H e a r t   S o n s   &   H e a r t   D a u g h t e r s   of   A l l e n   G i n s b e r g

N a p a l m   H e a l t h   S p a :   R e p o r t   2 0 1 4 :   A r c h i v e s   E d i t i o n








The Serbian girl crosses the street

avoiding the autumn bazaar and its hanging merchandise

she notices, that this fall there's plenty of gold in the kerchiefs and vegetables -

the warm onion is so golden;

there's a lot of light in the restaurants

where portraits of Franz Joseph

hang on the walls.


The warmth of this autumn touches you too

and so does this young woman who searches for something in her back pack,

pulling out her phone and pencils and placing them on the table;

you'll have your winter yet

you'll have your dreams

but the sky grows heavier every autumn

and the devil

grabs sinners

like sugar plums

in brightly colored wrappers.


Bitter Slavic syntagmas;

she tells you she bought envelopes in the tobacco store,

and walked to the subway

and the doves, flew down and beat against her like rain;

because of her tale, no one notices the sun has set,

they only notice that her cheeks

have grown somewhat darker.


Try to explain to her,

that if you don't collect

the autumn clocks in time

they simply grow over-ripe and squirt

juice on your clothes and hands 

which later attract bees

that pierce their stingers

straight into your heart.



[Originally published in NHS 2004, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs04/Serhiy_Zhadan.html.]