The Origin

I cannot remember - at just which nightstop
the itch of future life has crawled through me.
The world did shudder.
A star tripped on its run,
and fell into a blue-enameled basin.
I reached for it... But, it has washed away,
between my fingers - a red-scaled ide.
The rusty Jews above my crib
Have crossed the slanted blades of their beards.
And then all turned inside-out.
All turned the way it shouldn't be.
The burbot knocked at my pane;
The stallion chirped; the hawk
was falling into my palms;
The tree was dancing.
And my infancy was passing,
Desiccated with leavening,
And cheated with the candle.
Squizeed point-blank between the stone tablets -
Unopenable gates.
Jewish peacocks on the unholstery,
Jewish cream on the verge of souring,
My father's cane, and my mother's cap -
they all were muttering at me:
- You scoundrel! Scoundrel! -
And only at nighttime, only on my pillow
My world was not dissected by the beard.
And slowly, like coins of copper,
the water fell into the kitchen sink.
It congealed. It shrouded me.
Honed its streaming blade...
- Just how, tell me, would my Jewish unbelief
trust in this fliud world?
I was taught: The roof is just that.
The stool is crude. The floor is killed by soles.
You must see, perceive, and hear.
Lean your elbows onto the table of this world.
But carpenter-beetle's hourly precision
already gnaws on buttresses of being.
- Just how, tell me, would my Jewish unbelief
have any trust in the durability of all this?
Braids eaten away by lice.
Slanted protrusion of the collar-bone.
Pimples, herring-smeared mouth,
Neck's horselike turn.
But, aging in twilight, the rusty Jews,
hunchbacked, knotty, wild,
fling at me their bristle-covered fists.
The door! Fling open!
The foliage rocks outside,
Half-gnawed by stars!
The moon's asmoke in a puddle!
The blackbird shrieks, not knowing his kin.
And all my love running toward me
and all the keening of my forebears
and all the heavenly bodies
that arrange the evening,
and all the trees
that tear at my face
barricaded the tha passageway
of my ill wheezing lungs:
- You outcast!
Take your lowly belongings,
your damnation, your contempt!
Leave! -
And so I leave the old bed:
So leave I shall!
Better still!
I spit in spite!





Translation: Roman Turovsky-Savchuk 2/9/2009