Konstantin Kulakov

Konstantin Kulakov (he/they) is a poet and translator born in Zaoksky, Soviet Union. His poems and translations appear or are forthcoming in The Adroit Journal, Witness, Spillway, Jet Fuel Review, Harvard Journal of African American Policy, Tahoma Literary Review, and Loch Raven Review, among others. They hold an MFA in Creative Writing from Naropa University and are co-founding editor of Pocket Samovar. He lives in Washington, D.C., on occupied Piscataway and Anacostan land.


francophone flight attendants flock the Ven / eye sockets blotted by sun / i am longing for oysters & poetry & the oceanbreath that sleeps inside the shell / is this actually the longing for wealth or the longing for sea because I am far from sea & do not own beach front property & cannot afford oysters on the half shell? / i want to be barricaded from worry or ostracism so that i can write a line that is translucent, spare / more importantly, i am thinking about poetry & how it gives way to property, mathematics, & private equity firms / it is late apocalypse now & the billionaires are plotting to columbus mars / lines like how can we trust biden or kamala? / in other words, why can’t i take baths at 2 am at night? / these are things you do not see on CNN / no oysters tonight / i am after ostensible poetry: what do poets do about money?


check out my new

manacles. i sing

penny in mouth, swigging

orange juice. i can bring

summer evening. i know

aphrodite needs

chelsea or lower

east side, st. germaine

& copper cup.

memory is citrus

from mouth & her dress

near rainy grate. i do not

know if it was her violet

lips or new york or cafes

sans masks. i know—then—

dusk softened its

glass edges. now,

i collect oranges

& curse pennies

to forget the violence

of memory, its manacles.

i go downtown to

repeat that night, but

each time, the cocktails

buzz faintly, dying.

even dusk looks manic.