Maximilian Voloshin: A Machine

As there is no inventor,
Who by drafting a machine,
Had not imagined his creation
To ennoble humans,
There is no machine
That did not bring the world
The most misery
And the new kinds of enslavement!

While human hand had pushed the lever,
And waters
Spined the wheels of mill --
Their strenghts combined
Had not disturbed
The ancient balances of nature
But man
Had picked the keys to her eternal puzzles
And «captured» monsters were released.

Like spirit, that embodies itself
Into the woman's womb and builds the body,
The steam, the electricity and the gun powder
By getting hold of the human mind and its desires
Have built themselves the bodies made of iron
According to their utmost nature:
Blast furnaces and caldrons,
Dynamo-stations, motors and turbines

Like poor student of magician
Who freed the elements by spell
But could not manage the calamities
They've caused and drowned
With his house and his village, --
The same way a man cannot contain
The fury of machine:
The levers bend the elbows,
The wheels are moving madly,
The belts are sliding, the factories ingulf with fire,
And, shaking in the endless spasm,
Their wombs of steel are spawning like fish eggs
The multiplicity of monotonious useless objects:
The collars, automobiles and phonographs
In millions and millions, filling up
The villages, the regions and countries
And the entire world
Creating new empires, taking over markets,
And there is no way to stop their fury
Or to restrain the pack of rowdy slaves.

Machine has won over a man:
It needed slave to take away its sweat,
To comfort its insides with pure oil,
To feed it coal and take away its excrements,
And then it started asking for itself
The swarming bungle of musles and of wills
Brought up in hungry discipline,
And greedy rude who cheapened his spirit
For joys of mediocrity and comforts.

Machine has taught a man to think appropriately
And logically discuss the findings
It visually proved to him
That there is no spirit: only substance
That man is nothing but a machine himself
That starry cosmos is merely a mechanism
To manufacture time, that thought
Is just a simple product of the brain digestion,
That mere sustenance defines the spirit,
That genius is a degeneration,
That culture means increase in number
Of the consumer needs,
That the ideal is general well being
And stomach satisfaction
That there is One Universal Worldly Stomach
And there is no other Gods besides it.

Fulfillment of all the culture dreams:
The poles dron and the antennas ring
And the electric currents direct
Into the space dome sounds and words,
The lightning spreads
The laws and orders
Of the police, of government and stock exchange,
But not a single thought of human being
Would ever pass through these sophisticated wires.
The rotary press machines spawn
Day and night the printed pages,
Newspapers manufacture truth
One truth for all each hour of day:
But not a single line is printed of a human, --
The very ancient, hidden fire.
The grain is flowing into the shipholds and the barns,
The ports and markets are crammed with delicacies,
With hot fresh meals the restaraunts are breathing, --
But not a single crust is there for the hungry,
For the unnumerated slaves.
In ocean depths steel fishes prowl
The heavy ships explode the abyss of seas
Propellers sing
In heights above the clouds
The earth and waters, air and the fire,
All rise against the human.
And in the towns where the slaves are closed
The doors of theaters and museums are open
The squares are bubbling
The orators are throwing into the crowds slogans
About the hate
Between the classes,
About social heaven and of freedom,
About the happy friendship of the nations
And petty beggar with a mutilated soul
And overtensioned brain is celebrating
The triumph of the culture,
Thought and labour.

Translated from Russian by Natasha Levitan


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