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Two Poems
by Alex Galper

Translated with the help of Misha Delibash

The Devil's Wheel

3 am.
down an empty highway
returning home from a fundraiser
for "Devil Worshipers and Bikers for the Children of
Broken Homes."
How much steak did I stuff myself with...? not every pricey
joint's got that kind of quality meat.
Had 'bout a barrel of beer : falling asleep behind the
... stay in lane, I'm praying.

Why did I have to stuff myself?
I promised not to eat after 6pm...
Where should I emigrate to next?
Russia? Ukraine? Israel? The moon?...

The bikers didn't like
my accent.
I tried explaining that
my works are translated
But they didn't seem to believe that languages
other than English exist.
How'd I prove it to them?
Which language do I perfect?
English? Russian? Ukrainian?

Where did they find such juicy meat?
Where the hell were those misfortunate children from those
broken homes?
Was it their meat we were eating?
Who taught these bikers
to make vodka sauce?

The highway
puts me to sleep.
Stay awake!
in helmets
tattooed head to toe
enter the stage
"there are old bikers
there are fearless bikers
but there are no old and fearless bikers!"

What am I doing here
Among these fat men
in rough leather?
The devil's sweethearts
painted like parading Indians
reiterate about asylums, suicide, the devil...
... about death
and how wonderful it is not to fear Death
after Death.

Then the unfortunate
children of broken homes rave aloud
deliriously nonsense
Oh, the boys are so cute
and so gay
and the girls all wear mini-skirts.
and the soiled tough men melt with smiles.

i awake:
someone is honking at me.
Shit! I'm in the opposite lane!
by a pack of my biker poets...
i return quickly into my lane
They saved me, damn it!

I wave to them in gratitude
and am escorted, with all the honors of
a loved culinary poetic superstar
to my doorstep
I hope you boys will live to see my age...

As I enter the lobby,
and, perhaps, if I'm not dreaming
or haven't died and
do not fear
death after death
I see:
fastened to the fat biker boys from behind
sitting bitch
the lovely fruits of unfortunate homes...
their curls disappearing in the wind.

a christmas story

on a new year's eve
in a snow covered forest
outside of Voronezh
i was surrounded by a pack of antisemitic wolves.
in this vicious winter
a plump jew is quite a delicacy.

a freudian american within:
"don't worry! it's just your imagination!
there are no werewolves in the 21st century
it's all in your head, just symbols
the first predator is an Ideal Woman
the second - Closeted Homosexual
the third - Our Lord GOD
let them feast on your flesh
and you'll be saved!"

but a russian commoner shouts within:
"fuck this bullshit!
my clean picked frame
won't be found till spring!"

grabbing a log
i swung wildly left and right
at the fanged metaphors
fucking them up so badly
till they ran
tail between their legs, nursing their wounds.

my apologies
for ruining their holiday supper.
but in an hour
i was having fun
at a party
until someone joked
about my beastly wolfish appetite.

About the author:
Alex Galper was born in Kiev, Ukraine and has been writing poems and short stories since he could remember. Immigrating to America at the age of 19 did not change it; to the contrary, majoring in "Creative Writting at Brooklyn College and being mostly influenced by American poets created a fusion of Russian pessimism, Jewish humor and Western literary traditions and philosophy. Translations of his poems appeared in over 30 magazines in the USA and the UK. In his homeland, he is considered a cult underground poet whereas mainstream Russian literary magazines ignore him for luck of respect for rhymes, heavy erotic imagery, and being "too American".

Alex Galper web links:

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