Другое обращение к герою 1993
Translated by Larisa Schultz ©


Should you live, like me, two hundred
years, or probably three hundred,   
staying put, or rather weaving
curves, you still will not believe in
waxen tables, like myself.
Reading wax is quite a rotten
task, the world's a stage, and not a
library, alas, and never
mind by whom and when this clever
metaphor might have been said.

You'll dislike this dark pavilion,
with its babbling of a zillion
sinful tongues, with smashing kitchen  
dishes, clarinets' high-pitching
bleat and buzzing of guitars;
with the public's total frenzy
and the jeune premier who's fancy  
like Narcissus, but whose smell is,
all the actresses dismaying,
rather like an old centaur's...
You will dare, as from a virus,
to escape, despite advisers'
trying constantly to tell you
that escaping has no value,
since it, too, is just a word. 
In due course you'll be repenting,
but, what else could all this end in? 
I took bills and paid them fully.
Why, then, should your luck be wholly
different from what I have got?    

Gloucester-like, you'll take a prairie
for a mountain, steep and airy,
and you will begin to freely
change your citizenship, really
with a supersonic speed,
trying on, as would a dandy
for a ball, whatever's handy:
a champagne-like, bubbly image,
or a shaman's fluffy plumage,
or a church-and-circus kit...

Oh, how well I see you dancing 
on the rope somewhere in Danzig,    
proud and awful in your garments,
next to paper towers and garrets
and the paper deity's seat,
and, clear only to this idol,
you're triumphant, full of ardor,
but, in Burma or in Florence,
it's again just a performance,
and a bad one, let's admit!

Having spent an hour too many
waving hands, and after any
number of attempts just proving
that the hard soil of this moving
world is definitely hard,
you'll let fall your arms, behaving
like a slave in chains, with heavy
logs to turn and stones to hollow,  
and despair will surely follow,
sinking deep into your heart.  

And, dispassionate, but steady,
unafraid of space already,
or of contrast, at the very
brink of diving into dreary
rows of faces in the dark,
your stiff spine will shudder, feeling
someone's glance and smile, revealing
that it's Lucifer who's calling,
he who bears the light, the fallen
angel of the morning star.

Lacking my command, he'll tell you,
darkness never will befall you,
and, likewise, no wondrous silence
will engulf you with its kindness, 
like a slow and mighty wave.
So, keep dancing on the cables
in Granada or in Naples,
or perhaps somewhere in Congo
wave your hands a little longer -
why, you still might soar one day...