Пушкин и Baudelaire, via странников

by strannikov

the sleepless serpent's return


in time for dark the batteries die

the clock's numerals erase to grey:

in silence shuts the visor of night.


the city's streets vacated soon

all visible lights stare at the ground—

dim streetlamps distant stars the moon.


—but night does not reduce me to sleep

the dragging minutes keep awake

the dark that only opens its deep:


a snake, my memory unfurls

and slithers black from out its black night—

inside my aching chest it curls.


this snake recites scenes long since spent

returns to life those vivid scenes

those loathsome scenes I'd as soon forget—


the curses and shames the vain regrets

the bitter complaints the scorching tears:

the snake coils tighter in my chest—


then squirms away back to its black night

leaves me to face these mem'ries alone

as bleak sorrows dawn and day arrives.



more memories than any petrified tree


more memories than any petrified tree—


walnut drawers crammed with booklets and odd stuff,

ink-stained pages, love notes, tickets, receipts,

a thin braid of hair in onionskin sheets,

could not yield the murk my seething skull schemes.

my brain a hollow pyramid, mummy-stuffed,

with stench of the dead and embalmment sealed.

I am a lost graveyard the moon detests:

with guilt and remorse worms writhe through their dead,

feeding on those cherished dead who stare appalled.

I'm a noir boudoir of wilt, must, cloy, and rot,

the latest dead fashions themselves stiff embalmed,

where bloodless young girls in pale pastel styles

breathe pervading stale scents and ghosts of scents.


only days near the end could be so slow,

when accumulated weights of wet snows

sheathe every surface, seed indifferent sleeps

enduring longer than years we can count.

O living life, your career finds its scope—

a cold rock orbits a suspicious sun,

a blind desert surveys its wealth of wastes,

a mute sphinx before burial forgot,

no longer marked on any map—mood fierce

as suns set with threats, nights rise with new fears.