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Three Poems by Alex Braslavsky

Updated: Apr 3, 2019

Alex Braslavsky studies Russian poetry and the Polish language at Oxford University on a Clarendon Scholarship. She is currently looking at the influence of Afanasy Fet’s seventeen-year period of silence on his work as well as his interest in photography. She translates poems from Russian into English, most recently a few by poet Marina Biryukova.

Stutter on Holiday

All week she thought how you look like yourself

In the glaze that emerged on her terrace.

On the back you dwelled you paved up your shelf –

So dutifully: It wasn’t your phalanx.

After all, gold smolders, it goes out to you –

In the glaze that emerged o’er her phoenix.

One side of the train cooled down as she drew

Like a wet towel and a dry towel combined,

After all gold smolders it goes out to you.

Something is just being red, a curbside

Can’t be in charge of my own temperature,

Like a wet towel and a dry towel combined.

Lime-scaling sequins in buckets of dirt,

I never thought magic raises in this,

Can’t be in charge of my own temperature.

Once that chance is there, she cursed the long tryst.

All week she thought how you look [sic] yourself,

I never thought magic raises in this…

How in the back, you have saved up your help.

I Am Out Here

“One side of the highway, the waterless hills.” – Sharon Olds

In a murky turpentine, we feel silt behind the tactile foot of a paintbrush.

On stilts, you wave your gate a thriller coughs up in cacophonous stairs.

I didn’t know you are an idle. Haven’t found a sack of violets either in

Four days. There’ll be other can-openers, other lectures, where we lop off

Our nine-dimensional ears and our camcorders daily. Far from seventy-

Seventh that goes long, fourth graders play catch football, lackadaisically, 

Around the fest, as if asleep. There’s a corner that is really more angle

For two glass panes and no homo sapien. Wishes it were a lucky cul-de-sac.

I’m not sure about icicles. Empress Anna left her servant with an enforced

Bridegroom on the Neva in an ice house and they woke up froze to death.

She, on the other hand, cures sick and barren cows, and everybody, and some

One, and iota. It’s strange. Clear your throat before everybody sleets you.

Each close of the lip, like a probe. Or sonogram. When I get down from 

The middle of the room when no one else will will to bits bite sandwich.

Tomato on my writing page. All of us, aubades, aubades. I wave an obligatory

Hankie. You sniffle to bits. Szymborska turns her face to the rose-fractured wall.

Wind Tunnel

I close the door and you just

push it down with the palm of your body;

A flattening of the nonsoul,

For the disposal. 

A detachment from the ground.

A moveable part sheds, serpentine,

Its tin tire wheels. The lady makes a burger

as a token of penitence. 

Tar gets played with, by cherub hands.

In other words, your back

You no longer need. Loam of fire extinguisher.

After the crematorium,

Her bones were lilac,

Like fingerling potatoes, that gently rotted.

And renewed their spores.

You could take me seriously,

But as a young elegance,

A surfeit fleeing, a runaround

Range cylinder. 

Help me connected, your thumb vein

Wouldn’t be visible otherwise.

For fear asking too much again,

I complete the oven door

Though the smell tucks under its own wing.


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