about the author

A native of Moscow, Andrey Gritsman emigrated to the United States in 1981. He is a physician who is also a poet and essayist. He has published five volumes of poetry in Russian. He received the 2009 Pushcart Prize Honorable Mention XXIII and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize several times (2005-2011), and also was on the Short List for PEN American Center Biennial Osterweil Poetry Award. His poems, essays, and short stories in English have appeared or are forthcoming in over sixty literary journals, including Amarillo Bay, The Anemone Sidecar, Left Curve, Nimrod International Journal, Sanskrit, Blue Mesa, Confrontation, Cimarron Review, Euphony, The Fourth River, Absinthe: New European Writing, Hotel Amerika, Mad Hatters’ Review, New Orleans Review, Notre Dame Review, Wisconsin Review, Studio One, Denver Quarterly, Hawaii Review, Hunger Mountain, Permafrost, A Gathering of the Tribes, Poet Lore, Poetry International, Puerto del Sol, Reed Magazine, Richmond Review (London), Fortnight (N. Ireland, UK), Landfall (New Zealand), Ars Interpres (Stockholm, Sweden), The South Carolina Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, Harpur Palate, Tampa Review, Texas Review, Verdad, and The Writer’s Chronicle. His work has also been anthologized in Modern Poetry in Translation (UK), Crossing Centuries (New Generation in Russian Poetry), The Breath of Parted Lips: Voices from the Robert Frost Place, Stranger at Home: American Poetry with an Accent, Visions International, and in Killer Verse: Poems on Murder and Mayhem. He received his MFA in poetry from Vermont College, and he runs the Intercultural Poetry Series in a popular literary club, Cornelia Street Café, in New York City.

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Las Vegas

Andrey Gritsman

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Corn on the cob.
Steak-n-eggs $1.99.
Oriental whores in tight pants.
Deodorized folks in The Venetian and Bellagio.
Andy Warhol smiling from the sky
like Jewish mother of the nature,
ageless, androgynous.
Prostitutes’ droppings
on the cracked, sun-blasted sidewalks
like myriads of messages in a bottle.

Mirages in the desert,
floating toward Pacific,
condensed fluorescent magma of desire,
dirt in the surf of civilization,
vortexed into zero.

Today the weather is gentle
and drawings of the mountains on the horizon
are almost benevolent,
still living on their own time,
ambivalent toward its direction.

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