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from the November/December 2003 issue


(after the "Grasshoppers" of Velimir

Khlebnikov and e.e. cummings)

to my son Andrey

grasshopper-sign flickers

over field under heaven! -

(sign to Reason - be on guard!

be yourself) -

sign of punctuation

from the colouring of two:

something of Field

and something - of God


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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