Bury me beneath the Black Square

The Suprematist funeral
of Kazimir Malevich

Image: Malevich’s funeral procession,
his coffin carried by Suetin and others (1935)


On the death of Kazimir Malevich

Daniil Kharms

Ripping the stream of memory,
You look around and your face is pride-stricken.
Your name is — Kazimir.
The sun of your salvation wanes and you look at it.
Beauty has supposedly torn apart your earth’s mountains,
No area can frame your figure.
Give me those eyes of yours! I’ll throw open a window in my head!
Man, why have you stricken your face with pride?
Your life is only a fly and your desire is succulent food.
No glow comes from the sun of your salvation.
Thunder will lay low the helmet of your head.

Daniil Kharms, aburdist Soviet poet

Daniil Kharms, aburdist Soviet poet

Pe — is the inkpot of your words.
Trr — is your desire.
Agalthon — is your skinny memory.
Hey, Kazimir! Where’s your desk?
Looks as if it’s not here, and your desire is — Trr.
Hey, Kazimir! Where’s your friend?
She is also gone, and your memory’s inkpot is — Pe.

Eight years have crackled away in those ears of yours.
Fifty minutes have beat away in that heart of yours.
Ten times has the river flowed before you.
The inkpot of your desire Trr and Pe has ended.
“Imagine that!” you say, and your memory is — Agalthon.
There you stand, pushing apart smoke with your hands supposedly.
The pride-stricken expression on that face of yours wanes,
And your memory and your desire Trr disappear.

May 17, 1935
Translated by
Ilya Bernstein Continue reading