1. My degeneracy is founded on sound principles 2. I sometimes sleep 3. The beat cop’s saintly muzzle The bakery saleswoman’s sacred backside An old woman has passed out A crowd has gathered round 4. The beer hall hasn’t enough room for all the beer-lovers 5. So that’s how it is So that’s what it’s like So that’s how it’s gonna be So that’s it 6. I live in the Izmailova Animal Park 7. I am 8. Uninterested Unable Unwilling 9. I haven’t the strength I haven’t the years I have lost my fish I have lost my hands I have lost my feet 10. People are canaries I look them over Before plucking a quill 11. Winter—a constant odor of burning paper 12. It is just amazing It is simply inexplicable 13. Moscow floods all of Russia She’s crammed into my apartment 14. Mice Little mice Nice-mice 15. Beetles Little beetles Beat-beetles 16. Verpa* is always dying out 17. The brave Russian aviator… 18. Obviously I’m here I’m present I disappear I.D. 19. Sit with me I’m with it So what if not free 20. I was born in the year 1940 When I was born ....................... 21. When I live... When I lived… When I lived on… 22. What kind of name is Ivanov Petrov Steblin-Kamensky 23. Who’s there Who’s there Who is it Who’s there 24. Let’s try and remember 25. I’m an Adonis I’m no dog I’m no rut in the ground 26. What is this—jail What is this—house What is this—town What is this—music 27. Kiss me don’t kiss me 28. Bitter frost Swinishness RUBBISH 29. INDIA JAPAN CHINA INDONESIA R-R-R-R 30. Apathy—the greatest desire 31. History—that’s a disease Fauna—that’s a disease Flora—that’s madness 32. 33. O…! 34. The filthy foul parka 35. Tomorrow I’m leaving once again departing taking it all with me 36. The flowers refleshed 37. Entirely different 38. The holy lunatics 39. Vodka Hard drugs Starvation 40. Happiness 41. The street onto which my windows look out 42. Courses for public rally leaders 43. The stop of the streetcar 44. The mail collection box 45. The fence 46. Poems are cremated on dinner plates in soup bowls on the floor 47. I burn poems in the stairwell 48. My friends know me but I do not 49. Who loves me 50. Who wishes me ill (December, 1965) *Verpa: 1. word invented by Alexei Khvostenko (“Khvost”) to describe his literary credo; 2. name of the avant-garde Leningrad literary group founded by Khvost along with Henri Volohonski; 3. title of posthumous anthology of the collected literary works of Alexei Khvostenko.