What do we care for plots and intrigues? On any topic, we know all there is to know. For example, the best book on this planet I consider to be our Penal Code. If I canít sleep, and if Iím feeling restless, Or should my face hungoverly distend, Iíll take the Code, and flip to any section, And I canít help myself, I read it to the end. Iíve given no advice to my comrades, Though to their credit they have robbery at least; And I just read about this, as it happens: Not over ten; not less than three. Just think how much we have within these statutes - What of novels of all lands and of all times? Here we have everything: term-length barracks, Fights and scandals, gambling and lies! Would that a century could pass without these statutes! I see a personís fate behind each line; And I rejoice when a term is lenient, For this means luck is on some personís side. And my heart thrashes like an injured sparrow When to read my statute I begin, And the blood starts pounding through my temples Just like the cops, when theyíve come to take you in.
© Irat Feiskhanov. Translation, 2013
© Irat Feiskhanov. Performance, 2013