aptsvet: (Default)
i was wandering once in a turbulent shopping mall
as the saturday rush started slowing down to a crawl

and i asked this girl as my tootsies were getting sore
for the shortest way to the nordstrom department store

not that finding that nordstrom was such an imperative task
just a random thought and she was on the spot to ask

or it may have been macy's somewhere on the limb of the grid
it just seemed like the right time to ask her so ask i did

she was hawking some dead sea ointments with time to bide
but she ceased her commerce and offered to be my guide

we kept traipsing like clockwork bunnies all day and all night
through the ever thickening throng through the fading light

where the very breath got sticky like cheesecloth that clings
to the skin as my guide escaped on her clockwork wings

leaving me with a voiceless multitude barely awake
on a desert shore of some unexpected lake

neither nordstrom nor frigging macy's in sight but instead
an old gent on a hill to judge the quick and the dead

on the dead sea shore handing verdicts in in the nick
of time and i looked and i wasn't among the quick

thus was totally wasted a gainful trip to a mall
picking someone to ask for a way is a judgment call
aptsvet: (Default)
the tree in which i dwell is made of mist
dust is the stuff of which i make my nest
the side behind my tail i call the east
so that my beak is pointing to the west

thus is the whole creation turned around
if i reverse my chassis on the sly
when hanging upside down i call the ground
what normally one would have called the sky

i set myself the task of setting free
the cardinal points and the poles of space
except that when i fail to keep my tree
within my grasp it melts without a trace

the future dwindles followed by the past
the present is the void still holding fast

the city

Feb. 7th, 2013 01:44 pm
aptsvet: (Default)
when he stepped out the city was away
a boulder here and there a grassy plot
there was a voided skyline where it may
have been an eye-blink back but now was not

a blue jay wailed over his head because
it was unable to locate its nest
when he looked back where his own door just was
his tenement was gone with all the rest

somehow unlike the blue jay he was calm
life is much more than an apartment block
except that there was idling in his palm
the pointless key with nothing to unlock

neither the door to tear the sky apart
nor love now safely locked within his heart

* * *

Dec. 1st, 2012 11:15 am
aptsvet: (Default)
death came with this huge tome a user guide
and warranty mode d'emploi for our
dear neighbors in the north let's see what gives
on the first page the only sentence reads
lie still and do not fret i do i don't
what follows is a lot of empty lines
crowding a plethora of empty pages
the last one sports another single sentence
assume a passage of a hundred years
by now you must have grasped the use of your
fine acquisition true by now i have
aptsvet: (Default)
i take the e-train from the forty-second
an aged gent is trying to convince
my neighbor on the left that she will not
die from her lethal and malignant ailment
she looks upbeat my neighbor on the right
is a young girl in black up to her eyes
perusing the quran her lips are moving
la ilaha illallahu she says
or something close enough squeezed in-between
the two despairs i keep my calm and think
yes i will die no there is no salvation
it is a secret they will never learn
aptsvet: (Default)
and then i lost them those whom i believed
to be my fellow-shipwrecks and sojourners
they were but fading shadows anyway
with yes and no the only ready answers
but mostly no and with them gone all sounds
have also disappeared the only one
remaining was that of my own hoarse voice

i tried to sing as i moved deeper into
this sudden land of silence i refreshed
in memory all the cheerful trash i had
been ably taught when a young pioneer
pimpled and full of lust whose object was
the leader of our squad with her two pimples
protruding from under the red bandanna

but soon my carol ceased i came across
a village dotted with what seemed like people
they may have been the very ones i lost
on my way in there was no way to tell
i tend to think of them as mere projections
of silent spirits teaming in my brain
silence wedded to silence dust to dust

none spoke to me the bumble-bees were circling
the dahlias like ghosts without a buzz
some occupied themselves with mending their
small huts the axes striking wood like cotton
i knew that what i needed was a voice
a noise perhaps that would explode the spell
but voices there were none except my own

deafness needs objects they were hardly deaf
there was no need for them to be within
this bubble what i longed for was a drum
a plain contraption made of wood and leather
to give them hell i had one when I was
in love with my squad leader it would urge
an answer a resounding no at least
aptsvet: (Default)
a clapboard schoolhouse in a prairie town
whose moon is hovering low whose wind is wet
a place where the time-line is winding down
its spring uncoiled but please not mine not yet
before the eastern darkness overwhelms
my bleary eyesight and it's time to part
find me among these sycamores and elms
in my decrepit hand-me-down dodge dart
sundered from home by an unwelcome night
whose milky wheel rotates a single notch
but then again if that was me all right
who is the one i'm asking now to watch
who am i charging with the hopeless task
where is that very now wherefrom i ask


Jul. 1st, 2012 11:34 am
aptsvet: (Default)
where you are from the stars were much the same
the moon was similar for what it's worth
all objects in the land from where you came
once dropped aimed at the center of the earth

when in an effort to defeat the law
of this cursed self-identity you board
some vessel bound for an exotic shore
amused at first you're ultimately bored

you wonder grasping at the nearest glass
gulping their wine and nibbling on their cheese
is this the only time there is for us
in store until we overstay our lease

passing apace with a persistent drone
ours for a while but in the end its own
aptsvet: (Default)
theseus long gone comes back to athens sailing
on his enchanted ship whose every plank
and nail has been replaced by its smart crew
whether it was the curse of ariadne
or the approach of the old age that had
spooked the great hero worried for his looks
along the way he kept replacing parts
of his own frame now fitting the eye-holes
with a new pair of peepers now attaching
new legs all parts supplied by his true father
poseidon fresh from his subaqueous stock
dashing and thus refurbished theseus is
ready to face his future subjects who
are waiting at the pier garbed in their best

he tries the soil with an unsteady foot
when suddenly the crowd pulls back in horror
some point at him some take to flight a few
jump straight into the water and endeavor
to swim away until the only one
left on the pier is a young maiden who
death-pale steps forth and proffers him a mirror

what he observes is something that his crew
is now accustomed to the scaly maw
protruding from below the far receded
forehead with two serrated rows the eyes
coal-red aflame with an uncommon evil
under the bony arches and the hand
reflected by the brass is studded with
sharp talons silently he backs away
towards his ship taking the mirror with him

oh athens barely seen and never ruled
must he retrace the watery course in search
of his long lost identity fat chance
his erstwhile limbs are buried in the bellies
of sharks his very face its every inch
consumed by some vile vermin is no more
the ship is wandering far beyond the pillars
of hercules under the cot the box
is safely locked where he still keeps his mirror
with its dread scowl indelibly engraved

* * *

Jul. 28th, 2011 07:33 pm
aptsvet: (Default)
they forged this nature with a single blow
amazingly with you and me on board
when hopes were high and entropy was low
enough to spend and ample room to hoard

life is a dissipative structure once
it spends its aspens titmice and the rest
nothing but drowsy dust is left to dance
not even a dry run it was a test

of the ferocious symmetry whose powers
are screened from its begetters when embraced
the hope we once inhaled was never ours
to keep love is a vehicle of waste

a test of two despairs in a free fall
the only point and purpose of it all
aptsvet: (Default)
is false that's what this burning memory is
it must be shrinks are bound to have a word
for it not that it matters much somewhere
along the east coast a rest area route
i-95 the two of us about
to part but then who is the other party
i must have loved her if i am the one
remembering yet i do not see my own
face that's the way our memory works alas

all bitter words are out already i
am backing off towards the car but she
still hesitant seems unaware of hers
if this is by appointment why such strange
place chosen for disposing of the matter
a neutral ground the field that favors none
i look at her and think she must have loved me
to feel the pain reflected in her eyes
whose is the face she would recall sometimes
years hence where mine's inserted by default

it should not work this way pain hurts because
of some previous joy it has replaced
suffering must be a scar of a spent pleasure
of which i have no memory could it be
that i am stuck within a faulty lifeline
all retribution for a zero reason
a recompense for nothing

please take leave
the never loved one never met fare well
they must have damaged my imagination
whoever was you parted from in my
fake recollection wasn't me unless
you point out where the loss is evened up with
a kiss erased an unacknowledged joy
aptsvet: (Default)
death is a whale of an idea and serves
us as a frightful shibboleth you either
pretend you're not the very rabbit which
the serpent is ingesting with the cotton-
tail still protruding from its gaping maw
or like a proper and proverbial rabbit
you stand your ground and meet him eye-to-eye
mano-a-mano as they say in spain
if mano is the fitting term to use

i've always been the second kind of rabbit
so much less common deemed all but extinct
that keeps its certain doom within its eyesight
an aberrant item of pride until
i came across you of the same persuasion
who now take all the space that earlier was
owned by the serpent death has gained a roommate
you pull my stare aside and never blink

king bloody solomon wasn't he the first
to juxtapose the two which kind i am
now that the erstwhile shibboleth is moot
i look at your digital effigy
all but the tail is gone i start along the
queens boulevard and discern across the road
love with its scythe and hourglass held aloft


Jun. 25th, 2011 07:08 pm
aptsvet: (Default)
apples went brown and sizzled on the ground
the instant they touched it and the vain promise
of autumn stayed just that the august was
interminable and the vet was blunt
a month at best he said and that was not
a promise so we farmed the ailing dog
out to the in-laws and just left him there

the dog was nothing much a foundling from
some shelter in ann arbor yet he served
our marriage as a mascot and we dreaded
to watch him die i visited the in-laws
on my way back from the big apple he
was all but gone already and his final
night on this earth we spent in the same bed
under the stars out on a creaky porch
under a constant drum-beat of the apples
hitting the ground in my wife's father's orchard
he was atremble entering the vast
terrain of nowhere it was so damn hot

our bedroom was facing the iwo jima
memorial where we used to walk him while
in better health there on a bench i tried
to calm her down there i consoled us both
as best i could while filing for divorce
a month at best the month was august which
was fast approaching end the autumn came
aptsvet: (Default)
when you depart your old name is set free
released to roam the space of predicates
shorn of their proper hosts and even if later
yours is awarded to another someone
who was your lover or a bitter foe
will kiss or curse a void the one who bears
a name once loved or loathed is an impostor
the laments and the imprecations hit
nothing they have no target of their own
and are like leaps over a one-sided chasm
it would have been much kinder to dwell as
a nameless creature in this world so that
when you are gone no one knows who to miss
aptsvet: (Default)

speak not of trees to me nor mention their
penchant to crash under a load of ice
i find  this one's untimely death unfair
its exit from my window-pane not nice

trees come and go yet this one was for me
a hub in the frail internet of love
gone now with its particular ip
it burst a hole i cringe at thinking of

luckily in this frozen world of ours
even when all the bets are off it is
still possible for love to last for hours
after its object terminates our lease

the last one standing in our stormy town
stay with me yet my love do not fall down

aptsvet: (Default)

the rabbit

it is dark there
but we are collecting our toys we aren't scared
well maybe just a tiny bit
they promised there will be nothing there
to be scared of

we are collecting our dolls and teddies
and all the toy cars even the broken ones
because we feel sorry for them
we are collecting the scattered puzzle pieces
there's one under the bed but it is dark there
better not to look for it

the puzzle pieces when collected correctly
make pictures a squirrel
a ball or a funny clown
but they say we have no time anymore
and so we are collecting them any old way
it is just that the rabbit is nowhere to be found
the one with an ear torn away
no one has played with it recently

they say there's no need
we will not play where we are going
but how do they know they hurry us up
and we are doing our best but why
don't they have time for us anymore
what have they done with all our time

they say we mustn't be scared but we know
it will be dark there all the time
perhaps we are scared after all
but no one wants to start bawling first
there will be no stopping us then

well here it is the doggone rabbit
how stupid of me not to have noticed
they shouldn't say we don't need it anymore
there where we are all going
where are we all going

aptsvet: (Default)


without fail our thoughts in these vexing times
are with the emperor lonesome in his icy
palace sunk in his unremitting silence

a spy was trampled at the jasper gate
the eastern garrison has run out of rice
one hears of a decree to round up and
butcher young maidens for the soldiers' stew
i give it little faith although the neighbor's
youngest's been missing two nights in a row

the new servant took off was gone till midnight
came back without his cap reeking of wine
the jurchen are within the walls he says
and at the plaza by the pearl shrine blood
was ankle-deep glistening like a black mirror
he's been too insolent of late the steward
must be requested to apply the rod
those jurchen are just a ruse for their ilk

a visit from the venerable yi
his brittle sheets of tang calligraphy
obtained from a bookseller for a trifle
trifle indeed but who would want to hurt
a friend i had them fetch some wine and plums
the last of the old stock but it was worth it
never an evening was so full of mirth
on his way back the venerable yi
was torn out of his litter thrushed to death
with canes those jurchen nothing but a ruse

a conflagration this time in the west
the guards will have their work cut out for them
curse the old gown all matted and it's cold
should have dispatched them to stock up on brushwood
but there's no one to send and none for sale
how splendid is the moon in the black velvet
of the night sky in the black silk of smoke

looks like the fire is aiming for the palace
from where the stables should be and the harem
i haven't cleaned my brush the ink is dry
the emperor may be godlike but he feels
the fear we know he is afraid for us
but we alas have hardly any words
left to console him

aptsvet: (Default)

when i am done for and gone out of use
such as i am for instance now and here
what with this spotted carapace coming loose
on its bent scaffold its corroded gear

when time is up and history is all done
when they roll down the sky from the watch-towers
who will settle inside me and be one
of those whose story is to follow ours

aren't we like nails each run into its breach
aflush an empty hole will never do
dissolving into rust and out of reach
to those that follow us and dwindle too

unable to brief those as yet unborn
too much to love too little time to learn

aptsvet: (Default)

[Это не перевод вчерашнего, я просто сочинил заново на другом языке]

the quiet ones

in a recurring dream i find myself
stuck in a tiny town a green and neat
affair the locals scarce and studiously silent
for the most part avoid me and stay indoors
although i dwell among them i assume
myself to be a thing apart the town
is strangely shorn of outskirts there's a river
flowing from north to south and the main street
cutting across with a bridge in the middle
yet both are terminated in oblivion

beset by this conundrum i have come up
with a hypothesis perhaps the locals
are candidates to be born on earth that never
made up their minds about the matter shaped
in human form already but afraid
to take the plunge hedging their bets and this
is what the actual limbo is like the river
forever runs on the road likewise but both
resolve themselves into the void the locals
would find it pointless to wake up their green
and tidy town remains the same no matter
whichever side of the retina it's on
the quiet ones within their silent walls
what do they want of us they share no subject
with us to serve them as a starting point
for striking up a palaver

it looks
like a half-way house perhaps a railway station
but with the waiting crowd resigned to the tracks
having been dismantled so that no train will ever
stop here they look alive but never having
been actually exiled to our vale of grief
there is no way for them to share our joy
the only thing they envy us in earnest
is death denied to the unborn it is
a mystery for them and a temptation
and i remaining stubbornly asleep
fall into a confusion like a rabbit
teasing a python on the eve of being
consumed by the above and peeking under
death's skirts then part of me awakens i
recall the other's name but hush it up

stray cats

Jul. 28th, 2010 09:04 pm
aptsvet: (Default)

time moves in its mysterious ways beneath
thick summer tree-crowns the oppressive heat
has liquified its strands which now appear
to be coalescing from all sides towards
some hidden basin steamy in the heart
of the impenetrable clotted woods
the cauldron of vile dreams

watch the stray cats
how prudently they orbit the dark bait
how they look back pretending just to pause
and whip their tails dispassionately they feel
the backward flow of temporal waste they know
the horror by its heat the heart by how
it gnaws on wooden ribs but have no means
to warn

once in pompeii of all places
among those flattened pines but hardly any
woods to speak of just the disjointed piles
of travertine and brick i saw a cat
approaching from a distance its small head
was bobbing up and down in a queer rhythm
as if jerked by a hidden spring inside
when it came close i saw its throat was cut
through almost half-way the head all but severed
i knew it was a scout returning from
a mission

we are artifacts of time
which is a substance that subverts itself
and yet a flow along an illusory axis
within concentric loops a silken thread
run through a spider's net with an unspoken
nightmare astride its center those who travel
across might live but gain an extra eye
under the chin to witness and remind

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


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