An international online magazine that publishes Neo-Surrealist poetry in English.
Everyone can see the victims rising from the bottom
of their faces.
The parents' submarines are stained with silt;
they have mussel-like eyes and rusty eyebrows.
The coastline … a dream … the edge of foam
moves up the rocks and falls down suddenly
along an embarrassingly straight line.
And then reality begins to resemble
a locked greenhouse
where one can grow the vine of suffering
in an old porcelain pot;
where magnificent peacocks of sorrow strut
into the harbours of hands and the wrists of rivers,
and a smile betrays itself like a bow
that launches a playful arrow.
Tender is the Night
The night is lined with yellow lantern satin.
The lanterns have replaced old trees, and now
one might think this is their afterlife:
distilling juices of electric currents,
occasionally creaking and gathering together local ants,
throwing themselves against our green window-panes
at full speed, like phosphoric hornets,
and then dropping onto the sills, barely alive.
At night all the bodies tighten up and grow nacre,
so they can hide in their shells, like inside a coffin.
The day resembles shallow water,
with turtle shields in the sand.
Dawn sand gets into my eyes, and I can't figure out
whether the hill of a heel is real or it was
the white llama of a leg that flashed in the distance.
Orpheus convenes the creatures as best he can:
sometimes with the blues—
so much water saturates his sounds—
sometimes with a shining metallic blade,
and then moles burrow further:
there's such a powerful force in this depth.
Let each of us be the one whose heart he owns,
we heard one fine afternoon
when a fox admired its sly fur coat
and a mouse shook like a jelly bean.
And now he is sitting like a lost soul
overwhelmed with the weight of the hearts
inside him, stones in the stream.
Translated from the Ukrainian by Anatoly Kudryavitsky
Julia Stakhivska was born in Zhytomyr, Ukraine, and now lives in Kyiv. She was trained as a visual artist before studying the Ukrainian language and literature at Ostroh Academy and at National University of Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. She has published three collections of poetry, The Ovary of Thoughts (2003), Little Red Man (2009) and Verde (2015), as well as her translations from Czesław Miłosz. More translations of her poems will appear in The Frontier, an anthology of contemporary Ukrainian poetry in English translation ed. by Anatoly Kudryavitsky (due from Glagoslav Publications later in 2017).