Russian Speech

“Fuck this, I’ve got to buy some lipstick!
What are you looking at, old cunt?”
I know my homefolk by their talk
More than their clothes. They are so blunt!
I wince, turn pale, grow numb and dumb,
I eye them and I follow them.
But as I stalk them I am anxious
Not to reveal my homeboy presence.
I’m so alone in London’s desert,
Russian cusswords are my dessert.
I’m drawn wherever Russian speech is,
Like a pooch on the trail of bitches.

Translated from the Russian by Philip Nikolayev


Oleg Dozmorov is a Russian writer, poet and critic born in Yekaterinburg, Russia in 1974. He is the author of several collections of poetry including Vosmistishiya, a 2004 collection of octaves, and Take a look at the hippopotamus (2012), which was awarded the Russian Prize and Moscow Score literary prizes. His poems are translated into Italian, English, Dutch and Ukrainian. His semi-fictional story “Marble Award” was published by Znamia in 2006. Since 2009 he has lived in London.

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