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Thoughts, go your way home.
Embrace,
depths of the soul and the sea.
In my view,
it is
stupid
to be
always serene.
My cabin is the worst
of all cabins ;
All night above me
Thuds a smithy of feet.
All night,
stirring the ceiling’s calm,
dancers stampede
to a moaning motif:
“Marquita,
Marquita,
Marquita my darling,
why won’t you,
Marquita,
why won’t you love me …”
But why
Should marquita love me?!
I have
no francs to spare.
And Marquita
(at the slightest wink!)
for a hundred francs
she’d be brought to your room.
The sum’s not large ;
just live for show ;
No,
you highbrow,
ruffling your matted hair,
you would thrust upon her
a sewing machine,
in stitches
scribbling
the silk of verse.
Proletarians
arrive at communism
from below ;
by the low way of mines,
sickles,
and pitchforks ;
But I,
from poetry’s skies,
plunge into communism,
because
without it
I feel no love.
Whether
I’m self-exiled
or sent to mamma ;
the steel of words corrodes,
the brass of the brass tarnishes.
Why,
beneath foreign rains,
must I soak,
rot,
and rust?
Here I recline,
having gone oversea,
in my idleness
barely moving
my machine parts.
I myself
feel like a Soviet
factory,
manufacturing happiness.
I object
to being torn up,
like a flower of the fields,
after a long day’s work.
I want
the Gosplan to sweat
in debate,
assignning me
goals a year ahead.
I want
a commissar
with a decree
to lean over the thought of the age.
I want
the heart to earn
its love wage
at a specialist’s rate.
I want
the factory committee
to lock
My lips
when the work is done.
I want
the pen to be on a par
with the bayonet;
and Stalin
to deliver his Politbureau
reports
about verse in the making
as he would about pig iron
and the smelting of steel.
“That’s how it is,
the way it goes …
We’ve attained
the topmost level,
climbing from the workers’ bunks:
in the Union
of Republics
the understanding of verse
now tops
the prewar norm …”

Transcribed: by Mitch Abidor.

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