SATURDAY NIGHT, HOTEL PEOPLE, HR MANAGER, MY COMFORT ZONE, CLOSED CIRCUIT, FALSE MONTAGE

SATURDAY NIGHT

Dear Messiah
postpone your arrival for a day
because tomorrow is Sunday
and I must sleep

Dear God
calm volcanoes
earthquakes
floods
and other noisy games
and put off your plans of Judgment Day for a day

Mr. Mayor
stop constructions
forbid the traffic
prescribe silence
for my sake

Let Hamas not throw bombs
and Aliev not shoot at Artsakh at least tomorrow
and dear Al Qaida
end your arab-israelian conflict
and major and minor powers
conclude a truce tonight
because tomorrow is Sunday
and I must sleep

Please close Tokyo Stock Exchange
and put a huge stone in Baku-Jeihan pipeline
lock the BMW plant from outside

Dear TVs
announce a day of checking procedures
and let Bollywood shoots only dreams tonight
Dear revolutionists
anti-revolutionists
lefts, rights and neutrals,
leave the square and keep silence
i-de-o-lo-gi-cal-ly

Dear believers
love your neighbor at least today
when I’ve come with Hypnos and asked you
to keep silence

And for a day
delete my name from the list of people
the list of pious people
the list of stray dogs
the list of Noah
the list of past and future criminals
the list of poets
the list of villains
of political prisoners
of volunteers
of will-less
of useless
of lovers
of strugglers
of mortals
because tomorrow is Sunday
and I must sleep

Finally
send a black paper to my family
black as a forgotten dream
and put me absent from the Earth
because it is Saturday
midnight
I’m standing on the edge of the day
and throw myself down

Good night!

Translated by Tatev Chakhian

 

 

HOTEL PEOPLE

You can’t think of time,
Lying down in a bed which isn’ yours,
or anybody else’s,
as each time it opens
as a blank sheet,
always on a new page.

And so —
hotel people have no past,
do not miss,
do not cry,
do not age.

Regardless of how narrow a corridor is,
they do not pass through one another.
No one belongs to anybody.
A breakfast table lavish with loneliness,
grunted greetings, quickly curses,
never to remember one another,
to pass in the streets, unrecognized,
walls’ night’s delicacy undeceived.

In a hotel, the poems that grow
have the longevity of soap bubbles,
are as short as minibar bottles
and as interrupted as receptionists’ smiles.

Hotel clocks show
that if Now darkens here,
then it is still Yesterday in a different city,
and in another one, Tomorrow hurries up for work.

What sense does it make then
to turn around in an unknown dimension,
where you are weightless,
where nobody is going to shoot you in the temple?

Translated by Paweł Sakowski

 

 

HR MANAGER

Staff should never know
that after 6 p.m. your shoulders fall down,
your feet sink into the ground
and you feel such great emptiness
that street noises echo inside of you.

Let your boss never know
that in your head you sign
redundancies,
holiday for everyone
and referrals to antipode without expiry…
You knot your tie on a branch,
looking at your departing, wind-swayed body,
leaving boredom where
your hand used to be.

Let none of the employees meet you accidentally,
frozen and silent,
so silent
that a sudden greeting
might shatter you.

Translated by Paweł Sakowski

 

 

MY COMFORT ZONE

I know six languages –
all of them imperfectly.
It means I make up half of the conversations,
I build up half of what I read,
and this endless monologue is the guarantee of my happiness:
any book may end up the way I want.
Translating misunderstood poems
touches my soft palate
like the hospitality of a restaurant owner.
Road signs in foreign languages
protect my freedom of movement,
but more often give me the right to get lost.
I always have the privilege to agree silently and smile.
I always have the choice not to understand but keep smiling.
Not knowing is not a mitigating factor,
but as all I know is six languages,
all of them imperfectly –
I always have the advantage
to mitigate the factors.

Translated by Tatev Chakhian

 

 

CLOSED CIRCUIT

On the capital square
children, running, exit a kindergarten,
pattering, demand a circus.

The people write an open letter to a president,
demanding a circus
with non-poisonous snakes,
dancing bears
and gentle tigers.
The president, obviously,
immediately gives up buying weapons
and assigns all the military budget for a circus.
But suddenly, war restarts
and the construction is halted.

The media reports on the city without a circus,
observers from international organizations nod
and promise to help somehow.
Delegates from neighboring countries come in person,
and those from distant countries support in a way
and send snakes, bears and tigers,
which – sadly – roam the city streets
and turn their backs to the sun,
waiting for the unexpected war to end.

That is how during a truce,
each new generation,
along with snakes, bears and tigers,
fighting for the right to have a circus,
pattering loudly, silence the noise of silenced missiles.

Translated by Paweł Sakowski

 

 

FALSE MONTAGE

This is how war-movies begin –
Children play battle-rattle in a yard
and fathers covertly learn to become heroes
leaning out of a window
with eyes full of peace-weariness
and lips drooling with bubbles of dull days.
Sons tell fathers a false fairy tale,
fathers drink lion’s milk,
dwindling in a night
and go playing battle-rattle with other fathers.
In the end of every war-movie
children lean out of the window
calling their fathers home.

Translated by Lili Ghazaryan

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