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mint moon

19 Jun



yuriy tarnawsky


Moon
made from mint,
lips
made from the city,
on X-Ray bridges
flesh
looks for its candles,
fingers—
for long perspective lines
so that it could join them,
something dark
fell out of the skin
and out of the date of birth
into the negative of water
but no bicycles came
smudged by knees
to chase after it,
a taxicab drove up
with bones in place of its engine
bringing along print
skulls use
to make themselves look pretty,
a detachment of teeth
is being put through its paces
by a pile of bricks,
railroad tracks that form a cross
bring to people’s backs
landscapes
which they try to shun
but which gave birth to them.


from ye-ye songs

violets

9 Jun



yuriy tarnawsky


Violets also
have a life,
a name
for a passport
filled with an abyss,
stomachs
that digest
what’s left over
from souls,
guts
whose form
fingers
copy,
nerves
that love
to dig themselves deep
into the flesh….

Violets also
put up the tallest
buildings
so that it’d be harder
for bodies
to live,
they love
with their teeth
clenched tight,
they dream
about violet
seas,
they go to war
under violet
flags,
and they die
on violet
bayonets!



from ye-ye songs

flower children

2 Jun



yuriy tarnawsky


On this side
of mirrors,
by the marshes
of glass,
next to hands
that creak
like doors,
there live the yellow
descendants,
they button
daisies
instead of buttons,
on their teeth,
instead of on their shirts,
they watch
legs
full of seeds
like sunflowers
that follow the sun,
they pluck petals
from them
to better see
horizons
and their own skin,
they marvel at their fingers
that pull
endless blades of straw
out of their cheeks,
they water their names
with water
no one notices
under the print.

The mirrors turn yellow
like paper
and menstrual blood
full of shiny
scissors
cuts them up into strips
to get rid of
the traces
of babies’ feet
from the rusty stains
on themselves
and on suspension
bridges.



from ye-ye songs


vietnam

21 May



yuriy tarnawsky

in Vietnam
color
starts
in the elbows,
red jungles
shake
black squares
next to the teeth,
green circles
jump off bone joints
and chase
the color of holes
fleeing
to the horizon
of fingers,
and fingers
shine
like mother of pearl,
skyscrapers
bend down among them
to shake out
glass shards
and staircases
from inside their knees
which crave
for tickling….

Let’s go
to Vietnam,
my love,
we’ll fill
the mouth of your hair
with my mouth,
we’ll find white and pink
flowers
between the surfaces
of our wrists,
we’ll throw
the wilted
wreaths
of our faces
onto the water
that flows
into South
China
Sea.
I assure you,
there’s a connection
between the intersections
of women’s laps
and street numbers
in London
and the wrinkles
on the faces
of these yellow
people.


from ye-ye poems

vinyl

13 May



yuriy tarnawsky

London Bridge
sees it already
and cries
rusty
tears,
and rose-colored
girls
find deep sighs
under their dark
hips
and extend them
to its emaciated
face
with its profile
of the thinnest of rectangles,
and they press
to their sunken hands
the beginnings
of its green
beard
that shows
signs
of torture.
It leaves behind
angles
of its viscous
triangles
on the dark sides
of letters
and molecules
but you can see already
the shadow
of its fingers
looking like smiles
in the corners
of mouths
that can’t
free themselves
from under beds
and babies,
and it puts on
impermeable
vestments,
and turns
to the four corners
of the world,
and makes the signs
of circles
and rectangles,
and leaves behind
fireproof
crosses
on the rumpled,
abandoned
retinas,
and it gives away
buckles
full of flowers
to holes
in tattered clothing
so that they’d pass them on
to the bones
that live on the outskirts
of teeth
and rain,
and gums
raise themselves
to the level
of pink asphalt,
and saliva
calls onto fingers
to dig out
hips
from under neon
and to cover them
with phosphorus
and men’s hands,
and last names
loosen their manes
of long woman’s hair
and red letters,
and legs and borders
spread wide,
to let it get to
the splinters
in stubborn hands
and in broken
countries.

It’s still sick,
it still hasn’t recovered
from factories
and paper,
with a name
behind which set
customs
and the sun,
made up of letters
so thin
it can be destroyed
even
by tears….

Let’s pray
that the Lord
won’t call it back
to his side.


from ye-ye songs

hunger

7 May



yuriy tarnawsky


A hungry color
was looking
for its own mouth
to open it
in the direction
of his bride
between skyscrapers
and souls
made from stone.
On the edge
of a park
painted black,
where retired paint
comes to die,
he asked a policeman
who’d already been reached
by the overripe
root
of an abyss:
“Where
did she go
with the red suitcases
in her joints?”

“There came a taxi
the color of despair,
the moon
was hiding
behind clocks,
and they vanished
behind the left side
of her head.”



from ye-ye poems

he died in a barbershop

1 May



yuriy tarnawsky


I saw a man
die
in a barber’s chair.
He couldn’t bear
his hair
being severed
from continents
and solid objects
behind his back.
He couldn’t bear
the transparent tubes
inside his blood
and windpipe
which the neon
was pointing out
with its double
finger
of bone.
More than seven
years
his tongue
and clothes
fought a battle
with scissors
but they finally triumphed
over his body
and date of birth.
First
he called out
to city squares
which his eyes
were painting red,
then to the buttons
on his jacket
rubbed smooth
by his teeth
and soul,
and finally to the newspaper print
through which
the blue monkeys of mirrors
were following his skin
with their eyes.
But in the end,
putting his fingers away
like a bunch of pencils
he walked
down the staircase
of his body
into the cold water
which already had floating in it
news from the world,
nickel,
and linoleum.

They buried him
on a day
specially created
for the occasion
when barbers
of the whole world
were cutting water
off the sky
with scissors
that were making
people’s hearts
grow sad.



from ye-ye songs

adoration of an ideal woman (vi)

10 Apr



(plain adoration)



yuriy tarnawsky

daughter of a pearl,
sister of joy,
favorite of the sky,
happy letters settle on my page like birds on a tree when you speak to me,
birds come to sit on the letters of my name as if on branches,
your voice is a forest full of singing birds,
it’s filled with laughing children’s voices,
your voice crumbles like bread being given to birds when you speak to me,
it makes the sound of wheat being sown,
it makes the sound of still water,
friend of water,
rivers go out of their way at night to flow through your hair,
flowers dam up in meadows to pass through your eyes,
children form meadows to see your eyes,
fresh springs throng around you like children,
slender young towers lean toward your skin and waist,
your breasts are two white doves touching your body in flight,
flowers grow on the edge of your skin like on the edge of the forest,
the day gets your light from the edge of your skin,
the sea foams on the edge of your skin,
my lips would like to foam on the edge of your lips,
i wish the edges of my lips would foam with your kisses,
i wish your mouth would foam on the edge of mine,
i wish your mouth would tremble on the edge of mine,
the petals of all the flowers tremble on the edge of your mouth and skin,
the sea trembles on the edge of your mouth and skin,
the sky can’t take its eyes off your skin,
big dipper is filled with your skin,
when cloudless the sky is part of your skin like a line in a geometric figure,
love is expressed precisely in the color of your skin like geometry in a textbook,
you’re a textbook of love,
you’re a textbook of theology,
your skin is for theology what geometric figures are for geometry,
you’re an illustration in a textbook of theology,
angels are tangents to your skin,
angels are perpendicular to your skin,
angels land on your skin like at an airport,
your skin is a beautiful airport,
your skin is an airport of love and theology,
your lips are half of my cross,
your beauty is stuck in my flesh like an arrow,
your beauty rages like a wind,
your skin is peaceful lighting,
there’s the sound of thunder in the color of your eyes,
you’ll come to me with the sound of a downpour,
you’ll come like the silence after a storm,
mother of milk,
queen of bees,
they’ve brought you the color of your hair and taste of your lips,
enemy of crosses,
you smooth out graves like wrinkles,
you smooth out wrinkles next to the edge of my mouth,
you smooth out graves next to the edge of my mouth,
only happy tears follow you like children,
wrinkles and sad tears stop at the edge of your skin,
graves stop at the edge of your skin,
little sister of forests,
they feel very protective about you,
they darken when bad weather threatens you,
sometimes birds fly through your eyes on the way to and from the sky,
comets and the night come to eat out of your hand,
stars come in herds to eat out of your hand,
my blood comes on its four legs to eat out of your hand,
preserve of dreams,
dreams nest in you like in tall grass,
my dreams fly out of your body at night to settle in my mind,
dreams and birds nest in your soft hands,
they do this while you’re busy with your beauty,
your cheeks are busy with roses and gardens,
you blush with the sound of a rose giving off its scent in strong sunlight and at dusk,
you blush like all he trees in the orchard swaying simultaneously from a sudden gust of wind,
you have no green in you but plants derive their color from you,
plants watch you while growing,
they have to see your soul to grow straight,
they have to see your soul to grow tall,
the sea is looking for you,
that’s why it’s constantly repeating your name,
compass needles tremble when they’re about to find you,
if you see my blood, it’s looking for you,
if you see my blood tell it, it has found you,
bride of distance,
lover of distance away from me,
ask all the feet, and wings, and angels, and airplanes, and airports, and telephones to bring you, smiling and with open arms, into mine.


adoration of an ideal woman (v)

3 Apr



(how it’ll be in the end)



yuriy tarnawsky


daughter
of a mother
related
to the moon,
of a father
with eyes
high up
in the sky,
you’ve been given
to me
by the stars
as if by parents—
all i have to do
is to sit
with my feelings
folded
like arms
and you’ll appear
on my heartstep,
part
of the sky
will escort you
down
to my side,
angels
will step
off your lips
in answer
to the question
“do you?”
and we’ll go south
to spend
our honeymoon
under the volcano
of my fate


adoration of an ideal woman (iv)

26 Mar



(will she ever be good again?)



yuriy tarnawsky


she hangs
up
and starts piling up
huge telephones
like chasms
between us,
she’s dangerous
like the edge
of a cliff,
pink prison bars
cast a shadow
over her cheeks,
her lips
make the sound
of steel locks
turning,
newborn
babies
all over the world
start crying
when she stops
speaking,
she turns away,
her walk
is like my screaming
growing louder,
she carries
in her hand
my blood
decorated
like a ukrainian
easter egg,
two poplars
grow
on the horizon
of the skin
of her face,
her eyes
are stained
with the sky,
i wish
she’d cry
so that the sky
would run
like dye
down her face,
the telephone
casts the shadow
of a dead tree
over my hands,
i’m trying to move
a roomful
of silence
with the tip of my pen
off the page,
my friends
the branches
knock
on all the doors
in the world
so that she’d open them
but she doesn’t hear them
behind the din
of her beauty,
she ties her fingers
into many
pink bows
she hums her flesh
like a melody,
her life
billows around her
like a long
white dress,
she’s courted
by many
handsome young mirrors,
she’s in love
with a hideous
gargoyle
on a cathedral
of flesh,
i continue my life
like a poem,
her name’s
worn out
by my lips,
it sounds
like a long-digit
number,
i’ve gotten used
to living
with my solitude
as with a woman


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