Captain Who Voyages No More by Vlanes

Russian Poet Vlanes

Russian Poet Vlanes

Troubled slumbering of things, the curtain blown aside
by the gush of the salty wind, the advent of the tide
mixing grains of dry sand, the disjoined palimpsest,
the thin wing beating under the chest, restlessly,
the splinters of far-off vessels stuck in the sea,
not entering the harbour, as if they have something to hide.

So many days have passed, and I haven’t heard from you,
the murmur of a broken wave, the long retinue
of sea-birds curving into a circle, collecting their shells
from the strap of the beach, sharpened like a visual blade
disappearing into the scabbard reflecting the blue
which I cannot relate to, cannot tell its remarkable hue

from the rest of this town, growing inside me as grow
pictures, faces, events, only to disappear in the low
and merciless stream. But time in itself is no more
than a movement within the stagnation, than a word
said in the total silence, total absence of motivation,
a face on the lid of the watch that was used to its glow,

arranging all things, piercing them with its hands,
but is covered with rust, fallen out of a pocket: so let’s
just take it as it comes, I say to myself, let’s forget
the vain pirouette of the billows, the letter from you,
which is lost, as is lost something meant to be lost, as is
turned into nothing a necklace that scattered its beads

like new planets, colliding, rotating, remembering still
the warmth of the neck, the hands on the window-sill,
the head directed towards the transforming sunset,
myself in the mirror, my hair dishevelled, a cigarette
sticking out of my mouth, like the smoke-stack of a ship
taking me on a voyage that I know I never will

return from. I haven’t heard from you for so long
that I’ve lost count of days, I’ve begun to hear the throng
of my own thoughts crowding behind the hotel door,
teaching me how to think, every minute making it more
difficult to go outside, more easy to stay here like a piece
of cheap furniture, a statuette of an elephant, a gong

hopelessly hit by a happy Chinese, a name carved upon
the leg of the bed forgetting how to squeak and to moan
under the burden whose half has roamed away, leaving here
the smell of a jasmine perfume, a ring bought downstairs,
in the shop selling nets, fishing-rods and shiny spoon-baits,
dry flowers in the carton from milk and a numb gramophone.

Here the telephone sits like a stuffed nightingale, ever dead,
rolling tunes in its beak, faded petals of words left unsaid,
it’s the first thing I touch in the morning to see if it works,
listening to the same lonely droning through its damp charcoal,
turning under the blanket as does the milk in a jar,
while despair explodes in my brain like a heated grenade.

As a moon grown rootless, I aimlessly, ceaselessly move
far away from my senses, I carry the clown of my love
clasping his fingers, clapping his palms, rolling his tongue
under his copper-like lips, squeezing my heart in his palms,
with ten tentacles probing my flesh turning yellow and white,
turning crimson and blue, like an ocean fish on the rough

cutting-board, all covered with scales and indelible lace
of its dying, I look, like a corpse, at the mirror’s grimace,
at the teeth of the splinters, the glossy patterns of foil,
which spit back at the window its damaged and boundless view
with my tall silhouette in it, twisting, like a clumsy corkscrew,
in its neck, breaking down, spilling clouds all over the place.

Vladislav Nekliaev (Vlanes) was born on September 28, 1969, in Astrakhan, Russia. His childhood was spent in Kazakhstan (Chimkent). In 1986 he became a student of the Department of Journalism of the Urals State University (Ekaterinburg), from which he graduated in 1993. He then became a postgraduate student at the Philological Department of the St. Petersburg State University. From 1997 to 2001 he lived in Athens (Greece). At present, he resides in Australia (Brisbane) where he is continuing his education at the University of Queensland. In addition to his original work, he is a translator of poetry, currently finishing a complete translation into Russian of the sonnet sequence, “The House of Life”, by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s