DMITRY GARANIN

POETRY AND LOVE

Some people are telling me
They are greater poets than I
More poetic natures

I answer
Then write something
Or type it
And I’ll read
And make friendly comments
Maybe I’ll suggest improvements

I am thinking of my little daughter
When they asked her
How she loves her father
She answered
Holding hands

So what then is poetry?
Everyone understands it differently
Can poetry be without a pen or keyboard?
Can it be without action?

Probably
Poetry is love
29 October 2014

MARXISM-LENINISM AND A MOUSE
I remember in the 80’s in Moscow
I was standing in my kitchen
With a book of Marxism-Leninism in my hands
Just slammed shut in indignation –
It was not a very thick book
Probably Friedrich Engels
At that very moment a small mouse
Ran out from under the cupboard
A rare guest in our apartment
At those scarce times of stagnation
In a bout of a hunter’s passion,
Still heated by my reading
I hurled the book flatly as a disk
Setting it in rotation
By both hands without swinging
Without moving my body
Oh how I was proud about the hurl,
That struck the animal
Even having hidden itself
Under the kitchen closet
With the book flying obliquely
Like a circular saw
I pulled the mouse out by the tail,
Still convulsing with the broken back,
Looking at it for a long time
And then dropped it into the garbage
For many years I felt good
About a beautiful throw of rare precision
Such things don’t happen every day
And not to everybody
Having received another confirmation of my strength
And my ability to concentrate at the right moment
Soon I left that country forever
And my self-confidence
Was very helpful to me then
And only now
After so many years of living in the West
Suddenly I have realized that in that episode
I was merely a blind weapon
Of the things I was forced to study
Against my will –
Because only those superior forces
Could lend such a strength and precision to a throw
And the killed little mouse was then
Only a small insignificant link
In the multi-million chain of innocent victims
Already coming to an end at those times of stagnation
Before the collapse

9 September 2013

COLUMBUS DAY

Living close to Columbus Avenue
South of Columbia University
Not far from the corner of Central Park
Where the statue of the slave trader is standing
Celebrating that black day
When in October 500 years ago
The pigeon of death with comrades
For the first time descended onto the soil of the Western Hemisphere
I am thinking about probably the first in history
The biggest and the most successful genocide
Having spread Western civilization by a factor of two
That provided me with a bigger freedom of maneuver
And better professional chances
At the cost of destroying civilizations
Of peaceful and nature-bound people
Some of whom haven’t left a gene behind

Thinking about
Why the all-seeing Christian God
Had not stopped his envoys with a cross and armor
Having sunk their ships by a storm
I am looking through the depths of alien people
Just like myself
Having filled the void
And the boxes of concrete and glass
Appear to me as a part
Of a giant columbarium

23 October 2014
Dmitry Garanin is theoretical physicist, professor of the City University of New York. Born in10390108_864120410290522_3520846480338583393_n Moscow, he spent a half of his life during a long stagnation period preceding the collapse of the communist regime. Impressions of that period inspired him for the poems in Russian written in Moscow in 1978-84 and 1988-89, published in his book “Obratny Otschet” (“The Countdown”) (2013). Having left Russia, during the period 1992-2005 he lived and worked in Germany, inactive as a poet. Publishing his first book opened another creative period resulted in his second book of poetry in Russian “Posle Pereryva” (“After the Break”) (2014), written in the USA and in Europe. Lately Dmitry Garanin started writing poetry in English and translating his poems from Russian into English. Most of his works in Russian is old-school rhymed and measured verse. His poems in English are distributed between rhymed and free verse in nearly equal proportion.