Daniil Kharms, Katie Farris, and Ilya Kaminsky

Old Ladies Are Flying (Вываливающиеся старухи)

–translated by Katie Farris and Ilya Kaminsky

An old lady fell out of the window, because she was too curious. She fell out of the window, and
was smashed to pieces.
 Another old lady, stared down at the remains of one who was smashed, she stared at them,
out of her excessive curiosity, and also fell out of the window, and smashed.
 Then the third old lady fell out of the window, then the fourth did, then the fifth.
  When the sixth old lady fell out of the window, I got bored watching them and went to
Maltsevitsky Bazaar where, it was announced, they gave woven shawls to the blind.

Одна старуха от чрезмерного любопытства вывалилась из окна, упала и разбилась. Из окна
высунулась другая старуха и стала смотреть вниз на разбившуюся, но от чрезмерного
любопытства тоже вывалилась из окна, упала и разбилась. Потом из окна вывалилась
третья старуха, потом четвертая, потом пятая. 
Когда вывалилась шестая старуха, мне
надоело смотреть на них, и я пошёл на Мальцевский рынок, где, говорят, одному слепому
подарили вязаную шаль.

Daniil Kharms (1905-42) is one of the co-founders of OBERIU movement, an absurdist avandgarde Russian literary movement. Kharms wrote poems and absurd short stories, often published in underground magazines, after the avant-garde literary societies that Kharms was associated with were banned by the Stalin regime; he starved to death in Stalin prisons. Katie Farris is the author of BOYSGIRLS (Marick Press) and co-translator of If I Were Born in Prague (Argos Books). Her fictions and translations have appeared in VQR, Midamerican Review, The Literary Review, Verse, and other publications. She teaches at the MFA Program in San Diego State University. Ilya Kaminsky is the author of Dancing In Odessa (Tupelo Press) and co-editor of Ecco Book of International Poetry (Harper Collins).
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