* * *
My nine cards of nameless color,
My nine cards of nameless suit.
I've been welcoming perdition
T'be my guest, my friend to boot.
As a debauchee (drunkard, sluggard)
I've been living at 'fast pace:
I deserved all self-promotions
From the Six to th'Groovy Ace.
Kicked myself to alien countries
Bluffed by wind of higher stakes.
Reckon, I couldn't ever count
All my flown ducks and drakes.
Howmny Muses 'side Apollo?
Howmny grams in 'shiny slug?
Quite illegally, I'm sitting,
With card-sharpers, in a snug.
I resent their screwy "widows";
Facing claims, I'll never quit.
These nine shackling dotty years
Were nine circles in the Pit.
Translated by Vladimir Bodunov