There are no repetitions of secrets

Sergei Papeta

There are no repetitions of secrets

This line ends one of the poetic collections of Alexander Korotko. It can also serve as an epigraph to the creativity of any real master, including the author of this phrase.

A new book by Alexander Korotko “The Transcription of Thought” is a unique experience of the co-authorship of a contemporary poet with the artist Mikhail Kazas, who died tragically in the beginning of the last century. This unusual meeting the poet seemed to have foreseen beforehand, yet not knowing about the existence of the artist.

Prediction as a prayer.
At dawn, visit me …

The gift of prophecy since ancient times is considered a natural ability of the poetic soul. True, poets do not manifest themselves literally, but rather as a side effect of inspiration. In the poem “The Abyss”, which is devoted to the inner dialogue between the poet and the artist-hypostases of the author himself, at the same time there are lines surprisingly consonant with what was embodied in the “Transcription of Thought”.

They never met.
However, every time they thought about each other they argued.
Paradoxical communication of the poet and the artist who have never met. However, for the poetry of Alexander Korotko, the displacement of temporal coordinates is a common thing, as is the overcoming of the impossibility of meeting with a person from another century. The finale of the poem is strikingly precise in terms of the power of anticipation. I will only venture to change the words “poet” and “artist” in the author’s text, so that through the cipher of the generalized poetic image the predetermined nature of the creative meeting in the pages of this publication became apparent.
Some time passed and the artist died.
The poet did not manage to attend the funeral.
He lived in another century.
Artist Mikhail Kazas was born in 1889 and died in the early twentieth century – in 1918. Poet Alexander Korotko was born in 1952; he did not have time for his funeral. But he could say

What a strange way – to die forever.

And here the book is obvious evidence that “death forever” is a relative thing. Its genre is unusual. I would define it as an album of poems, since here the poet granted the artist an equal share of participation not as an illustrator, but as a co-author.

Until now, the name of Mikhail Kazas remained unknown to both professionals and the general public. The only lifetime exhibition was held in 1910 in Sevastopol, and only since the 60’s of his works several times were exhibited in the halls of the Simferopol Art Museum. This publication is, in essence, the creative debut of the artist outside the Crimea. It is necessary to pay tribute to the artistic taste of Alexander Korotko, who unerringly determined in the works of Mikhail Kazas the hand of a great master. Here he acts as a continuer of the traditions of the Russian artistic intelligentsia, among whose actions we can recall the discovery for the whole world the name Niko Pirosmanishvili by the poet Ilya Zdanevich and his brother – the artist Cyril. The fact of equal representation in the space of one book of the poet and artist causes involuntary desire to find traits that bring creativity of such diverse and original masters closer. In fact, why at this time did Alexander Korotko decide to appear in front of the reader in the company of an artist belonging to the rapid and stormy time of the Silver Age of Russian culture? Maybe this is just one of the phenomena of paradoxical thinking
The clapping of dead hands
Or the fact of poetic arbitrariness? The key to understanding, very ephemeral in cases of this kind, is to be found in the work of Alexander Korotko himself.

Poetry is always inside, like nestlings
of the feelings that are not hatched from their own
The poet does not seek explanations, he seeks consonance. Alexander Korotko not only saw and appreciated the works of Mikhail Kazas, he heard them next to his poems. Of course, these consonants are not manifested in the form of literal illustrations, but in the general tonality possible for the works of both masters. Both of them, possessing a heightened sense of style, never transgress the line behind which the virtuosic play of life-deprived forms begins. The elastic interweaving-flow of sounds and lines, the refined-ornamental symbolism of emotions, then brought to extreme heat, then overthrown in anguish and weakness … Such is King Solomon at Mikhail Kazas: on one of the sheets the face of a self-satisfied lord almost dissolves in exalted color spots of the background, on Another drooping figure of the king next to the naked dancer emanating desire – the embodiment of loneliness and weakness.
Безумных струн сердцебиенье,
не крик, а вопль – любви залог.
Взлет страсти и души паденье,
Судьбы мистический урок.
So, almost in the spirit of the exalted Silver Age, Alexander Korotko responds at the end of the pragmatic 20th century.

Vernissage of the Mikhail Kazas’s works … In the halls of album pages is spacious. A special quality of space is created by the corresponding single-line poems by Alexander Korotko
Icebergs of words
Crossing the white field of the sheet.
Most of the works of Mikhail Kazas, survived after the bombing of Sevastopol are illustrations for literary works, sketches of theater costumes and scenery, compositions of a genre and mythological character. With all the thematic diversity and stylistic variety of works, the eyes instantly note the European training in the unerring construction of composition and form. With a few mean accurate strokes, he builds the space of the street or interior, achieving a sense of depth and extent. With the same freedom, skillfully using the rhythm and configuration of the masses, he achieves the decorative effect of planar compositions. The line of contours is infinitely diverse – it is deliberately broken, generalizing the form to an almost ornamental sign, then smoothly flowing, clothed it in succulent flesh.
The Munich and Parisian impressions of the works of the post-Impressionists, masters of the Art Nouveau and secession style, as well as acquaintance with the work of the artists of the circle of the “World of Art” contributed to the development of the talented young man’s refined aesthetic experience of form. The wide erudition in questions of history, literature and the magnificent sense of form inherent in this or that culture, have developed in him the ability for virtuosic stylization. Mikhail Kazas was especially tempted to create compositions of historical and mythological content, as well as to illustrate his favorite literary works, which, incidentally, was quite in the spirit of the times. Karaim by nationality, Cazas with the greatest enthusiasm and temperament recreated the color and exoticism of the East. The departure of the eastern lord shines and shimmers with saturated colors of the southern half of the day (“Procession with cheetahs”), and as an antithesis – the night “Procession of elephants”, drowning in thick darkness, contrasting with the tusks of animals cast in the moonlight and figures of soldiers in white. Extremely intense in color, filled with decorative abundance of a series of sketches dedicated to King Solomon. Here, Kazas departs from the image of Solomon as a biblical sage, presenting him as an oriental despot, surrounded by barbarous splendor, then as an ordinary person endowed with all his inherent weaknesses. Sharp observation, a sense of humor, a relaxed picture is distinguished by illustrations to the stories about Mollet Nasreddin. A completely different character is acquired by illustrations to the “Lay of Igor’s Host”. In the picture appears flatness, decorative broken silhouette, muted tonality of blue, green, burgundy, acquiring special nobility in combination with matte gold. Involuntarily recalled paintings on the themes of Old Russian history of artists such as Roerich, Bilibin.

A string of themes, stories, images, types … Each new sheet is evidence of inexhaustible fantasy, unconventional thinking, creative freedom. Mikhail Kazas almost does not use full-scale sketches, creating his own compositions with the power of imagination (by the way, this ability to constantly creative processing of nature, the absence of literal writing off on the one hand, and the desire to destroy its visible material appearance, on the other hand, is one of the features, Consonant with the poetry of Alexander Korotko). A man of a refined nervous organization, Mikhail Kazas was able to deeply experience imaginary events and, through this, sensitively capture the properties of archetypal forms. Perhaps, therefore, the works created by him are so convincing, full of live radiations. The sense of transparency and lightness of the Pushkin syllable leave the illustrations of “Eugene Onegin”; Restrained grisaille intonation inherent in the sketches of “European life”; Cheerful bacchanalia sparkle with explosive baroque dynamics; Waves of elemental force emanate from a furious leap of the Scythians along the coast of the sea …

Everything that was created by Mikhail Kazas was just a prelude to an unrealized life in art. His name could well take a place next to the artists whose work influenced the formation of Mikhail Kazas’ own artistic language. These are Benoit, Bakst, Lansere, Golovin, Dobuzhinsky, Roerich …

If it were not for fate, and
scaffold of Time.

Manuscripts never burn. Pictures never disappear. Artists never die. They stay in their own created reality and from time to time make visits to each other. Crossing the conditional boundaries of the worlds, the Poet’s hand, stretched through a century, finds the answer of the Artist’s friendly hand.

Memory guards the past .

It is devoid of linear length, and life does not disappear for a single moment, even if death was announced.

You gave a slap to death.

This verse by Alexander Korotko was addressed to Michał Kazas on a par with everyone who managed to overcome the whirlpool of Non-Being.
According to his nature, the poet is largely far from the reality in which the visible part of his life passes. This is a kind of centaur – a creature that simultaneously embodies the two elements and as it were living in the borderlands of the worlds. Regardless of whether the poet belongs to the “lower classes” or “tops,” he never quite succumbs to the illusion of his social role. The feeling of otherness, its second component, not subject to the earthly whirlwind, is a constant source of dramatic discrepancies and artistic self-irony.
Alexander Korotko is a master of the pure transition from the world of social games to the world of a free game of poetic thought … The poetic sincerity of Alexander Korotko was accurately noticed by Vitaly Korotich: “His poetic thought is not hidden and makes readers participate in creativity.”
The very name of the album “The Transcription of Thought” immediately sets the reader to the wave of paradoxical poetic thinking of Alexander Korotko. Transcription – the exact recording of the sound, that is, the recording of what does not sound in everyday life, is normal. To do this, the author only needs to lower the frequency of thought energy to the level of occurrence of words, and the reader can do the reverse operation.
Flipping through the previous poetry collections of Alexander Korotko, I look for guiding signs and symbols of his world. Perhaps the genesis of his poetry partially open the lines of the poem “Inspiration”

…но когда появляется ветер на дне
понимания собственной выси и чутким
слухом касается струн бытия,
возникает религия слова…

“Understanding your own height” for the poet is not a metaphor. Rather, it is a necessary condition for the emergence of poetry, which Alexander Korotko identifies with the religion of the word. The predominance of “one’s own height” over the “excess weight of the soul” – the body at a certain extent determined the scale of personal feelings and experiences, correlated with the scale of Being. This scale was unmistakably “heard” by one of the patriarchs of modern Ukrainian literature, Pavlo Zagrebelny. Speaking about the poetry of Alexander Korotko, he noted the quality of its “enormity”.

If someone needed a diet in order to facilitate the “overweight of the soul,” one of the points of my recipe would be reading the poems of Alexander Korotko. They are initially devoid of narcotic effect, lulling consciousness, and do not have stimulants of glands of cheap optimism – the favorite additives for growing heart fats. It’s just the opposite here. Alexander Korotko refers to the hidden mechanics of the world, which regularly provides humanity with many-sided suffering. In his comprehension the poet appears as an extreme individualist. He does not invite even great predecessors to the company, so that in case of anything you can rely on the pedestal of authority. This form of individualism is a form of full personal responsibility: alone with Eternity, Life, himself.

The expediency of the material world causes Alexander Korotko unchanging mistrust and irony. The poet does not raise anyone, does not call anyone anywhere and, God forbid, does not undertake to affirm the stilted values of everyday life. The world in his poems appears as a reality mirrored in a distorted mirror of a different order

It arises irreversibly from the shades of times and epochs
Life sensual pantomime – half asleep, half-witted, sigh.

But the pantomime of sensual life is not at all harmless: in the wake, half asleep, in the wilds of unconsciousness there are monsters devouring both the main and secondary actors of this action. The power of instinctive attachment to life is another lever of control, which the poet perceives, rather, as a bad habit, rather than inevitability.

… our love for life, stagnated by
offspring of frenzied inertia, has stuck …

The development of the same topic with even more certainty sounds in such lines
И в монотонность, словно в стойло, как лодку
в пристань загоняют, так расширяют они власть
немого исполина. Блуждающая тишина
под черно-белые аккорды инерции смиренья
невольно движется туда, где колокольня, где вина
грехопаденья бьет челобитную по воскресеньям.

“The power of the silent giant” is a magnificent image of the Unconscious, from where the threads running the puppet mankind stretch. Everything that is associated with chaos, Satanism, comes from there, and a monotonous existence in the stall is the safest and most reliable form of cultivation of the nutrient medium, in which quality, in this case, people act.

The ability to clearly understand the false essence of common truths is one of the prerequisites for overcoming the “frenzied inertia” of the “silent giant”. The gift of “vision” and “foresight”, which in this case descends on the poet, is not a “gift” at all. Sometimes it’s hard work, even “cross” – because the law works without taking into account the little human joys and sorrows.

An omen of the future destiny and its destiny was revealed to the poet already in his childhood

… If anything happens to me, then all this will be untrue.
Black laughter from the threshold of my birth breathes into my head.

Over the years, the feeling that something is wrong with life, acquires a woeful tinge and a super-personal scale

Then came the nights and the first
premonition of misfortune, unconscious, like Eternity.

On the path chosen by Alexander Korotko, the list of losses rapidly grows and the separation experience is being replenished. In the poetic experience of his own life, he seems to be moving all the time in two plans. One of them, subjected to the “education of the senses,” responds with a painful reflection on the rupture of vital threads, the other impassively records changes in the mental climate through the eye of an outside observer

Where to hurry, when they do not wait,
When all around is one separation.

One of the main anachronisms of human consciousness, responsible for the primitive linearity of thinking that he created from life to death, Alexander Korotko considers the concept of Time

Time has grown with moss and has turned
into the impenetrable swamp of existence.

Along with time came the division into the past – the present – the future, which became the basis for replicating the myriad imperfect bodies

Здравствуйте, слепые зеркала!
Время так бесхитростно, что всуе,
не желая ни добра ни зла,
нас безжалостно рисует и рисует.

From one century to another heavier temperament of time “inspires” the poet to create an extremely laconic, eerie monumental grandeur
In the square of the twentieth century, there is a heart of stone.
One for all.
The feeling of the growing absurdity, which was nonsensical in the last century, as a start in nowhere, actually “progress”, pushes the poet towards completely abstract thoughts
… I do not know who abused the meaning of life …
The catastrophically increasing acceleration of life, the increasing mechanistic nature of the process of replicating its forms further from the realization of the meaning of what is happening

And the truth is that it is always in a minor …

Sometimes the irony of the poet about the essence of the earth mechanics acquires a shade of black humor, which can be equally treated both to himself and to every other

… In the garden of the general
survival appeared another scarecrow –
it’s you.

But, apparently, the process of survival in the “general garden” is not too concerned for the author, rather, on the contrary, from time to time comes the recognition of an increasingly weaker inner connection with the world

I have not lived for a long time,
Remained symbols and sounds.
Last night outside the window
Stretches out its hands to me.

The whole being of the poet concentrates inside his own consciousness, so that the external world becomes one of its derivatives

If you believe the words that came in
through the hollow space of hearing
into your tormented mind,
then the world is inhabited only in our imagination.

And then, as a logical conclusion from the above, conviction and hope sound the words

Life is not here. Wait. I will certainly find you.
On the ground, there are only bloodthirsty dances.

Alexander Korotko is a master of laconic poetic formulations that differ in accuracy and almost real tangibility in the pass of the most subtle immaterial states. His poems are cast in a weightless bronze of words from single forms, the uniqueness of which is due to the unity of each separately arising poetic impulse. According to only internal poetic arbitrariness, the line is lengthened and shortened, rhyme is born and dies, slows down or accelerates the rhythm.

In the album of poems “The Transcription of Thought” Alexander Korotko brings to the logical conclusion the form of a one-line poem, which repeatedly appeared in his previous collections. The ability to crystallize poetic thought, jewelry decoration of a small poetic form gave rise to a kind of poem in his poem, where a separate line is simultaneously part of the text and a complete whole. The subsequent emancipation of a separate line into an independent work is, to a certain extent, consonant with the tendencies of the minimalization of form in contemporary art. This is a kind of desire to reduce the “excess weight” of the work by increasing its intangible assets. In contrast, for example, from compact Japanese haiku, in essence representing a kind of refined poetic open-air, the verses of Alexander Korotko create new dimensions of existing concepts by destroying verbal dogmas. Unexpected, sometimes outrageous phrases form a subjective phraseology that throws bridges into a world that can be expressed in the only way possible. Despite the fact that the formal poetry of Alexander Korotko is closest to the phenomena of the art of postmodernism, it never crosses the line beyond which the anarchy of words begins. In his poems there is a good vaccination of traditional poetry, in particular, the brilliant poetry of the Silver Age with its exquisite symbolism, refined associativity, polished elegance of form

Our nights are covered by dreams, like by ivy.

Compiled solely from single-line poems, “Transcription of Thought” actually affirms the usefulness of this poetic form. Therefore, so to speak, “for official use,” as applied to the poetry of Alexander Korotko, I called this form “neo-Alexandrian verse.” Of course, this name does not in the least appeal to the traditional form of the Alexandrine verse, but is derived from the poet’s name. One of the most significant signs of the “Neo-Alexandrian verse” is the concentration of a whole series of concepts and images to the smallest semantic unit-words, after which, in combination with other same words, sometimes not combined in the system of traditional thinking, a new quality of the thought-image that expands the space of ordinary Meanings. Following each other “icebergs of words” – sometimes hints, sometimes ciphers, sometimes visible images of the implied …
The “Neo-Alexandrian verses” of the “Transcription of Thought” sound familiar themes and variations. Despite the compact form, the poet does not reduce the scale
Happy birthday, Eternity!
The character of Time is changeable. Not that it is, or it is not. Here at the very horizon there is a cry, pounding, dust with a column. What is it?
Nomadic raids of the ages.

Rush and scatter thousands of splashes, like ocean waves. And as if there were no “eternal cities”, “heavenly empires”, “conquerors of the world” … Is it not deceptive of atmospheric moods

Shaky breath of centuries.

Death is the favorite game of Time. Time is the constant escort of Death. Alexander Korotko reveals the plot of Time against this world, paradoxically asserting the life of death.

Death is a long-liver.

But death is not only a form of life, it is a boundary separating different worlds. A pause between lives, while staying at the customs of death, allows you to see and evaluate both possible options

Touching death, who dares to return to life.

I shall specify – to such life which reminds “bloody dances”. A poet who knows a lot about art can not avoid the temptations of painting in his work, even if he does not use brushes and paints for this. In fact, he is the first illustrator of his books, since many of his poems are truly imaginative. The paintings created by Alexander Korotko are not descriptive, they are created with the help of mathematical calculation of associations

Heavy rains ship grove.

Transparent vertical streams of rain are very accurately associated with the deep, light space of a grove delineated by slender trunks. Just as masterfully conveys the poet the texture of artificial lighting

Scales of lifeless light
or the charm of the moon
Full moon of the soul.

Reading “Neo-Alexandrian verses”, like “the service of the Muses,” “does not tolerate fuss.” This is a kind of test for the degree of plasticity of the internal space, which either responds or remains inert. The poet soberly assesses the prevailing state of consciousness as

Flat thoughts of thought.

Here the association not only with the known foot defect, transferred to the defectiveness of “flat” thinking, but, to a greater extent, an indication of the ability of the plane to create a direction of thinking. The thinking of modern man often resembles a bobsled, where the capsules of thoughts, crushed by acceleration, rush in hard tunnels. The fate of such a thought is infinite acceleration, its perfection – in the development of abilities for even greater acceleration, its freedom – in its final merger with acceleration. The space of life, delineated by thoughts sliding along the planes, is ever tighter and more complicated. It acquires the quality of catastrophism. The world is full of fragments of collisions of closed capsules of thoughts. On the horizon of this world, a giant with the female name – Competition, rises from the “garden of survival”. Each new born, he runs into the general race, saying: “Go around your neighbor.”

It seems to me that this is our, and not the other world, that Alexander Korotko means when he speaks

Trusting hell.

For the owner of “flat-footed thought” this phrase can be an insurmountable obstacle. Too many paths and too few pointers. At the same time, even with the first, most superficial review of the concept of “hell”, one gets the impression that all kinds of retribution for the sins of earthly life, described as infernal torments, do not differ in freshness of novelty and do not exceed the limits of understanding. On the contrary, in some cases, infernal torment is given away by handicraft in comparison with the fantasy and scope of the affairs of the human hands. In fact, everything that has already been done and done on earth to provide for the suffering of one’s neighbor does not differ much from the promised retribution. In that case, what is the difference?

Apparently, if you try to imagine this figuratively, no more than between two neighboring shells of a nesting doll. In fact, is not earthly life a hell for those who suffer here? After all, not somewhere, but on the earth the phrase “life as in a hell” was born. That is, for some, earthly life is a kind of retribution for previous cases, whereas for others, this time acting as tormentors, here is just paradise. A similar picture is repeated in this world, which is a “classical” hell for us. The tormentors now play the role of their recent victims, for them it is really hell, and for their new owners, life in hell is natural and enjoyable.
Now that there is reason to suppose that one of the hypostases of the earthly life fulfills the function of hell, the question arises, why did the poet call this hell “trustful”?
Here, it seems to me, it is enough to turn to the original meaning of the word. His modern interpretation, corresponding to the concept of “gullible”, is an alluvial layer, under which the true meaning is hidden. In fact, “gullibility” is, first of all, a state of “up to faith”. Here, “faith” can be synonymous with “wisdom,” “holiness,” “enlightenment,” that is, those states in which a person is able to contemplate the Truth. A person who is trustful, does not know the truth, does not see and does not understand the world around, and therefore becomes a magnificent object for suggestion. In the gap between knowledge and not knowledge mediators – tormentors, hypnotizing the consciousness of the “gullible” by the indisputability of the truths invented by them, are born. A person standing “up to faith”, but passionately striving for it, regularly receives ersatz of truth, and with them suffering. Approximately so, by common efforts, and our “credulous hell” is created in the conditions of an individual planet.

Still, the state of “trustfulness” is still a state of growth, which as a result can lead to faith, unlike other categories – “unbelief”. Therefore, together with Alexander Korotko, I would like to suggest that the current state of mankind is only

A sad beginningof a joy.

In the meantime, everything remains the same. Everyone who is endowed with “flat-footed thoughts” and “trustfulness” is carried in a capsule of his own goal into the unknown and, as a rule, is its victim

We are living targets of our own goals.

The poet himself, apparently, does not delude himself about his own earthly goals, nor about the importance of his human efforts in this world

My will is a house of cards.

So it is quite obvious that

At a distance of one life

In our “gullible hell” no significant changes are expected, then the poet’s view is more and more persistently turning to where

Dying as a gift.

The study of the mechanism providing a crossing between the worlds reflects the growing need to find its own world. What is this world? If a poet knows about him, he does not invite with him, since the reality of this world ripens in accordance with the mystery of the faith reviving in man. And yet Alexander Korotko makes a hint or suggestion that he should be looked for

Beyond the fence of sunlight.

The desire to go beyond the blazing fence, delineated by the Sun, is by no means an idle curiosity. A person who has overgrown the biological form of existence, like a teenage suit, needs to overcome its limitations, overcome its limitations caused by the main source of bioenergy – the Sun. What is there behind this fence is a question that everyone will have to answer on his own.

Verses by Alexander Korotko – a kind of message to all those who happened to

A guest is uninvited on earth.

It can be addressed to Thinkers overcoming the “frenzied inertia” of dogmas; To contemplatives who use life as a pause to summarize; Travelers “for the fence of sunlight,” throwing off the ballast of old concepts and mastering new equipment … The poetic language of the “Neo-Alexandrian verse” is as if purposely created for such messages. The capacity and concentrated metaphorical nature of the poetic phrase sometimes causes associations with the laconic expressiveness of biblical symbols. “And I said to myself – all the fuss!” So said the Ecclesiastes, an irrepressible experimenter who studied life not in accordance with the patterns, but in its true manifestations. This relay has since been relayed to each other by those for whom the framework of “trusting hell” is tight.

Time comes, and everything loses its meaning.

So today Alexander Korotko speaks, addressing his message to everyone who is ready to pave his own way to his own world.