100 souls

not elderly, not overly young

swarming with black beetles


we conform ourselves to cabbage soup, do so with a single heart.

Face the blue of the forest

eyelids as heavy as those smeared with treacle

fallen into an aristocratic wilderness

‘perhaps you’d like to have you heals tickled

dip them in melted butter?’

quivering lips emitted no sound

his face was of the warm, ardent, tint of copper

without moving an eyelid or an eyebrow

the greatest fool that the world ever saw.

‘have some mutton … when I eat mutton, give me the whole sheep.’

dessert in the shape of pears, plums and apples

grunt and belch

a signing of the cross over the mouth.

80 kopeks a soul

sympathy does not put anything into one’s pocket

his nose caked with snot of the consistency of thick coffee

could neither read nor write

pulled tight the waistcoat over his apple stomach, sprinkled himself with eau de cologne, took his fur cap

to meet a funeral is lucky

spitting into a sandbox

no tears marked the parting