to N. A. in your presence even the toes are as if they remembered! and the mind more strongly pierces our head in your presence! and together perhaps you are that whence separating they drew out: of one kind - in one mystery: deposit of genius in flowers and mind - primal layer! and all - in the presence of one that separates! and just the same even here: as in the presence of the human - oh it is risky to tell of it! - in the presence of what is not spoken - of such: almost non-existent: it almost whitens - as if barely thought of almost alone - as if it barely is 1966
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.