To A Tyrant

Scumbags don’t owe the poets anything,
But you’ve decided somehow that you owe us,
Which only goes to show that you don’t know us
Thinking that poems cannot be menacing.
So here’s a poem – visionary boldness –
A prophet’s dream of rights and liberties.
While your patriotland stays strangely wordless.
Devour it! I’m in your antipodes.
War is the patriots’ only motherland,
Their feeders are fable news and fake TV,
They are all lies, delusional and violent.
So your Crimean and Donetsk fans are silent,
Speechless. Don’t you agree? Yes, you agree.

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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