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ALEKSEY DAYEN: Poems for the NO!art Site


"a mother sings a lullaby"
—Jack Micheline

a mother sings a lullaby
the song about nights
in the Warsaw Ghetto
and about WW II
non-stop in concentration camps,
about sinking ships
that sailed to New York
and kissed the ugly toe
of a green-painted French lady,
about a small space in Brooklyn (Williamsburg)
and hours and years in the laundromat
and pennies for the pension fund,
about a junky daughter
and the death of a husband
in a bordello on Times Square
... and other little thingsa mother sings a lullaby
to her only son
killed by some black guy
in an anti-Semitic riot ...

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LOBSTER [2005]

I had a lobster today
it smelled like death
but vodka at Lurie's house
prior to that smelled like
New York ghetto
my past haunting me
fishing me out
from NY desert
like the bullet that flew
through my arm in
Chechnya in 1993
it's red dinosaur shit body
looks helpless angry
while my wife crashes it
into pieces that sells for
$12.95 plus tax
dead lobsters waiting

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NO!look [2005]

Here or there
no difference all
I see
and feel
is a haunting past in every move stocked by solitude
and ghetto produced by Chernobyl and WWII, and
Moscow's flat, and Hebrew speaking great
grandma killing every essence of me in a carpet
surrounded small room with the essence of my
passport-no picture and a few lines as a mark of my existence.
Me-marked by a hotel of imaginary self-explanatory distortion.
And there she was-respect for beauty-sore eyes
surrounded by short black hair. No hair aligning itself
with eyebrows of sorrow. Eyelashes shooting desires
straight into the skies. New machine age.
Piece of shit vomited body-not so human-
more alive than Mr. or Mrs.-trigger resolving wishes.
There she stood-ribs shooting out there-killing
dead Eva-pinkies aligned with shoulders.
Devils in my head abnormally taking my muse for a ride
fucking her in the ass with a bottle of absinth.
Name it.
Call it despair.
She stood there naked hugging her vagina and thinking
no imagining what I imagined without intercourse.It takes a man to say NO.
It takes an animal to shut up.
I've been told that she's good looking,
knowing that she's the best one-
presenting her pussy as an accordion to play with-
just note and push.
That's what life is about-push alive.
My life-is hunting-to kill-kill my past,
my father inside of me.
Killing (the past makes present and future alive).
Any day
I've made a killing
waiting to see it happen.

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Four flights down
to smell old pine trees
Play football with
baseball-size pine cones
Sit on a pile of
fallen thin brown leafs
Look at the red warm plate
and a cold one
One on the other
horizon’s side
Take the hat off
and let the wind
Punch that bald spot of mineEnjoy every fraction
of each second
Before filling
the barracks again
Where face hits the pillow
on a lower bunk
Where the heart wishes
for dreams
While ears listen to the
drill sergeant’s explicit orders
delivered over the intercom

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I have only two more days
to serve
And I have a hundred blank sheets
I’ll arrive home before my mail
gets thereSo what am I gonna do with these
paper sheets?
I can turn each one into
a little plane
But my cell is too small for flights
I could write a poem on every
paper piece
But I don’t know how to rhyme

If I’d knew how to draw
I’d draw my wife’s portrait on each
paper sheetBut I don’t know how to draw
And my wife left me long ago

I can get home faster then
any postman
To find a pile of letters and postcards
in a puddle next to my porch
And grow that pile by a hundred
blank sheets
And then see if my key works.

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Jones Beach
where window washers’
go about their stanzas
and call themselves
Nobel poets
while waves crush
the shore
the stones
on the sands
try to become
part of the mountain
bordering Uzbekistan

And their libido
seems ridiculous
and tormented
and useless

Like this broken line
written: “Waste of Time.”

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A homeless guy on my Manhattan block
never asked for change
nor food
doesn’t have a sign
that tells his story.
His beard and hair
haven't been trimmed nor washed
for quite some time,
unlike mine.
He sits inside a torn cardboard box
reading Novoye Russkoe Slovo
an immigrant newspaper that published
some writings of mine.

Everyday leaving an upscale building
and passing by this smiling fellow
from my homeland,
I bear a thought in mind:
Would it be OK to start
o talk with him
in our native rhyming tongue?

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About Aleksey Dayen: He is a Russian-American award-winning poet and novelist, publicist, translator, artist. He was born and raised in the USSR and immigrated to New York in 1994. His works have been published in anthologies and leading periodicals worldwide. He works as an editor-in-chief of the Member's Magazine, a literary review, and as co-editor of five non-conformist journals in Russia. Writing in both Russian and English, he has authored five books of poetry, three books of poetry translations from English into Russian, and two books of prose. In 2004, he was awarded the David Burliuk Prize for international poetry achievement. A member of the Academy of Russian Poetry founded by Josef Brodsky, he works as a freelance translator and interpreter for various projects worldwide. more

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