Time will pass.
And it will not heal.
Turning ‘us’ into less.
Breaking our knees to kneel.

O Time will fly.
Easily - like a cliche.
Sculpting our lives.
Distinctly into a sham.

Or else Time will drag.
Like a shot-down horse.
Like a withered blind hag,
Who can see no remorse

For the years spent
And for the love not braved.
Like a hunch on her back
Our souls won’t be saved. 

No, Time will crawl
Silently amidst the throng,
So that we know,
That we are thoughtful and wrong.

O Time will be here
To remember what we forgot.
We won’t look back in our fear
Unlike the wife of Lot.

Yes, Time will come
But there won’t be a trace of us,
For we couldn’t accept the Bum
And shied away from his loss.

And for our love of gain
Time will commit it’s treason,
Granting us muddy pain - 
Leaving us with pure reason.


Not exactly a dream
Not exactly an omen
More - a picture of life without you
Touched by grief and alarm
More - a feeling that somehow 
You were torn from my meat
And the blood came gushing
In a man-made fit

What an artifice - all of this
In a desert - a tower
What a pity that I
proved no more than a coward
What a loathsome lot 
Has befallen us all!
Where we sober up
To ourselves in a brawl

Like a false note in music
My heart has become.
And my days are cruising
To somebody’s drum
Whom I don’t care to make out
Since I only know how to please
My invisible shroud 
Is on a short-term lease

We are prodigal daughters
We’re all prodigal sons
And our fathers falter
Upon our returns
Their voices collapse in anger
For a better deal
And our fears linger
And we bend to kneel

And we write false poems
About reason and love
When we’re really whores
Who’ve lost their childhood for “stuff”
Say goodnight fallen children
To your favorite street
I woke up when my teeth
Clawed into raw meat

It was a piece of my tongue
Rolling over the pillow
Leaving traces of blood
And no other sounds but a bellow
From now on will escape
My exhausted lungs
Until they are eaten
By the earthly bug


Objects start to matter -
Nothing else.
Everything that moves -
Seems false.

If only lips would unlearn to pray!
And never utter the word “stay"!

Daffodils in the dark -
Cutthroat yellow.
Our dreams and hopes -
Grim and shallow.
Grab some serenity.
Join a secluded parish.
Never mind all that!
Just sit there and perish...

Books upon a shelf -
Written by the selfish.
There is more reality 
In shellfish.

Dead upon a plate -
Color of the quiet pink.
Waiting not for 
Understanding or link

With its lot, its like, its kin.
Shell unto the ear - hear its din...

Lean upon the elbow.
Freeze your torment.
Hear your soul buzzing
Like a hornet

From the net of an adventurer-addict:
Life runs from your body
Like a convicted felon 
From an edict.

Steady now! You let it go!
Don’t feel pity.
It was life.
It was your life.
Let it go! Release it!
It was just a habit.
Guided by one rule -
Grab it!

There, you see...
It wasn’t bad...
Was it?
Loose and spilt your body lies
In an unfastened corset,
which they tightened sin by sin,
fault by fault.
Pain is real only when you halt...

Scant designs in the distance of a boat
Gather hollow spasms to the throat.
Spasms that once were meant to make us better,
Like Confucius’ crap - in rigid, Chinese letters.

Oh, my poor Eve,
my fatal Eve!
Running, racing, raving 
is your sole alternative.
An oblivious husband, an oasis,
All-American dream - to you a crisis.

It wasn’t curiosity,
It was that cretin.
Ravishing, lavishing in Eden.
The obsequious, un-suffering Adam,
Scratching bare ass from boredom.

Fuck him!
Give him back his rib!
You go on and weave despair’s crib.
You go on and sing a simple strophe.
And when you see a pointed finger,
Chop it off!

You go on and run, escape, desert,
All that vindicates or shies away from hurt.
Till Confucius turns into a Zen-master - a cuckoo,
Drumming his cliches into haiku.


The man wakes.
Looks at his sleeping wife.
Touches his chest where his heart beats.
Starts his daily life.

The dog barks.
Sensing the man’s guilt.
The man’s soul gets filled up
With pain that won’t quit.

He swallows a sigh -
A prelude to a drink.
And his brown eye
Unlearns to blink.

As the day goes on -
Macabre and slow,
Every wall
Turns into a door

Trough which to escape
Till pain brings him back
To relive once again
The same despair and crack

Like an elephant tusk
Under the weight of Time.
Like a dazzling word
In a belabored line.


Father, my dear, 
what for - the dry tear?
What for - worries?
What for - lack?
Stoic silence. Time to crack.

Father, my dear,
what for - the fear?
Calm it down.
Calm it slow.
We’ll all turn to a lonely crow.

Father, I thank
you for all that I drank
in. I owe it all to you.
Your absence. Presence.
Color. Hue.

Father, I watched you sleep.
My horror - it reached its steep.
Crept into my entrails.
Without you - all - FAILS.

Father, I saw you pass
up your chance as a chess
game which, by choice, you lost.
Father, what for - the cost?

Father, I love you both.
Father, mother - the cross.
But, father, there is no loss -
that’s not overgrown by moss.


He spoke of lack, 
of body’s memory, 
and the grainy quality of the earth. 
He said he could track 
Now to things gone by
of which remains an image, 
a leftover, a lie... 
That it untangles itself 
link by link. 
He said - with every blink 
the eye loses its autonomy 
and becomes a part of the whole. 
And that the soul 
fills with another at dark. 
In the morning, though, 
the longing recedes 
and left stark 
naked, it crawls back into its shell. 
Hence - each morning is a hell 
of solitude... 
through which - like through a lens, 
you observe yourself at a lie - making sense 
of your daily chores. 
And the evening stores 
yet another imaginary reunion with the other 
whose presence is removed farther and farther 
from your touch, your smell, 
circling at random, 
and your every tendon 
pulsates for order. 
But the border 
of pain is now crossed. 
Once again, you are lost 
in the web of some thought-up tense 
which your reason no longer stands 
and you toss it, you toss it aside, 
you exhale, you exhale, you sigh, 
emptied-out you mute the cry, 
you turn over and shut your eye...


Living - like in old Japanese prints:
Clear and direct. 
Breathing in cold air. 
Touching the dew with your lips. 
Feeling content.

Some of the time,
Some of the time,
I feel fine.
But other times,
I could use some more wine.

Living in laughter and rage -
A Shakespeare play.
Watching birds from an iron cage.
Making kind soldiers with children's clay.

Yes, some of the time, 
Some of the time, I'm all right. 
But other times - Just run out and fight!

Living the lives of adults - 
Soft compromise. 
We all envy children, 
In our slow demise.

Some of the time, 
Some of the time, 
I think, I'm okay, 
But other times 
We all decay.

Living among the gold sand and blue sea.
Watching the snow-covered mountains from under a tree.
Looking into the water - to see if you're yet there:
If not - I'll go off alone somewhere.

Some of the time, 
Some of the time, 
I know I could wait. 
But other times, 
I just forget.

Living the life of feasts -
Like the birds and the beasts.
Having no illusions of eternal bliss.
Loving and dying with no self-deception.
Don't tell me, I know - there are some exceptions
Like: living in lace dresses, 
And dreaming of leather boots.
Smelling white flowers, 
And wondering whom to shoot.

Living the lives of gypsies - 
Constant elation.
Fire at night. Sweet self-negation. 
Knowing to sing and be the song. 
Crying with weak and being strong.

Some of the time,
Some of the time,
I hear soldiers' drums.
But other times,
All I know is the moan of drunk guitars.

Living kaleidoscope lives - 
Change, transformation. 
Being half-black, half-white - 
Thousand dreams with one direction.

Chameleon moods 
And the eyes of a cat, 
Where is that dream 
That I've never had?

Some of the time, 
Some of the time, 
I'm afraid.
But other times - 
Just ashamed.

Living the life of unrest.
Bottomless melancholy to walk to the ends of the earth.
Desire to love all - anyone.
Falling into the darkest pit.
Flying up to the very sun.

Metallic taste of champagne
Stings the tongue.
Many-colored dress of a gypsy
Blinds the sun.
And the old men are still talking of doom,
While the sea is softly caressing the moon.


The window sprinkled by the tiny drops of rain
Looks like a just-begun Seurat painting.
The drops stay - as if glued - intact, devoid of
movement. Of joy. Of pain.
Except for one that circles 'round the glass
and forms itself into a brilliant tear of shame.
It illuminates the night in all the sparkling glory.

The drop engulfs into itself the whole of the night:
the insects, buzzing in a summer frenzy
under the bleak and yellow light.
The street lamp glows so modestly, so shyly.
Lost in the liquid it becomes a semi-precious stone,
not unlike the one that distant travelers discover
upon a snow-covered mountain topped by a cone
of shining ice.

The drop crawls down the slippery glass
With a scientific, measured pace. 
Enrapturing a room with cautious fear 
For just a blurry instant, it becomes a place 
In which we show ourselves... then disappear.


Part One

While I can still throw off a shadow against the wall.
While I can still disturb a feather with my breath.
And while I still possess all the five -
In short - while I'm still alive -
The music will go on.

And at the yellow hour of death,
When time cuts off the cord
connecting me to space -
Like some obstetrician in the ambulance,
and you will ask with roving eyes:
"What have you done?" I'll answer:
"I have danced!"

I have reached that age
which divides my life in half.
The midpoint of neutrality -
where cry is = to laugh.
Where You are = to
Your sacrificial calf.
Where rhyme is no longer at the last syllable.

I was born in the land in which I will not die.
It looks with a cruel, Eastern eye.
There was no poet who hadn't been deceived
 by its viscous lies.
But you won't find me there.
I bid it farewell.
Good bye.

I lived like everyone.
Alone. Together.
I fell in love. And out.
I've promised. Broken the promises.
I've told the truth. I've lied.
I have rejoiced. I've suffered.
Twice I've almost died.
I ran away from home.
Came back.
And ran again.
I've gotten married to a man
who was ashamed to live.
He didn't know how to take
but only give.
One night he took his life.
It was an overkill.
And left with an eternal, yellow chill.

You saw how they killed my child.
You saw how I didn't cry -
And You should know the pain.
It didn't rain
when He was crucified.
Where were Your tears?
So, when You ask me for forgiveness
on the day of Doom,
I will not wail in gloom -
I have no fears! 

Angel! You have to know
I'm not that Job
who hit his head against the wall
and then caressed his bruises!
I won't go covering my bumps!
I'm not afraid of losing!

You think it's whispers of delirium?
You think it's madness talking?
Then why is everybody walking
in solitude?

Lord! You only speak in opposites.
What did You really do on the seventh day?
I don't believe You rested!
You made the Devil.
Who wants the good
while there's still evil?
And there's the key to Paradise
while there is Hell!

You are a chess player.
The earth - just a chequered board
upon which You attack.
And what does it matter
what side You're on -  checkered
white or black?!

To trust in You?!
How? How could I?
On that October night
when happiness was finally at hand,
a murdered body was found in the ramp -
and it was someone's daughter.

I know it's foolish to be surprised at slaughter
in our century of mutilated flesh.
But you won't find me nodding in a cynical:
"What can we do?!"
You won't see me dancing a kikadoo!
There's always one branch that stays atop a stream.
There's always one last, un-stifled, un-mutilated scream!

I am not complaining.
In fact:
There's only gratitude I feel.
You want to know if I believe?
I will answer -
Because even when arriving - we only leave.

I am not coinciding with myself.
You might say I am torn.
I look around ill at ease
Like the sun after a storm.

There's nothing that I want.
There's nothing I regret.
There's nothing I'll remember,
When the time comes to forget.

Like a butterfly released from a spider-web,
words flutter out in a delirium,
and start the second round.

Pieces of sounds torn out with flesh. Unfinished words
where every letter is a premonition.
Our life is but a preface to the neither-world.
And man - conglomerate of contradictions.

Two eyes.
A nose.
And lips.
Two arms.
Two legs.
And hips.
That - (if you're lucky) -
are shaped like a guitar
for others to admire.
Afar -
a snow-white ship
upon the waves.
And stone-age beasts
inside the brown caves.
Here -
lust for Paradise,
fear of Hades.
how the last echo of rhyme and rhythm fades...

Lord, are You bored?
Are You fat?
If I were You, I would be!
I picture You reclining on the mat
of scrambled clouds.
Are You having any doubts? Well,
I guess I'll tie the cross around my neck
and scamper off the hell! To all the devils!
Love goes beyond the good and evil
while man and You don't go beyond the commonplace.
Love - is when someone taller than yourself
pushes you upward - unafraid - above his head.
And standing on his palm, the wind slaps against your face
and kills the memories. The past is now dead.

The higher you stand, the wider is your scope.
But you are farther from details than ever.
The world appears in scant designs. Through a kaleidoscope
of images. As in fever,

life stops its motion.
And for a fleeting moment
stares at itself.
With a cautious whisper -
like a woman who last looked
in the mirror when she saw was just a girl -
it asks:
"Is it really me? Or has someone switched
the masks?"

Happiness - when all memory is gone.
The weightlessness of life,
when you no longer compare.
When everything's that's done
is done for no apparent reason.
The point where loyalty is not the opposite of treason.
Where good is not the opposite of bad.
When to describe the living, you don't point to the dead.

A man is always ill at ease.
Not existence - our inability
to find a reason for it is what stings
and tortures us.
Memories of past return - transparent like a winter breeze -
numbing our happiness. Making the horrifying future sheer.
Details - reborn again.
No, there is nothing mere!

Part Two

I'm tired of appeasing You with rhyme -
False music.
He was right: "Just say it!"
I've been waiting for this tension
to say "I" to the "All"!

A great nightmare that precedes a fit of joy is here.
A part extracted from the dung of the whole.

Hear? Do you?
Are you near?
Are you?
Come closer!
Come here.
Now, you can hear?

Turn the page and dedicate it to
those who only fear the day.
For them night is the way to come together.
Total darkness. Void. Where "zero" is the only number.
If it costs, you shouldn't pay!
The time for fiery streaks has come.

Stillness. Nothingness. Void. Void again.
Avoid the act! What's done is really undone.
Get it through your head!
Don't believe the living
when they talk of the dead.

The conversation of the two is
harder to endure than the blabber of many.
Two - is an incision. It cuts upon the "I" -
upon the "You". Upon the will.
Give me that nail-file. File your thoughts away
to ashes.
Trash - is where our thoughts arise.
And rhyme? Can you hear how a butterfly cries?

I feel like a number "13" -
All I need is a dream.
Perhaps, some coffee to go along with it.
And cream. No sugar. Thank you.

The best dreams are the ones that we forget.
Light erases the forbidden knowledge.
All-accessible day begins.
The rat-race where no one,
you hear?! - even the winner - no one wins.

The most violent scream is the one un-screamed.
The most wished for wish is the one un-fulfilled.
First, fill the glass with tears and then laugh!
Remember, cry is = to laugh?
Stop digging in yourself. Let the "yourself"
plunge to the surface. By itself. 

I'm not here to glorify what "is".
Hell with that! I only love what never "will be."

Picture this:
Pierce them with your honesty.
Screw up their clocks.
I should have been a watch-fixer.
My eye - a magnifying glass.
Mess with the arrows.
I'm not your jelly-eyed Muse,
your Goldie-locks.
I will never loose
my "I" in "you."
Because - "alone" is the only word I love to pronounce.
for everyone to hear:
"I love you now!"
"I love you here!"

Picture this:
A dream. A remnant of the phrase -
like a Gothic tower.
"Sleep - is pain turn sideways."
Do you hear? What could she mean?
She spoke the language of "not here."
A foreign tongue -
the only one that makes any sense to me.
When spoken.
German - words like stabs in the back.
Like a car - 90 miles an hour
against the train - a wreck!
Thin boiled lips. Yellow teeth.
Rain. Rain over the Aryan "yes."
Over the transparency of eyes.
Their blueness. That soaks in the world
and doubles it - like Plato - by reflecting.
Brown eye shields and rejects the Word!
 shields and rejects the Lord!
 shields and rejects the World! -
A fat "No!" to all "Yes'es."

Picture this:
Do you know me?
Do you know who I is?
Write my name down and cross it out!
Whisper it softly! Never loud.
Loud - echoes in the distance
and repetition is the only sin.
Avoid adjectives and verbs.
Stick to nouns.
Remember, no one wins!

Picture this:
I knew an idiot
who'd write down every word.
"Here in America, we live in a free-dealing world."
I asked him: "Why?"
"Poetry!" - he said.
I'm glad, he's dead.

No one deserves honesty.
So, lie!
No one knows what they mean when they shout:

I'm glad I have an accent -
implies the knowledge of another home.
    another time.
    of abandoned trace.
    of deserted crime.
    of another Rome.
    of another dome.

Generations of idiots.
Vileness everywhere.
In everyone.
What makes us different from
others in the past?
Our desire to last.

You told me: Don't climb too deep.
The depth of the hole is the measure of
difficulty to rise back up.
But what is "up"?
Is it not another hole?
The "down" - upside down.
That's all.

I will not leave before saying it!
I'm one of those who'll add a word to other words.
I'm also one of you - with the past.
I also want to last.
No one is holy!

Little girl!
People who look like frogs don't
turn to princes.
And princes don't think twice
before crushing a frog.
Even in the best of spirits.
This is the only merit
of history.

They all want one thing:
To grab the "you" and
file "you"  up after their own image.
To smooth out the edges of your words,
they take after the Lord.
I am not like Him!
In fact, I don't even like Him!

Yes! You can say I'm angry. Yes!
But - my anger is your love.
So, can you imagine what my love is like?

Love is an ill-usion.
Most often - in-trusion.

Blue. Germany. Farewell.
Commonplace erases the nuance.
Reality cuts into trance.
And everyone rushes to find the main line.
The main street.
Even before the hope, I knew it was all hopeless.
Can't you see the spark that in the distance lurks?
Why are you afraid of the outskirts?

Shake the ashes off your cigarette!
Drink your coffee and
shake your head for thoughts-words-
emptiness-nothing left-nothing to avoid!

The time is here to squeeze the something out of...
And then... then you said it.

Learn to forget and lie well.
See how your shadow disappears with the light.
Don't cry! That's how souls should die.
And now farewell. Good bye.
Don't grieve.
Only the dead know how to live.




Scenes From Childhood. Part 1

Scenes from childhood explode like
Flamingoes crazed by their own pink.
The link between the past and present is senseless
Like the chain on the dog that guards 
A house of a dead man long after his death.
All I hear is her howl over her fate and that of her master.
All that I could muster up is regret
For not having the heart to cut the chain loose
And let the animal cruise our decrepit yard,
So she can sniff the odor of someone else’s grief.
This life boils down to memories and pain.
They are equal.
 I prefer that there be no sequel
In the form of reincarnation or giving birth.
I would like to pass through like a criminal’s hearse
Passes through the village where he was born
Eliciting fear and scorn.
With the onlookers screaming : “Burn! Burn!”
I would like to never return.


Scenes From Childhood. Part 2

I remember our dirt-yard
and the just-slain sheep
for the wedding that would bring slow grief
to the groom and the bride -
festive and sad.
I remember the feeling of being dead
at the sight of the blood - 
crimson and raw
oozing out of the throat.
I remember the core
of life bursting ajar.
I remember wishing that I were far
from the scene of slaughter,
from my own kin.
I wished I were no one’s daughter.
I remember the sound of skin
being deftly torn from the heaping flesh.
I remember I wanted to turn to trash.
Disappear. Vanish.
Dissolve. Melt.
Shove back the cards I was dealt.


Scenes From Childhood. Part 3

It was long ago.
It almost didn’t exist.
At the time when I didn’t know
how to form a fist.
Life was indifferent to me.
Didn’t make me kneel.
Since then - it went downhill.

Tender fear.
The childhood street.
Acacias stood guilty,
like the navy fleet .
Caught obeying the enemy’s 
head of state.
They stood like traitors,
like fate.

Then - there was no need to feign
that there is no choice but to go insane
following buds of lilac sprouting forth:
Inevitability of a rabid force.

Life was naked and raw. 
The dreams were bare.
Yellow wallpaper - poor
Like a gorilla’s stare:
Full of helplessness.
As it watches us - writhing in doubt -
Its tomorrow.

They tell me recalling childhood 
Is an omen of death.
I stand in front of the mirror.
Take my allotted breath:
One of many or few left in store.
Was I happy then?
Well, I am no more.


By the end of the day
I feel like an 80-year-old man.
Like a woman who just gave birth.
Like a horse that's galloping by force.
Like a wounded soldier with no strength to fight.
Like the sun on a cloudy day - just barely bright.
Like an argument of a married couple - predictable and trite.
Like a pacifist who abhors might.
Like an evening longing for the night.


Life’s a bitch.
A bitch on wheels.
Hold on tighter, dear, please.
Hold on tighter.
Don’t you move.
This ain’t no place for silky groove.
Hold on tighter.
Turn to stone.
Lest you utter a soft moan.
Only shriek of pain must come
from a wounded, soulful bum.

Ain’t no time for slow demise,
when the drop of blood dries
quickly, quickly, -
with a crack upon a knife.
Ain’t no time for words or sounds
when your loved ones turn to hounds
spelling out: a sorry lack in your life.

Hear’em coming, hear’em screech,
Feel’em crawling like a leach.
Jerking off on what they preach -
Oh, life’s a bitch!

Where’s your lover? -
Gone’s the boy,
sucking on your breast with joy.
Are you tired of the toy,
Are you tired of the same’ol flesh?
Go! Get you something fresh!
Dump the old into the trash -
With a crash! 

Let them run now, let them go.
Hold on tighter and hang low.
Clench your teeth, lock your pain inside.
For a voice that weeps there ain’t no ear.
Forget to be, try to appear.
And they’ll cling to you like sinners to a child.

Life’s a bitch - a bummed-out fact.
And with truth - it signed no pact.
No one wants your edgy honesty -
Just tact.
Life’s a bitch, a whore on wheels.
But you look good on your high heels,
Clicking, clicking, clicking through it
Like a pro.

Damn! You look good!
And that’s the truth!
And you loved well.
But what’s the use
If you clicked your 
pretty way to the noose?!
Which you tightened 
stitch by stitch.
As you choked on tears,
and your teeth screeched,
and your pain unlocked and poured:
Life’s a bitch!


Part One

For you - forgotten, scared, lost,
The only one without a cost
The only one who overlooked his youth
The only one who didn’t dare chase the truth
The only one who wept when others cried
The only one who did when others tried -
I’ll squeeze the last, remaining rhymes 
out of this tortured Muse.

For you - I would have made myself unlike them all.
With shovels I would have scraped out my soul
and offered it upon a tray -
for you to pray.

For you - I conquered fear of rhyme
Where every repetition is a crime.
I would have only cried dry tears -
for you, my dear.

For you - who measured time not by the clock,
but by the church-bell’s chime.
For you - who composed his life from trash.
Between us - space is just a dash.

You are the sky after the rain -
Delivered, swollen, a bit in pain.
Live! Sin! Forgive! Forget! Lie!
Yours will be the face I’ll see before I die.

Last day of winter -
Last throws you into first -
Almost a belief
in the unknown,
where you and I 
entwined upon a cot:
I asked: “How are you?”
You said: “I’m not!”

The first embrace -
 Yellow light.
I hid my face,
 When I learned you died.

Time stretches space.
 Space crosses time.
Words no longer know 
 How to rhyme.

Part Two

You - there - one with the less.
Left. I am your afterthought.
I wish I believed in the resurrection of souls!
I wish - below the earth’s crust
You’d be more than just tired dust;
That worms won’t eat your flesh
And in their own turn - become trash...
But wait!
“From trash our words arise.”
The color of the night - your eyes.

Last day of winter.
Here -
morning is never sure of itself.
It shies away into the afternoon.
Here -
everyone’s dancing to the same old tune 
for centuries.
Here -
variation - fright.
Here -
stars - nails into the flesh of night.

Here - deed is never equal to word.
Here - always - the one cord.
Here - they are ashamed of rhymes.
And there - is it rue - there are only mimes?
Is it true - you can see behind the words?
Smile at their fourth dimension?
Is it true - there are many lords 
strumming the cords of silence -
their best invention?

What is there?

Another here?
Another now?

Another fear?
A round tear?

It’s the same as here,
Isn’t it?

No answer.
Death never answers life -
the un-answered question.
Vice versa:
Life answers death -
with our bodies, our flesh.
Embroidering our names in mountain-ash.

My dear,
so much unsaid between us -
so much heard.
But how 
do you turn -
love into life,
Psyche into Eve,
what into how,
then into now?
How? -
Can into will,
words into feel,
shame into game,
rhymes into yes,
more into less.
How? -
Funeral pyre -
into a lyre?
Ashes in fire -
dust of desire?

Its sharp profile cuts into a rhyme.
Memory - what a loquacious mime.
Can you tell a truth from a lie?
Tell me, do souls live or die?

Are you free?
And does that mean?
What happens to leaves
that fall off a tree.

Don’t strain yourself to answer.
These questions - light, like a Chopin’s sigh -
will only brush against your graves and cemetery flowers.
Mortals don’t have the powers of impromptu silence.
With violence of moans and wails,
they topped you off with a farewell wreath
that spelled:
Life is understood by death.

Words... Just words... I know.
But what is left to do - if not grab the rhyme?!
And turn away, not notice how space is crushed by time,
In every yellowed-out leave see a sign?!
Wait patiently for the horn to finally blow
and hold your breath in fear.
This year, Jerusalem saw its first snow
in many, many, many years...

And when it melts,
what’s left -
but drop a silent tear,
and whisper:
“My God, You were so near!”

What’s left for me to do -
now that you’re gone,
but see your face in every cloud?
What’s left to say -
when all is done?
When it’s accomplished -
but scream out loud:

To you - under this ground,
under the dust of dried-out leaves,
fallen God knows when;
Under the dogged-out dreams;
Under this time of ours -
outlined by doubts and fears -
What’s left?!...
We only see the present when it disappears.

Cemetery -
Affected real-ness. Absurdity.
A star - fallen from the sky.
Those who say they like it - lie:
It’s the unknown they crave
Shuffling from grave to grave .
Articulating with the dead in wails and moans -
Despairing their own future - dust of bones.
Hallucinating  letters that spell out their names in lead.

I think instead:
I’ll stand afar.
I won’t come near.
I feel - every word, and every thought,
and every note of silence
is an alliance with sacrilege
in the face of death.

Tomorrow - is the first of March for me:
For you - the first of Chronos.
Here - first deceives the last by sliding into
second, third, then fourth.
But there - you have stopped infinity:
There’s no more going forth -
Just one short step from Paradise to Hell
Just one last gasp, just one last farewell...

Enough! Where is that word that crosses out all the rest?
Not here.
Everything’s as clear - as Greek mythology,
and as cruel - as Leviticus.

of mourning marches
of incensed churches
with their priests - God’s black-robed pimps.
What do they know of moving lips?
Of conversations?
Enough, enough elation about Rachel’s beauty!
Look, Lea is drowning in cruelty!

about lives,
about deaths,
about sorrows,
about yesterdays,

Forget it!
Skip it!
We don’t know!
Be more like children:
Say “yes”,
more often - “no”.

What is the use of memory,
If it’s not equal to imagination?
What’s left to me of you -
Just bits and pieces of conversations:

“What do you want?”
“I want to be forgotten by all - but you.”

“What do you see?”
“I see an underside of colors - their hue.”

“What do you hear?”
“I hear your words: Be good!”

“What will you do?”
“What else - I’ll wait!”
“For whom?”
“For Him. For the Messiah.”
“Till when?”
“Till a sign becomes a bait to clutch at.
In other words, till it’s too late.”

“Where is He? Is He hiding?”
“No. He is waiting.”
“Behind the horizon.”

“When will He come?”
“When more turns into less.”
“Do you think He’ll come?”

“What do you want?”
“I want to fall in love.”
“And what is love?”
“One kiss.”
“What will you do?”
“I’ll soar up to you
in thousand splintered pieces.”
“When do you think He’ll come?”
“After a thousand kisses.”




(Day One)

inside and out.
Your body -
the doubt.
the words -
their needle
their vision-
the cords
and send
the snake
to kill 
the mind.

And nothing
And nothing 
It only -
Like horses’
that trod
and lessen -
your living 

You look around. 
See your home.
Feel your pulse.
Nothing is yours.
You spit and curse. 
You are a bum.

Your room is dark.     (Evening)
It’s just yourself.
Yourself and lack.
A day’s old dust
upon a shelf.
Dry tears crack
into your lids
engraved by red,
engraved by blue.
And voice is mute,
and lips are numb,
purse into: “YOU”

Tomorrow comes.      (Day Two)
Tailed by its loss.
Tailed by its slime.
And light creeps in.
And light sneaks in. 
And light is crime.
But the “I” re-steps
into its hole.
Into its sound.
And it repairs 
dole by dole.
It starts to doubt.

Your mind reborn.
Sterile with scorn.
Pierces. Burns.
And life begins.
And life returns.
It always does...


If to speak about anything
Then - about the past!
That escaped through my palms
Like a slippery snail.
And found abode in the form of dust -
Forever settled upon memory’s tail.

I am speaking to you on a winter’s day.
And it isn’t my fault if you do not hear.
From a foreign city where Empire lay -
Undisturbed and old - like our planet’s fear.

I am speaking to you because you left a trace.
Like a wind that blows upon Eternal Flood.
I am speaking to you, for there is no one else
That could make the rhyme flow like blood.

I am speaking to you like they speak to pain.
On a quiet day, with no one in sight.
I am speaking to you like a summer crane
With a broken wing that will fail him in flight.

I am speaking to you like they speak in need.
Like they spoke on the evening of bread and wine.
I am speaking with words that will turn into deed.
And with grief that stretches along one line.

I am speaking to you like they speak to life
That’s about to end with a whim of a choice.
And I see a palm, and the edge of a knife.
I am speaking to you - and the rest is noise...


So, this is it. 
Modern happiness. 
You have obeyed the reigning order 
and now you can reap the rewards. 
Never mind that your nerves like the cords 
of a high-pitched instrument 
tremble and squeal. 
Never mind that your conscience 
like a slippery eel 
swerves from its own frugal eyes. 
You have learned to subdue it with a pricey drink. 
Or spill your snot out in ink. 

Six P.M. You come home from your daily work - 
senseless, brutal, like rotting pork. 
Out of the window, the skyline of New York 
resembles a gathering of thousands of storks 
that have plotted revenge against space,
and poked out your face. 

Faceless, you meander through cleaned out intestines of corridors 
till you reach the hole where your colleagues sit. 
Faking, pure, pristine, 
punching numbers and names in a psychotic fit 
to rip out their share of an American dream, 
which drowns individual sorrow in a common stream. 

Six PM once again. No way out of time! 
By the window. You stare at the building across. 
Asymmetrical rhymes crowd your head 
like jazz tunes in a smoky bar. 
Look across. Not too far.
An identical building sneers like an optical lie. 
Simulation and cloning. Simulation and cloning 
to such an extent that the count is lost. 
Reality vanishes. Replaced by uncertainty, doubt: 
Is it you looking at yourself or are you simply looking out? 

And the tube leaks out a rusty sound of latest hits, 
interspersed by the words of a songs-tress 
who sings with her ass and tits. 
Her beauty - a tribute to teenagers’ wasted sperm. 
A self-assured cow in a common herd. 
“When he left me,” she drools, “something inside me died.” 
And you mumble: not enough, not enough of you, bitch! 
And your teeth screech.

The morning awakes you with shame and guilt: 
“I have grown into a monster!” You shriek 
from the thought of turning bitter. 
And your heart shrinks like day-old litter. 
Like a sick bird in the sun. 
You find yourself damaged, gone. 

....Submerged in a feverish cobweb of life 
of pure facts which no one can deny, 
you meander, like a shadow, 
an abstraction beneath blind rain... 
Oh, just for a moment to discard the cruel meat of being, 
to discard this pain, these fears, 
to grant the tears back into the eyes, 
to kill the truth and once again believe in lies, 
which dissemble, dissipate with age, 
and leave you helpless in your modern cage... 

Steel, mirrored by another piece of steel. 
Gray stone. Gray stone. Gray stone. 
You choose to be with him so as not to be alone. 
You want from him not love but silence. 
For every word you hear is obscene, 
or limited, or filled with hate. 
In short, you have arrived. But it’s too late. 
So, wait in silence. And then leave this scene 

Not asking why or where. 
Leave with those 
Who were not squeamish to carry a rusted cross. 
With those who are not weary to believe 
in salutary virtue of a falling leave, 
Or in the innocence of Eve. 
With those who dare to invent new lies. 
So moisture always fills their eyes. 
With those who speak in brushstrokes, 
and believe in sighs, not words, 
that heartlessly describe down to the 

most hysterical detail. 
Then stammer, fail. 
With those who still believe 
because it has not come to pass. 
Who sacrifice the truth 
because it’s tailed by death 
for the imagined kindness. 
For the lot 
of one deceived by the most pure thought. 
By the most cruel, yet most tender fate 
which always leaves behind a traceless slate. 


What’s the difference where they bury you -
    once you’re dead?
In the City of Water or in the dried out sand...
What’s the difference where the bones will rot,
if the soul is unable to undo the knot

of your false indifference that once cracked in half.
And revealed for an instant the hidden stuff
of which you were made, and which gnawed at your brain.
Until there was nothing - just bare pain.

Until you exploded in angry guilt.
Yet, went on building the same old quilt
of impersonal “bull”, scattered words
that had as their target a common cord

of accustomed ears
that proclaimed you a King.
For revealing fears
that only sting

the “general” man,
but never “you”.
Who isn’t a fan
of the vulgar blue?!

Once, drunken, you whispered:
Oh, what a shame...
But, coming to, hissed:
You take the blame

for careless loss -
unattended lust.
You bear the cross,
and burn the bastards!

I did as you said,
I obeyed in a flash.
And the dead
“mistakes” turned into ash.

But it is hard, my dear,
to undo the grief,
if you shove a tear 
into silence, if

you appease the conscience
by forgetting the urn.
And did anyone know
that you’d rather burn?


Picture yourself a street
with un-nameable trees
thinly spread out.
Picture how slowly
snow turns to sleet.
Picture a faint echo of footsteps
measure the ground
in an attempt to melt the time.
Picture the unspoken words of a mime.
Picture a whisper raised to a scream.
Picture a fear transformed in a dream.
Picture an endless dotted line....
Picture yourself a sudden rhyme!

Two in a room -
Winter's day.
Mountain mint, freshly stacked hay.
Two in a room -
Winter's night.
Piano on water - black and white.
Picture an empty, empty street. 
On a quiet, quiet November. 
Picture yourself to be a fallen leaf 
That no one will remember.
In darkness words acquire weight. 
Thoughts dissolve their layers - 
The lightest, the most fleeting - 
For a forgetful prayer!
Into his father's house does not return 
The Prodigal son, distraught. 
He flees into the endless blue 
Upon a careless thought.


Do people around us deserve our pity, are they as pure as we could be, when they do deserve our pity?
(Nodar Djin)

Silence turns into a voice
only when the latter wants to wail.
Hence - no happy poems.
Nor - any happy loves.
If to live is to become adaptable,
one has to make a choice
between a loss and a loss.
And no matter how you toss the dime -
it won’t produce a rhyme -
Not at the end of a phrase.
These words bear not a trace 
of anger, or discontent.
Take them as a devout Christian would
 - the days of Lent.

Do I want your understanding?
That’s too much to ask for.
For anyone.
Of anyone.
Especially of a father.
Especially when deeds were done
That have led to a further
erasure of mercy at the cost of justice.
That familiar place where the word “must” is
the rule.
So, let me be a fool.
For once, with you let me be honest.
Though - a lot more “fun” is 
to veneer with a convenient lie.
And though there is still that fear
not to disappoint.
Though there is still a tear,
I am at the point - 
where it no longer reaches the eye. 

You are right.
For me - a word is more than just a word.
And you are right - it isn’t so for the world.
You’re right.
My life and your visions of it do not meet.
And you are right.
No one will pity me out there on the street.
You are right.
Because you love
You have the right
to turn its wheel
until I learn to kneel.
Until myself I learn to mourn.
So, turn.

Until myself I learn to spit,
Until - like you - I split
in halves.
Until my calves
give out from walking the right paths.
Until I learn to live in measured breaths.
Until there’s nothing left of me but gain.
Until you smudge and cover every stain
that I have spilled.
Still, no one has control over the pain
that others feel.
Even when they are made to kneel
or mourn.
So, turn.

You said that you’re surprised.
I am surprised at your surprise.
And this isn’t a disguise
 at independence.
Nor a hysterical attempt at freedom.
Neither you, nor anyone can take away
or grant what isn’t there.
Besides, it’s only fair
that we had this talk.
Before it was merely stalked
by silence. 

I remember Paris.
You - lying pale
in a hotel room.
Unwilling to come out
because that’s not where 
you would rather be.
I remember a TV
buzzing like a maddened bee
upon our return.
And you - asleep.
O, what a tragedy that was for eyes.
I thought: this is the life 
where at its embryo lies compromise.

Not only the past,
but present also
is made of memory’s patches.
It latches 
onto a brain
and teasing swirls its tail,
impossible to nail.
Only one rhythmic message -
but no rhyme.
The true capacity of time
to roar: Surrender!
Hence - I do remember.
Hence - no freedom.
But just an image of you...
Slide back some 20 years if you will.
Moscow. A scream.
“What happened?”
“O, God, just a dream.
 I mean, a dream of God.
 I mean, of Christ.
 You know, of Jesus.”
“He asked for help.
 He needed a place to hide.”
“And did you help?”
“I know I cried.”

And I remember 
your thoughts of suicide.
I understood that as your attempt to hide
between two choices. Because,- alas! - the voices that offered them,
Both voices that you heard
Were - Forgive me Lord! -
that of a herd:
It’s either her or me.
It’s either me or her.
So choose!
Or loose 
it all!
You hurt.
And fall.
Then silence.
Much like death.
Then you took a breath.
And everyone exhaled
in peace.
O, now everything is in its proper place.
Because you quietly
just bore the cross.
If anyone,
You know of loss.
Of Blue.
So toss, and toss, and toss the dime.
And turn the wheel
Because you feel
I know you speak 
Because you love
Which you know 
The meaning of.

I also know that at your hardest moment
No one offered to ease your torment.
No one said. Relax. Don’t choose. Just live.
Everyone took. No one was there to give.

And what is after this?
What is?
If we’re out here on a lease.
Upon a leash.
And no one will unleash.
And if what must, but doesn’t kill us -
makes us stronger,
I ask you, father,
what’s the point of living any longer?

I ask you, father,
what’s the point of writing all these words.
If they are there just to hit against the walls
pasted with photographs of men -
mostly dead.
And I remember when you said:
Do they - the people - deserve our pity
When we believe that they deserve our pity?
Do they deserve our pity?

Do they deserve our pity?
Do they deserve.
Oh, I don’t know..
Right now,
I think,

Speaking of the dead.
You were complaining of your whereabouts.
And mused upon the why-abouts.
I loved a man who spoke of when-abouts.
Of Time.
That it could be conquered by rhyme.
But he was wrong.
For, Time - is throng.
His body now lies in a vaulted coffin.
Inside a church where some days ago I stood.
Preserved for further burial - like some frozen good.
For further mausoleum of snobbery and of disgrace.
As he would say: the trademarks of the human race.

Some time ago,
that man was held to be a scum.
A common bum. A born-to-loose.
And when he was told:
It’s either her or me!
He chose to flee.
Back then, even a snotty housewife
with a dirty broom.
Upon his mere entrance
left the room.
Once, he said:
I was told so many times that I was ugly,
that I started to believe it.

Then a laugh. And:
If it weren’t for the Prize,
They would’ve plucked out my eyes.
And every mother would have spit into my face.
And cursed my trace.
And every father would’ve 
snatched his daughter.
Like a shepherd - his favorite sheep -
before the slaughter.

So, father, do they deserve
our pity?
Do they deserve?
Do they deserve?
I think you know.
I think, it’s: No.

In the end, I’d rather be like them.
Then with the likes of them.
And here, I will not compromise -
Even if they do pluck out my eyes.

Hence - the above-mentioned surprise.
And if I seem dazed,
or a bit crazed.
Don’t fear.
It’s just a remnant of a tear.
And a trace -
of the way that I was raised.

In the end, I’ll tell you of a dream.
this time, there was no scream.
Just you.
And you were mumbling -
sitting in a house shirt:
Oh, I don’t want to hurt
anyone. I don’t want to hurt...
I don’t want to hurt...
Outside two pigeons fumbled in the dirt...


Ocean in the winter

The seagull is pecking at the rotten remains of a horseshoe crab.
His armor gratefully exposed to the winter sun
which travels along its monotony without remorse or sadness…
The waves hiss with the sound that lies beyond emotion.
The ocean is more than vast or horrible.
It simply more than could fit our hearts
and elicit some other response than awe or fear.
The core of our being is erased by the first tear
shed in self-pity.
And hence, our propensity to dwell in cities:
Monuments to our spiritual demise.
Hence: our inclination towards the “dull”
For we don’t have the makings of a gull -
To cast our almond eyes
At the whole of blue
And not look for a clue
anywhere but within.
Freeze in the wind and listen to the din.


Joseph Brodsky
This - an attempt to discern
 a needle in the pile of hay.
Upon which - ungrateful -
 you and I lay
Believing that moment to be
 light as sawdust.
Did we know - it was there
 merely to haunt us.
Myself - in the future,
 and you - in the present
 - Am I right? -
Blinking mercilessly now beside the crescent.

This - an excuse -
 to be again together
surrounded by ink on a page -
 instead of your leather
furniture. Whose 
 squeak I feared.
For, it was the only witness
 who’d hear
your cold, echoing voice -
 - rhythmic -
like the ancient choir.
 Only without its
judgment or its lyre.

This - an attempt - to acquire your tone
 in the present -
Which - like that Genesis snake -
to commit treason in search of all exits
 into the future -
Where we will transform into X’s
 slithering wildly around our axis
While the blind Nazarene 
 cries “Revenge!” -
juggles his axes.

This - an attempt - to belatedly reach you.
 There - you will hear.
For sound pierces emptiness sharper
 than a tear.
Love - is the voice of grateful, muttering lips
 - unaware of the content -
much like a piece of a marble torso
 - is blissful of heartache:
I send you forgetfulness -
 - slow, un-intending -
 from the Shores of Here -
whispering into your careful -
 now transparent ear.


Poetry - I too dislike it.
(Marianne Moore)

What is a poem? - he said -
Just a poet’s obsession
with himself,
his own sorrow.
Just a sign that he imagines
his own name
on some shelf,
in some house,
in some tomorrow.

The decades of shame and of fame
of grief and of tears
turn into indifferent letters on a page
that leers
into just as indifferent eyes
that have tasted not a grain of his essence.
In the best scenario his scribbling
will be found “as lovely as the infant-crescent”.

That is why this night - he continued -
which is the only witness
of love coming together
to the sound of non-judgmental crickets
is more real than
any word,
any book,
any treatise.
That is why, remember,
this life is given out just once.
After this follows:
No God.
No Devil.
No minus.
No plus.

No good.
No evil.
No quiver.
No shiver.
No Shiva.
No trance.


No one will understand.
There is no reason they must.
How all that you loved
Had turned into dust,

Yesterday’s sighs 
Clutch at your throat.
Drowned rats lie
With bellies bloated

In the puddles of rain -
Nature’s excuse
To extinguish and maim
What can’t be used.

Loose ends of your life
Will never meet.
Your brain is scattered
Like a crowded street

In the night which
You can only desert
Till it turns into memory
Of pain and hurt.

Common objects of memory
Like smell or place
Make future being meaningless,
For they constrict the space

Into a needle so thin 
No camel would dare
To pass through its ear
And proclaim himself an heir

To Stoic victory,
Or Christian truth.
And the desert aches
For primitive youth.


Since you died, nothing changed.
Not that it should have...
All is well and bland -
like a blank page with no hope
of thought or color...
Dollar - is still both king and queen.
It is still less important who you are
than with whom you’ve been.
And looking from a far, 
you get a feel -
that it’s a whorehouse.
Yet, it’s a house, still...

Nothing changed...
I’m afraid, it never will.
Change requires courage -
a stir of the will -
a-throwing-aside of hands
to imitate the cross.
Nothing less will do.
But we’re unable to discard the dross
of the past. We’re unable to start again.
A sum of cheap thrills and deep fears is -”man”.
Not a tragedy. Not a disaster.
More of a snob.
Who wants to open the door,
yet, is squeamish to turn the knob,
and stares indefinitely at an empty wall
till he sees his shadow crumble, fall
into one degradable, rotting heap
whose soul refuses (!) to leap!

Nothing around has changed.
Perhaps, I have a bit.
But not for the better, I fear.
Seagulls at dusk used to make me cry.
No longer... A tear
is as rare as a winning card.
I’m afraid, I’ve grown old.
Unforgiving. Hard.

Like a jilted lover who never had a chance
to defeat a habit - a faithful wife.
For, love rushes, stumbles confused,
yet, finds no welcome to enter life:

It is destroyed at every corner
by the commonest common sense -
and, hence, we begin to mistake habit for love
when through lackluster sameness 
we grow attached to a foreign place.
And overwrought, overworked virtue
reflects in our face, which with years
grows in morality, resembles a hurting imp,
with years, acquires wrinkles - not kindness -
and mutes out the nymph
who in her frenzy insists: 
Virtue flourishes in tired limbs.

That’s when we start to call home
that which was never ours.
And we forget those we love
for the sake of those with whom
we pass our hours.
That’s when we first learn to die - 
for the sake of survival - but to the very core.
Clutching with all our might at the 
foreign-familiar shore 
of our life’s leftovers...
That’s when we have to resign. 
In horror. In a stupefied state.
That’s when we shriek from fear -
And call it Fate.


We had it similar
But he took it worse
I guess, he was tired
Of the same old dross

Crashing his head 
Like the stale rain
So he pretended to be dead
Life was too vain

He shut himself in
like a hermit of sorts
while I spent my sins
with sailors at ports.

Both of us - raw,
vulgar, sad.
Blinded by awe
moved by regret.

When he lied 
you could see it through 
that it wasn’t inborn
but life-accrued.

With years he forgot 
how to be correct 
and the rest of the world
was a scene of neglect.

‘Cause it turned big and dull 
like whore’s breasts -
sorta slow and liquid 
not worth the haste.

He treated his life 
like a beat-up-car.
Not worth his care 
if it can’t go too far.

While I lived like jazz tunes -
a dentist’s drill.
shattering my silence
with a cheap thrill.

Eternal movement 
without a halt.
A black man rapping -
in angry jolt.

Inducing fear 
into middle class fat.
Choking on tears:
 “Modafucker, eat dat!

Your language is comatose!
And your manhood hangs! 
There are no words left
‘cept dirty slang!

‘N it ain’t worth the fat 
To speak the truth.
‘Mgonna fin’ me some rage 
‘n let it loose!”


And then he saw Martha and Mary in tears, for their brother Lazarus mourning.
(Word According to Marc)

Hey, I ain’t no Martha!
Not some cozy refuge!
On your fattened harbor
I am cast as refuse.

And my non-brother, Lazarus,
Was a common crook
For when he was resurrected:
He wanted to puke.

Instead, he caved
To his sisters’ cries.
Their bellies - bony caves,
Their voices - a sty

of crazed, evil birds,
piercing the space
with their obvious presence.
And Lazarus is - erase!

But the Son, he falsed.
He said: Throw the dice,
For where is the pain,
if you don’t live twice?

Feel the pain, my Lazarus,
Feel the pain again.
Once more, you will lose,
But this time with gain.

You’ll be known all over
As the saintliest saint.
Future weaklings will hover
Over your fate. 

So, when soon you’ll be stabbed
Down to the bone,
Know that this time,
You are holding the stone

And shoving your tongue
Up eternity’s womb.
And now, come back,
Come back from your tomb!

Thus spoke the Son.
And Lazarus wept.
And the Son was shamed 
To his core, his depth.

But I ain’t no Martha!
I ain’t no hook -
Upon which Some Son 
Can pretend He’s not a crook.


To Denis Novikov

A poet on a poet’s square -
A poet on Mayakovsky Square -
A poet sat near a poet’s square -
Get it?

A poet talked of life unfair - 
Of life that was so cruel, not fair -
Of life that never smiled, just glared -
Get it?

That poet spoke of things not his -
Like money, chicks, things like this - 
That poet spoke of things not his -
So let him!

The poet spoke and swayed like a rabbi -
Like an angry Hammurabbi -
After-the-books-burned-Hammurabbi -
He said he’s had it!

The poet spoke skinny like heron -
He spoke skinny like a needle for heroin -
Shaking needle into the vein staring -
He’s earned it!

He said: Show me some dough!
 Shove me the cash!
 Give me some whores -
 Tight-assed and brash!
 Shine me some sights!
 Give me some stash!
 Give me!
 Give me!
 Give me!

The poet spoke, I listened instead-
O, not by the daily bread -
But by the daily dread we live -
Feel it?

Your eyes, your eyes are cruel and near-
Are they more cruel or more near?
Oh, just like me, you’ll never be dear!
Just steer!

Two poets sat in a poet’s square -
Two poets on a poet’s square -
And their souls for an instant ripped bare -
Get it?

If love comes for an instant only -
For just a cruel instant only -
For just an erasable instant only -
Let it!

So you can take someone other -
For your unborn, beloved brother -
Sitting on a poet’s square -
I’ve had it!


For Alyosha

Oh, my dear boy,
swinging in the noose,
by whose evil ploy
was the union loose

that bound you to this earth
with a damaged chain?
No one hired a hearse
to escort the pain

of your absence from 
this indifferent ground.
What’s another bum -
gone astray, uncrowned

by the funeral march?
By its festive lie.
When you died in March,
no one even cried.

Just your mother wept.
Far - on the other shore
of these fat, blue waters
where you cut your core

of your thirty years
to the common root.
May her thirty tears
wash away the soot

of your daily grief -
the sum of your innocence.
Oh, not all that’s brief
is devoid of sense!

“He was never strong.”
“He was never meant
to wander amidst the throng
so he up-n-cracked!”

So the people said
with their usual knack
to lower all to reason
and thus pat themselves on the back
for being adaptable scum
that can weather any heat,
and consume the holiest crumb
along with a pile of shit.

Was it their indifferent stares
that banged against your skull?
Oh, you should’ve learned immunity
from a passing gull.

Perhaps, if you had waited,
you would have seen the innate lust
of its wise, beaked head
turning away with distrust

from the hand that feeds it
with advice or crust.
For, the hand that feeds it
could also turn it to dust

by a pure chance, 
by a dirty whim.
Many a heart is dense.
Many a conscience dim.

Well... you know it now...
Or is it another truth
that speaks through a petaled mouth,
its language never obtuse?

It isn’t squeamish - is it? -
of nooses, or knives, or ills.
It isn’t petty like us.
It knows only to deal

an equal share of space,
of timelessness - without an “IF”.
For, - it’s simple! - there are no bums -
Just the children of the same grief. 

I hope in peace you rest.
Take unhurried steps
through a kinder kingdom
vaster than your homeland’s steppes

upon you skinny legs,
long - as a heron’s dream.
May your soul be blessed
and never utter a scream.


I am in pain.
What isn’t - I took for what was
and proceeded from there.
I collected loss after loss -
like an old bachelor collects
trinkets at a neighborhood fair
for a conjugal life, which he’ll never dare
to strike up and make real.
So, he spins the tired wheel
of preparing for some Beatrice.
Meanwhile, white-trash boys
cling to him like leaches.
In their arms, he secretly cries:
“I’m in pain. I fear.”
Their muscles shudder with lust
and they whisper:
“Bend over, you queer!”

And he does. He does.
And Beatrice? Oh, she never comes...

I am tired.
Already. Of the future.
Verily I tell you,
I bury its boring remains.
I stand here petrified -
bug inside the amber,
immortalized by sap.
And frozen.
Take back the crap
of choice.
I have long chosen
a life devoid of “when”, of “if”.
Between “what is” and “should’ve been”
lies petty grief.

Take it all back.
And leave me void.
Erect the harmony of self-deceit
for someone else’s ears.
I am tired.
Really tired of this shit.
And Time...
Time’s got no time...
It doesn’t steer,
or stir.
It just stays still.
Stay still.
Stay still, my dear.
You didn’t know 
that emptiness could fill
you with memories
that have no source,
or melancholy.
They are straightforward.
Cut like slang.
Who is that horse with wings?
That woman with a fang?
Who are they?
I don’t recognize.
Have they plucked out
or just replaced my eyes?

I don’t believe
in Your splintered order
inside my head.
You might as well
just stuff the fairy tales.
And as for me,
I’ll flip the coin,
but I won’t give you head,
or pet your many tails.
I’ll flip it purely for the sake
of being just like You:
Productive. Restless. Fake.

Are You surprised
that still
at thirty-some
I rage against You
like a wayward bum?
Instead of having learnt
how to comply
with facelessness and fraud?
With Your fat lie?
Instead of choosing to 
I think, it’s time
to grab a gun
and aim straight at the heaven.
But, alas, You’re gone!
Yes Angel,
You are invisible 
from any angle.
What have You mastered,
save for the art to punish?
And now, You vanished.
Replaced by few,
whom You rewarded.
You, prison warden!

No wonder, You are silent.
No choice - but leap
through life
upon omissions, dashes?
How does it feel to weep
from lashes?
When Your world

So, listen.
No one’s buying
the story of the manger
or the Magis.
With precious stones
the size
of Persian princess’ large eyes.
But thank You for the symbols
which decorated our boredom 
in vain.
Let’s sound the cymbals
to the monotony,
to disappointment,
To the fall of hope.
To knowing that you’re left
with mere patience
to await the end,
turning your face towards the wall
and whispering your grief,
your requiem.
Until you reach the numbness in your heart.
Until you dissipate, expire.
Till with yourself you part... 


Rather, it is serenity I feel at our separation.
They lied. Time doesn’t heal.
It kicks up its heel
and pokes out your eye
with the lack of a lie.
With an image of truth - so raw
that it disfigures your mouth to awe.

Now, when I think of us, the word ‘yet’
Demons knock against the gullet and beg to be let
out .
If anything, we were harlots, 
unsophisticated in our desire to rule,
to hover.
I’m glad it is over.

You, whose being is engaged by you,
Could not accept the essence of the azure-blue,
which spreads itself. Looses its domain.
It’s point of focus. Gives up the reign.
Nor did you see the dead earth beneath your feet.
And crushed the snow to sleet.

Nevertheless, I pray
for your absence of pain.
That in fear, intense, you should be alien to loss,
know only gain.
But being that purity is alien to any heart,
for salvation it delves deeper into hurt.

And if I should be accused
of my readiness to use
cruel words as a revenge
by some sentimentally-deranged
rhymester or such...
Well, here, there’s not much to reply...
Save that poetry is hardly a tool
for remaining a fool.

And as for your own smirk
that I change my heart easily -
like a Humpty-Dumpty -
There the truth only lurks.
You see, my life grew bitter
and my eyes turned empty 
from watching the same ungenerous rain
which killed all color and drilled the brain
into primitive sadness 
never rising to grief:
So, I chose to leave...

Thus, I leave you with nothing -
just this sordid letter.
As yet another proof
that this world is shit 
and we’re no better...


Oh what a winter this was
What a desolate winter.
Not even a sign, not even a hint of
The warmth of the other.
Oh once again, it is merely another
It is merely another
dogged-out exchange of the seasons.
Trailing its treason. 

My broken friends could no longer endure
Life so unkempt, so impure.
One of them rushed out of a 6th story window
Like a cast-less Hindu.
In his flight losing faith in reincarnation -
Blasting creation.
The other popped his own aorta
Pulsating to a different rhythm than this whoredom
That we call our existence - placid and fat.
And evened his debt.

Oh what a summer this was
What a waste of a summer.
Thoughts - insistent, cheap hammered
Into the skull. Paining it into presence.
Leaves grabbed the green. 
By nights acquired the lull of absence
Melting into the black like one-legged herons
Into the thread of horizon - pure and barren.

Oh what an autumn this was
What an autumn.
All through the fall I felt haunted
By wormlike doubt 
Disbelieving the words
Trusting the sounds
Of trees and of water
Whispering prayers
For all that is sacred -
All that is scarce.

Oh what a year this was
What an usual year.
Life took its regular course
Dished out its fears.
Spring was an onslaught of colors -
Vulgar and loud:
Like a tail of an ostrich,
Or unified crowd
So, you pretend that you don’t exist,
That you’re unable to form a fist
With which to strike and blow the cover
Of all that deserves to end, to be over.


The Greeks were right.
It all repeats.
You turn on the light
In jerky fits

To discern a ray.
At least a spark
Of a thing genuine.
I prefer the dark.

I no longer feel pain -
Its weighty chore.
I suppose I could feign it.
But I’d just be bored.

I must grab a drink.
And pour it down.
So the gullet burns -
Like a tired clown

In this circus of deeds
Designed to shock.
Thirty coins - is too generous.
I wouldn’t shell out a buck

To save this dread
And call it life.
We lie in our beds
Like bums in a dive.

Untouched and unkempt
And all hanging out.
In the past, I wept.
Now, I doubt

That I’d shed a tear.
It makes me laugh
How much we exert
For the sake of the bluff.

They told me to find
A stable base.
But I’d rather 
Free-float in an honest daze.

And look the truth
In its senseless eye.
The worst that could happen
Is that I’d die

Before my hour
Well that’s just fine.
My words may be dour.
But, at least, they don’t lie.

Yeah, it’s fine by me.
Besides, no one asked
If I’d blow my brains out
Tonight, at dusk.


In bought-up America
In sold-out Russia
All that breathes 
Crashes and crushes

Dragging out of you
Like an invalid’s sigh
A farewell glance 
Oozing out of your eye

Open the scenery
Take in all in your lid
Let it melt inside you
Like a pagan in heat

Let it melt and vanish
Without a trace
Just the colorless varnish 
Will color your face

And betray it to others
As the one betrayed
They will say: she suffered
And: she should have prayed.

Much they know - faithful pilgrims!
Buzzing God’s ears out!
Could they paint hell green?
Or extract the doubt?

They’re trained on intolerance,
And Your iron rod.
No wonder You rhyme with 
It so well, their God!

What should I have now
When all I had is gone?
Or, perhaps, You’ll send me
Your Beloved Son?

To tell me: Forgive!
You have also sinned!
Oh, please, just leave.
Let me stay within!

For on His Easter Sunday -
Dreary and gray,
I hugged the walls
But I didn’t pray.


I will speak to you 
only because you will not hear:
one advantage of being dead.
And because I owe you a debt -
that of love and pity -
frozen, jutting in my heart 
for just one other:
My own father.

Kafka, how did you gather
yourself, meticulous,
like the flesh inside the shell of a nut?
You - the tangled knot of nobility and pain.
Amidst the screeching cranes,
you were a jackdaw
hiding under a stone.
In its humility attempting to atone
for the shiny plumage of painted birds. 
You - the chosen sheep amidst the herds 
of spared flesh.
Sounds waste away. Turn to ash.
The cobblestones transform to clay.
Your was a slow, a noble crash.

Bow your head to the litany of details.
Their slaughter.
Your words - the iron hooks
that grabbed and held
but never faltered
before the uncertainty of “is”.
As silence condensed inside you.
Let out an ominous hiss
and pushed you toward 
impossible precision.
Slow, unhurried steps.
Your breath, I think was mild,
like pauses in an unobtrusive melody
which gains depth through repetition:
Its despair.
Exhausted mare, 
Exhausted by details, you walked all-knowing,
Yet oblivious. As if on drugs.
Through streets of Prague.

I wake up in the middle of the night.
Clenched fists.
Nails dug deep into the palm.
Inside - indifferent.
Like underwater calm. 
I cringe with guilt
for your sleepless nights
when you weaved the quilt
of tortured, laugh-less words. 
And sipped warm milk,
Trying to smooth the edges of our days. 
Their uncertainties.
Extract the thorns. 
And make them feel like Chinese silk.
But, Kafka, vanity too has a discerning eye.
And truth, pure, naked truth can be as crass.
For, life protrudes like a splinter out of an infant’s ass.

Kafka, your words don’t sooth.
Words - don’t really care for us.
They stretch their hands out of the dirty earth -
but not for help.
Not for our rescue.
If anything, they eschew, 
avoid our grip.
Their intimacy lies for one another.
Their love is not for us to grasp, to gather.
Love can’t be understood by us who fear death.
And hence - your silence.
Slow, measured breath.
Your disregard, distrust of actions, deeds.
Your unattainable attempt 
to recoil back into your brain.
And lessen pain.

For you - silence was the fuel.
And the world - less cruel than absurd.
Dilute that silence with a drink,
and meet the herd of devils, dibbuks, imps,
that hop, swirl, limp
Inside your heart -
that Jewish ghetto,
which confines and puts its veto
on all that wants to wander off.
To scram. Get lost.
Turn to a ghost.

The hornet of precision
Makes the orbit narrow.
It might nail the target
But it eludes sorrow,
without which all things are dead.
And hence - your dread.
Your gnawing doubt
before set goals
that moved away
as you drew near.
Kafka, your soul was clear -
Like the morning dew,
Eternal Jew!

I see you walking through your Prague.
Perfection’s impotence trails you like the plague.
Incurable and restless.
Pigeons meander in search of crumbs
And find none.
Grey-hooded they resemble a Vatican nun
In search of salvation.
Instead, the pagan sun,
which doesn’t heed to prayers
burns into her back.
This existence, so versed in lack 
doesn’t deserve the graveness of your touch:
So pointed, honest that imagination 
Becomes a crutch.
A flaw.
Instead, let us let out a laugh -
Serene and sad,
like the plight of a pregnant calf.

You walk past the cafes -
Those rusty catacombs 
Without love or light.
Conversations there - scattered, trite.
At times, highbrow. But devoid of pity,
Or compassion.
You - who could discern a minute lesion
Upon the body of a bug,
Could feel another’s pain
Long in advance, 
Throw up your hands -
Like the wings of a brightly painted bird -
In one swift jerk!
And from an insurance clerk
Transform into a prophet
That no longer whispers,
but bewails!
Of hurt. Of tears,
Injustice. Greed.
Till you recede …
Into unknown horizon -
Distant. Azure blue
That turns to Colorless:
Just One Big Blurry Hue.


The witch that came 
The withered hag 
Was once the beauty Abishag…
(Robert Frost)

When the forehead - like a felt hat -
is ready to fly with the wind,
instead of covering your dirty thoughts,
it is time to forget whose fault 
it was that you’re now beyond relief.
If one shouldn’t shun anything -
it is grief - the only equal sign -
not squeamish to cross the line.

When the space of the familiar 
ceases to be a marking spot.
Resembles more an abandoned lot 
where fate roams free -
unopposed by will,
and the night chokes itself
to the state of “still”,
tangles your memories to the nape:
What can you do but escape?

But before you go, cast a final look
at yourself as you are - not a rebuke.
Just a neutral stare.
A flab of meat.
A well fed crow.
Too lazy for cries.
‘Cause there’s no one to stun.
Stands still on the lot -
like a dead, dead stone.

This place lost contours.
Became a drag.
A dragging line.
And you a hag
within it dragging 
like a hog
that’s dragged to slaughter.
Midnight fog
is thick and swollen like your face.
The hag. The hog. The slaughter. Space.

There’s no one around but you.
What a bore!
In store - yet another outcry of reason.
Not pain - but lack of contradictions,
lack of “I’s” makes treason.
Do you hear reason fingering:
You shouldn’t drink!
It makes you into a swollen hag
that no fog could hide! 
I guess you’re right.
But you’re still a drag!

So here I roam -
a withered hag
around the lot.
abandoned. Flat.
Abandoning the last remains of reason.
I look not through the prism
Of my own life ,
but through the prison 
of memories
that cling like polyps to a coral reef -
and spell out “LEAVE!”

Leave and don’t come back.
This place where lack
carves out the scenes
of how it will be 
when the first bee
will fall from grace
in a buzzing daze.
Leave for the sake of movement.
to spite the East -
the beast that taught you to accept, comply.
only to slap you with a lie
that is your life.
Your core.
Your grief.
So long.
So brief.

So move.
And quickly.
Jolt and scram.
The lion eats the lamb
and washes it down
With the blood of sheep.
So leap.
And stray.
And shut your trap.
Don’t pray.
The fat assed buddhas lied.
Screw their karma.
There’s no salvation in their sappy chants -
Just verbal mincemeat - as daily rent
To share eternity with bores.
Eternity does not exist.
You get my gist?!
(Not to be continued...)


I have seen flamingos explode from their own color of pink.
In their strive to vanish. To lose the link
with the onlookers on the other side of the cage.
I have heard them rip their voices to rage.

I have felt them envy white against white.
They begged anonymity. For them beauty was trite.
And like in Prague - the unhealthy Franz*
they meandered - head downcast in a futile trance.

They raised their necks. Each one - a Job:
Turn us to gray pigeons - without hope.
Without beauty. Without lust.
Let our beaks forever be buried in dust.

Let our voices become bland and dull.
For there is no ear that can hear the full
and the perfect sound of pain.
Let us be like sparrows - the color of rain.

Let us turn to stones - too heavy to lift
for anyone’s purpose. Unnoticed. Stiff.
We are weary of being the town drunks.
Provincial madmen. Too red. Too frank.

But the pigeons dig… The sparrows fly
Singing songs of daily-ness. Our crude eye
is directed ahead - at the alabaster:
Flamingos meander - the perfect bastards.

         * Franz Kafka


All-a-a-ah! - bellows the voice 
and out pours desperation,
sprouting from the chaos -
older than the universe.
The curse, the inevitable curse of existence
seems to have swept this region.
Legions of soldiers, stuffed into metallic birds
cruise over these terrains
and spray cruelty into indifferent rocks,
which have sucked out the moisture 
from all that is alive and
proclaimed themselves kings.
Nothing clings here to each other.
Nothing loves.
Nothing cares.
Only crumbles into pieces…
Separate pieces of pain.
Donkeys are skeletons of donkeys.
And men are but shadows of men
whose hearts forgot how to be hearts
and have turned into bellies -
dried out and empty,
like the caverns and caves of Kandahar. 
Their stares, crazed by hardship,
burdened like a blind man’s dog
will never again be touched by mercy -
just the eternal heresy of revenge.
Some love and bread
plus the loss of memory
is all that is needed for salvation
that never comes.
But now it would suffice to pray for the fog
to gather the donkeys and children onto the road to exodus
from the damaged that begot them.
Onto the road where the only red stains
Are the alabaster of poppy fields 
Where they will fall and suck in the air of oblivion.


This life of mine -
trampled by common sense.
I sit and observe -
through a lying lens.
While it sucks on me, clings -
it is a leach.
I’ll discard it.
I’ll smash it - a rotting peach.

I observe my memories -
forming a knot. 
Then leaving me empty -
a fish gutted.
With age, compliance gets harder.
I will toss it all up.
I will find me a gutter -
a throne of its own
in which to wallow. 
Without memories.
Without hope for tomorrow.
Unvarnished, I’ll stray from the destined road.
Find me a swamp.
Become a toad.

I shut the screen 
through which you peek. 
Green upon green:
a slimy geek,
I won’t even bother 
to look at the sky.
It has nothing to offer’
to my damaged eye:

An occasional star -
self-involved and vain
will cut like a scar
or splash like a stain

across the canvass of night -
Lonely and vast.
And will pour the pain
into my wrinkled chest.

With emaciated flesh,
Baring bones,
I check myself out
from your moral stones
as they aim for me 
in your cruel fog,
I will hear you say:
What an ugly frog!

But my death will form
an unflinching dent:
One can’t do a thing.
One can only lament.


I think of you.
In fact, now that time has
dulled the hysteria of desire,
I think of you often and really.
I was wrong.
The blame is not with either of us.
We are merely a speck of the throng
that swirls about without accord or order.
Eternal doubt
is our curse and we 
are the drivers of our own hearse
which leads - no - not to death
but worse -
to banality.
You see, we cannot bear the light.
Our plight
must be ordinary and must make us wail.
And our trail
must lead to boredom.
We worship the commonplace with age.
And our cage
is the only one we recognize 
though we don’t have the keys.
And our pleas
are for the daily bread
which destroys our souls.
Years pass.
Our existence mostly pleases us.
At times, it seems crass.
Or worse - not our own.
And that is when we remember each other
and admit that if it were not for those
 fractions of love and pain
which we later called a “mistake”,
our lives would be like domes 
with nothing to cover.
Years will pass.
and this feeling will hover
over me and you
no longer with the torment of a distinct color,
but just its hue
whose hint would be more shameful 
than anything else.
And here, we will swerve the hearse
no, not towards each other 
but something more banal -


In a futile attempt 
to catch the warmth of another,
I squandered myself.
And found it ripped -
like a pocket of a bum.
The planet’s tedious hum
laughed at my ambition
and showed me the finger.
Daily-ness lingered,
offering substitutes for the “real”.
Hey! I’ve already seen this reel!
Now roll something else. 
While I pretend that I have a pulse.
And that I actually care.
Go ahead and stare
into my empty sockets
which housed my eyes.
In them you will not discern fear.
For, emptiness doesn’t give birth to a tear.
Perhaps you’ll recognize the ghost of former pain,
that has lost it’s strength from the overkill.
Turned into a limping crane.
With nowhere to nest.
Nowhere to fly. 
Wishing to be come invisible.
To another’s eye. 
Forever receding.
Blending into the dry stone.
In fossilized indifference.
Deaf to the earth’s cry.
Simply waiting.
Waiting for the blood to dry.

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