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from the November/December 2003 issue


what is watching

always comes to an end:

and the day! and the world! . .

it is the unique

the unceasing -

is it over its features

that the soul glides:

like dust! -

and light is not revealed

of the always watching! -

and dust unstable:

not lit! -

is scattered


The poems here date from the extremely fruitful first decade of his activity as a Russian poet. They were written in Moscow, where he was employed in the Mayakovsky museum to organize exhibitions of the Russian avant-garde artists of the early years of the twentieth century. At this time, he was part of a Moscow "underground" of poets, musicians and artists, all living in poverty and supporting one another in their attempts to create an independent art. None of these poems appeared in print in the Soviet Union until the late 1980s.

-Peter France

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