The American Journal of Poetry
"Strong Rx Medicine"®

 

Anatoly Kudryavitsky

Lost in Medimurje

(For Dražen Katunarić)

 

On a day without a number
in the month of listopad
the wind of amnesia sweeps the red roofs,
while an ancient mound crowned with new grass
savours its withered memories.
Autumn hasn’t yet drowned in winter,
and the path to the pastures of the past
is well worth following.
In the candlelit windows
Cinderella dances with a wooden Marie Corelli;
three daughters of success narrate
the story of their porcelain marriage
to Mr. Nutcracker.
The future gets littered
with things from bygone dreams.
“If there is a future”
the field sings its mud song.
The tree growing inside a ruined house
keeps vigil
over the waters of chaos.

 

Anatoly Kudryavitsky

The Ninth Count of Monte Cristo

swims across Lago Maggiore
into forgiveness.
His revenge, a flooded village;
his harem, oysters.
Italians excel in retrieving deadwood,
so hope is always behind the next
wave crest.

Scientists crave simplicity.
In every lightning, there’s God,
in every smile, a sea flag.
Clemenceau surrendered to the wind,
De Gaulle adjusted his sails
but the swimmer avoids a rendezvous
with his rippled soul.

Meanwhile, the opposite bank
is slipping farther away with each
passing hour. Air currents
spell the art of decay.
The Count’s old watch is dead.
The time it’s been gathering for years
comes gushing out. 

 

Anatoly Kudryavitsky

Marinetti Talks

In the vineyard of language
he lives a second life
as a scarecrow, well-dressed
and admirably arrogant.

“For gods and poets, nothingness can be productive”
he lectures to coming generations of ingenious
narcissists. “Thorough reworking is a sine qua non.
Think cities. Think swarms.”

The future world stands naked
before his eyes.
The tree of possibilities
is flush with blossoms.

“Leave modesty to the modest”
he sleeks the straw of his speech.
“Let people appropriate and use
the best parts of you.”

Symbols of space assemble themselves
into battle scars.
He is at war
against his words.

“Be the loudest mouth on Earth”
he addresses the vultureful void.
“Only then will they stop
listening to you.”

 

 

 

ANATOLY KUDRYAVITSKY is a Russian-born Irish descendant, the grandson of a Mayo man who ended up in Stalin’s GULAG. An award-winning poet, he has published three collections, Shadow of Time (Goldsmith Press, 2005), Morning at Mount Ring (Doghouse Books, 2007) and Capering Moons (Doghouse Books, 2011). His anthologies of contemporary Russian and German poetry in English translation, A Night in the Nabokov Hotel (2006) and Coloured Handprints (2015), have been published by Dedalus Press, and his anthology of haiku poetry from Ireland titled Bamboo Dreams (2012) by Doghouse Books. The book of his selected novels, DisUNITY, has been brought out by Glagoslav Publications (London, UK) in 2013. He lives in Dublin and is the editor of Shamrock Haiku Journal.

 

 

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