two ivans

you are ivan and i am ivan
but we’re on opposite sides man
and trench digging has begun

you are moscow’s friendly act
i’m one whose neck is incorrect
the trench digging is all done

the general doesn’t give a fuck
about trenches filled with muck
still he wishes us good luck

Translated from the Russian by Philip Nikolayev

*

Igor Bozhko is a painter, screenwriter, musician, poet, and actor. He is a member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine and the National Union of Journalists and of the creative association “Mamai.” Bozhko’s paintings are on display at the National Art Museum of Ukraine and other museums, as well as in private collections. In 1988 he published his first book of stories, Memory Paints. The feature film Grafitti was based on his story “Faces on the Clouds”; Bozhko also wrote the script for Kira Muratova’s “Boiler No.6” in her film Three Stories and acted in various motion pictures by Muratova and other directors. He is published in the magazines Smena, Oktyabr, Khreshchatyk, Novyi Mir and several Odessa issues of the DeribasovskayaRishel’evskaya almanac. Bozhko’s poetry collections are Dry Grass, Queue, Year of the Sparrow, After the Year of the Sparrow, and Lyrics.

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