Hannah Tomlets, translation by Harry Leeds and John Westbrook


Listen to Hannah Tomlets read her piece:

Is this room packed with sound?
Are there knocks at the door?
Is that why you glance at the window?
Who stuffed your head with letters,
Wanting to make it not matter?
It’s better, maybe, barely getting by—
Lying here, curled up in a cocoon.
Repeat your mantra: “Doesn’t matter. Nothing matters.”
Wrapped in three blankets, three dreams of forgetting,
Let’s do what we can while it’s still dark.

Слышишь, как наполнено пространство звуками?
Видишь параллели между стуком в дверь и взглядами в окно?
Тот, кто наполняет твои мысли буквами,
Хочет, чтобы стало все равно.
Лучшее, что может быть –
Лежать, свернувшись коконом.
Повторять как мантру: <<все равно. мне все равно>>
Завернувшись в одеяло и три слоя снов про все забыть
Ну, хотя бы до тех пор пока темно.


Hannah Tomlets is a Ukrainian author writing in Russian and Ukrainian from Chernigiv. She has work in The Los Angeles Review, Gargoyle and in Chertver in Ukraine. She won a pea-growing contest in Kindergarten. Harry Leeds lives in Tatarstan with his cat and eats too much “chak-chak.” He has placed other Russian translations in several journals including Asymptote and The Los Angeles Review. He also has stories in The Black Warrior Review and elsewhere. He is currently learning to use slang. John Westbrook is a poet and translator whose work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Broome Street Review, The Los Angeles Review, and Measure.
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    Ernest O. Ògúnyẹmí