Poems for Pussy Riot: Hustera by Barbara Marsh

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On 10 October, the three detained members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot held on charges of ‘hooliganism motivated by religious hatred’ faced their second appeal hearing in Moscow. The hearing lasted approximately three hours and it was announced that the two-year jail term of band member Yekaterina Samutsevich was to be suspended, but that the sentences against her fellow defendants would be upheld.

On 15 October, it was confirmed that Tolokonnikova and Alyokhina, both of whom have young children, will be required to serve out the remainder of their two-year sentences in prison colonies. We will be continuing to monitor developments in the case closely and to do whatever we can to support them over the coming months.

To help maintain awareness of their case, we’ve been posting daily tributes to the band, in the form of some extraordinary poems and images, on our website. These pieces and many more were published as an anthology, CATECHISM: POEMS FOR PUSSY RIOT, to coincide with the first appeal hearing on 1 October. Both e-book and print on demand versions of the collection are now available, with all proceeds going to Pussy Riot’s legal fund and our Writers at Risk programme.

We are determined to keep their case in the public eye and will be continuing to post more Poems for Pussy Riot on our website. Please help us by downloading, reading, sharing, tweeting, translating and remixing the amazing work produced by our Poets for Pussy Riot.

 

The following contribution is from Barbara Marsh, and translated by Svitlana Kobets.

 

Hustera

 

Open your legs – here

            is the gateway to hysteria,

a wandering of the womb,

            le ventre de la mère, surely

more like a breezeway

            to another room, a blow-through

on the way to the sea, the lunar

            push and pull, its waxing light,

crescent moods of our watery brains.

            Squat here, my little kumquat,

home of the giddy vibrations,

            birthplace of everything.

 

Ноги раздвинь—и вот,

здесь начинается вход

в истерию

странствий матки,

утробы матери—

это как переход в другою комнату

ветер дующий к морю

приливы и отливы

и унылый свет луны

и его отраженье в водной стихии

наших изменчивых душ

Сидя на корточках:

вот

лужица спермы

а вот

вместилище ритма жизни,

начало всего

сущего.

 




* Греч. чрево, утроба, матка. Вторичное значение ‘истерия’ относится к ментальному состоянию, которое, считалось, распространяется исключительно на женщин, так как вызывается пeремещениями (странствиями) матки в брюшной полости.

 

TAKE ACTION FOR PUSSY RIOT

 

– Download the e-book: ePUB, Kindle and PDF versions available

The book is distributed on the ‘Pay What You Think It’s Worth’ model popularised by Radiohead and others. We recommend £5, but any amount is welcome and you can download for free if you wish.  Click here to download.

 

– Order your print on demand copy

Due to popular demand, a print on demand copy of CATECHISM: POEMS FOR PUSSY RIOT is now available, and costs £7.95 (+ P&P). We’d also be really grateful if you could spare a few minutes to rate and review the book. Click here to order.

All profits from both e-book and print on demand copies will go to the Pussy Riot Legal fund and the English PEN Writers at Risk Programme. 

 

– Join our Thunderclap for Pussy Riot

Support our Thunderclap for Pussy Riot via Facebook or Twitter and if we reach 100 supporters by 25 October, a mass message goes out!

 

– Send letters of appeal

  • Expressing shock that the two year sentences against Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova have been upheld;
  • Welcoming the suspended release on appeal of Ekaterina Samusevich, but noting that her freedom is not unconditional
  • Pointing out that the harsh sentence is clearly in retaliation for the lyrics of the song performed by Pussy Riot members, containing language that is strongly critical of the Church and of President Putin in particular, and is this in breach of  international conventions, specifically Article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, to which Russia is a signatory;
  • Therefore calling for the immediate and unconditional release of both Alyokhina and Tolokonnikova, and the complete dismissal of the charges against all three women.

You can send messages to President Putin via the Kremlin website or to the following address:

President Vladimir Putin
President of the Russian Federation
23, Ilyinka Street, 
Moscow, 103132
Russia

His Excellency Dr Alexander Vladimirovich Yakovenko
6/7 Kensington Palace Gardens,
London,
W8 4QP
Fax: 020 7727 8625

 

– Send messages of solidarity

Messages of solidarity to the prisoners can be sent via the FreePussyRiot website: www.freepussyriot.org

 

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