Alex Galper

Up to the Heavens

Outside, on a different planet
somewhere
Arctic winds chill
to the bone
and winter bites.
But here :
in a Palestinian hole
on E2nd
it is hot: carpets, pillows, hummus,
  a plate of kebabs.
My friend
commands respect here
for his fluent Arabic.
A former Mossad,
he pulls on his apple hooka
smiles
at the waiter and
whispers into my ear:
"...How many o'our boys they's
killed...
how many o'theirs
I'd packed up
into the heavens!"

Alex Galper © 2008
translated from Russian by
Misha Delibash © 2008

Brooklyn Siberia

 

I live in Siberia
In the very heart of Southern Brooklyn
In the mornings people are flocking to the taiga of Wall Street
Returning in the evening barely alive, frozen,
  stock-bitten,
Bleeding from computer-bug wounds
Some disappear forever
Mauled to death by the bears of big corporations
Or buying houses in New Jersey
In the spring I see their corpses
Inviting me to follow the same path
From the pages of respectable publications.

Alex Galper © 2008
translated by Mike Magazinnik and Igor Satanovskiy © 2008