Alexey Karakovski. Mannequin Country. Translated by Yana Kane

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Alexey Karakovski. Mannequin Country. Translated by Yana Kane
Alexey Karakovski. Mannequin Country. Translated by Yana Kane

The mannequin country went to work every morning,

The mannequin country made sure to make money,

The mannequin country outlawed abortions,

And plastic children were born to the mannequins.

The buses overflowed with all those people

Who couldn’t afford to get a Mercedes,

Each day they saved money to buy a car later;

Perhaps for them this was the meaning of life.


The mannequin country liked screwing and shafting

And gibbeting the raped in the streets and the squares—

It considered this practice essential

To serve as a warning, a caution to others.

The mannequin country shaved napes and temples,

Beards, armpits, and hairy privates.

It spat out blood right into its rivers,

Spat out tears into trampled streets.


The mannequin country liked to follow

The unfolding of gladiator battles,

It liked to gorge itself,

Guzzle carbonated water.

The mannequin country liked to like, to dote,

Only on itself and its own mannequins.

As for those who did not fit in the buses,

They were packed into trucks;

They’ve disappeared from the town!


* * *


Страна манекенов ходила на работу,

Страна манекенов зарабатывала деньги,

Страна манекенов запрещала аборты,

И у них рождались пластмассовые дети.

В заполненных автобусах те люди ездят,

У которых нет денег на «мерседесы»,

Они каждый день копят деньги на машины,

В этом, возможно, их смысл жизни.


Страна манекенов любила трахаться

И вешать изнасилованных прямо на улице,

В этом она видела прямую надобность,

Чтоб другим неповадно было,

Страна манекенов брила затылки,

Виски, подбородки, подмышки и члены,

Она плевалась кровью в реки

И слезами в растоптанные улицы.


Страна манекенов любила следить

За развитием гладиаторского боя,

Еще она любила жрать

И пить всю жизнь газированную воду,

Страна манекенов любила любить,

Но любить себя и своих манекенов,

А тех, кто не помещался в автобусы,

Увозили за город на грузовиках!



The Russian text was first published in «Точка.зрения» ( The English translation has not been published before
The English translation was edited by Bruce Esrig.

About the Author:

Alexey Karakovski
Alexey Karakovski
Moscow, Russia

Alexey Karakovski is a poet, literary translator, songwriter and musician who lives in the vicinity of Moscow, Russia. He is the editor-in-chief of “Tochka.Zreniya” (View.Point), an online Russian-language literary journal ( Karakovski is the lead singer of the rock group Incident. He participates in many musical projects, e.g. False Testimony, Mandelstam’s Garden, and Curaçao. He performs his songs in Russian, English, and German; some texts have also been translated into French, Spanish, Kazakh, and Hebrew. He recorded two dozen music albums. Karakovski is the author of a dozen books (prose, poetry, non-fiction), a number of publications in literary magazines, such as Khreshchatyk, Day and Night, etc, and art-samizdat, such as Smuggling and Underground Pantheon. He is known for his translations into Russian of beatnik poets, European poets of the Second World War, and folk and rock songs.

About the Translator:

1. Yana Kane photo cropped 2022 06 26A(1)
Yana Kane
New Jersey, USA

Yana Kane came to the United States as a refugee from the Soviet Union when she was a teenager. She has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Princeton University and a Ph.D. in Statistics from Cornell University. She works as a senior principal engineer. She is a recipient of the Mitch and Lynn Baumeister Scholarship in the Fairleigh Dickinson University MFA in Creative Writing program. Her writing appeared in a variety of Russian and English language magazines and anthologies. A bilingual book of her poetry and translations, “Kingfisher/Zimorodok,” was published in 2020.

Alexey Karakovski Алексей Караковский
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