Poems for Pussy Riot: Russian Songs

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On 13 September, English PEN launched ‘Poems for Pussy Riot‘ in support of three members of the Russian punk band –  Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alyokhina and Yekaterina Samutsevich – who are currently serving a  two year prison sentence.

In the weeks leading up to their appeal hearing on 1 October, we are posting daily tributes to the band, in the form of some extraordinary poems and images. An ebook collection of the poems, ‘Catechism: Poems for Pussy Riot’, edited by Mark Burnhope, Sarah Crewe and Sophie Mayer, will be published on 1 October to coincide with the appeal hearing. Several contributors to the project will also be reading their work as part of a peaceful protest outside the Russian Embassy in London, 11- 1pm – one of many protests due to take place across the globe.

The next contribution comes from poet Sascha Aurora Akhtar.

 

Russian Song I

 

Maybe is guess so is

the night

removed

from plain

 

I can taste a kiss

in my mouth

like zaum apples.

 

 

Girl Child Of
The Eighties

Freeze frame screen kiss
Hot heads under silent wigs
                – Bauhaus, ‘She’s In Parties’

Twisty-furled

Yellow-balled

put on throat

clunk foot me geesy face

Matt plays the drums

I put my necklace on

like Barbie

I sit

pink and delicious

 

rockstarangelfacebridaldreamglowpeachesandcream

My First Twirly Curls

I had ’em all

Magic girl

I am ’em all

 

butterfly chair

Pomegranate lair

I is spent

I lose my hair

like crayons in a box

of crayons

lined up

each color, each color

I line up

 

Freeze Fry Fist Dried

First Born Unborn child

eyes crys eyes crys

I crack up

 

I cat, I bat

(fruit)

 

Russian Song II

 

We are all hoping to write like

We are all hoping to write like

 

Stars

 

I know what you want

 

Gosh is there anything

Chinar you can’t do

 

Yes, I can’t roll cigarettes

 


Russian Song III

 

Everything is a cycle

 

If it’s not yours

anymore

 

It’s happening

 

To someone

else

 

Bessmyslitza!

 


Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

‘Aaah’

                – Jesus Lizard

 

It is too hot

to taste sweat

 

do you remember

 

I can hide things

in my body

metal bars

under skin

horns

 

you notice lace

& decompose

 

take a needle & paint

or recombine

 

difference

 

if you were meek

I didn’t notice

 

is this your story

 

Let’s talk electric.

 

Russian Song IV

 

Oberiu, I think it is interesting that

Sauce sucked off olive pits

Ju-ju like a cigar

 

you don’t smoke

(I love you)

 

Untitled

My girlfriend’s sex

Is jealous

 

It wants the extension

The lift, the pull

 

Of mine.

 

Poems for Pussy Riot posts

Poems for Pussy Riot – an introduction to the project

Soutien-Gorge: Ira Lightman

Vagina: Sophie Mayer

Song: Ali Smith

Abridged and Complete Biography of Olympe de Gouge: Claire Trévien

Women of the Year: Betty Doyle

Weapons of Minor Destruction: Sandra Alland

Our Glorious Leader Putin: Jack Underwood

Cat Power: Amy Key

Avoid using the word “pussy”: Charlotte Geater

Poem with Four Vaginal Walls: Mark Burnhope

Sheela na gig (deconstructed): Sarah Crewe

Dance of the Seven Veils: Alison Croggon

Skylined: Gareth Evans

Vox Populi (A poem for voices): Steve Heighton

The Eye of the Needle: Aoife Mannix

Ne (No): Wayne Burrows

Vaginaland: Jen Campbell

We Jew women: Translated by Marek Kazmierski

Thirst: John Siddique

Elegy in Red: Chris Emslie

Theatre: Fathieh Saudi

Three Sisters: Tim Dooley

Some Protest Stones: Sarah Hesketh

Please welcome to the stage: Alex MacDonald

Because The Poets Know: Tony Walsh

Pussy Riot Rap: Ana Pulteney

Fine Line: Red of the Vaginellas

The Blackbird: Adam Horowitz

The Queendom of Revolution: Sally McAlister

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