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Alien Matter: New and Selected Poems by Regina Derieva
On the sea-shore, smell of iodine,
and square as in Sicily, and dancing.

An intellectual that came from the common people,
preparing himself to be Rosencrantz.
He decides to serve Claudius and therefore
spy on Prince Hamlet from the fountain.

All over the world — the prison. At the world's
end a certain John plays the piano.

Already darkness, and the end is in sight :
Ophelia crying in an empty hut.
And Hamlet walks to and fro with white headband,
in order to be recognized by the Ghost in the gloom.
All my life
I sought
an angel.
And he appeared
in order to say:
"I am no angel !"
Beyond Siberia again Siberia,
beyond impenetrable forest again forest.
And beyond it waste ground,
where a blizzard of snow breaks loose.

The blizzard has handcuffs, and the snow-
storm has a knife which kills at once....
I will die, pay a debt
for others who live somewhere,

out of spite, out of fear and terror,
out of pain, out of a nameless grave....
Beyond the wall another wall,
on the wall stopped dead one sentinel.
I don't feel at home where I am,
or where I spend time; only where,
beyond counting, there's freedom and calm,
that is, waves, that is, space where, when there,
you consist of pure freedom, which, seen,
turns that Gorgon, the crowd, to stone,
to pebbles  and sand . . . where life's mean-
ing lies buried, that never let one
come  within cannon shot yet.
From cloud-covered  wells untold
pour color and light, a fete
of cupids and Ledas in gold.
That is, silk and honey and sheen.
That is, boon and quiver and call.
That is, all that lives to be free,
needing no words at all.
Oval mirror of the sea,
age-warped isle waved and cloudy,
each angle crystalline and salty.
my lens into reality.

Point of space just visible,
focus of beams ineffable,
switch of signals transmissible,
receiver of voices inaudible

At time's edge. No need have I to shout
in fear about this death of mine.
And any creature here is glad
to offer you a glass of wine.
It was not necessary to study
the language
of a strange country;
anyway, it would be of no help.
It was not necessary to know
where Italy or England
is located;
travel was obviously
out of question.
It was not necessary to live
among the wild beasts
of Noah's ark,
which had just devoured
the last dove of peace,
along with Noah
and his virtuous family.
It was not necessary to strive
for some holy land
awash in milk and honey,
according to rumor.
A Poem
A poem—
is just one more
scrap of paper
that has sailed off the table
in a bottle
with a cry for help.
Everyone, after all, was killed:
he who was crucified,
he who died without skin,
he who died without a head,
he who was drowned,
he who was thrown down
from the wall of the Temple,
which shortly after that
ceased to exist.
Everyone, after all, was tormented;
he who was put at the mercy
of lions and Neros,
he who was roasted on the bonfire,
he whose eyes were gouged out.
Everything was justified
on the excuse that no one
can live eternally
and that it is impossible
to avoid death.
Through the narrow gates of paradise
passed so many martyrs
that the gates in the end
had to be widened.
Kudos to the executioners!
Sons of *******
were born
with hearts of stone,
cherishing this stone
all their life.
Children of
sons of *******
were born
with hearts of grenade,
in order to
blow to pieces
and to leave as a message for their descendants —
(still smoking entrails)
of sons of *******.

— The End —