They’ve unveiled a new Stalin monument
With a granite mustache and pedestal.
It seems his ample ass cannot find rest
And from the grave still dominates it all.
He towers like a mushroom from the earth
So that all folk may dwell in peace and mirth!
He’s one of us, of proletarian birth,
And we adore his overcoat’s plain cloth!
So that the humblest cur may to this day
Lift a hind leg by popular demand
At his foot. As to the cap, what can one say?
O motherland. O motherfuckerland.
Translated from the Russian by Katia Kapovich
Katia Kapovich is a bilingual poet, originally from Moldova, who has been living in the US since the mid-1990s. She is the author of a dozen Russian poetry collections, of two volumes of short fiction in Russian, and of two volumes of English verse, Gogol in Rome (Salt, 2004) and Cossacks and Bandits (Salt, 2008). In Russia, she has received the prestigious Russian Prize twice: for fiction in 2013 and for poetry in 2015. Her original English language poetry has appeared in the London Review of Books, Poetry, The New Republic, Harvard Review, The Independent, The Common, Jacket, Plume and numerous other periodicals, as well as in several anthologies including Best American Poetry 2007 and Poetry 180 (Random House). She was the recipient of the 2001 Witter Bynner Fellowship from the U.S. Library of Congress, and a poet-in-residence at Amherst College in 2007. She co-edits Fulcrum: An Anthology of Poetry and Aesthetics with her husband, the poet Philip Nikolayev.