Larissa Shmailo


désolé de ne pas être avec vous
(for Vladimir Nabokov’s Ada)

mood: like a monarch’s genitalia
labeled under glass, I miss yo(u).
when did you stop being my brot-
(her), my lover, my tramp, my sc(
am)p? Best incest, this fraternal/
maternal. Royalty did this, scions.
Now we are husband, huffed, and
Hera-scarum-wife-and-strife. désolé
de ne pas être avec vous
today and
as we were, hymn/her, heard.


Selene and Endymion

He watched her
every night; it pleased her.
Through the changes of the month, through
the nights of little radiance, of borrowed glow,
through the waxing of her curves, he was there,
faithful, there. She, pockmarked, barren,
without light of her own, smiled at him …

###stasis / pockmarked girl / he watched her /
/she believed him to be so beautiful that /
never leave me / lachrymose / watch him watch /
in a little room /stasis / match love match /
the room, smaller / of all the unhealthy
and o'er-darkened ways / made for our searching ###

… forgetting her trapped orbits and the dessicating past,
beautiful at last. To keep him, she, only seeming
to change, had him remain the same; had him
sleep forever in a single pose, with that mien
of the moment when he’d loved her best;
dreaming, to live only for her returning,
till the end
of his days.


Larissa Shmailo is the editor of the new anthology Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry and is the founder of The Feminist Poets in Low-Cut Blouses. Her translation of A. Kruchenych's Victory over the Sun was used for the Los Angeles County Museum's landmark restaging of the multimedia zaum opera and continues to be taught and performed internationally. Larissa's poetry, essays, and criticism have appeared in The Common, Barrow Street, Drunken Boat, Fulcrum, Sensitive Skin, Gargoyle, Rattapallax,, Jacket, and the anthologies Words for the Wedding (Penguin) and Contemporary Russian Poetry (Dalkey Archive). Her books of poetry are In Paran (BlazeVOX [books]), the chapbook A Cure for Suicide (Cervena Barva Press), and the e-book Fib Sequence (Argotist Ebooks); her poetry CDs are The No-Net World and Exorcism, available on Spotify, iTunes, and other music outlets. She received the New Century Music Awards for poetry with jazz, electronica, and rock, and "Best Album" for Exorcism.


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MadHat, Issue 15, Winter 2013-2014