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marina blitshteyn was once a refugee from the soviet union, raised in buffalo, ny. her first full-length collection, 'two hunters', will be published by argos books in 2018 with a clmp face-out grant. prior chapbooks include 'russian for lovers', 'nothing personal', '$kill$', and the forthcoming 'sheet music' with sunnyoutside press.  

2 poems

by Marina Blitshteyn

100 headstones toppled


let the dead

sleep lest

a thousand plagues of curses on your head


a crown of muddled jewels 

a crow sits

judging you


there is a black bird

in the eye of the storm

counting your tracks


there is a blade of 

grass hell bent

on welcoming you


you who splatter

your vile on my lot

you who victimize 


there are a thousand perfect poses

for your corpse awaiting you

i'd mind the rocks


i'd mend my fence if i 

were you

i'd wash my scalp gingerly


there is a black stone

where you already die 

a million times in your heart


there is a void accepting you

for all your holies

all your haunts reek of it


there is a ready-made

gulf of torture

promising you relief from this life


they'll eat you well 

and may you feel that hollow

at the end of it

frida kahlo


what happens in culture

is one woman goes first

and gets tortured

the next one less


by some generation

a woman's a costume

a custom, a dress

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