Larissa Shmailo

Larissa Shmailo

Larissa's poetry collections are #specialcharacters (Unlikely Books), In Paran (BlazeVOX [books], and the chapbooks A Cure for Suicide (Červená Barva Press), and Fib Sequence (Argotist Ebooks). Her poetry CDs are The No-Net World and Exorcism (SongCrew). Larissa translated Victory over the Sun for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's celebrated reconstruction of the first Futurist opera; the translation is in now in print from Červená Barva Press. Larissa edited the anthology Twenty-first Century Russian Poetry and has also been a translator on the Russian Bible for the Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship of the American Bible Society. Her new novel is Patient Women (BlazeVOX [books]).

The last thing I remember before coming to at Mt. Sinai was lying on my belly on the floor of my bedroom, surrounded by five cops, enormous from my vantage point. They talked among themselves and on their radios, ignoring me. Finally, they cuffed me behind my back; I begged them to tell me what I had done, but I was not worth a word.

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You, volunteer:
You know the difference
Between cause and effect:
The people on the street
Are too stupid to have homes
Too filthy to wash

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I’ll return as Queen of Sheba, or a vampire, or a reiver,
or a saint who cures the nouveaux riches, a wondrous, wealthy soul.
Yes, you see, I’ve found my niche, to preach and prosper, marvelous goal!
(Pills I took just took their toll.)

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My trick wants to go to Plato's.
We go to the old Ansonia Baths
where a thousand gay men fucked
a thousand times a night for years.
Now it is Plato's Retreat; no single men are allowed without a date.

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