Arkadii Dragomoshchenko, p.1


Thrice the darkness studies each thing,
growing used to the waves contained within it,
to the reminiscence of them,
to the acids of crystals and images
whose arteries smolder without smoke
growing used even to the thought of it, when
between genesis and equivalence there moves,
wandering in the shreds of spectral darkness,
a kernel, acted upon, submerged into lime, gradations of gray,
the mica hieroglyphs of folds and significations.
Number is inconsolable; it is essential
to speak of everything in time; and then
speech conspires with rumor
where, in the keyholes of correspondence,
the war of tautology carelessly blossoms.

Undoubtedly-familiar is their actuality. Besides,
it is common knowledge, but first—
that the comparisons (at a certain moment)
vanish in the sequence of duration,
or rather of the devouring of one another
in the imagery of the murky line,
where the same story of the clarification of memory
and the appropriation of darkness unfolds itself:

any, even the smallest plaster cast
had to serve as proof
                    of the unquestionable “is”
(grammar will take care of the rest)
at the place of which in the reading something other arose,
and it was guessed at as if it were
only a part of a vanished whole,
the fraction of a single phrase against a string’s quivering,
of the passage of black into white, against the conifers of canals,
bridges flung to either side of the darkness,
but also against the scattered caresses,
(as if the blind pressed themselves to the singing of seashells,
bearing them close to the ear, while a chorus of insects
               would have woven a canopy of stillness over them),
or, for example, someone thought of bidding farewell,
but forgot everything except for “Europe” and “poison-ivy,”
although everything occurred long before the appearance of the phrase
from which it is now barely possible to recognize
that every action was preordained,
not only to you, but to the one who in the aftermath
          will accept it as unconditionally worthless.


But then which of them—you/she
dust scattered remains of a mercury patina—
is the sediment of the desire to see from the inside out?
where every action is the seam of resurrection,
the snared seduction of salt into the metronome of force,

But even the contradictory branch in the window’s abyss
revealed the scale of the wall’s permanence,
separating the gaze from itself and from the firmament,
those from others, and the others—from everyone taken together,
just as from the chrysalis of the thing, when the division of doubling
tenderly marked the brackets of closure,
drawing open in different directions: you can’t draw closer
in the curvature of a ray crookedly receding
through the eye sockets of simmering gold,
reflected by the darkness that irradiates things.
The remainder—the emulsion’s film, Obvodniy Canal,
down singed by children, glassy summer.

They always speak in different tongues.
Translation—is a taming, the transition
into the state of address, the itinerary altered—
so this is the table? brick-laying? three fissures?

Let us suppose that everyone has a box
in which there would be something
that we call a “beetle”…Here, of course,
we would be speaking of the “contraction” of the thing,
but today we know one another even less,
it is more convenient to pretend you are sick, not to answer the phone,
to answer monosyllabically,
and lowering yourself into bed to scrutinize heat,
                                   the body’s lengthening contours.

But when the need arose to offer an example,
an ethereal frailty, whose charm enthralled us,
caught up with the desire to know,
distracting the flocks from their preparation for migrating southward,
from the foliage which the October chill
unlocked at touchdown in the reflection of wan confessions:
once he said that “his heart is broken
observing the bird in gossamer depths”;
we will remind you: reflections were of little interest to anyone,
to see—even now—means to become what you saw.
Who didn’t we become…time’s contemplation
turned into the most delicate sand
running through a woman’s fingers,
which we also had the occasion of being,
as well as other things: decay, sod,
the formula of running, in which there also hid the cause of that
which could not be shared with the dead,
belonging as it did to everyone in equal measure.
Authenticity. But we had also been them,
and they transformed into the retina’s honeycomb,
into layered descriptions of vision,
into sandstone’s nintelligible script,
too hurried to follow—
into the gloomy optics of clay, the fog’s marble masks,
Whose presence the furtive sand drew out of nothing,
washing their mouths like the outlines of a letter:
(but we are not certain to what “their” refers to)
thrice the fledgling, released from the flint
in the definition of “genus” is swaddled by oblique darkness.

To which one can also get used to with time
                 in the location between the glimmering and what lies beneath...


Was this really not unknown to us?
Yes, many knew. But the others?

To begin with the rest.
In the end, death transforms the conditions of things
in the necessary direction.
The elongation of the line does not foresee
the enlargement of breathing. Description
attempts to lock description in itself.

Possibility—is that
which “is” transforms into the return to is,
when some share the same concrete opinion,
and others express their discord.

In this case we are found
(as if someone were actually looking for us!)
in the place where the hour of summer morning is unfolded.
Better yet, outside, when a fine rain is falling, when a low wind
rustles with fallen leaves. Everything came together
and requires no further testimony.

Because, it is possible, winter approaches,
of winter thoughts in winter notebooks.
Possibly, simply the possibility not to cease
that which foresees its own cessation.
Sometimes even shadow lifted by shadow.
Sometimes containment signifies disruption.


And transfer pictures in a listless list?—
          “Can it really be that art will perish?”
               or, let us say: “this coat is too narrow”
                              or “later they all returned to Russia”

More likely, someone really did show weakness,
because there is only substitution, the slippage of histories,
syntax of the alternation of forces, little shards on the floor,
                                           rotting irises, rats.

Description attempts to contain description within itself:
                                    which is why “reality is real”
This is what consequently doesn’t alter habits—“possibility”.
But possibility is only that which adds “is”
to the transformation of the message from “will be”.
In this case we find ourselves
in a place where summer morning is flung open, outside,
when a fine rain is falling, when the wind carries an iodine drizzle,
when a starfish grows in the roster of a well.
Like everything else we are located here—
                              poles of inertia,
a dictionary slipping into the dampness of a single history.
From a distance, beneath the photograph a caption:
                                           “the monkey’s straw raincoat”,
because it is possible not to cease
that, which foresees its own cessation.
sometimes even shadow feather-adorned by shadow.
Containment at the moment of the signification of rupture.


Slightly blurred, if you look from a distance,
arranged according to phases of displacement,
resembling the indefinite form of the verb “to go”,
movements, street, among those just like us, cells.

From the direction of the gulf, foliage was swept by a shallowing wind,—
“I am talking about…about fish,” he said,
“Though I wanted to talk about something entirely different.”
And at the intersection he added, slapping his pockets –
                                   “No cigarettes, no matches”.
When you close your eyes, something else opens.
We remember his smile.
It more likely referred to his own thoughts,
but certainly not to the fact of absence,
the objects that lost their meaning in optical lenses.

Books that we put on the shelf.

A word
that diminishes proportionally to the number of its repetition.

Light turns out to be only noise,
                          destroying the geometry of a point.

“Winter is coming,” I said in answer,
                          “Possibly something will change”.
But we both knew for certain that is all only talk:
about fish in winter spaces, postal addresses,
HTML codes—because everything that could have changed
has already covertly invaded the wellsprings,
having suddenly become the spearhead of the transformations
of clouds in the midnight blue of the sky,
of thousand-fold branches
spread out in the arctic lens

in which lately the eye can see us,
walking among those just like us, many of many,
keeping a scattered count of inverted things,
unlocked to the space beneath the eyelids,
and—for whatever reason—to seconds, of which
thirty six million,
seven hundred and twenty thousand
remained that autumn until the end of the century,

when—if you look, but still from a distance—
we transformed stealthily and slowly
into the caption to the photographs of the uncountable.