Galina Itskovich. Three Poems. Translated by Maria Bloshteyn

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Galina Itskovich. Three Poems. Translated by Maria Bloshteyn

antonivka bridge
a green cloud of lies descends

and history is trumped

antonovka’s no longer an apple

potemkin’s no longer a count

revving across the misto

ride scoundrel thief and marauder

rejoice we’re setting up a humanitarian corridor

they’re hauling off the country

across the bridge

across the bridge

over Dnieper’s sorrowing flow

could anything be more fun

than a pseudo-civil war

excepting their words’ rat-a-tat

whose side are you on

answer that

the clock hands that look like dali’s mustache

are wrong again

someone’s being punished

for some implausible sin

what monsters will return from this shameful war

list the names let the horror sink in

distorted and cheapened: unwed brides

“I’ll be back if you wait for me”

off the bridge an orchestra’s gearing up

blasting out arpeggios on an RPG

when they retreat

they take out others by force

heads lowered

in the blinding headlights

a folk superhero coming of age

is held against the floor

so he won’t ruin his sight

by seeing your face

антоновский мост
нисходит зеленое облако

историю ложью поправ

антоновка больше не яблоко

потемкин больше не граф

со свистом едут по мiсту

мародер негодяй и вор

мы приехали дать вам гуманитарный коридор

вывозят страну

по мосту

по мосту

понад скорбью днепровской волны

нет ничего веселей

псевдогражданской войны

разве что мелкий горох их речей

отвечай мы зачем тут

ты чей

стрелки часов что усы у дали



чья то вычурная вина

что за нелюдь вернется с позорной войны

страшно перебирать имена

из оболганного: несостоявшиеся невесты

я вернусь только очень жди

за мостом разыгрывается оркестр

только слышно арпеджио RPG


вывозят насильно

очи долу

фары слепят

будущего котигорошка

прижимают к полу

чтобы злом не испортил глаза

не увидaл


The New Conscripts
don’t rip to bits

these new conscripts

they pack their sacks

and dance their dance

on icy floors

mind’s music

sounds forced

don’t curse them

lest you be cursed

they won’t tear into you

red playdoh ears

hands red

from the cold

slapping those who won’t obey

what’s in their souls—hard to say

plucked off the streets

new-fangled imperialists

can’t afford gear

heads full of fear

or the reverse

watch them

form gangs

make that companies

mouths gape in screams

honour and integrity

make that

the reverse

stripped bare


sacrificial lambs

none more chosen

god-ordained and fit

for mincemeat


of squats

and grand pas

before the draft board lady

in the auditorium

full of opprobrium

this boy’s aunt served

as a doctor on the board

for a sixty-year run

lucky she’s not the one

to say pass when he’s done

the client’s fit and healthy

cleared for descent to Hades

looking law-abiding and ready

only his cheeks’ bloody red

testifies he’s not yet dead

end this rubbish

make this hell finish

drown and perish

like Atlantis

or Kitezh.

не браните их


пакуют ранцы

танцуют танцы

на ледяном полу

музыка мозга

звучит с напругой

не ругай и непоруган


напрочь не оборвут

из красного пластика уши

руки красны

от мороза

от ударов по непослушным

трудно увидеть из чего души

собраны с улиц


не хватает на берцы

копф в шмерце

то есть наоборот



их банд

то есть рот

в крике распахнут рот

честь и совесть

то есть





нет богоизбранней

нет желанней

для фарша




перед дамой из медкомиссии

в актовом зале

акт брутален

тетка военкоматским доктором

отпахала шесть декад

к счастью это не ей придется

подтверждать что клиент здоров

не подлежит отправке назад

готов к погружению в аид

законопослушен весь его вид

только кровавый румянец

свидетельствует о том

что он пока жив

прекращайте кипеж

погружайтесь же

адовы этажи



On The Opening of the New Alexander Blok Monument in St. Petersburg
This is the city conceived by God.

And this is Blok

leaving the city

that God conceived.

And this is the noose at the end of the rope,

hanging from the invisible hook

in the house that Blok left.

And these are the poets feeling blocked

back in the city and house, minus Blok and God.

And this the bullet that led to Blok’s fall,

Now down will come Blok, the epoch and all.
На открытие нового памятника А. Блоку в Петербурге
Вот город, который придумал Бог.

А это Блок,

покидающий город,

который придумал Бог.

А вот петля и верёвка, перекинутая неловко

через невидимый крюк

В доме, который покинул Блок.

А это другие поэты, которым плохо

В городе, в доме без Блока и Бога.

А вот и пуля в спину бегущему Блоку,

Который, падая, захлопывает эпоху.


About the Author:

1. photo Galina Itsk.
Galina Itskovich
New York, USA

Galina Itskovich, born and raised in Odesa, Ukraine, has lived in New York City since 1991. She earned a Master’s degree from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College. In addition to practicing and teaching the art of psychotherapy, she writes poetry, prose, and nonfiction in Russian and English. From the first days of the war in Ukraine, Galina has been involved in numerous humanitarian projects, including, but not limited to, psycho-education on the subject of trauma.

About the Translator:

1. Maria Bloshteyn photo1
Maria Bloshteyn
Toronto, Canada

Maria Bloshteyn is a literary scholar, editor, translator, and essayist. She was born in Leningrad and she grew up and lives in Toronto. Maria studied Dostoevsky’s impact on American culture and is the author of The Creation of a Counter-culture Icon: Henry Miller’s Dostoevsky (2007). She is the translator of Alexander Galich’s Dress Rehearsal (2009) and Anton Chekhov’s The Prank (2015), as well as the editor and the main translator of Russia is Burning, a collection of Russоphone poems of World War II (Smokestack Books, 2020). Her poetry translations have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies, including The Penguin Book of Russian Poetry (Penguin Classics, 2015).

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