in dust is no vowel. . . death is a sound:
a shout – to God?
he – in the surface of dust:
is what then – a gleam?
oh not treasures of sacrifice:
nor representation! . . nor sounds and singing:
but – go blind and accept:
and open yourself – if it is is revealed:
oh quietness-jesus! . .
The poems here date from the extremely fruitful first decade of his activity as a Russian poet. They were written in Moscow, where he was employed in the Mayakovsky museum to organize exhibitions of the Russian avant-garde artists of the early years of the twentieth century. At this time, he was part of a Moscow “underground” of poets, musicians and artists, all living in poverty and supporting one another in their attempts to create an independent art. None of these poems appeared in print in the Soviet Union until the late 1980s.