An Awful Climate

Our climate is so awful
that all the peripatetics
sink to the bottom of an endless black winter
before they can agree
on anything useful
Our climate is so awful
that the ever coughing Diogenes
has relocated from his dank container
under the elevated heating main
and into the fields of blooming asphodels
Our climate is so awful
that Dante and Beatrice left
after their first conjugal night
for a honeymoon in Thailand
but have never come back
living there happily ever after
and never dropping us a line
Our climate is so awful
that cynocephalic cyclopes
have migrated from the fringes of the world
to our industrial landfills
they talk like us walk like us
and are in no way different from us now

Translated from the Russian by Philip Nikolayev


Maria Galina, poet, writer, critic, and translator, was born in Tver. She writes both literary and science fiction (with ten SF books to her credit); her literary fiction contains a strong element of magical realism. She is the author of the novels  Volchja Zviezda (2004, The Wolf Star ); “Iramification” (2004; Russian version Givi and Shenderovich – award for the best science-fiction/fantasy novel of International Assembly Portal, Kiev, Ukraine, 2005 and Academia Rossica award for the best translation from Russian,  Great Britain, 2009); Malaya Glusha (2009/0; short-list of the Big Book (Bolshaya Kniga) award (2009) and long-list of  Russian Booker Award; Ground Crayfish, 2011, short-list and reader’s choice for the Big Book award-2012, and Autochthons” (2015),  short-list and reader’s choice for the Big Book award, short list for the National Bestseller award). She also has more than ten genre awards in the field of Science Fiction and Fantasy. As a poet she has been awarded with numerous prestigious Russian poetry awards. Galina currently works for Russia’s oldest literary magazine Novy Mir (Moscow) as the deputy governor of the department of literature critique and social problems, and as a columnist.

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