Leonid Yakovlev. Six Short Poems. Translated by the Аuthor

Also in Translations:

Leonid Yakovlev. Six Short Poems. Translated by the Аuthor
Leonid Yakovlev. Six Short Poems. Translated by the Аuthor

 
* * *
 
man-thing man-thing take me to the forest
I’m your kin I won’t leave you alone
when I’m drunk I am newly born
and am not really a devil when sober
we will meet all the sunsets together
with a juniper cranberry tea
taking stamp on my soul I will be
with swamp sorrow totally endless
 

леший леший возьми меня в лес
я же свой я останусь не брошу
я вообще когда выпью хороший
да и трезвый не очень-то бес
будем вместе закаты встречать
можжевеловкой клюквенным чаем
принимая на душу печать
бесконечной болотной печали
 

* * *
 
water’s heavy under the man-thing stone
gathers neither wormwood saxifrage nor moss
pale horse is wolf’s feed
human with a gun scythe in his arm
we will sing about you dear
hedgehog lenin our reindeer
a pie to eat on the nearest street
pyramid with words plus ascorbic acid
fever blood and chametz matzo in akkad
 

под лешачий камень тяжела вода
чернобыль да цикорий разрыв трава
конь блед волчья сыть
человек с ружьём за плечом коса
о тебе споём
ёжик ленин наш северный олень
пирожок бы съесть где ближайший пень
пирамиды слов с витамином це
лихорадки кровь да хамец в маце
 

* * *
 
cheers comrades
communism returned
though it had never left
as immanuel the prophet foretold
blessed are the poor
and our time agrees with him
 

ура товарищи вернулся коммунизм
хотя он никуда не уходил
как предсказал пророк эммануил
блаженны нищие
и век согласен с ним
 

* * *
 

a guitar on the wall
I’ll pinch a string
a golden scarab will come
will roll silver sound into a ball
into noble yellow metal
into wings of fire
I won’t sleep now
I gotta count sheep
god will say never mind
still the indigenous nation is gone
no fat no protein
no salt no carbs
 

на стене гитара
ущипну за струну
приползёт золотой скарабей
звук серебряный в шар закатает
благородный жёлтый металл
крылья пожара
теперь не засну
надо считать баранов
забей скажет бог
всё равно коренная нация пропала
ни жиров ни белков
ни соли ни углеводов
 

* * *
 
like sharks like dolphins
like all other captive walruses
are driven into fantasy
by brick by heel by fist
john and maria trudge up to the waters of the ocean
and wash a road clay off their boots
they’ll chase away all the unbelievers
while the faithful they’ll reward with land
there will be a far eastern plot
the best graveyard of dreams
brought out by solomon
because this story is so old
that kaliningrad will never come
out of königsberg as mud
 

и акул и дельфинов
и прочих невольных моржей
кирпичом каблуком кулаком
загоняя в утопию
иоанн да мария до вод океана дотопали
и смывают с сапог глину бама
прогонят взашей всех неверных
а верных напротив землёй наградят
будет дальневосточный гектар
лучшим кладбищем снов
вывел экклезиаст
ведь и этот сюжет так не нов
что не выйдет из кёнигсберга
грязью калининград
 

* * *
 
we’re quickly sending other garbage
after the warship
fools from all of russia
paved a way to hell
 

за военным кораблём
прочий мусор споро шлём
в ад дорогу замостили
дураки со всей россии
 

Translated from Russian by the author

About the Author:

Leonid Yakovlev
Leonid Yakovlev
Vihti, Finland

Leonid Yakovlev, aka Kfir Grishmanovsky, was born in Leningrad in 1962. He graduated from Leningrad University with a major in chemistry. He worked as a biophyschemist and information technology specialist. After leaving Russia in 1995, he lived in the US, Finland, and Israel. From 2005 to 2020, he was employed as a lead developer at Nokia. His poems were published in Russian-language magazines and various poetry books, including Nevsky Almanach, Emigrantskaya Lyra, Znamya, etc.. His book “Echo” was published in 2018. He lives in Finland.  https://grishmanovsky.com/

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Leonid Yakovlev Леонид Яковлев
Bookshelf
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This collection of personal essays by a bi-national Russian/U.S. author offers glimpses into many things Soviet and post-Soviet: the sacred, the profane, the mundane, the little-discussed and the often-overlooked. What was a Soviet school dance like? Did communists go to church? Did communists listen to Donna Summer? If you want to find out, read on!

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by Julia Wiener

Julia Wiener was born in the USSR a few years before the Second World War; her youth was spent during the “Thaw” period, and her maturity coincided with the years of “Soviet stagnation”, which, in her case, ended with her emigration to Israel in the early 1970s. Her wartime childhood, her Komsomol-student youth, her subsequent disillusionment, her meetings with well-known writers (Andrei Platonov, Victor Nekrasov, etc.) are described in a humorous style and colorful detail. Julia brings to life colorful characters – from her Moscow communal apartment neighbors to a hippie London lord, or an Arab family, headed by a devotee of classical Russian literature. No less diverse are the landscapes against which the events unfold: the steppes of Kazakhstan, the Garden of Gethsemane, New York, Amsterdam, London.

by Julia Wiener

Julia Wiener’s novels focus on those moments when illusory human existence collapses in the face of true life, be it spiritual purity, love, old age, or death.

by Nina Kossman

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