Poetry from Dmitry Blizniuk

Brown axe resting atop a brown log

Photo: Tyler Lastovich

Death Is a Simple Thing

Here, in the countryside, death is simple and unpretentious.
It goes without makeup, and
a chipped log rattles
under a dented axe.
This low, big-boned tree stump
(be careful, watch your step)
is a guillotine for chickens.
Feathers and down are stuck in the notches in the wood,
like last unlit cigarettes before execution,
or unsent letters to beloved ones…
And autumn birches pose nude around the house:
armfuls of freckles are thrown up to the clouds
and hang there,
on the long, equine face of October.

 

— Translation by Sergey Gerasimov
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Dmitry Blizniuk is a poet from Ukraine. His most recent poems have appeared in Rattle, The London Magazine, Pleiades, Another Chicago Magazine, Eurolitkrant, Poet Lore, NDQ, The Pinch, New Mexico Review, The Ilanot ReviewNational Translation Month, EastWest Literary Forum, and many others. A Pushcart Prize nominee, he is also the author of The Red Fоrest (Fowlpox Press, 2018). His poems have been awarded RHINO 2022 Translation Prize. He lives in Kharkov, Ukraine.

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