Monday, April 19, 2010

A Few Brief Poems by Vera Pavlova

1. A Beast in Winter
A beast in winter,
a plant in spring,
an insect in summer,
a bird in autumn.
The rest of the time I am a woman.

2. Why is the Word...
Why is the word YES so brief?
It should be
the longest,
the hardest,
so that you could not decide in an instant to say it,
so that upon reflection you could stop
in the middle of saying it...

3. Why Do I Recite My Poems?
Why do I recite my poems by heart?
Because I write them by heart
because I know that kind of spleen
by heart. But, I lie to the pen
not daring to describe how I ambled
along the distant ramparts of love,
barefoot, wearing a birthday suit:
the placental slime and blood.

4. If I Only Knew...
If I only knew from what tongue
your I Love You has been translated,
If I could find the original,
consult the dictionary
be sure the rendition is exact:
the translator is not at fault!

5. I Broke your heart
I broke your heart.
Now barefoot I tread
on shards.

6. Remedy for Insomnia
Not sheep coming down the hills,
not cracks on the ceiling—
count the ones you loved,
the former tenants of dreams
who would keep you awake,
once meant the world to you,
rocked you in their arms,
those who loved you . . .
You will fall asleep, by dawn, in tears.

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