Civilization and Sidewalk Chaos

Two poems
by Alex Galper
as translated by Misha Delibash

In Voronezh, a Peruvian-Aztec, an envoy of extraterrestrial civilizations,
Was beaten to death by the descendants of the Magi.
A meteorite of frozen and poisoned vodka fell on Russia in punishment. In Iraqi prisons
Modern thermonuclear vikings
Force Muslims to make love to one another as Plato and Socrates,
Verlaine and Rimbaud.Christian mystics comb the Bible with a magnifying glass
Looking for weight loss recipes. Bearded Kabbalists know the winning lottery numbers
But hide them from me. In the Pyramid Mausoleum a Communist Pharaoh rests rests
Already a whole century. Hindus are fucking sick of the holy cows
Chewing their telephone lines & fucking up the Internet of the 21st century. An ex-girlfriend keeps sending my poems to the CIA
Demanding I be deported to the moon.

Got a call from the bookstore at the man-cave:
“Come get your scrap papers,
We haven’t sold a copy in six months.”
A hollow echo
Threw the repetitious insult over and over,
“We’d have thrown it out ourselves,
But don’t want a lawsuit.”
The city. A concrete jungle.
Herds of gray mammoth-like skyscrapers
Freshly shaved men
And women in tight jeans walking around.
Not everyone lives in the stone age like me.Scrapped books land in the trap of a dump.
At a bar outside
Over a cheap pint of brew
I watch civilization.
People of indeterminate sex
With poodles in caps
Curse and slap one another
Out of jealousy.
Rainbow graffiti on a fence
Calls everybody to rage against everybody.
I strike up a conversation with a girl at a neighboring table,
All that comes out is inarticulate babble
She runs away, shouting:
Plaintively squeaks the war elephant igniting
The bar mirror reflects
A snarling marble lion
Guarding the front door.


Alex Galper came to America completely drunk at the tender age of 19, already completely screwed-up. He graduated from Brooklyn College, majoring in Creative Writing. His GPA was 2.000021 He almost didn’t make it. He sold plumbing supplies, drove a cab, and bounced around Midwest. All this time, he kept writing poetry in Russian and looked for translators. The problem was that when he wasn’t happy with the translation, he would just shoot the bastard who misinterpreted his text. Needless to say, he run out of translators. Currently, he works as a social worker with drug addicts and alcoholics. He hates them but hey, job is a job, it beats living under the bridge anytime of the day. In 2011, he spend some time in UK deportation prison, for reading poetry in UK without proper authorization. That really pissed him off. For the last couple of years, he had been playing crazy Russian supers and ruthless Eastern-European mobsters in independent film productions.


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I am a dreamer, as well as a doer, who lives in the North Georgia mountains. I started my publishing journey August of 2013, have had moderate success, but my utmost passion is my "daytime" job, which is working with adults who are constantly striving to better their lives as they obtain the GED credential.

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