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Kirill Medvedev Rocks Creative Time Reports

By Harriet Staff

poet-k_medvedev-chujoe_280

Wow! Amazing poetry at Creative Time Reports!

Kirill Medvedev shares his poem “Comrade Kots,” so called after the FSB’s (Russia’s secret police) nickname for him, after the name of his militant folk band “Arkadiy Kots.” This poem is translated by Keith Gessen, translator of many poems in Medvedev’s Ugly Duckling Presse book It’s No Good. Creative Time Reports posted his poem on May 6th: the anniversary of protests in Moscow sparked by Vladimir Putin’s third presidential election. Here’s the first part of the poem, translated by Keith Gessen:

You say to me: Baby, I’m scared
you’re going to get caught up
in the arrests
for the May 6 protest.

I say, Look, we’re already in the fire.
There’s nothing else for us to fear.
You’re registered on Maly Kiselny,
We live together on Nizhny Kiselny,
We live in the center of Moscow,
And so does the FSB.
Torture chambers, the old Cheka basements.
The millions, the billions of ruined lives.

It must be said, it’s a neat system the Bolsheviks created.
My comrades, my intellectual forebears.
And now it’s run by their distant heirs,
Not iron-willed masters, but pathetic losers.
Shady characters, with shady faces.
Though in their way, not idiots.
And we’re living here with them in this big dormitory
When they see me on the street they say confidently and rudely:

Comrade Kots, how’s it going?
Comrade Kots, where you going?
Comrade Kots, why keep this up,
Comrade Kots, comrade Kots,
comrade, comrade, comrade
Kots.

You know where to go for the rest of the poem.

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Posted in Poetry News on Monday, May 12th, 2014 by Harriet Staff.