19th century poetry to flash fiction - Smirnov's transposition of Pushkin

Here is an excerpt of Yuri Smirnov's transposition of Pushkin's poem Gypsies. In America today, the poem has become flash fiction, the gypsies have become activists and a myriad of other changes in content naturally take place, all while retaining the original's form. The full version will be available in our immediately forthcoming first collection of transpositions. See www.tranposing.net for more.

            The next morning.
            Amanda bustles about the still house.                                                                                                                                                       “Good morning, Z:
                                                                          it's a clear day.
                                                                          Hello, Alex!
                                                                          Want some coffee?...
                                                                          It's good to wake up                                                                                                         early if life's short and                                                                           you want more out of                                                                           it...”

            The three clattered about noisily,
                                                    collecting their belongings.
No sooner had they hoisted
their shoulder bags over their heads
and gone out,
            than the crew was descending into a cellar
A row of wooden chairs sat the leading members:
                                                                   old and
iconoclastic slogans,
impatiently a rusty bike brakes and clangs into the rack.
                                                                bright glossy
                                                                guests and                                                                                                           assistants
irish music,
squeaking sandals.
                                  Everything poor, wild, ungainly.
But all as lively-energetic,
                                        as far from suffocating luxury,
                                        as far from the life of indolence
as we find the upper class complaints
                                        close to monotonous!    

                        the young man looked at the grimy basement                                                                     and
            ~ sad for a secret reason ~
didn't dare to interpret it.
            Sable-eyed Zemphira stands beside him.
                                                                        placed where the                                                                                                morning sun
                                                                        angles through the
                                                                        hopper window,
                                                                 he becomes a voluntary                                                                                            member of the org.       

            But still... what is agitating the young man's heart?  
What's he stewing over?

God's gull knows nothing, not anxiety nor adversity, has no second thoughts 'bout flying on. It dozes on a branch throughout the night; the red sun rises; the bird obeys the voice of god, spreads its wings and caws. Spring, nature's grace, cedes to sweltering summer, till late autumn delivers fog and lousy weather. People bored, people sad. The gull flies to a coastal enclave, a jagged cliff, close to the ocean, disappears till next spring.      

      Similar to the carefree bird is he,
                                                     the vagrant walk-away.
He's known no steady nest,
                                    nor could get used to one.
He's taken random roads,
                                    found a place to sleep on beds of all kinds.
With a good night's rest,
                        he surrendered to god's will.
Life's trials could not
                        disrupt his deep-rooted calm.
On occasion,
                        a remote chance gave him hope like the loan;
from time to time,
                        unexpected luxury and fun landed at his feet.
Above his solitary head,
                                    it wasn't rare for a close call
                                    to almost knock him out,
                                                                        but he remained unfazed
                                                                                    by danger
                                                                        and partied when
                                                                        the threats subsided.

            He was the sort of person who lived without knowing                     
                      the danger of blind insidious extremes.
But you can imagine how passions roiled his obedient soul!
            In what agitation they bubbled
                                                      in his tormented breast!
                                                                       Long ago?
                                                                       For long?
                                                                       Have they settled                                                                                               down?
Post a Comment