“Rome” – Poems by Marina Kazakova





Are we, or are we not?
Are we, or are we not
How can you hide from what is always in you?
How can the rain walk up the window?
How can be no reflection
in the mirror,
when you are facing it?
Does a kiss have the beginning?
Is language a picture?
Are hands of yours my answers?
Is silence a splendid
or the black void?
Imagine! You are imagined!
Just try to touch my voice? Are you able
to do it?
Am I alone? Or are we two?
Who are you?
“I am you” – you answer.
Through the window
I can see the sunlight
and two figures,
as in Marc Chagall’s “The Flying Lovers”.
With your piano fingers
you erase
the landscape,
leaving the two of us
under the white umbrella
of the sky.
Are we, or are we not alone? –
that is my question.
We are, and we are not –
that is
your open-ended answer.


At lunch I don’t feel hungry,
but write straight through.
I barely hear Bologna and the wind,
I barely feel Italy.
Solemnly, I sit between
the margins of my notebook,
I blindly conduct the wine scene,
replaying your gentlewoman’s
and noble manners,
your fingers are orchestrating the wine bottle
and my impatience.
A scent of Sangiovese rises from within my memory:
I feel your being and your security,
your jazz gestures
are too vivid,
your palms answer the accents
of the piano that stands inside my hell.
Your voice wraps around my mouth,
where it melts upon my tongue,
sentences escape my lips,
my hands do their play
over a napkin ring.
I feel us moving into a curtain,
invisible even to us,
and , certainly, to others,
probably, nothing significant has happened,
it might have been just our rhythms
rehearsing something
irrythmical and unimportant.
My first impression of you – a close-up-
the bony Egon Gilles’ shoulders,
fingers for rings
but are without them,
the one who goes under the rain
without an umbrella,
under the sun – without a parasol.
My neck does rounds
following your maritime pine silhouette,
your shirt and jeans and me
like silk
like a liquid
down your body,
all of my being is the gloves
covering your music fingers –
without the rings,
the telephone rings and brings
me, the city of Bologna,
the porticos, the noise of students
– back.
The margins of my notebook are gone.
My hat is flying off
across the lunch tables,
when a hologram of you
comes serenely,
with all the noble manners,
your fingers
sink into my hair,
in a second
they put back my hat on
and disappear.

(L’Uomo Vitruviano)

I am freeing my palms,
as the rain flows often
onto Brussels –
and with no bounds.
At this magic moment
of our Earthly existence,
I give you not only my hands,
but also my overcoat,
my Anna Rizzo Firenze hat,
my high gloss black shoes,
and my bracelet – as well.
I finally let my hands rain.
I let them lock the door.
I let them set the heater on,
that your ink and fingers
won’t freeze,
and that you can write and touch me without
gloves on.
I let my hands rain upon your
My heart just missed a beat.
I let my hands rain over
your burning
I let my hands rain
the Russian rain
upon your
freeing Da Vinci palms.
The Russian Rain
over Da Vinci palms!
The rain
that watered Tarkovsky’s characters,
among which the most memorable
the rain over the burning house
observed by children
under the shower,
and the rain that floods the hotel room
in “Nostalgia”.
I let my hands rain inside the
where we slowly
are starting off
towards the ceiling,
in a tandem –
in a symmetry
of open everything,
reminiscent of the famous
L’Uomo Vitruviano (1)
fitting into both
the circles and the squares of each other,
seeming to fly
but standing firmly
on the ground
under this thick rain
dripping from our palms…

Note (1) : L’Uomo Vitruviano – Vitruvian Man

About the Author

Marina Kazakova (b. Gorky, Russia, 1983) is a Russian-born Belgium-based poet. Her literature works deal to a large degree with confrontation with the past and explore the challenges posed both by memory and grief. Published internationally in magazines and journals (Three Rooms Press “Maintenant”, “Great Weather for Media…”, “Crannog”, “Duck Lake Books”, “Writing in a Woman’s Voice”). Marina is a frequent performer, she has been shortlisted at various international poetry festivals and art events.

Marina holds Master’s degrees in Public Relations and Transmedia. Currently, she is the Communications Officer at Victim Support Europe (Brussels) and working on her practice-based PhD in Arts at Luca School of Arts (KULeuven).