Translated from the Russian by Boris Dralyuk

 

from White Butterflies of Night

 

 

I fear those who are afraid of emptiness
I fear Pascal but not probability theory
I do not fear Roman antiquities for they
were born in Euclidean space as we are
and die up there in the space of Piranesi
as under an enormous medieval bell
where there’s plenty of space but there’s no one no people no God
only decrepit torture devices slumbering
in the dim light of a time that has outlived itself
and entering this place you encounter once more the endless gray days
of your childhood in the silent bombed-out city

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things didn’t remember their names and I have begun to forget them
memory’s like a pocket riddled with holes that cannot hold change
words or ideas and some in the Dark Ages knew this already
and some know it still in our pitch-black era
as they store up what others before them had carried
and released into the dark from their embarrassed hands
like a bird or a lizard or simply a crumb
something between something and nothing between us and our forgetting
something with no beginning no end and no meaning

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prayer is just what remains
when all is said and there is nothing more to say
God is what remains when all in which one can believe
comes to an end and there is nothing to believe in
with hay still in the loft and bread on the table
under a white linen cloth
I’ve written about all of this before
as have others before me before all of us
but the day is near when there shall be no difference
between my saying everything in just a couple words
and nothing in all of them

 

 

 

 

 

Photograph © super awesome

Three Poems
The Weak Spot