Four Pieces

Gennady Aygi



since the time i remember anything
i know
by the pain in my eyes
where and with what blows
our silence is enlightened
and recollections suffice
here where awakenings clamor


and those who from that time began to see the lord's light
came for the first time to discriminate
black from white
and rapt in wonderment hastened to communicate
so this is—white
and this black


so burst
into visions other distinctions
and in howls as by the years
trampled in me I search out
for connections like a filament
advancing covered by mockery
as though with burdock burrs
somewhere in the ravine
(oh how it was
once upon a time
lonely and clear
no one but me and the field
an entire world)


Returning to Baudelaire

a smouldering
(from the paper
into the world)—

the master
as though
of apparentness:

a face
like God's—in the ashes—grasped:

of the not-"I" of the mind
crackling—with a flame! . . . —

into the countenance of this wind
the bright light of unpeopledness


To Joan Miró: Vowels' Bubbles

and so here behind the drawn Yellow
I sleep and "sleep feet—I say—and sleep arms"
and vowels I once and E and O and once again I
float shining enveloped in the cores of bubbles
of golden spit—from a whispering mouth!—
and flying through Yellow they leave holes
and its cold and I awake


To Max Ernst: A Twin-Rose

punched through—not as into sunlight
but into the light-of-the-Idea
punched through—and ensconced
a twin-rose: as though in the room


translated from the Russian by Alex Cigale