Poem by Alexander Delfinov – President and deserter

Gospodin president, you gave the infamous order
You blow marches like you’ve already won the war
And though you deceive so many, you never deceive us,
No wall, no tower of your high palace will save you.
Gospodin president, no, you are not a tsar, but a thief,
usurper and scoundrel on the ruins of the old empire,
And you will only reap the shame, certainly not a victory.
Yes, even those curse you who swore by you.
Unfortunately, it is not difficult for you to shed all blood,
We have only one freedom left, to escape from the trenches,
Serve you, I won’t, never, because I’m a deserter
Until the end of the short, too short life that remains for me.

Gospodin president, on TV your enemy is a fascist,
But you talk like any snitch disguised as a dealer
To whom no crooked business and no murder is a difficulty.
And you bear a striking resemblance to your predecessor – Hitler,
Made the “connection” and then swallowed up Poland in the Blitz
With Mr. Stalin in the alliance – whom you honored and celebrated,
Froth at the mouth in the lonely death addiction,
Don’t worry, you’ll be greeting them very soon.
Adorned with gold, they please before the nefarious army,
Some sing hymns to you and throw themselves to the ungod.
I won’t sing to you because I’m a deserter
If I make it, I’ll be out on the street by dawn.

Gospodin president, you proclaim the higher purpose –
A secured country and you kiss the child on the cheek,
But you are not the prince who took pleasure in gathering the lands,
You are a tyrant who is afraid of your own services.
Only the mirror reveals how it is, Gospodin president,
That the others live more humanely, with reddened cheeks.
What silk you wear is harder than a tarpaulin,
You just want to get out of the state rooms, pack your things quickly,
In thе distance, thе steep, thе wind is the only commander.
But where do you flee from yourself, only to kill yourself?
I don’t need you to be killed, because I’m a deserter
My choice is not to slay, but to risk life.

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Translation from Russian by Georg Witte.
In an interview, the Slavist explains the difficult situation intellectuals in Russia are currently in.

But somewhere inside maybe, Gospodin president
Is the boy still alive who with dreams of happy tomorrows
But in the dungeon of the soul he languishes, foreign agent,
Because grandpa has other dreams, or let’s say worries:
Will they poison me, or are they even planning a coup?
Are they betraying me? Or are they laughing behind their backs?
The dictator grows old and banal, like evil, soon gone.
Shivers even when he threatens to hit the kill button.
Is the blackness of the cosmic holes no longer enough for you?
Are you really, really ready to push that button, that red…
I made the decision a long time ago, I’m a deserter
Even if my life is to shrink to its last minute.

You can read the original poem here.

Gospodin president, you’re missing a moment now,
Whoever flushes the enemy down the toilet can’t hear the poet’s voice?
Gospodin president, oh you’re just a sham president
If you’d like to be a real President too.
You understand perfectly that you will never become a hero, ever,
And you will still be judged for all your words and deeds.
Gospodin president, you gave the infamous order
And the day of judgment is not long, not long in coming.
When the Lord Referee, a satyr crooked with fear,
Submitted the files to you in the morning, like a bribe in a letter,
If you smile when the report says: “Liquidized – deserter”,
Overlook this: Your own death is prepared.

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Alexander Delfinov, born in Moscow in 1971, lives in Berlin and Bonn. He is a poet, slamp poet, journalist and human rights activist. Delfinov is particularly committed to drug addicts and people with psychological or mental problems. He publishes many of his poems on social media.

© S. Gavrilov / PANDA