Yulia Fridman’s “A Plate That Looks Like a Hat”. Translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya
Yulia Fridman’s “A Plate That Looks Like a Hat”. Translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya
Illustration by Lucy Milko
Yulia Fridman's "A Plate That Looks Like a Hat". Translated by Anna Krushelnitskaya

* * *

I don’t need or want a plate that looks like a hat,
Or any shoes looking like heads of horses,
Or these button mushrooms torn off this coat, or that
Angry lady who calls me a klutz and curses.

I don’t like and I don’t feel like getting dressed.
I cannot tell a nightshirt from all of the rest.
Yes, I can go shopping and lose my keys on the way,
But what is the purpose of that exercise anyway?

Dear listeners, tomorrow, no later, all of you
Will wake up in a Universe perfectly new,
Where Pinocchio dreams of becoming a real log, against all odds;
Where an astronaut is served as the breakfast of gods.

That’s because, dear listeners, for a long time and a day
We threw up in our mouths when we looked at your ugly faces.
That’s because you’ve been asking for it, time and again,
With your love of the same old words, actions and places.

When inter-star draft, to soundless prayerful sobbing,
Rips and tears the curtains of atmospheric lace,
Like a love leaf, the door to each house will begin throbbing
And the lock will explode, a particulate fountain in space.

June 9, 2020

~ ~ ~

Мне не нужна тарелка, похожая на шляпу,
Ботинки, как лошадиные головы,
И сморчки этих пуговиц с куртки оборваны,
И сердитая леди ругает меня растяпой.

Я не хочу одеваться, я не могу отличить
Ночную рубашку от всего остального,
Можно пойти в магазин, по пути потерять ключи,
Но к чему это делать снова и снова?

Дорогие радиослушатели, не позднее, чем завтра
Вы проснетесь в совершенно новой Вселенной,
Где Буратино мечтает стать настоящим поленом
И на завтрак богам подают астронавта,

Потому что долго, дорогие радиослушатели,
Нам сводило скулы при взгляде на ваши рожи,
Потому что вы давно этого заслуживаете
За привычку говорить и делать одно и то же,

И межзвездный сквозняк под неслышные всхлипы молитв
Оборвет занавески атмосферного шелка,
Двери каждой квартиры дрогнут, как лист любви,
И фонтаном частиц разлетится в пространство защелка.

7 июня 2020

About the Author:

Yulia Fridman
Yulia Fridman
Moscow, Russia

Yulia Fridman, b. 1970, is a researcher at the Kurchatov Institute in Moscow. Her poetry and prose appear in various online journals. Her published translations into Russian, done jointly with Dmitri Manin, include several works of Dr. Seuss and a memoir of a prominent French mathematician Alexandre Grothendieck.

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. Anna’s most voluminous work is the 700-page bilingual interview collection Cold War casual/ Простая холодная война (2019).

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Yulia Fridman/ Юлия Фридман
by Gari Light

These English poems by Gari have the same energy and elegance as his Russian poems, and they are enriched by his multilayered, polyphonic use of the English language to express thoughts and feelings with sophistication and humor.

by Marina Tsvetaeva. Translated by Nina Kossman.

This new edition by Shearsman Press (UK) contains translations of Marina Tsvetaeva’s narrative poems (поэмы). They can be seen as markers of various stages in her poetic development, ranging from the early, folk-accented On a Red Steed to the lyrical-confessional Poem of the Mountain and Poem of the End to the more metaphysical later poems, An Attempt at a RoomPoem of the Mountain, a beautiful requiem for Rainer Maria Rilke, New Year’s Greetings, and Poem of the Air, a stirring celebration of Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight and the quest for the soul’s freedom. These translations were first published by Ardis in 1998 and reprinted by Overlook in 2004 and 2009. The current edtion was published by Shearsman Press (UK) in 2021.




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