Iím about to drop exhausted, Sense the floor beneath me sway After full three months of floating ĎCause of being given notice At the whaler where I sailed. Insomuch as Iím unsettled Due to being long depraved, I get warm by radiators, Passing nights in lobby ways. Mighty rich! Get warm and stay on! Not a bullet or a noose! Drink at times beyond all ratings, Former mates come back from whaling And carouse above a ruble. Rubleís just a slip of paper - Keeping it is grave offence. Ah, my soulís a sailorís vest of Forty growth rings, seven vents. But the Lord sends me a chance and Earns a taper in that way, Taking note of my disaster, "Go ahead, - he says - to Vacha! Hurry up before itís late!" A familiar bum informed me, What this river Vacha was: He was off to Vacha sobbing, On his way back, laughed ass off. Vacha is a shallow stream in Right between Siberian lodes. Vacha is a shack for sleeping, Hired diggers venture teaming, Digging out a lot of gold. Work my ass off, like enlisted, Never high on drinks or dopes, Off to Vacha - take a ticket, When Iím back, Iíll laugh ass off. Hardly anythingís as swanky. People know it. They can say. To be brief, on river Vacha, All in all, I earned as much as A hundred seventeen work-days. Figured out and deducted Daily meals and other things, Cleared on the whole three thousand In the long run. Mighty rich! Shoving cash into the pockets, Where thereíd never been a ruble, I was off to warmer countries, Closer to night clubs and cafes To forget all doom and gloom. Thereís Georgian vodka, chacha, - I will drink to that bum-source! I was sobbing, off to Vacha, I am back and laugh ass off. In the run-up of spree session, The conductor bowed and scraped. Waiters fussed in agitation. And at the nearest small station, A woman entered the roomette. For you, she might be a tacky, As for me, a comely mold. A was sobbing off to Vacha, I am back and laugh ass off. Chew the rag and get acquainted, Valya learns about the dough. Cut a deal negotiating, Hundreds dart about the table. And with Valya, dough gets off. Well, she left me with a problem, But Iíll cure it after all. I was off to Vacha sobbing, I am back and laugh ass off. After five days like a draught, here Is an open see up front. All the money has run out, The conductor turns up snout And for vodka, doesnít run. Spend remaining ruble in Sochi, Got a telegram to cable - "Guys, send dough! Iíll labor off it. I have laughed all mine away." Curse or cry, but cannot help it. Whatís become of you, loose dough? Iím yours again, my treasured, Unforgettable and precious Bums of Magadan skid row! By my nose, they carry chacha. By my mouth, marmalade. I am going back to Vacha, Laughing ass off at myself.
© Vyacheslav Chetin. Translation, 2013