Every day it seems I am giving up another piece of my soul

just to survive, tread water, in this world.

Tomorrow, again, there is less left of my self.

Repulsed, at what society has made me

(not my dream or aspiration!),

I avoid looking in the mirror,

it isn’t difficult,

tomorrow, I will disappear.





The days slide away.

Grandfather dies, as clock breaks.

Mentality screwed.





And shit.


are shit.

They come and they go.

Inconsistently, annoyingly, capriciously,

like ants in the sun and rain.

O’ if only they would stay (gone!).

Then, perchance, peace for me.

We meditate

(strive for enlightenment)

best alone.





then and there,

I thought my actions were heroic.

I am informed, however,

here and now,

that my actions were foolish,

at best comedic.


Place, time, mind.



constant farce,


I’m glad, at least, I made you smile.




It rings so fucking hollow,

why would I choose to follow

your banal cacophony

into the abyss?

You don’t remember,

let alone mourn or miss,

the lost Jews of Salonika.

I, therefore, spit in your eye

and choose my own,

nobler way,

I try,

I strive,

I hope,





I still have feelings,

sometimes keen,

sometimes dulled.

Fitfully, I feel compelled to express my ardor…

imagining myself in Leningrad’s White Nights,

I try,

I write poetry

to forget the dark days

and express my longing

for you.

Now and then I will send a letter,

when circumstance allows,

O’ how I yearn to read

or hear your voice,

but your words are only a memory.

I sigh,

expectantly awaiting,

no reply.




In my shitty Novosibirsk Khrushchyovka,

I watch the wildlife documentary,

a video downloaded from the internet:

American and British experts

exalting in the wonders of Kamchatka.

They are right,

it is amazing,

I already knew that,

of course.

But, how lucky they are

to be there,


and, how strange,

the impossibility

that I could ever travel thence.

… Borders and visas are meaningless

when you’re broke …

And your own country might as well be Mars.

I look at the cracked floorboards and sigh,

Masha’s dacha will have to suffice.




Of course, there’s a crack in the road,

as you cross the border,

in your Volvo.

“Welcome to the USSR!”

(You think you’re open-minded


the storyteller/film-maker/puppet-master

wants you to think

of shit!

… Agenda subtly met.)




The annoying irony of life

in this place and time.

Ironic expressions make you simper, grimace.

Manifestations slap you in the face.

(Inside, we cry,

outside, others laugh…)




Sitting on the bus

with the other convicts,

varying extents of self-awareness

on display,

I realize,

despite our differences

and hatreds,

we’re all the same.



of the choices

we’ve made


been forced into,

our names

long since signed away,

hopes and dreams

but a fading,