Untitled Poem About Nazbol

by Nikita Sungatov & translated from Russian by Signe Swanson

Illustration by Gabriel Matesanz

published February 9, 2018


yekaterina volkova:



former lover of

eduard limonov


back in his day he dedicated

many poems to her

they all dealt with

approximately the same thing—

how sweet she was, he having tired of revolution,

of jails and political war,

how sweet it was to fuck her, put 

her nipples in his mouth, put his 

dick in her mouth, fuck her

passionately all over

(some men call these sorts of relationships

with women

‘a soldier’s rest’)


some of these poems

appeared in his book “the ussr is our ancient world”

about which, back in the day, i

really wanted to write a critique

for the literary journal “vozdukh”

but i still haven’t found the right words


everyone was talking about their breakup

but i’m pretty sure they still have a son

(i still haven’t happened to find out just how 

all that attention complicated the kid’s future)


and then limonov died

right after the authorities

finally agreed to allow a rally

on the thirty-first

on triumph square

and one of the homes in the center of moscow

memorialized him with a portrait


and after

the russian forces invaded

the people’s republic of donetsk,

soaking everything that once was in sewage,

then they marched over the european side of ukraine,

(after all, no sanctions 

have ever stopped

the russian government before!)

in the east they founded the





(that same

russian paradise)

and not so much as one leftie bastard

has yet

been able to lay claim to the land

(and overall

the majority of them set off 

on a specially-organized steamship,

and the corpses of the rest

fertilized the very same land

about which i spoke a few lines earlier)










they say

that, before his death,


widened his eyes

and tried to tell us something

he used gestures to ask for a pen and paper


but a mere macbook ended up in his hands


they say,

limonov could not write anything under these conditions,

managing only something sort of like





yekaterina volkova



former lover of

eduard limonov


why do i remember her?


oh yes

not long ago

when i was in one of our capitals

on a diplomatic trip

i caught a little excerpt

from one of her songs

from a car racing by at a tremendous speed

i remembered

that i’d heard that song once


in my carefree youth

when i was going to school

at the gorky institute of world literature


these are some words

in this song:


she knows that she’ll come back to you.

she will touch you

with fresh breath –– she.

through the window

like you just met



like another singer once sang

(edith piaf? or marilyn monroe? i don’t remember)

i don’t feel sorry about anything



i don’t feel sorry about anything


when all this commotion started up

i followed in the footsteps of the poet ochirov

and left for a deaf village,

where, after many years

of selfless labor, i founded

a small independent republic

and even managed to

obtain international legitimacy for us

with barely any bloodshed









we live normally

even prosperously

we have been called

“a new economic miracle”

and we have such a vibrant culture,

god grants everyone access to

the best poets,




film directors 





(the first time

i heard that song

it was in a sergey solovyov film


which we watched in some dorm room at 4 a.m.

during the last happy summer of my life)


but whatever

it’s time to finish

this letter

today i have a lot of


of importance to our state

and i certainly

must be present, as

there will be three,



(or three after all? — i don’t remember)