Anton Yakovlev


Like any other day, the country was troubled,
flapping its upside-down flags from the shotgun poles.
We needed to test how much we meant to each other
and drove each other off the cliff. The corpse
we landed on didn't smell yet, which was bizarre,
as it had lain there for at least two hundred
years, and even longer according to some.
Windshield wipers waved relentlessly,
and beauty never came to the rescue.
Years later, the dog keeps whistling.
Who won? Unrequited rhetorical
questions provide their own orgasm.

You said we were all better off      I couldn’t recall
his eyes      My cheapest rental
up the gravel road      Hanging
by fire forever      I saw him in skeleton sweat
Noose on his neck      Tourists gathered
screaming reviews      He used to bark to himself
Flooded the streets      Now you told me
we all missed him too much      Your sunglasses gleamed
Fire under the door      His body shaking


Guillotine here
guillotine there

and there

and there

and there

and here
and here

and here


Anton Yakovlev's latest chapbook Chronos Dines Alone, winner of the James Tate Poetry Prize 2018, was published by SurVision Books. He is also the author of Ordinary Impalers (Kelsay Books, 2017) and two prior chapbooks. His poems have appeared in The New Yorker, The Hopkins Review, Measure, Amarillo Bay, and elsewhere. The Last Poet of the Village, a book of translations of poetry by Sergei Yesenin, is forthcoming from Sensitive Skin Books.
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