Green Integer Books


750 S. Spaulding Ave., Suite 112
Los Angeles, CA 90036

Essays, Manifestos, Statements, Speeches, Maxims, Epistles, Diaristic Jottings, Narratives, Natural histories, Poems, Plays, Performances, Ramblings, Revelations, and all such ephemera as may appear necessary to bring society into a slight tremolo of confusion and fright at least.

Complete Catalog
Sun & Moon Catalog
Digital/PDF Catalog
Recent Titles
Best Sellers

Suicide Circus: Selected Poems

Alexei Kruchenykh

Translated from the Russian by Jack Hirschman, Alexander Kohav, and Venyamin Tseytlin
with an Introduction by Jack Hirschman
and a Preface and Notes by Guy Bennett

Out of Stock

Alexei Kruchenykh
Suicide Circus: Selected Poems
Series No.: 027
ISBN: 1-892295-27-X, Pages: 277
Russian Literature, Poetry

With Velimir Khlebnikov and Vladimir Mayakovsky, Alexei Kruchenykh was one of the central figures of Russian Futurism, and the leading practitioner of zaum poetry. Zaum, meaning literally "beyond sense," was an attempt to undermine and/or ignore the conventional meaning of words, "allowing their sound," as Marjorie Perloff has written, "to generate their own range of signification, or, in its most extreme form, the invention of new words, among them Pomade, Learn Art and Four Phonetic Novels, Kruchenykh sought to transform the landscape of Russian modernist poetry.

Jack Hirschman's selection of Kruchenykh's work represents many periods of the poet's life, and includes early, Futurist work, as well as later, longer works from the 1930s such as "The Ironiad" and "The Rubiniad," revealing the range and complexity of this startling Russian poet's writing.

Book Review(s)

RAIN TAXI, X, no. 4 (Winter 2005/2006)

by Geoffrey Cruickshank-Hangenbuckle

Though he penned and published 200 books, collaborating with Futurist luminaries of the magnitude of Khlebnikov and Goncharova, the works of Alexei Kruchenykh (1996-1968) were eclipsed in his lifetime, then effective consigned to oblivion. Their presentation in English is therefore of incalculable worth. These translations not only breathe life into the poems, they literally bring them back from the dead.

"WATCH OUT, I'LL BURN YOU!" Kruchenykh signals in The Ironiad (193), perhaps his greatest work. Exemplifying his no-holds-barred attack, and conspiring on occastion with a 13-year old girl, Kruchenykh composed a kaka anal dictionary and a glossary of slang. To have done with the partial emetic, he also evolved zaum—literally, "beyond sense"—a howling subspace Esperanto, kin to the Momo Artaud. An engine off its pins, acting up and acting out, zaum is an (un)holy eructation, hardly some tamped down "transrationalism" as current over-conceptualizations would have it. Witness the anti-personnel fragmentation constellated with the incoming fire that opens "Spring with a Doubletreat":

     I fried my brain like shashlik on the iron spit
                 Adding rouges and acids to the pepper
     So that you dig it more, little Muse,
                 the smeary
     Tart of Igor Severyanin!

In an age when outrage was the rage, just one Russian magazine published Kruchenykh's poems. A single poem was translated into English in Markov's Russian anthology (1966), one more in Yevtushenko's (1993). Even some of these treatments have lain virtually dormant since as early as 1976. A light lost from Futurisms' commendable conflagration here has been rekindled. Including many facsimiles of the author's invariably self-published, often hand lettered "sold thunder" texts, comprehensive notes, and compelling introductions by Jack Hirschman and Guy Bennett, Suicide Circus is indispensable. I cannot impress its explosive timeliness enough upon contemporary readers.

 Recent Book Reviews
 America Awards
 Mr. Knife, Miss Fork
 Green Integer Review


Green Integer | 750 S. Spaulding, Suite 112 | Los Angeles, CA 90036
Contact Us

©2006, Green Integer , All Rights Reserved