the winds of politics

the wind
is blowing away from here
a visitor
came to see him yesterday
from the federal
security service
and clued him in
“fly like the wind
from here in 24 hrs
we will facilitate it
otherwise we will start
with your lesser twisters
and it’ll get worse from there”
his hands shaking
he packed into suitcases
all the leaves
open windows
and buzzing wires
the air tickets and visa
were issued without a snag
and the customs officers
even wished him a fair wind
and smiled
which had never
happened before
so as he is on his way there now
awaiting him by the sea
are the wind driven
power generators
of three universities
of the netherlands
while here
a windless calm has set in
and reigns
just as you have so long
hoped it would

Translated from the Russian by Philip Nikolayev


Gennady Kanevsky is a Moscow poet and essayist. He has been published in Homo Legens, Vozdukh, Volga, Banner, Novy Bereg, New World, October , and Ural. He is the author of six poetry books, a book of selected poems, Séance, and is published in anthologies of Russian and U.S. poetry. He has been a participant in poetry festivals in Russia and Ukraine, the poetic program of the Art Biennale in Thessaloniki, and has had poems translated into English, Italian. Hungarian, Ukrainian and Udmurt. With Anna Russ, he was the winner of the 2007 Moscow Poetry Slam, the Moscow Observer Award (2013), the Megalit Independent Award (2013), October Award (2015), and a Special Award of from Moscow Schyut (Moscow Score) for Seance (2016).

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