RUBBER SOULS

I hate you, rubber souls, you seem
to stretch to fit any regime.

They'll give a yawning smile, stretched wide,
and, like an octopus, they'll draw you tight.

A rubber man is an elusive rogue:
a fist gets sucked into the bog.

The rubber editor is scared of script,
the author is bogged down in it.

A rubber office I used to know
where 'yes' was stretched to courteous 'no'.
I pity you, elastic crank,
as if erased, your past is blank.

You have erased many a passion, many a thought,
but you were happy and excited, were you not?...

Above the waist you are a cowardly man,
an ace of spade, and an unlucky one...

Alec Vagapov's translation

by Andrei Voznesensky

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