Poems are laws grown feral.
one stole guilt from the guilty one and was guiltyin order to grow in the stolen place,in an empty place, the law.stole somethingabandoned,called it “guilt”or lied about stealing,guilty of innocence.made his name qualify,a tree grow from the name, a house from the tree,made a home be there for the theft.
from a sound to extractan entire law, a key to every sound.there will be brass or wood in the voiceif blushing about the voice you call a name,as if lying about a loved one under oath,bartered him for a shameful deed.better to release the name from memory. [End Page 143]
tokens of mortal skin exchanged,the looking will grow cold with the light.fuel rests in the body as in a boat,immobile,an inner heat.by the law of nature almost everything burns away.when all skin evaporates film by film,we will inhale with a single lungthat which is no longer air.
when a sublune flowers under the moonand grows,bright stars play games with it,to it their instant habitis the order of things.and when on the turning’s doorstepa stone is left like a child,it is a stray dream,the first rule is not to remember.
streams would drain to the shallows themselvesand salt from the low beds would dissolvebut what would a rock burn in the air forfalling thundering even into fresh water?if it’s the law that in any caseeverything is mixed with everythingyou couldn’t fall in under your own weight.
make a wolfbe wolf to a humanmake red patches of shame appearunder the skin over the heart when you are looked at. [End Page 144]
Anna Glazova is a poet, translator and scholar of German and Comparative Literature with a PhD from Northwestern University. Currently she is finishing working on her book on Paul Celan’s treatment of quotation. She has taught German literature at Cornell and Johns Hopkins Universities. In the fall of 2013 she had an appointment as a scholar in residence at Rutgers University. She is the author of three books of poems in Russian and has been awarded the Russian Prize for Poetry, the Andrei Bely Prize and the Moscow Score Prize. She has translated into Russian books by Paul Celan, Robert Walser, Unica Zürn and Ladislav Klima.
Anna Khasin is an independent scholar and translator residing in Boston. A volume of her translations of Anna Glazova’s poetry, Twice under the Sun, was published by Shearsman Books (2008). A large selection of her translations of Glazova appeared in Relocations by Zephyr Press (2013).