12/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

22
 



: Google.
.
?

.
.
.

,

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

23
 

A STRANGE CALL

 

She calls me and drops her famous last name

like I give a damn

then she says that she needs a place to stay

and my apartment would be perfect for her

as she is for me

poor girl has no idea that Im tired of bitches

taking my space

and though sure that shes a sincere young thing

just looking for love and an elderly writer

I still have to say NO!

 

These days NO! has become my theme

my usual answer to almost any proposition

since people have nothing to offer

except their painwhich is old news

Ive experienced more, greater.

 

Im exposing pain only in writing,

in publicationsnot in person

not over the landline

not over the cell.

 

Pain is private

shouldnt be passed

to strangers

even at funerals.

 

I feel for that girl

and can help

but wont

for a few simple reasons

she did not give me

a reason to help or trust

nor to fall in love with her.

 

Knowing that love

has no reasons,

Im still looking for one,

for a reason to be in love.

 

12/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

24
LIARS

 

Burn me and tell me that everything will be all right.

Leave me and let USPS deliver my mailbox key.

Dial my cell a few times a day

as long as it helps you to feel strong.

 

Babe, let me tell you something youre gonna hate:

Strong women never existed and never will.

They cannot even drink man under the table.

And women break like the nail that couldnt hold my painting.

 

Women are gentle and needy creatures

sent to this earth to civilize men.

Women are the biggest liars Gods ever created.

Yes, the biggest liars . . . lying to themselves.

 

11/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25

 

 

NO!IDEAS

for K. Kedrov

 

It doesnt matter

what time you get up,

the demons will do

what they do best.

 

But I still have a wish for you

a stream and a flower

and a hand

take my hand.

 

Handis the inside of welcome

Welcomeis a program of love

Hellois a gesture of all goodbyes

Kissis a winds gentle touch.

 

As you can see, I have NO!IDEAS of my own.

 

12/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

26

 


A LITTLE VICTORY

 

I

 

Auditioning for the New Year

on January 1, 2007,

early-morning commuters

breathing sweat and booze

trying to make plans

for the year that just began.

 

Their eyes are weary,

their clothes need cleaning,

and I bet that their plans

dont go any further than

a can of Bud Light

and, maybe, a snack

in front of cable TV.

 

II

 

Tomorrow is a day-off

for government employees,

thanks to the dead president

who couldnt chew gum and fart at the same time,

which means that the USPS

wont get smokes when I need it.

 

And, except for this thought,

I cant pinpoint the difference

between these subway riders and myself.

 

Though I did not drink

and just had terrific sex

with a beautiful girl I used to love.

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

27

ANOTHER SLUT

 

She said:

"You can sleep with

any girl you want,

just tell me

about it."

 

I knew

that she simply

wanted to feel

better

about herself

being a slut.

 

She was just looking

for an excuse.

 

12/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

28
 



:
,

.

,


.


...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

29
 

MAYBE

 

Maybe barracks

Roofing blind spot

And a bald head earlier

Maybe its girlfriends poems

Or Voznesenskys volume

Roofing falls . . . satisfy

And what? Dont know myself, fuckwith

Wife will dial my studio number

In 7:30 mornings

But we have nothing to talk about

 

But we shall stretch a colloquial string

For a half an hour

Also I shall say: I wanna be inside of you

Shell answer: Come back in the evening

But I shall varnish

Useless paintings

Till midnight

And throw oil paint

On a canvas

All night

And call older women from the past

No change

Wheres she? With vodka and tonic.

And Ive decided that its gotta be a long poem

Meaning: I shall prolong lines

And again I admit love

And again I shall reel up

Anonymous continents

On a wrinkled finger of mine

The clown!

 

I shall get

A new dental brush

Do you know

How scary it is to go outside?

How frightened I am to fit myself into the shower,

To shave

To provoke my skin?

All right, I shall throw a jacket on top of a sweater

I shall fertilize my pocket with keys

I shall answer the next call

Casually

My number was dialed by

The mistress from 97

 

 

 

 

30

...

,




...
? , ...

7:30



:
:








? .

:




!






?
,




97-

 

 

 

 

 

31
 

 

And I shall hit the streets

Without a trace

Leave the coldness of my studio

And step on 7 inches of concrete with a steel face

 

And Ill pay a visit to a Pakistani kiosk

Will have shish kebab to interrupt a hangover

And purchase tonic in

An overcrowded supermarket

And Ill take the train

And Ill arrive home

To embrace

And to cuddle

And to lie: I LOVE YOU

 

12/2006

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

32
 

 



,












 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

33

 

WHAT?

 

shadows cover

concretes wrinkles,

hiding softball players in a playground

across the street,

and causing neighbors to turn on the lights

and TV

 

while Im counting cigarettes left in a $7 pack

and ideas for unwritten poems

 

then

I step aside

to do everyday push-ups

41today

 

and my favorite person in the world

puts it right:

"You are telling tormented stories

instead of writing poetry."

 

And I know that shes right,

and I do respect her opinion,

while hopelessly stroking keys

without seeking approval.

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

34
 

TRANSFORMATIONS

 

Its late

and, according to the calendar,

January.

I look through a window

which serves as a mirror

translating paintings on the wall

into Arabic and Hebrew,

transforming the light bulb

on the apartments ceiling

into the moon.

Being very kind

to my baldness,

I cant look away . . .

sitting by myself

but not alone.

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35
 

LEFORTOVO

 

An editor of a new anthology

called me up to ask me to write

a theme poem

and offers 70 bucks.

 

And I thought of one Russian-American

writer who wanted to sell his soul

but simply gave it away.

 

The theme is the G.W. Bridge that

leads to Fort Lee,

a N.J. town that I call Lefortovo,

where I used to work

as a news editor

a long time ago.

 

Lousy theme

lousy money

all leading to

a lousy poem . . .

that you just read.

 

1/2007

 

 

Lefortovoprison for political detainees in Moscow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

36

 

KOONS, WARHOL, ETC.

for Aldo Tambellini

 

A friend of mine said:

You gonna be famous

because your second wife

used to mix paints

for Jeff Koons.

 

The same person

said to Boris Lurie:

Your paintings

are worth millions

because Warhol, Andy

moved across the street

from you.

 

Then my friend assumed:

Well make millions.

He did not know that

Im a poet, already a millionaire.

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

37
COFFEE CUPS

 

My body feels different

(I felt her body just last night)

sitting by the new computer desk

with the old laptop on top of it

in the apartment that used to be ours

in the apartment thats almost empty

(Ive mentioned the new desk

and add a decade-old blue air-bed).

 

Dont worry, reader,

she came back to me,

though now she has her own flat.

 

And, when I ask myself what

difference is there,

I think of cups of coffee:

how fast we drink them now,

before we leave each other

in the morning

for another day or so . . .

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

38
 





( )

/







( )









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

39
 

01/06/2007

 

Another warm winter

60º   fog

New York at 9 a.m. feels like

summer nights in Leningrad.

Windows   metal curtains   fire escapes

everything in b/w.

Ive seen all these too many times

in different cities on two continents.

The colors are gone

accompanied by upbeat.

The mood is cool-jazz,

broken umbrellas filling

garbage cans like dead ravens.

And almost no traffic

this Saturday morning.

Only tired, shaky drunkards

and dog walkers

and lonely lovers

are hitting the streets,

some looking for an adventure

some making a buck

some going home

to get some rest.

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

40

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

06/01/2007


15
    
- 9

    
\


    

-










 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

41
 

OLD JOCKEY

 

Cold apartment

cold feet . . .

where are you, war journalist?

Ten years ago, wanting more,

you could not even settle

for a lovely young housewife.

But that's all in the past,

waiting for more,

what now?

Sitting drinking near-beer,

cooling your living space

with your mind,

making plans

how to get back on your horse

that used to race

but now

sleeps in a stable.

Waiting,

you know

its time to ride again,

but faster,

to make that gelded horse

a winner.

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

42
 

ALL THAT'S LEFT

 

Lights out!

No!

Not anymore!

The past becomes present

and

Im back in the Tombs.

 

Barracks and lockups

are parts of my life

playing their roles

and cops beating the shit

out of me

while thinking of their wives and children.

 

Some would call it another

bump on the road.

I call it my fault.

 

Swollen wrists

handcuffs and watchband

and guilt.

 

Guilt . . .

bigger than a skyscraper.

 

Guilt . . .

suicidal guilt.

 

Rage at myself

and guilt

are all thats left.

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

43

 

LOOKING AT HER BODY . . .

 

Looking at her bruised beautiful body,

Im figuring out how much booze

she had

and how much shes going to remember

tomorrow morning

when Ill bring her

hangover medicine

and a glass of tap water.

Im thinking of many mornings

waking up next to women

whose names I cant remember,

going through their purses

looking for an ID.

 

Looking at her bruised gentle body,

Im thinking of cobblestones

in old hometown

when I injured my head

falling down

twenty years ago

on the day of university exams.

 

Looking at her bruised naked body,

Im thinking of nights

we spent apart,

of the times I caught

her before she fell

then carrying her to bed

and holding her tight.

 

Looking into her wet eyes . . .

I see . . . myself.

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

44

Ũ







*






*






*









 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

45

TWO LINES

 

Going into the night

getting through the night

 

Knowing what's wrong with me

knowing what's wrong with her

 

Two people

two lines

 

Is it too late

to turn them into one?

 

Memories like Canadian geese

making their way from north to south

 

Shitting on their way

into to the garbage of my memories

 

And wishesmy wishestossed

into the cans along the way

 

Im thinking of the late father of a friend

who ended up saying one wordshit

 

Years later jails and divorces

I took a chance on disagreeing with that old stiff

 

Now, holding the phone knowing the number

but unable to dial

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

46
 

NO!LOVE: TAKE TWO

 

days hypocritical days

nights

no!love

dead cellphone

beer more beer

forgiven desires

blocked

sex more sex

guests then visitors

strangers thieves

cooled kill-jazz

words

unspoken

lies

truth

unresolved

where am I?

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

47
 

HOMELESS ON MY BLOCK

 

A homeless guy on my Manhattan block

never asked for change

nor food,

doesnt have a sign

that tells his story.

His beard and hair

haven't been trimmed nor washed

for quite some time,

unlike mine.

He sits inside a torn cardboard box

reading Novoye Russkoe Slovo

an immigrant newspaper that published

some writings of mine.

 

Everyday leaving an upscale building

and passing by this smiling fellow

from my homeland,

I bear a thought in mind:

Would it be OK to start

to talk with him

in our native rhyming tongue?

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

48

OUT OF SILENCE

 

The earth and the sky

Words . . . unspoken

right in between.

Numbers to dial,

friends in their graves

everything is hanging.

 

I put on my clothes,

but am afraid to go out.

I turn on the TV,

and, a minute later, turn it off.

I smash the radio against the wall,

unplug the laptop.

 

Poems must be written

out of silence,

fished out of despair.

Poems . . . poems . . .

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

49
 

TODAY

 

Today Ive noticed more beautiful women

on the streets than in a whole year

guess Im fine with the divorce.

 

Today I wrote about 30 letters:

they were more upbeat

than a year of correspondence.

 

Today I did 50 push-ups

made me feel good about

my physical state.

 

And, today, I wrote a poem

that made me question

my state of mind.

 

1/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

50
NO!LOVE: TAKE THREE

 

scar on her spine

bisector

hairless body

in my arms

I feel NO!

not too old

her fingers tight

street lights

 

2/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

51

 

SNOW

 

snow snow

again snow

heaters on

pulse faster

women call

articles written

snow

 

TV silent

I read lips

translate stills

as moving pictures

 

I dress in black

but the weather

paints my clothes white

with snow

 

I like the color

of black & white

like photos of my childhood

lost

so much snow

 

2/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

52

 






















\

...


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

53

MARCH

 

It resembles Baryshnikovs character

from Sex and the City,

the same city

for her . . .

on the same streets . . .

Im in a reality program.

All serials come to an end.

Chapters progress

despite age.

The moon grows larger,

but March

does not exit February.

It's still cold and wet and windy

and dark enough for poems

to inscribe the season.

 

3/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

54
 






...
...








 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

55
 

THE METEOROLOGIST SAID

 

The meteorologist

on the ten oclock news

said

Its going to be cold and windy

tomorrow in the New York City area


Mostly dry with

a chance for light

showers in the evening

no greater then ten percent

Eight hundred percent humidity

I hear humiliation

Temperature

thirty-fucking something

 

What else can he know

about me

 

that I dont know myself

already?

 

3/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

56

 

 

 

MY FRIEND SAID

 

She saw sugar daddy

in you, not a poet.

I felt it.

It wasn't for the first time.

Got used to it.

But these days,

I know how

to put a stop to it,

that is, before the one who

asked for two hundred bucks

to pay her dentist

or to buy new prescription glasses

that she said she really needed,

since she has been

walking blind through life.

 

3/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

57
 

MOTHER SAID

after Hal Sirowitz

 

Mother said:

"You're too selfish

to keep your marriages alive."

Shes usually right.

I put too little

into the relationships

and too much

into the divorce lawyers' pockets.

 

2/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

58
 

FOR N. C.

 

For more then a decade,

I havent seen a journalist

taking notes as fast as she.

What did she write about me?

An arrogant badass, I guess.

I think Im not

just a cynical multilingual writer

whos seen it all,

except for true love.

 

4/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

59
 

TO MY OLDER FRIENDS

 

I didnt have a chance to meet

most of the Great Ones

though History repeats itself.

 

But, lucky me,

I was able

to catch quite a few

in my storm-colored net.

 

Ill never throw anyone back

into the pond

like scaly sunfish

which take more time

to cook than eat.

 

Ill be listening

till the End

for them,

asking myself:

What did I miss

being deaf before?

 

4/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

60
 

BROKEN LIVES

 

I guess any woman

can work as a stripper

in Irvington, NJ.

 

The Go-Go place

I stopped by for a drink

had only beer-bellied, middle-aged

Latinos in bikini.

 

And when I finished my

vodka tonic and stepped outside,

a crackhead white trash

in her fifties, I guess, offered

a blow-job for twenty bucks.

 

And a unisex salon

on the next block

was still open

at midnight.

 

I had a whole night ahead of me

supervising broken lives

of employees in the transit garage,

with my ex-wife among them.

 

4/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

61
 

LOVE A LIVE ONE

 

she was crying:

"I lost him, I lost him

hes dead, but I'm

still in love with him.

Why did 9/11 happen?"

 

I took another sip

from my vodka and tonic

in a plastic glass, and said:

"Its easy to be in love

with a stiff,

than trying to love

a live one."

 

4/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

62
 

AT 3 A.M.

 

Parked cars

are like sardines in a can,

people like zombies

at 3 A.M.

Im back in the city.

Im back. For what?

Another lonely night.

Should I buy myself a hooker

or write a poem?

One or the other . . .

 

4/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

63
A NEW BOOK

 

Well . . .

lets close this chapter

light a Cuban cigar

take another sip of JW Blue

kiss a woman

still occupying your bed

who wont go away

and feel like a rich man.

 

Then . . .

open a new book

another child

of a lost poet.

 

4/2007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

64
[BLANK]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[PAGE 65/ NO FOLIO]

ABOUT THE ARTIST

 

Alexander Valdman was born in 1956 in Odessa, Ukraine. From an early age, he studied art privately, then later in various schools, winning the First Prize at the Second International Children Art Exhibit. In 1974, he was admitted to the Surikov National Alcademy of Art School of Graphics, from which he graduated with honors in 1989. His studies included oil painting, gouache, tempera, etching, linocut, as well as unique graphics, print, poster, and book illustrations. Since 1980, he has worked with various publishing houses in Russia, including Detskaya Literature Publishers, Progress-Raduga, Abris, Ex Mo, Centrepolygraph, and Selena. He has produced original illustrations and covers for over 120 books and magazines (including the Bible and the works of Shakespeare, Dostoyevski, Tolstoi, Agatha Christie, Isaac Asimov, Gerald Durrelll, John Le Carré; historical novels, children and nature books, Sci-Fi, fantasy, and adventure books). He has also produced original posters, comics, cartoons, and unique graphic works. In addition to his work as an original illustrator, Alexander is a prolific painter, whose works, since 1992, have been exhibited in Europe . Over 500 of his works are in private collections in Austria, Belgium, France, Hungary, the Netherlands, Russia, Spain, and the USA, including the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection at Zimmerli Musuem and C.A.S.E. Museum of Contemorary Art (New Jersey).

 

ARTWORK IN THIS VOLUME

 

Page 8: Drawing #1, pen & ink, 8'' x 11'', 2004.

Page 68: Drawing #2, pen & ink, 8'' x 11'', 2004.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

66

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

 

Aleksey Dayen is a Russian-American award-winning poet and novelist, publicist, translator, artist, and photographer. He was born and raised in the USSR and immigrated to the United States in 1994. His writings have been published in anthologies and leading periodicals worldwide. He works as an editor-in-chief of the Members Magazine, a literary review, and as co-editor of five non-conformist journals in Russia. In 2004, he was awarded the David Burliuk Prize for international poetry achievement from the Germany-based Academy of Zaum, as well as an award for his memoirs from Russias Futurum Art Review. As a member of ALTA (American Literary Translators Association), he translates from Polish and English into Russian and from Russian into English. Among others, he has translated poems by Gregory Corso, Allen Ginsberg, Stanley Kunitz, and Dylan Thomas into Russian. He lives and works in Manhattan.

 

 

 

 

, , , , -. , 1994- -. 2002- - , 2003- Cross-Cultural Communications, 2004- , 2005- - Literi .. һ 2004- ; Silla Crown, 2004; , 2006. , , . , , .. , , , . .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

67

 

[ARTWORK - VALDMAN 2]

 

 

 

 

 

[PAGE 68 / NO FOLIO]