Three poems by ANTON POLUNIN

March 5th 

heaven on their minds

war’s war and poetry
is war
while scotchtaping the window
in case of an explosion 
so shards won’t cut any of us up
i sealed a trace of marta’s lips on the glass
marta loves
to press her face to the windows
though now
you can’t come near the windows 
unless you’re taping them with scotch 
so that during an explosion
the shards don’t cut anyone up
now marta’s kiss
is addressed to the world
– the friendly 
that fights to the death
sits in the basement
stockpiles gas
and food
and body vests and everything
to meet the inevitable
– the hostile
that pelts us with deadly things
snoops around our forests leaving tracks 
generally deprives us of everything but dignity 
in an unusual way for me personally
– the neutral
that sends us its shitty love and support 
this kiss of marta’s 
has modest chances of being passed down
should we have descendants
as proof that in in this world
there’s a drop of love
or at least a trace of it
what if i die
asks jesus from the rock opera
my kids love rock operas
relax jesus
everything will be fine
just die  

05.03.2022, Brovary 

March 21st

so here we are blyad’
i’m an internally displaced person
a fucking 
suka person
my dear lovely
esteemed and highly esteemed
people who received
additional protection
and temporary protection
and also idp’s
i sincerely admire you
and wish you all the best but
to join your ranks
well that’s like i don’t know
to be a conductor
a space paratrooper
a merchandiser 
honorable work and so on
but personally
fuck that 
we left at seven
and creeped for a long while along the fields
black like chernozem
until night fell
also black
starless children
were bored first
then hyper
then pissed themselves
right in my lap
so we pulled over to a gas station
where there was no gas or coffee
or anything
but half a dozen cars that huddled
hoping against hope for something
also the navigator 
constantly led us astray 
maybe because 
we originally
set out astray
and now I am here
where I do not want to be
my dear
you can’t even imagine 
how happy I am
to see you
but fuck staying here 
in this jackoff 
motherfucking safety 
where it smells like children’s urine 
and yesterday’s sandwiches 
though of course
people live
and war isn’t forever
and rylsky too wrote love
love he wrote is worth it all
your pain
separations disgust misery
mad howling 
madness or
and some other thing
i cannot recall 

April 8th 

you can appoint a poet 
controller of beaten rabbit meat 
chief of staff of territorial defense 
deputy head of the 
legal department
but a poet
if this is a real poet
always remains first and foremost
a killer
and poems
yes real poems
are written at least with the help
of an automatic rifle
this is called automatic writing
a protomodern/modern practice
of creating wasted texts
in the mouth of the bird of paradise
there is a place for dead warriors
who in the last
in the very last moment
did not fear death
even now on their faces 
there’s this look
like wow
not scary
you can write the poet’s phone number
on a paperslip at the draft office
you can tell him 
we’ll call you
and then not call him
and give his rifle 
to some prose writer
or artist
a poet meanwhile
a real poet
will still write 
that he cut out the enemies’ eyes
and drank them in a bloody mary
and cut out their hearts
or whatever they have instead
and watched as dogs gnawed the feet of the dead
and gnawed them too 
and after the victory
he’ll become a theme park soldier
to eventually die of cirrhosis
like he dreamed at sixteen
in the throat of the bird of paradise
there’s a place for those who 
in the last moment
realized that this is
in fact death
disappointment is read on every one 
of their faces 
the paradise bird pecks pecks
the paradise bird is occasionally sick
and instead of muscovy there’s hardened pitch
and over that pitch a sulfur mist
and here the fields cover poets’ corpses
sprouting factories and industrial plants
banners and flags, titles and lands
wonderful are thy works whats-your-face
wonderful are thy works