You, residing in an ivory tower
Head in the clouds, nursing your pride,
You, who can’t tell yesterday from tomorrow,
Know this: you’re a warring side.
You, binge-buying sugar and matches
To take the lean year in stride –
Eyeless corpses are staring at you.
You are a warring side.
You, who fell silent, who mutters,
“Not my fault,” “I can’t turn the tide,”
Wolves will get you through closed shutters,
For you are a warring side.
You may give zero fucks with your bottomless
Blasted bottle, but you can’t hide.
Your own demons won’t let you rest:
You’re also a warring side.
You whose poems subtly glow,
You’re wide open and in for a ride.
You’re from here. Not beyond or above. And so,
You are a warring side.
March 20, 2022
* * *
Ты, живущий в высокой башне
Сделанной из бивней белого слона,
Не отличающий сегодняшний и вчерашний,
Знай – ты воюющая сторона.
Ты, скупающий банки и крупы,
Чтоб завтра семья не была голодна.
На тебя безглазые смотрят трупы.
Ты – воюющая сторона.
Ты умолкнувший, ты молчащий,
Ты ,шепчущий «Не моя вина».
И на тебя найдутся волчищи в чаще,
Ибо ты – воюющая сторона.
Ты со своим ненасытным стаканом,
Всё посылающий на и на.
Тебя разбудят твои тараканы:
Ты тоже воюющая сторона.
Ты – со своими строками горячими,
У тебя открыты и грудь и спина.
Ты здешний. Не вне и не над. И значит,
Ты воюющая сторона.
20 марта 2022
Vadim Zhuk, one of the major contemporary poets writing in Russian, was born in Leningrad in 1947. Vadim graduated from the theatrical faculty of LGITMiK. Upon graduation, he earned his living as an actor in theaters of Siberia, in addition to working other jobs. He has authored ten books of poetry. In addition to writing poetry, he writes for the theater.
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 a poem by Stepanova won the Compass Award competition.
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.
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!
“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.
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.
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.