Michael Dynkin. Translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya

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Michael Dynkin. Translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya
Michael Dynkin. Translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya

In the left skull, there’s smoke, in the right – a thing of whatever;
It makes you want to brush it off with a taloned paw,
slink into the maw of the shaft down to mother’s nest,
move the dead pieces in a game of chess.
So many of them lie around all day, do nothing at all.
In the left skull, there’s something like a distaste for the hapless,
In the right – still that thing, becoming boundless.
Should we start a little brawl?
Wait for the night, take a nice torch to the village roofs,
Wrap those big and small peasant guts on a spool…
The middle skull says, as he chomps on a cow, sucking the hooves,
“It’s all bare-bald now. We burned it all down, even the school.”
The skulls trade glances and grin.
“Oh yeah, we did. Well… let’s stay in,
play a game of chess with the Leprechaun in the cave.”
The Leprechaun reveals that, in chess, he is not too brave,
especially in cadaver chess: they stink.
The skulls, again, trade glances, laugh and wink,
unwittingly turning to ash every new chess piece.
The Leprechaun goes back to his emeralds and silently lies…
The sky turns cerise;
it’s the snake of the landscape, and he molts,
dripping with blood and soot, colors and bolts.
The sun sinks into the river to seagull cries.
The bald peak is pasted with bodies of Lamiae.
Salamanders put a teakettle on the boulders;
It’s brimming with liquid lava.


В левом черепе дым, в правом – такое нечто,
впору, блин, отмахнуться когтистой лапой,
тихой сапой скользнуть на дно материнской шахты,
сыграть мертвецами в шахматы.
Сколько их тут днями лежит без дела.
В левом черепе что-то вроде презрения к незадачливым.
В правом – все то же нечто, теряющее пределы.
Может, устроить драчку?
Ночью в селе пустить петуха по кровлям,
выпустить потроха пейзанам и пейзанятам…
Средний череп, обгладывая корову,
говорит: “Да нету уже ни пня там.
Всё спалили давеча, даже школу”.
Черепа переглядываются, ощерясь:
“Вспомнили, да. Что ж… Посидим в пещере,
поиграем в шахматы с Лепреконом”.
Лепрекон сообщает, что в шахматы он не очень,
тем более если трупами, плохо пахнут.
Черепа опять переглядываются, хохочут,
ненароком сжигают свежий набор для шахмат.
Лепрекон молчит, на изумрудах лёжа…
Небеса становятся цвета вишни;
это змей пейзажа меняет кожу,
весь в крови и саже, цветах и вспышках.
Солнце входит в реку под крики чаек.
Лысый пик облеплен телами ламий.
Саламандры ставят на камни чайник,
до краёв наполненный жидкой лавой.

About the Author:

Michael Dynkin
Michael Dynkin
Ashdod, Israel

Born in 1966 in Leningrad, Michael Dynkin is a Russian poet, author of six books of poetry. His poems have been published in many Russian literary magazines, such as Znamya, Zarubezhnye Zapiski, Volga, etc.

About the Translator:

Anna Krushelnitskaya
Anna Krushelnitskaya
Ann Arbor, MI. USA

Anna Krushelnitskaya (b.1975) lives in Ann Arbor, MI. Anna’s original texts and translations appear in Russian and in English in various print and online publications. She has authored two collections of poems in English. Anna’s most voluminous work is the 700-page bilingual interview collection Cold War Casual/ Простая холодная война (2019).

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Michael Dynkin Михаил Дынкин
by Victor Enyutin

A book of poems in Russian by Victor Enyutin (San Francisco, 1983). Victor  Enyutin is a Russian writer, poet, and sociologist who emigrated to the US from the Soviet Union in 1975.

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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!

by Anna Krushelnitskaya

“Cold War Casual” is a collection of transcribed oral testimony and interviews translated from Russian into English and from English into Russian that delve into the effect of the events and the government propaganda of the Cold War era on regular citizens of countries on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

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.

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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.

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A collection of poems in Russian. Published by Khudozhestvennaya literatura. Moscow, 1990.

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