A-Cloud-in-Trousers

And thus,
enormous,
I stood hunched by the window,
and my brow melted the glass.
What will it be: love or no love?
And what kind of love:
big or minute?
How could a body like this have a big love?
It should be a teeny-weeny,
humble, little love;
a love that shies at the hooting of cars,
that adores the bells of horse-trams.
—  Vladimir Mayakovsky, A Cloud in Trousers (excerpt), trans. George Reavey

Your thought,
musing on a sodden brain
like a bloated lackey on a greasy couch,
I’ll taunt with a bloody morsel of heart
and satiate my insolent, caustic contempt.

No gray hairs streak my soul,
no grandfatherly fondness there!
I shake the world with the might of my voice,
and walk–handsome,
twentytwoyearold.

Tender souls!
You play your love on a fiddle,
and the crude club their love on a drum.
But you cannot turn yourselves inside out,
like me, and be just bare lips!

Come and be lessoned–
prim officiates of the angelic league,
lisping in drawing-room cambric.

You, too, who leaf your lips like a cook
turns the pages of a cookery book.

If you wish,
I shall rage on raw meat;
or, as the sky changes its hue,
if you wish,
I shall grow irreproachably tender:
not a man, but a cloud in trousers!

—  A Cloud in Trousers (excerpt), Vladimir Mayakovsky, trans. George Reavey

Your thoughts,
dreaming on a softened brain,
like an over-fed lackey on a greasy settee,
with my heart’s bloody tatters I’ll mock again;
impudent and caustic, I’ll jeer to superfluity.

Of Grandfatherly gentleness I’m devoid,
there’s not a single grey hair in my soul!
Thundering the world with the might of my voice,
I go by – handsome,
twenty-two-year-old.

(From the prologue of A Cloud in Trousers.)

Listen!
The present-day Zarathustra
Wet with sweat,
Is dashing around you and preaching here.
We,
With faces crumpled like a bed spread,
With lips sagging like a chandelier,
We,
The Leprous City detainees,
Where, from filth and gold, lepers’ sores were raised,
We are purer than the Venetian azure seas,
Washed by the sunshine’s balmy rays.

I spit on the fact
That Homer and Ovid didn’t create
Soot-covered with pox,
Men like us all,
But at the same time, I know
That the sun would fade
If it looked at the golden fields of our souls.
—  Vladimir Mayakovsky (A Cloud in Trousers, Part II)

Your thoughts,
dreaming on a softened brain,
like an over-fed lackey on a greasy settee,
with my heart’s bloody tatters I’ll mock again;
impudent and caustic, I’ll jeer to superfluity.

Of Grandfatherly gentleness I’m devoid,
there’s not a single grey hair in my soul!
Thundering the world with the might of my voice,
I go by – handsome,
twenty-two-year-old.

—  Vladimir Mayakovsky - A Cloud in Trousers

Your thoughts,                                                             
dreaming on a softened brain,                                     
like an over-fed lackey on a greasy settee,
with my heart’s bloody tatters I’ll mock again;
impudent and caustic, I’ll jeer to superfluity.

Of Grandfatherly gentleness I’m devoid,
there’s not a single grey hair in my soul!
Thundering the world with the might of my voice,
I go by – handsome,
twenty-two-year-old.

Вашу мысль
мечтающую на размягченном мозгу,
как выжиревший лакей на засаленной кушетке,
буду дразнить об окровавленный сердца лоскут:
досыта изъиздеваюсь, нахальный и едкий.

У меня в душе ни одного седого волоса,
и старческой нежности нет в ней!
Мир огромив мощью голоса,
иду – красивый,
двадцатидвухлетний.

(From the prologue of A Cloud in Trousers by Vladimir Mayakovsky.)