❝ Но кому я, к черту, попутчик!
❝ Remote kinship with any of the well-known Indian tribes is considered the height of fashion in high society — something which, even quite recently, was regarded as a thundering disgrace in American eyes. ❞
—— Vladimir Mayakovsky, My Discovery of America. I guess this is an early case of the “1/16 Cherokee” phenomenon? Earlier he also explains that only white people are considered American, and how preposterous that seems when most of the “American” music and dance genres had black origins.
musing on a sodden brain
like a bloated lackey on a greasy couch,
I’ll taunt with a bloody morsel of heart
and satiate my insolent, caustic contempt.
No gray hairs streak my soul,
no grandfatherly fondness there!
I shake the world with the might of my voice,
You play your love on a fiddle,
and the crude club their love on a drum.
But you cannot turn yourselves inside out,
like me, and be just bare lips!
Come and be lessoned—
prim officiates of the angelic league,
lisping in drawing-room cambric.
You, too, who leaf your lips like a cook
turns the pages of a cookery book.
If you wish,
I shall rage on raw meat;
or, as the sky changes its hue,
if you wish,
I shall grow irreproachably tender:
not a man, but a cloud in trousers!
—— A Cloud in Trousers (excerpt), Vladimir Mayakovsky, trans. George Reavey
❝ And thus,
I stood hunched by the window,
and my brow melted the glass.
What will it be: love or no love?
And what kind of love:
big or minute?
How could a body like this have a big love?
It should be a teeny-weeny,
humble, little love;
a love that shies at the hooting of cars,
that adores the bells of horse-trams. ❞
—— Vladimir Mayakovsky, A Cloud in Trousers (excerpt), trans. George Reavey
❝ But I
I have stomped
on the throat
of my own song ❞
—— By Vladimir Mayakovsky