Is Poetry Possible After the Victory of Trump?

but as dinner approaches the question again torments me / what good is poetry with the warhead of world war III / poking me in the back of the head

what if after the victory of Trump / poetry’s days really are numbered?

Photograph by Toshiyuki IMAI; photomontage by Rachel Ossip.

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is poetry possible after the victory of Trump
i asked myself this morning on an empty stomach
then i had breakfast and realized that it’s possible
and went to wash the dishes after myself

around lunch time the feeling of hunger awoke
and again, like a black cat, the thought ran through my mind
but what if after the victory of Trump
poetry’s days really are numbered?

with this thought i sat down and had lunch
and immediately all my doubts were laid to rest
of course poetry is still possible
and there’s still life in this world after Trump

but as dinner approaches the question again torments me
what good is poetry with the warhead of world war III
poking me in the back of the head
and my own dear child whimpering in the other room
and this pigeon cooing in the windowsill
and the cat purring in my arms
and my wife concocting something in the kitchen
and the in-laws nagging me to paint the shed
and the newspapers jerking themselves off to their yearning for world culture
and the neighbor clucking like a hen
and everyone cursing ukrainian fascists on tv
and the cops wasting some Tajiks outside
and the electricians switching the transformers off
and expired yogurt in the fridge
and Pasternak lying open to the line
“if only it is possible, Avva, Father
Take this cup from me”
and the words “suck Russia’s dick” written in the elevator.

—Translated by Jason Cieply

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