I attend a lot of events. The “New Year's Eve of the Futurists” took place in the Polytechnic. There was a crowd there, as there might have been at a Soviet demonstration. Towards the start of the evening, it became clear that of the four men advertised on the poster Burliuka, Kamenskii wouldn’t show up, and Goldschmidt was refusing. As for myself, well I was fiddling with my pen. It is awful to remember it.
Your vote is always for me. The slightest deviation or vacillation constitutes betrayal. Love must be immutable as a law of nature that permits of no exceptions. Inconceivable that I should await the Sun – only for the Sun not to rise. Inconceivable that I should embrace a birch – only for the birch to say “desist”.
We need to welcome the new authorities and get in touch with them.
My dearest Volodenka,
We are planning to come to Moscow. I’m glad that you are well. I have hurt my knee, and haven’t danced in two weeks. Osya has got a full-time job (200 rubles) at Novaya Zhizn! It’s very warm here, but awfully windy… See more
I’ve heard said that in Moscow the streets are dead after 10 pm. That sounds dreadfully dull. I have put on three pounds and am feeling desperate. I want to lose it, but for some reason, I spend all day hungry and I can’t restrain myself. My room is very sweet but quite bare: it short of many things (wallpaper, lamps, dressers).
When all the fences became plastered with election lists from the extremely various parties that had suddenly announced their ambition to participate in this country’s leadership, the most dominant ones were still the old parties, the ones whose names had long been popular. But now the Cadets and the Renovationists and the Anarchists and the Chefs’ Union and who knows who else have been posted up there with them. See more
Mayakovsky was walking with me on Neglinnaya Street, glancing at the placards and lists, when, all of a sudden, he suggested hanging up his own list. But what list? A list of futurists, of course! The first candidate on it was Mayakovsky, and then Kamensky and the others. In reply to my disbelieving stare—who on earth would vote for us? —Vladimir Vladimirovich said pensively, “The devil knows! With the times we live in—what if they elect me president?”
The revolution didn’t change anything for us, the bohemians. It might as well have never happened. Some new cafes opened, “Pitersk” on Kyznetsky St and the “Poets’ Cafe” on Nastas’insky St. By then we’d stopped wearing yellow jackets, but, as always, continued to think up oddball ideas. Not that anyone was really paying attention. See more
People had already got used to us and listened with condescending smiles. You can’t shock people forever! Futurism had already made its mark, society was paying attention, and neither we nor the public had any further use for it. The “father of futurism, Marinetti, came over from Italy but failed to make much of an impression. We gradually started to move away from futurism, each following his own path. At the end of the day, futurism made nothing and made no one famous. Mayakovsky? But Mayakovsky was a genius on his own merits, regardless of anything else.
I can't remember who introduced me to Mayakovsky; at first we were sitting in a cafe and discussing cinema; then he invited me over - to a small room at "Saint-Remo" in Saltykovsky lane, near Petrovka street. See more
As soon as we entered the room he said "Let me read to you..." I sat down on a chair, he was standing. He had read to me his finished poem "Human" not long before that. The room was small, there was no one but me present, but he was reading aloud as if he were standing in front of a crowd on Teatralnaya square. I was looking at shoddy wallpaper and smiling: bootlegs were indeed turning into harps.
Mayakovsky is extremely talented, a young half-giant infected with an ebullient energy, and in whose eyes you sense direction; upwards and to the left.
I met with the futurist Mayakovsky, who initially gave me a bit of fright with his rude impulsiveness, but who then made a very direct announcement of his intention to come and have a serious chat with me, as I write wonderful music but to terrible texts, of outmoded bourgeois types and e.t.c. He promised to introduce me to “real contemporary poetry”. See more
Warming to his theme, he said that I was the first among contemporary composers, and the only one that mattered, and given that Russian music is leading the world, we should unite, he representing literature, I music and Burlyuk art, and that then “we would conquer the whole world”.