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Oil

1.

Halfway into the journey – just puncture me with a compass.
Zero-kilometer, where fabled rivers converge, reversing polarity: drain.
Suppose it a tunnel, at once the air is set tight as a lattice.
Hurray! You are launched from the maw of a soil-based yawn.

Hangnail, dangled all the way down to the switchflow entrails,
there to consult the register: vapors, extralarge rock, and the coiled bands.
You unfasten your jaw at the plywood façade like a conscript,
oil, the armed, double-barreled ram turns the corner: en garde!

Was it the flash of your whites – the dark maid leapt from her crypt and roams the garden,
or was it a wire dropped in the tub and the belle flickered and came up glass-eyed?
Point blast: oil, blinded, finds tertium, always non datur.
Sacked chimney retracts like a sleeve – oil, shuddering, mounts the rails.

Now you'd better watch out, convex mirror in hand she's a hawkeye.
As you sway on your rope you pass like floss through its hooked clove.
Everywhere, like drunken soldiers riding all night in a pissdrenched hallway,
oil droplet is dubbed, like hussein in a tub plus the Louvre.

In the end you discovered the caliphate shot through with secret phone lines,
as you muttered your prayers from a cliff with a low survival rate.
Balanced on Adam's peak or, to be precise, the endpoint of a wax museum,
you caught up with the subterranean ram and you screwed him in tight.

Just as jars, receding into the cellar, practice writing fives in dull glitter,
it was by the edges of things I knew my world as a child.
Killer ninjas, their ribbed clubs like neon bulbs discover the dripping
pitch. Frilled Rembrandt from the morgue picks his nose, and out comes the oil.

And once she was out, right away she dissolved into anesthetic,
on pliant beaches and in the rapid voids of a blasted crowd.
Seashell blitz and crackle of flashbulb crescents,
earth clods clogging the apertures… now you know where you are.

You'd have tarred and feathered her, but preferred absolute indifference,
closed all the investigations and turned off the mirrors in unlike things.
And while she fumbles and beeps, resembling a senseless fleet in the triangle,
cautiously, like rearming in a backroom stall a syringe,

while barrel on barrel she is stacking her golden towers,
while she's lining the eye with the self-dilating blanks
of her chromed oil tanks, turned inside out with hazard,
and while on the back of your forehead she runs through the dialog box,

and while Tartars are smearing their silent-era grins with oil,
while civilizations get caught in it like bugs in the Web,
while we plaster our noses with papers, while we lounge
on oil-drenched cliffs, while our beds reek of oil – delirium squared,

and while haloed and gowned you resemble (I draw like a child)
a spoon, while under your heel you sense a viscous reserve,
while you reign, cursing, existing, scratching a little,
oil weighs us against each other, and widens the gulf

where the rivers lie down head to foot, listening to the chimes of the evening,
while sleep is mashing up glass, but keeps it from going down,
you are spun on the wheel, by command of the molten center, –
oil rises up to your throat, and curls up at the edge of the marsh.

Translated from Russian by: 
Sergey Levchin
Original source: 
Нефть
 

Не бывает, чтобы враз спать и

Не бывает, чтобы враз спать и сторожить лабаз.

A silent fool is counted

A silent fool is counted wise. Молчаливый дурак сходит за умника. Ср. Молчи — за умного сойдешь.

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