Emily and Omar

In the Hell of the endless Brooklyn night on the crossroads of wars,
perestroika, the sleeping terrorist cell waiting to explode in the middle of
life, the unshaved face in the window cell looks in fear at angry Atlantic
Ocean loudly arguing with ghosts of American Dickinson and Persian Khayyam.

Great sinner Omar!
You thought
that the more you have,
women and wine,
the closer you are to God?
God does not exist;
a man drinks only
because the full bottle of wine
is right there on a table.
He discovers a woman in his bed
and makes ones in his own image,
confused at the latter stages
of the newborns’ origin
and what to do with them,
and this is not bad or good,
this just is the way it is.

Emily! Schizophrenic virgin!
You locked yourself out of the world’s pleasures to get the news from
I do not want to disappoint you
but squirrels eating their own cuffs
know no more about life than
bugs digging in the cow excrement.
Don’t make me nervous!
Stop seeing God
in pines, mountains, and other phallic symbols.
Find a handsome man,
let him eat mussels till
his stomach is about to explode,
and then, let’s see
in what kind of Christian exorcism
you will fall
when at five in the morning
it will be up again?

translated by Marian Rubin

About Alex Galper

Alex Galper's illustrious life includes escaping to the West from being drafted to Russian army at the age of 19, studying poetry under Allan Ginsburg at Brooklyn College, working across USA as a computer consultant and finally performing his own poetry in Russian and English all over the world. His poetry is a combination of mysterious Russian soul, Jewish "laughter through tears" humor, and American admiration for open-forms and Beat counterculture protest. He has been published in over 50 Russian and English language magazines and is currently the subject of UK documentary "Brooklyn Siberia" to be released in the Fall, 08). Also, he is scheduled to read before Russian-American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan later this year. Currently, he splits his time between New York and Moscow.


Emily and Omar — 1 Comment

  1. “I heard a fly buzz when I died” more than hints that our Emily had at least one lover (thought by scholars to have been a man married to someone else) and perhaps two. She was NOT a virgin. In her century and place, the term “the little death” was used to indicate orgasm occurred. It was widely believed that the accumulation of “little deaths” would eventually sap one’s life force and so bring about “The Big Death” in the fullness of time. Em wrote from this point of view, and confesses to a mating occasion.

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