Poetry International Poetry International
Poem

Lev Rubinstein

LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

1
‘O.K. LET’S BEGIN...’
 
2
‘Life is given to us humans only once.
You be careful, dear, don’t let it slip away…’
‘O.K. KEEP ROLLING...’

3
‘Life is given to us humans for a reason.
Be good, my friend, and worthy of your life…’
‘GOOD. CONTINUE...’

4
‘Life is given to us humans for a reason.
You should really try, my dear, to treat it well...’
‘STOP!’

5
I can’t hear a thing. All this noise. Give it a try now—perhaps it’ll work....

6
GO AHEAD!

7
‘Life is given to us humans for a moment.
Go and do as many good things as you can...’
‘KEEP GOING…’

8
‘Life is given to us humans, as they say,
To enjoy it, never lose a single grain...’
‘O.K....’

9
‘Life is given to us humans nice and slow.
We just live it, never notice much about it...’
‘O.K....’

10
‘Life is given to us humans, barely breathing.
All depends on how pure of heart we are...’
‘STOP!’

11
Ladies and gentlemen, by the way, the tea is getting cold...

12
CAMERA, ACTION!

13
‘Life is given to us humans while we live,
We should remember this until we die...’
‘GOOD. KEEP ROLLING...’

14
‘Life is given to us humans to enjoy,
To torment ourselves, to contemplate, to win...’
‘WONDERFUL!’

15
‘Life is given to us humans—look at him,
How he’s rushing, like a light, to live and love...’
‘EXCELLENT!’

16
This is polyester? Polyester, my ass! Shut up if you can’t stand to look at it.
‘GO ON!’

17
‘Life is given to us humans so that we
Could just live without sorrow or regret...’
‘O.K....’

18
‘Life is given to us humans, and to ants,
Birds and roses, dogs and even sheaves of wheat...’
‘O.K....’

19
‘Life is given to us humans as a dream.
So we sleep till someone taps us on the back...’
‘PERFECT!’

20
Who is cute? That mustachioed gorilla is cute? You’re nuts!
‘LET’S GO!’

21
‘Life is given to us humans, but sadly
We don’t always get to live a decent life...’
‘KEEP GOING...’

22
‘Life is given to us humans, but not always.
And sometimes, it’s never given to us at all...’
‘O.K....’

23
‘Life is given to us humans, but in time
It’s taken back again, so go figure...’
‘STOP!’

24
Let me see that. ‘Ba-gha-vad-Gi-ta’...what the fuck is that?
‘CAMERA, ACTION!’

25
‘Our life is like the sun among the clouds—
Now it flares, and then it quickly disappears...’
‘EXCELLENT!’

26
‘You don’t know what you’re talking about! It’s not ‘Woe from Wit’ at all, it’s ‘Dead Souls’...’
‘CAMERA, ACTION!’

27
‘In this life, you never go against the current.
Even if you know nothing of this life...’
‘GOOD!’

28
I’m so scared to think that summer is almost here...
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

29
‘Our life is not imagined, but you can’t
See it clearly from everywhere on earth...’
‘EXCELLENT!’

30
There is this intern—he’s kinda cute. The way he looks at me—oh my God…
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

31
‘Our life is not exactly as we’d like—
So it’s best to hide away and hold it still...
‘STOP!’

32
‘Everything’s a game’—who said that?

33
In fact, there are a few reasons. First, the system itself...

34
Now you are an educated man. So explain to me why the word ‘fuck’ is written with an ‘u’...

35
My God! They’re all the same. Just look at this one...

36
You know what I’m thinking? In order to revive a corpse—that is, an aesthetic corpse—one needs to kill it again. The most important thing is to find a way... You don’t get it? All right, perhaps later...
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

37
‘The cause and effect connections
Break down, one by one.
Now we can step ahead
And march along our road...’
‘STOP!’

38
It’s really strange. She called me an hour and a half ago and said she was on her way...
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

39
‘Behold the star that doesn’t sleep,
It guards the mountain range...’
‘STOP!’

40
Varos Vartanovich! Oh, goodness, I’m sorry! Vartan Varosovich, do you think it’s something serious?
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

41
‘Why fly to where your nimble fate
Will take you at full speed?’
‘STOP!’

42
That’s terrible! You’re killing me here. I saw him only a couple of weeks ago. He was so happy...cracking jokes and stuff…
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

43
‘It’s no good, when you catch up
With the exciting news...’
‘STOP!’

44
Yes, yes, I’ve already heard…Of course I’ll come, you don’t have to ask…
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

45
‘It’s no good, through streaming tears
To mutter withered words...’
‘STOP!’

46
Well, that’s enough. There, there now. Don’t do this to yourself. You need to be strong. Do you have a handkerchief? Now that’s better...
‘ACTION...’

47
‘It’s no use to build a bridge
Between forever and now.
It’s better to calm down, and then…’
‘STOP!’

48
Also, I remember we were talking about where we wanted to go this summer... yes... That’s how it is. You dream, you have plans…
‘ACTION...’

49
‘We are all apostles of the New Testament
In a long winter of discontent.
Some of us are people of the light,
some of us people of the night...’
‘KEEP GOING...’

50
‘In vain, a cricket in the corner
Will sing of his cruel fate—
He’s here by his own will,
His game is very far from over...’
‘CONTINUE...’

51
‘It’s not that easy, on the run,
To sail the rapid river—
There’s peace not only in a storm
But also on the shore...’
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

52
‘In vain we toil with our last strength,
in vain we fight the windy weather—
Here is our hero, barely born,
And on the threshold of the coffin...’
‘KEEP GOING...’

53
‘Where should we sail, when in its snare
Our memory catches days long gone,
And when tomorrow’s setting forth
For us, one of its numerous…’
‘STOP!’

54
‘TOGETHER:’

55
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our uncovered…’
‘STOP! AGAIN...’

56
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our unconquered head’
‘STOP! AGAIN...’

57
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our puzzling...’
‘STOP! FROM THE BEGINNING...’

58
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our unreal...’
‘STOP! FROM THE BEGINNING...’

59
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our endless grief’
‘STOP!
FINE. ENOUGH. THAT WILL BE ALL. THANKS.’


(1986)

OVERAL IS LEVEN

1
‘OKÉ. BEGIN MAAR…’

2
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Slechts eenmaal, beste vriend, dus mis het niet…’
‘OKÉ. GA DOOR…’

3
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Niet zomaar, wees het waardig, lieve schat…’
‘PRIMA. GA VERDER…’

4
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Niet zomaar, ga er liefdevol mee om…’
‘STOP!’

5
Ik hoor niks! Alleen maar ruis. Misschien krijg jij het voor elkaar, probeer eens…

6
DOE MAAR!

7
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Voor even, haast je om veel goeds te doen…’
‘GA VERDER…’

8
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Opdat de mens het niet vermorst, zegt men…’
‘OKÉ…’

9
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Geleidelijk, hij leeft het achteloos…’
‘OKÉ…’

10
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Haast ademloos, de rest is aan de ziel…’
‘STOP!’

11
Niet om het een of ander, dames en heren, maar de thee wordt koud…

12
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

13
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Echt voor het leven, prent je dat maar in… ’
‘PRIMA. GA VERDER…’

14
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Opdat hij leeft, denkt, lijdt en zegeviert…’
‘VOORTREFFELIJK!’

15
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens,
Dus leeft en voelt hij maar, halsoverkop…’
‘PRACHTIG!’

16
Hoezo synthetisch? Je bent zelf synthetisch! Zwijg liever als je er geen kijk op hebt.
‘JE MAG!’

17
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Opdat hij leeft, zonder getob of spijt…’
‘OKÉ…’

18
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens,
De aar, de mus, de mier, de roos, de hond…’
‘OKÉ…’

19
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Als droom – je slaapt, totdat je wordt gewekt…’
‘UITSTEKEND!’

20
Charmant? Dat besnorde aapje, charmant? Doe mij een lol zeg!
‘WE KUNNEN!’

21
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Maar blijkt helaas niet telkens een succes…’
‘GA VERDER…’

22
‘Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
Lang niet altijd, in veel gevallen nooit…’
‘OKÉ…’

23
Het leven wordt gegeven aan de mens
En dan weer afgepakt – hoe kan dat nou…’
‘STOP!’

24
Laat eens kijken. ‘De Bha-ga-vad Gi-ta’… Wat is dat voor lulkoek?
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

25
‘Ons leven schittert vluchtig als de zon
Die zich achter een donderwolk verbergt…’
‘PRACHTIG!’

26
‘Praat alsjeblieft geen onzin! Het is geen ‘Lijden door verstand’ maar ‘Dode zielen’…’
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

27
‘Tegen dit leven ingaan lukt je niet,
Ook niet als je het nauwelijks doorziet…’
‘PRIMA!’

28
Ik zie verschrikkelijk op tegen de zomer…
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

29
‘Ons leven is geen fictie, doch vooral
Onzichtbaar voor de rest van het heelal…’
‘VOORTREFFELIJK!’

30
Die ene stagiair mag er best wezen trouwens… Die kan je zo aankijken, pas op hoor...
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

31
‘Dit leven schikt zich zelden naar je wil,
Blijf liever maar gedeisd en hou je stil…’
‘STOP!’

32
‘Alles is een spel’, van wie is die uitspraak?

33
Feitelijk zijn er meerdere oorzaken. Te beginnen met het systeem zelf…

34
Zeg, jij bent alfa. Leg me nou eens uit waarom ‘schijt’ met de lange ij wordt gespeld.

35
Jezus! Die lui zijn allemaal met één sop overgoten. Deze man alleen al…

36
Weet u wat ik bedacht heb? Om een lijk tot leven te brengen, een esthetisch concept welteverstaan, moeten we het weer doden. De hamvraag is: hoe…?
Niet duidelijk? Nu ja, we hebben het er nog over…

‘…DRIE, VIER!’

37
‘Voorwaarts! Het causaal verband
Is kennelijk vervallen,
Dus kunnen we langzamerhand
Vertrekken met ons allen…’
‘STOP!’

38
Inderdaad vreemd. Ze belde anderhalf uur geleden, ‘ik ben al onderweg’, zegt ze…
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN... START!’

39
‘Daar, aan de poorten van de hemel,
Waakt dag en nacht één ster…’
‘STOP!’

40
Varos Vartanovitsj… Ach, sorry! Vartan Varosovitsj! Wat denkt u, is het ernstig?
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

41
‘Wat draaf je in het wilde weg,
Onstuimig, hier vandaan?’
‘STOP!’

42
Afschuwelijk! Ik ben er kapot van… Ik heb hem een paar weken geleden nog… Zo vrolijk… almaar grapjes maken…
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

43
‘Als een veróntrustend bericht
Je plotseling bereikt…’
‘STOP!’

44
Ja, ja, ik ben al op de hoogte… Maar natuurlijk kom ik, wat een rare vraag…
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

45
‘Verdorde woorden mompelen
Al wenend heeft geen zin…’
‘STOP!’

46
Toe, hou nou op! Nu meteen! Dit kan toch niet. Je moet sterk zijn… Heb je een zakdoek? Goed zo…
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

47
‘Een brug tussen voorgoed en nu
Gaan bouwen is verkeerd.
Doe liever, als je wat kalmeert…’
‘STOP!’

48
We zaten nog zomerreisjes te bedenken… Ja… Zo gaat het dus… Vooruitkijken, plannetjes maken…
‘DRIE, TWEE, ÉÉN… START!’

49
‘Wij zijn de winterse, de kiene
Apostels van het nieuwste Schrift.
Niet alle dienen we het licht,
Er zijn er die het duister dienen…’
‘GA VERDER…’

50
‘De krekel in het hoekje zong
Over zijn lot, vilein en grillig,
Waartoe, – hij zit er toch vrijwillig?
Daarbij, de avond is nog jong…’
‘GA VERDER…’

51
’t Is lastig op de vlucht te slaan:
Te wild is de rivier.
Dans niet alleen op de vulkaan,
Ook thuis bij het klavier.’
‘GA ZO DOOR…’

52
‘Staak het gevecht met de orkaan,
Het is bij voorbaat al verloren, –
De held is nog maar net geboren
Of hij is bezig dood te gaan…’
‘GA ZO DOOR…’

53
‘Vervlogen zijn de kinderjaren,
Ze liggen buiten je bereik,
Dus welke koers moet jij gaan varen?
De toekomst brengt vooral ge… ’
‘STOP!’

54
‘SAMEN:’

55
‘Als vanzelf, met grote spoed
Varen wij door ’t leven.
Blootshoofds, met een triest…
‘STOP! NOG EEN KEER…’

56
‘Als vanzelf, met grote spoed
Varen wij door ’t leven.
Met een onbesuisd gemoed’
‘STOP! NOG EEN KEER…’

57
‘Als vanzelf, met grote spoed
Varen wij door ’t leven.
Met een onbestemd…’
‘STOP! OPNIEUW…’

58
‘Als vanzelf, met grote spoed
Varen wij door ’t leven.
Met een onbeslist…’
‘STOP! OPNIEUW…’

59
‘Als vanzelf, met grote spoed
Varen wij door ’t leven.
Met een zwaar bedrukt gemoed’
‘STOP!
GOED. DIT WAS HET. GENOEG. BEDANKT.’


(1986)

ВСЮДУ ЖИЗНЬ

1
– ТАК. НАЧАЛИ...

2
– Жизнь дается человеку только раз.
Ты смотри ее, мой друг, не прозевай...
– ТАК. ДАЛЬШЕ...

3
– Жизнь дается человеку неспроста.
Надо быть ее достойным, милый мой...
– ХОРОШО. ДАЛЬШЕ...

4
– Жизнь дается человеку неспроста.
К жизни надо относиться хорошо...
– СТОП!

5
«Не слышу! Треск сплошной. Попробуй теперь ты – может, получится...»

6
– ДАВАЙ!

7
– Жизнь дается человеку лишь на миг.
Торопитесь делать добрые дела...
– ДАЛЬШЕ...

8
– Жизнь дается человеку, говорят,
Чтобы он ее пронес, не расплескав...
– ТАК...

9
– Жизнь дается человеку не спеша.
Он ее не замечает, но живет...
– ТАК...

10
– Жизнь дается человеку, чуть дыша.
Все зависит, какова его душа...
– СТОП!

11
«Господа, между прочим, чай стынет...»

12
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

13
– Жизнь дается человеку на всю жизнь.
Нам всю жизнь об этом помнить надлежит...
– ХОРОШО. ДАЛЬШЕ...

14
– Жизнь дается человеку, чтобы жить,
Чтобы мыслить, и страдать, и побеждать...
– ЗАМЕЧАТЕЛЬНО!

15
– Жизнь дается человеку – вот он и
Жить торопится, и чувствовать спешит...
– ПРЕКРАСНО!

16
«Какая же это синтетика? Сам ты синтетика! Не понимаешь, так молчи!»
– ДАВАЙ!

17
– Жизнь дается человеку, чтобы он
Жил себе, не сожалея ни о чем...
– ТАК...

18
– Жизнь дается человеку, муравью,
Колоску пшеницы, птице, розе, псу...
– ТАК...

19
– Жизнь дается человеку в виде сна.
Мы и спим, пока не тронут за плечо...
– ОТЛИЧНО!

20
«Кто симпатичный? Эта макака усатая симпатичный? Ну ты даешь!»
– ПОЕХАЛИ!

21
– Жизнь дается человеку, но она,
К сожаленью, удается не всегда...
– ДАЛЬШЕ...

22
– Жизнь дается человеку не всегда.
А бывает, что и вовсе никогда...
– ТАК...

23
– Жизнь дается человеку, а потом
Отнимается обратно – вот те раз...
– СТОП!

24
«Дай-ка посмотреть. “Бха-га-ват-ги-та”... Что это еще за хуйня?»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

25
– Наша жизнь подобна солнцу в облаках –
Вот блеснет оно и скроется из глаз...
– ПРЕКРАСНО!

26
«Да не говорите вы ерунду! При чем здесь “Горе от ума”, когда это “Мертвые души”...»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

27
– В этой жизни против жизни не попрешь.
Даже если ничего в ней не поймешь...
– ХОРОШО!

28
«С ужасом думаю, что скоро лето...»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

29
– Наша жизнь не то чтоб мнима, но она
Не из всех точек Вселенной нам видна...
– ЗАМЕЧАТЕЛЬНО!

30
«Практикантик так один – ничего, между прочим. Так смотрит – ой-ё-ёй...»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

31
– В нашей жизни не все так, как мы хотим –
Так что лучше затаимся и смолчим...
– СТОП!

32
«”Все есть игра” – кто это сказал?»

33
«Причин на самом деле несколько. Во-первых, сама система...»

34
«Вот ты гуманитарий. Ты мне объясни, почему слово “говно” пишется через “О”...»

35
«Господи! Да все они одним миром мазаны. Взять хотя бы этого...»

36
«Знаете, что мне пришло в голову? Для того, чтобы оживить мертвеца – эстетического, разумеется – надо его снова убить. Главное – найти способ... Непонятно? Ну ладно – потом...»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

37
– Причинно-следственная связь
Распалась понемногу,
И можно смело, не таясь,
Отправиться в дорогу...
– СТОП!

38
«Действительно, странно. Полтора часа назад позвонила, сказала: “выезжаю...”»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

39
– На страже горнего предела
Одна звезда не спит...
– СТОП!

40
«Варос Вартанович! Ой, простите ради бога! Вартан Варосович! Как вы думаете, это что-нибудь серьезное?»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

41
– Зачем лететь, куда глаза
Глядят во весь опор...
– СТОП!

42
«Какой кошмар! Ты меня просто убил... Я ж с ним еще пару недель назад... Веселый такой... Все шуточки, прибауточки...»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

43
– Напрасно, ухом уловя
Взволновавшую весть...
– СТОП!

44
«Да, да – я уже все знаю... Ну конечно, приду – что за вопрос...»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

45
– Напрасно бормотать сквозь слёз
Увядшие слова...
– СТОП!

46
«Ну перестань! Перестань сейчас же! Так нельзя. Надо держаться... Платок у тебя есть? Ну, вот и хорошо...»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

47
– Не стоит наводить мосты
От навсегда к теперь.
Не лучше ль, малость поостыв...
– СТОП!

48
«Еще, помню, обсуждали, куда летом поехать... Да... Вот так вот... Загадываем, строим планы...»
– ТРИ-ЧЕТЫРЕ...

49
– Мы все новейшего завета
Апостолы среди зимы.
Средь нас есть деятели света,
А есть и деятели тьмы...
– ДАЛЬШЕ...

50
– Вотще сверчок из-за угла
Поет о своей лютой доле –
Ведь он здесь по своей же воле,
И не закончена игра...
– ДАЛЬШЕ...

51
– Непросто быстрою рекой
Спасаться на бегу –
Не только в бурях есть покой,
Но и на берегу...
– ЕЩЕ...

52
– Напрасно ветреной порой
Мы бьемся из последней силы –
Уж в предвкушении могилы
Едва родившийся герой...
– ЕЩЕ...

53
– Куда ж нам плыть, коль память ловит
Силком позавчерашний день,
А день грядущий нам готовит
Очередную...
– СТОП!

54
– ВМЕСТЕ:

55
– Наша жизнь сама собой
По волнам несется.
С непокрытою
– СТОП! ЕЩЕ РАЗ...

56
– Наша жизнь сама собой
По волнам несется.
С непокорною главой
– СТОП! ЕЩЕ РАЗ...

57
– Наша жизнь сама собой
По волнам несется.
С непонятною
– СТОП! СНАЧАЛА...

58
– Наша жизнь сама собой
По волнам несется.
С невозможною
– СТОП! СНАЧАЛА...

59
– Наша жизнь сама собой
По волнам несется.
С бесконечною тоской
– СТОП!
ЛАДНО. ВСЕ. ДОСТАТОЧНО. СПАСИБО.


(1986)
Close

LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

1
‘O.K. LET’S BEGIN...’
 
2
‘Life is given to us humans only once.
You be careful, dear, don’t let it slip away…’
‘O.K. KEEP ROLLING...’

3
‘Life is given to us humans for a reason.
Be good, my friend, and worthy of your life…’
‘GOOD. CONTINUE...’

4
‘Life is given to us humans for a reason.
You should really try, my dear, to treat it well...’
‘STOP!’

5
I can’t hear a thing. All this noise. Give it a try now—perhaps it’ll work....

6
GO AHEAD!

7
‘Life is given to us humans for a moment.
Go and do as many good things as you can...’
‘KEEP GOING…’

8
‘Life is given to us humans, as they say,
To enjoy it, never lose a single grain...’
‘O.K....’

9
‘Life is given to us humans nice and slow.
We just live it, never notice much about it...’
‘O.K....’

10
‘Life is given to us humans, barely breathing.
All depends on how pure of heart we are...’
‘STOP!’

11
Ladies and gentlemen, by the way, the tea is getting cold...

12
CAMERA, ACTION!

13
‘Life is given to us humans while we live,
We should remember this until we die...’
‘GOOD. KEEP ROLLING...’

14
‘Life is given to us humans to enjoy,
To torment ourselves, to contemplate, to win...’
‘WONDERFUL!’

15
‘Life is given to us humans—look at him,
How he’s rushing, like a light, to live and love...’
‘EXCELLENT!’

16
This is polyester? Polyester, my ass! Shut up if you can’t stand to look at it.
‘GO ON!’

17
‘Life is given to us humans so that we
Could just live without sorrow or regret...’
‘O.K....’

18
‘Life is given to us humans, and to ants,
Birds and roses, dogs and even sheaves of wheat...’
‘O.K....’

19
‘Life is given to us humans as a dream.
So we sleep till someone taps us on the back...’
‘PERFECT!’

20
Who is cute? That mustachioed gorilla is cute? You’re nuts!
‘LET’S GO!’

21
‘Life is given to us humans, but sadly
We don’t always get to live a decent life...’
‘KEEP GOING...’

22
‘Life is given to us humans, but not always.
And sometimes, it’s never given to us at all...’
‘O.K....’

23
‘Life is given to us humans, but in time
It’s taken back again, so go figure...’
‘STOP!’

24
Let me see that. ‘Ba-gha-vad-Gi-ta’...what the fuck is that?
‘CAMERA, ACTION!’

25
‘Our life is like the sun among the clouds—
Now it flares, and then it quickly disappears...’
‘EXCELLENT!’

26
‘You don’t know what you’re talking about! It’s not ‘Woe from Wit’ at all, it’s ‘Dead Souls’...’
‘CAMERA, ACTION!’

27
‘In this life, you never go against the current.
Even if you know nothing of this life...’
‘GOOD!’

28
I’m so scared to think that summer is almost here...
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

29
‘Our life is not imagined, but you can’t
See it clearly from everywhere on earth...’
‘EXCELLENT!’

30
There is this intern—he’s kinda cute. The way he looks at me—oh my God…
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

31
‘Our life is not exactly as we’d like—
So it’s best to hide away and hold it still...
‘STOP!’

32
‘Everything’s a game’—who said that?

33
In fact, there are a few reasons. First, the system itself...

34
Now you are an educated man. So explain to me why the word ‘fuck’ is written with an ‘u’...

35
My God! They’re all the same. Just look at this one...

36
You know what I’m thinking? In order to revive a corpse—that is, an aesthetic corpse—one needs to kill it again. The most important thing is to find a way... You don’t get it? All right, perhaps later...
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

37
‘The cause and effect connections
Break down, one by one.
Now we can step ahead
And march along our road...’
‘STOP!’

38
It’s really strange. She called me an hour and a half ago and said she was on her way...
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

39
‘Behold the star that doesn’t sleep,
It guards the mountain range...’
‘STOP!’

40
Varos Vartanovich! Oh, goodness, I’m sorry! Vartan Varosovich, do you think it’s something serious?
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

41
‘Why fly to where your nimble fate
Will take you at full speed?’
‘STOP!’

42
That’s terrible! You’re killing me here. I saw him only a couple of weeks ago. He was so happy...cracking jokes and stuff…
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

43
‘It’s no good, when you catch up
With the exciting news...’
‘STOP!’

44
Yes, yes, I’ve already heard…Of course I’ll come, you don’t have to ask…
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

45
‘It’s no good, through streaming tears
To mutter withered words...’
‘STOP!’

46
Well, that’s enough. There, there now. Don’t do this to yourself. You need to be strong. Do you have a handkerchief? Now that’s better...
‘ACTION...’

47
‘It’s no use to build a bridge
Between forever and now.
It’s better to calm down, and then…’
‘STOP!’

48
Also, I remember we were talking about where we wanted to go this summer... yes... That’s how it is. You dream, you have plans…
‘ACTION...’

49
‘We are all apostles of the New Testament
In a long winter of discontent.
Some of us are people of the light,
some of us people of the night...’
‘KEEP GOING...’

50
‘In vain, a cricket in the corner
Will sing of his cruel fate—
He’s here by his own will,
His game is very far from over...’
‘CONTINUE...’

51
‘It’s not that easy, on the run,
To sail the rapid river—
There’s peace not only in a storm
But also on the shore...’
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

52
‘In vain we toil with our last strength,
in vain we fight the windy weather—
Here is our hero, barely born,
And on the threshold of the coffin...’
‘KEEP GOING...’

53
‘Where should we sail, when in its snare
Our memory catches days long gone,
And when tomorrow’s setting forth
For us, one of its numerous…’
‘STOP!’

54
‘TOGETHER:’

55
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our uncovered…’
‘STOP! AGAIN...’

56
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our unconquered head’
‘STOP! AGAIN...’

57
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our puzzling...’
‘STOP! FROM THE BEGINNING...’

58
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our unreal...’
‘STOP! FROM THE BEGINNING...’

59
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our endless grief’
‘STOP!
FINE. ENOUGH. THAT WILL BE ALL. THANKS.’


(1986)

LIFE IS EVERYWHERE

1
‘O.K. LET’S BEGIN...’
 
2
‘Life is given to us humans only once.
You be careful, dear, don’t let it slip away…’
‘O.K. KEEP ROLLING...’

3
‘Life is given to us humans for a reason.
Be good, my friend, and worthy of your life…’
‘GOOD. CONTINUE...’

4
‘Life is given to us humans for a reason.
You should really try, my dear, to treat it well...’
‘STOP!’

5
I can’t hear a thing. All this noise. Give it a try now—perhaps it’ll work....

6
GO AHEAD!

7
‘Life is given to us humans for a moment.
Go and do as many good things as you can...’
‘KEEP GOING…’

8
‘Life is given to us humans, as they say,
To enjoy it, never lose a single grain...’
‘O.K....’

9
‘Life is given to us humans nice and slow.
We just live it, never notice much about it...’
‘O.K....’

10
‘Life is given to us humans, barely breathing.
All depends on how pure of heart we are...’
‘STOP!’

11
Ladies and gentlemen, by the way, the tea is getting cold...

12
CAMERA, ACTION!

13
‘Life is given to us humans while we live,
We should remember this until we die...’
‘GOOD. KEEP ROLLING...’

14
‘Life is given to us humans to enjoy,
To torment ourselves, to contemplate, to win...’
‘WONDERFUL!’

15
‘Life is given to us humans—look at him,
How he’s rushing, like a light, to live and love...’
‘EXCELLENT!’

16
This is polyester? Polyester, my ass! Shut up if you can’t stand to look at it.
‘GO ON!’

17
‘Life is given to us humans so that we
Could just live without sorrow or regret...’
‘O.K....’

18
‘Life is given to us humans, and to ants,
Birds and roses, dogs and even sheaves of wheat...’
‘O.K....’

19
‘Life is given to us humans as a dream.
So we sleep till someone taps us on the back...’
‘PERFECT!’

20
Who is cute? That mustachioed gorilla is cute? You’re nuts!
‘LET’S GO!’

21
‘Life is given to us humans, but sadly
We don’t always get to live a decent life...’
‘KEEP GOING...’

22
‘Life is given to us humans, but not always.
And sometimes, it’s never given to us at all...’
‘O.K....’

23
‘Life is given to us humans, but in time
It’s taken back again, so go figure...’
‘STOP!’

24
Let me see that. ‘Ba-gha-vad-Gi-ta’...what the fuck is that?
‘CAMERA, ACTION!’

25
‘Our life is like the sun among the clouds—
Now it flares, and then it quickly disappears...’
‘EXCELLENT!’

26
‘You don’t know what you’re talking about! It’s not ‘Woe from Wit’ at all, it’s ‘Dead Souls’...’
‘CAMERA, ACTION!’

27
‘In this life, you never go against the current.
Even if you know nothing of this life...’
‘GOOD!’

28
I’m so scared to think that summer is almost here...
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

29
‘Our life is not imagined, but you can’t
See it clearly from everywhere on earth...’
‘EXCELLENT!’

30
There is this intern—he’s kinda cute. The way he looks at me—oh my God…
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

31
‘Our life is not exactly as we’d like—
So it’s best to hide away and hold it still...
‘STOP!’

32
‘Everything’s a game’—who said that?

33
In fact, there are a few reasons. First, the system itself...

34
Now you are an educated man. So explain to me why the word ‘fuck’ is written with an ‘u’...

35
My God! They’re all the same. Just look at this one...

36
You know what I’m thinking? In order to revive a corpse—that is, an aesthetic corpse—one needs to kill it again. The most important thing is to find a way... You don’t get it? All right, perhaps later...
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

37
‘The cause and effect connections
Break down, one by one.
Now we can step ahead
And march along our road...’
‘STOP!’

38
It’s really strange. She called me an hour and a half ago and said she was on her way...
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

39
‘Behold the star that doesn’t sleep,
It guards the mountain range...’
‘STOP!’

40
Varos Vartanovich! Oh, goodness, I’m sorry! Vartan Varosovich, do you think it’s something serious?
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

41
‘Why fly to where your nimble fate
Will take you at full speed?’
‘STOP!’

42
That’s terrible! You’re killing me here. I saw him only a couple of weeks ago. He was so happy...cracking jokes and stuff…
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

43
‘It’s no good, when you catch up
With the exciting news...’
‘STOP!’

44
Yes, yes, I’ve already heard…Of course I’ll come, you don’t have to ask…
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

45
‘It’s no good, through streaming tears
To mutter withered words...’
‘STOP!’

46
Well, that’s enough. There, there now. Don’t do this to yourself. You need to be strong. Do you have a handkerchief? Now that’s better...
‘ACTION...’

47
‘It’s no use to build a bridge
Between forever and now.
It’s better to calm down, and then…’
‘STOP!’

48
Also, I remember we were talking about where we wanted to go this summer... yes... That’s how it is. You dream, you have plans…
‘ACTION...’

49
‘We are all apostles of the New Testament
In a long winter of discontent.
Some of us are people of the light,
some of us people of the night...’
‘KEEP GOING...’

50
‘In vain, a cricket in the corner
Will sing of his cruel fate—
He’s here by his own will,
His game is very far from over...’
‘CONTINUE...’

51
‘It’s not that easy, on the run,
To sail the rapid river—
There’s peace not only in a storm
But also on the shore...’
‘KEEP ROLLING...’

52
‘In vain we toil with our last strength,
in vain we fight the windy weather—
Here is our hero, barely born,
And on the threshold of the coffin...’
‘KEEP GOING...’

53
‘Where should we sail, when in its snare
Our memory catches days long gone,
And when tomorrow’s setting forth
For us, one of its numerous…’
‘STOP!’

54
‘TOGETHER:’

55
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our uncovered…’
‘STOP! AGAIN...’

56
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our unconquered head’
‘STOP! AGAIN...’

57
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our puzzling...’
‘STOP! FROM THE BEGINNING...’

58
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our unreal...’
‘STOP! FROM THE BEGINNING...’

59
‘Our life is rushing on
Over waves and winds.
Here is our endless grief’
‘STOP!
FINE. ENOUGH. THAT WILL BE ALL. THANKS.’


(1986)
Sponsors
Gemeente Rotterdam
Nederlands Letterenfonds
Stichting Van Beuningen Peterich-fonds
Ludo Pieters Gastschrijver Fonds
Hendrik Muller fonds
Lira fonds
J.E. Jurriaanse
Literature Translation Institute of Korea
Partners
LantarenVenster – Verhalenhuis Belvédère