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This poem is taken from PN Review 47, Volume 12 Number 3, January - February 1986.

Poems Arkadii Dragomoshchenko

The five colours destroy sight.
The five sounds destroy hearing.
                    - LAO-TSE
for S. Kuryokhin

There are plain words, there is a winter sorrow -
                                  foundation of white nights' wonder;
No flickering dawn on the snuffed wick of slumber,
Starlight glints among clever bifurcations onto days and nights,
Colour in objects has sunk and does not blemish the retina's prismatic gauze,
Scant languid water shrinks from reflecting the flow of trees.
Which death? illumination of symmetry - he, already as dust,
      she not yet dust, and the scalded vertical of the river.
Here are trunk and leaf. And the attention of the leaf.
Here the leaf quivers, but the trunk remains immobile, and the shadow is lacking.
No light, and the word light like an outcrop of quartz in the veins
                                 preserves a measure of absence
A seam of lightness and sense,
...


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