People sit at home
And stare at computers.
They dress up nicely,
They stand in front of the mirror,
They leave the car at home,
Because they want to get drunk,
They call their friends,
They put the effort in
And sometimes they cry,
In order to feel more entitled to their own poems.
Then they host literary evenings
To which nobody comes,
And sometimes somebody does come
But doesn’t believe them.
These are sad intellectuals.
Don’t mind them,
When they quietly moan, whilst you return from work in silence,
And they needlessly think about death.
Years of self-deception behind them,
Which some scientists
Who don’t understand anything
Call coming to language –
Creating a noise between two words,
So that the hole which separates them
Doesn’t become too evident.
Devoting themselves to words,
Learned to evade the thing
Which stands blurred somewhere in the background
And reminds of the unpopularity and weakness
Of the sad intellectuals.
Perhaps you don’t know what I’m talking about
But you’d understand if you went to literary evenings.
© translated in the group translation workshop in the Department of Russian and Slavonic Studies, University of Nottingham