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Sex Is a Desert

I’m screaming

lying alone

in this settlement

 

 

everything empty only emptiness

sex – is a desert

 

 

evening

coming home from work

desiring on the shopfloor

or in the machine

or at some other labour of language

feel it: there’s nothing there only

a desert

 

 

coming home from work

I’m writing a letter to the first boy

why’d you deceive me, you know there’s nothing there

nothing

nothing

only a desert

 

 

I’m in the desert alone

and desire fades

laying sex bare like vision

like trembling

on the horizon is the body of a dry old man

this is my sex

this is my future

 

 

hundreds of animals will come and hump me

a tiger’s sperm leaps toward the clouds

monkeys lick my clitoris

but none of them will say:

‘sex is a desert’

 

 

in the garden of atavisms

lifting my skirt, leaning on the barbed-wire fence

barely discerning the face

in the wilds of bloody tears

I, weeping, will say: ‘look at what we were struggling for,

marching naked past parliaments,

penetrating with phalluses the offices of government.

no, there’s nothing there,

sex is a desert’

 

 

I love you

and your dead sex

still moves me

but when I love you

I feel: only a desert

 

 

the smooth temple of marriage bathed in wine gone bad

the raw looks of new lovers

the embraces of boys, covered with feces, tears

girls with black scars and bright dildos

baring their breasts before the river

of people dying

 

 

what were we struggling for?

why all these poems?

 

 

the dying camp of peoples in the depths of the analyst

you die with them, too, analyst,

saying: ‘Desert’

because there is no hidden pleasure in the desert

 

 

only sand

only heat

masturbation and solitude

 

 

only womanhood

only the desert

 

 

crowds of furious men, turning in their zinc coffins

crowds of men fondling, flying on a varnished bomb

the industry of depravity in space stations, the science of art in the bathhouse

all for nothing, procreation is only part of the desert

 

 

Kathy, Kathy, wanking off death,

I can’t see your face, there’s no dialogue, no strength to tell you how things stand

for you, you’re not here, Kathy, the body has no identity in the bitter printed word

 

 

the rod in a thrown open bible,

student marches little puddles of blood in a dark toilet,

where my farewell lament

addressed faded out

to the dead students and their movement

 

 

 

with knives stuck in the hips

with the tender kisses of events

I want to say: here is the event

sex, sex is dead, it’s leaving us

in the heat of sex, in the atavism of desire

 

 

on the tip of lilies unzipped in shuffled tarot cards

we lay in solitude

to count the money we got

for sex, for pain, for death,

to count the bites and bruises from dead lovers

 

 

armies of little neomorts,

storming the beds of our mothers and our children

with a shaved crotch, almost blind

 

 

I lie alone

in this settlement

 

 

the dead cock that protrudes from every philosophy

Alain Badiou fucking theories, numbers,

a weeping member, the cock of greasy philosophy

what are you good for, if you could only save us

 

 

in the depth of short orgasms, waiting: where is the network of pleasure?

on the seashore in a billboard I don’t fucking care I’ll stay

with my beloved with biceps and seagulls, with a silk dress and a rose in my hair

if only I don’t have to see this

 

 

how in the desert they eat my body

sex-objects, workers and liars,

and writers with open skulls,

retromodernists, writing shrill messages,

I want to say that my pus pain and blood

are not your pus pain and blood

I request that you do not confuse these aesthetics, these worms, these beds

 

 

little stars of little doctors

little empty illnesses

knife wounds inside the rendezvous

feeding feeding feeding

at the edge of love

rome rome rome with a price tag with a shrill libido

 

 

o, who could

guess these

are caravans of slaves coming to meet us?

 

 

like a feminist sad sticking out of a camel’s ass

confusing all the arts without desire without aim you left us

you burned down a pair of sex shops you’re crying in the autumn park with a bottle of cheap wine in your hand

because it’s all for nothing because sex is a desert

 

 

because you can’t say no

 

 

even if women piss on all the cathedrals

and men fuck themselves with a machine gun

 

 

there will be death there will be sex there will be poetry

 

 

there will be roses enflamed

 

 

there will be cocaine in paper wrappers and breakfasts

 

 

in the barn in bed

 

 

thin nets with a baby

 

 

rubbers with toys

 

 

you, my love,

 

 

texts with confessions

 

 

I am masturbating

 

 

you

 

 

sand in our bodies,

 

 

age, wind,

 

 

cleansing, hallucinations,

 

 

and you, you, you,

 

 

my love, who lies:

 

 

‘youth, fury, knowledge’

 

 

the contemplating anus

the furious anus minimalism of forms

for Russians who are still being flogged

and who are happy because they were born dead

and what else are the dead to do, there is time and it will hurt

 

 

but there is also a lyrical line:

I’m screaming

lying alone in this settlement

you borrow money from your comrades to get here

but there’s no road that will take you

fuck her and him, fuck others, but you won’t find your way to this settlement

talk to me through the wind through time but you’re not there

fuck me and you’re not here in this settlement

I’m lying alone

screaming: ‘sex is a desert’

 

 

the pluralism of opinions, contemplating: this is war,

crowds of people standing in front of the screen, where I say to you:

‘sex is war’,

but stay there alone and you will feel: sex is a desert

 

 

we fell dead

into the body of the enemy

of the lonely, at the edge, in the village

 

 

we grew up

into industry

into no one

 

 

So huge, this desert is so huge

 

*

This poem was selected for inclusion in the January 2016 Translation Issue by Daniel Medin, a contributing editor of The White Review. He is Associate Director for the Center for Writers and Translators at the American University of Paris, and an editor for The Cahiers Series and Music & Literature.



ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR


was born in 1990 in the city of Omsk (Siberia, Russia) and currently lives in St. Petersburg. She has published poems in the Russian Journals The New Literary Observer, Air, Sho, and in the Translit series. Her essays on cinema, literature, and sexuality have appeared on the internet portals Séance, Colta, and Milk and Honey. She is the author of the recently published collection Moving Space of the Revolution.

Jonathan Brooks Platt is Assistant Professor of Slavic Languages and Literature at the University of Pittsburgh. His monograph, Greetings, Pushkin!: Stalinist Cultural Politics and the Russian National Bard, is forthcoming from Pittsburgh University Press. Platt has translated poems by Kirill Medvedev, Roman Osminkin, Pavel Arsenev, and Elena Kostyleva; artistic texts by Chto Delat, Natalia Pershina (Gluklya), Nikolay Oleynikov, and Anastasia Vepreva; and philosophical texts by Oxana Timofeeva, Aleksandr Pogrebnyak, and Andrey Platonov (with Robert Chandler).