Three Dystopian Poems | Cassandra Voices

Three Dystopian Poems



My lungs were out of helium, so I wandered out of my anti-memory cell to buy some freedom vouchers. The land, its never-satisfied lips… I remembered every man was his dog (and a mad Englishman.) I remembered being a bumblebee in milk. Agony and honeysuckle. Was I vaccinated against imprisonment? Was I immune to the moon?

A man was carrying his presence towards me. His haemoglobin eyes… We prayed unto unentanglement. We sang, “Don’t wasteland me! Teach me how to live inside the waiting.”

The guardians of sociability descended on us from a Times New Roman cloud. We pleaded guilty to togetherness. They later indemnified us for the loss of our identities.

This smell of undocumented thoughts, the South of my drowning voice… Sing the restricted body, whisper to an unrestricted mind. We always have a choice between not dying and not living.



As I was leaving the museum of names, I noticed that I had lost my number tag. Now I can’t sip taxes or sculpt coins. I have to play a cross-check game with the Department of Streamlined Health that likes eschatology, September snowflakes, and the Nebraska samurai. Not necessarily in this order.

There’s no return to what has abandoned you. I’ve learned from a birch how to jive. My cat has taught me some Descartes. Can I solve the mystery of “me” in the garden of sculptures? If I get there, how am I supposed to pose?

Opinion drones are out to get me. I have to hide now; I may join a non-prophet organisation and appear, disguised, in their grotto photos. I’ll need to know my nameless, numberless self the way a camel knows the geometry of the desert.


Body and Mind

A railway station, splinter-European. The sky in black and white. The lounge lit with blue Plexiglas eyes. A preacher of health peeps in through every window. “We can all be safe,” his parrot parlours. On the neighbouring bench, somebody has his hose amputated. His showerhead bleeds incongruous truths.

A woman takes a back seat inside my eyes. “My name is Deci-belle,” she addresses the pigeons behind my back. “Sorry about the dehosement; you weren’t supposed to be in such proximity. I am just a denouncer; this was nothing of my doting.”

The clock blinks 66.31. The absence of train arrives – its own stationmaster, a hyperbola shading in its innards. A tannoy splashes the brain symphony. The preacher swallows his badge saying “Your body, our choice,” and begins lizarding between ministerial decrees towards radio clarity.

Image: (c) Daniele Idini


About Author

Anatoly Kudryavitsky is a Russian-born Irish descendant and Irish poet living in Dublin. His poems appear in Oxford Poetry, Poetry Ireland Review, The North, The Prague Revue, Plume, BlazeVox, The Honest Ulsterman, Cyphers, Stride, The American Journal of Poetry, etc. His most recent poetry collections are The Two-Headed Man and the Paper Life (MadHat Press, USA, 2019) and Scultura Involontaria (Multimedia edizione, Italy, 2020; a bilingual English/Italian edition). His new collection entitled Sky Sailing is due from Salmon Poetry, Ireland, in 2022. His latest novel, The Flying Dutchman, has been brought out by Glagoslav Publications, England, in 2018. In 2020, he won an English PEN Translate Award for his anthology of Russian dissident poetry 1960-1980 entitled Accursed Poets (Smokestack Books, 2020). He is the editor of SurVision poetry magazine.

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