Mio Grand. Translated by Dmitri Manin

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Mio Grand. Translated by Dmitri Manin

 
* * *
 
Hey, I found a girl! I found a girl!

Her nose, a nimble hose, can twist and twirl,

For a mouth she has a rubber sheet,

Her eyepieces are clogged with soil and sleet.
 

I feel like hugging her right then and there,

But she gives me such an eerie stare…

And l see her eyes, big, blank and round,

And I hear her burble, “beat it, now!”
 

And her belly swells, and swells, and swells,

Though already bloated like a bell!

“Feed me!” she commands, and off I skip

Plucking grass on the disputed strip.
 

“I am hungry!” – still, she swells and bloats.

And I bring her houses, people, goats,

Music notebooks, pupils of my eyes –

To this girl with her rust-eaten scythe.
 

She pulls out the safety pin and grieves

Gobbling up a man. I cannot leave.

Looming like a swarm of wasps, she nears,

The gigantic girl who knows no tears.
 
 The Original

Девочку я, девочку нашла!

Носик у неё — подвижный шланг,

Ротик у неё — резины пласт,

В окулярах глаз — земля и наст.
 

Захотелось девочку обнять,

А она так смотрит на меня…

И я вижу, вместо глаз — круги,

И я слышу булькает: «Беги»!
 

И растёт, растёт её живот,

Пухнет, но растёт, растёт, растёт!

«Накорми!» — приказ, и я бегу,

Рву траву на спорном берегу.
 

«Есть хочу!» — и пухнет всё сильней.

Я несу людей, дома, коней,

Нотные тетради, свой висок —

Девочке с заржавленной косой.
 

Плачет, пожирая, сняв чеку

С человека. Я не убегу.

Нависает тёмной тучей ос

Девочка огромная без слёз.
 

About the Author:

1. Mila Ilyina photo
Mio Grand
Moscow, Russia

After she graduated from the Gorky Literature Institute, she worked as editor of the social-patriotic television program Street of Your Destiny. She performed her poems in the Tchaikovsky Moscow Philharmonic Hall, the House of Composers, the Center for Slavic Literature and Culture, the Orthodox Youth Club, and other organizations. Her poems were published in various magazines and set to music. A collection of stories for children with disabilities was published. She writes prose and poetry. She also paints, draws, and engages in other types of artistic creation.
Mio Grand is a pen name.

About the Translator:

manin_2021 (1)
Dmitri Manin
California, USA

Dmitri Manin is a physicist, programmer, and translator of poetry. His translations from English and French into Russian have appeared in several book collections. His latest work is a complete translation of Ted Hughes’ “Crow” (Jaromír Hladík Press, 2020) and Allen Ginsberg’s “The Howl, Kaddish and Other Poems” (Podpisnie Izdaniya, 2021). Dmitri’s Russian-to-English translations have been published in journals (Cardinal Points, Delos, The Café Review, Metamorphoses, etc) and in Maria Stepanova’s “The Voice Over” (CUP, 2021). In 2017, his translation of Stepanova’s poem won the Compass Award competition. “Columns,” his new book of translations of Nikolai Zabolotsky’s poems, was published by Arc Publications in 2023 (https://eastwestliteraryforum.com/books/nikolai-zabolotsky-columns-poems).

Mila Ilyina Мила Ильина
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