Bear and the Pendulum (fragments)

Медведь и Маятник (фрагменты)


so i loved the sermon so i
discovered shadows in one of these doorways
a cold blooded killing overwrites any cracks
impeccable ethics hot wax and a quiet song
mounds of hewn beef shudder under the singing of birds
the crescendo akin to a safe raw clots the presumption of faithlessness
the singing viscous just like in that square where we parted with mark
marcus and matvei he fished a hand in my pocket
but couldn’t find anything telling
the face of lucretia in the outpour of lymph atop marble
due to his sorrow I kissed him on the temple in parting
he grew sadder still


When you loved each fine edge
call the tip of his name call it later
as the dark moon’s stalks rise above names
and on this day if we held vigil with the past
who would we call
golden capillaries while they offer you frames of white gold
i will tell you how each full moon my
mother brought scissors
to the inside of my elbow
(expensive rings? Patriarchal betrayals? nuclear adhesions of doubt?)
she cut skin but as if it wasn’t serious
as if it wasn’t mine
every time as if slitting my father’s throat
on this day so that we might remember
warm winds of luxury warm winds of pain
sweet twist of yearning the dark bends of home
afterwards as one beats the other as the other beats the first
i look at summer’s contusions, at August’s, at winter’s
undifferentiated in their flowing breadth
now father beats mother and vice versa
i look in the crevice of dusk of their intent
why would you tell the wayside plantago mother and stepmother the road there and back
you return
their names are victor valentin georgy herman gennady herman
anna olga oleg vyacheslav nastya and once again nastya katya katya galya grisha
denis daria then denis and derya demian slava lesha kostya
further on
how would i find it in me to say it again? this isn’t the knot of linear monogamy
but of message


dark hail of moonlight apartment stone intoxication grabs you by the hand
my mother’s hands are scissors at my own
precious stones and gadflies that lay eggs under the skin
morning phone calls family funerals oncologists and dim corridors
excised of meaning oleg darius georgy gennady
no longer are there spirals of autoreplies under shortparis1 insta stories
have i told you yet? no? where drowns in the languid gold of your past
all too loud all too good to be true, even, for the past
valentin georgy herman gennady just stop
burdened hands fingers bends of misfortune
choose the only novelty left - to not tell- it - afresh - all the details -
oncologists to the past -asphyxiation- a new turn in the river - death or sex is inevitable


1: Shortparis is a Russian indie band.

Translated from the Russian by Alex Karsavin.

ILYA DANISHEVSKY was born in Moscow in 1990. He is a poet, essayist, and publisher. He graduated from the Gorky Literary Institute and studied the history of religions at the Russian State University for the Humanities. He is the director of the Anhedonia project (AST publishing house), devoted to the problem of the present day legitimization of violence in Russia, curator of the literature section of snob.ru, and the literary program of the Voznesensky Center. His work can be found in the magazines Zerkalo, Rhino, Air, New World, Friendship of Peoples, etc. He is the author of Tenderness for the Dead (2015) and Mannelig in Chains (2018). He has featured as finalist of the Andrei Bely Prize (2017).