Real Life Books
This is an extract from Susan de Muth’s translation of Elsa Triolet’s Mayakovsky: Russian Poet which you can order, in the first edition, for just £8 here
I went to Lili’s nearly every holiday. In 1915 there was a Christmas Eve party and she had a Futurist Christmas tree. They’d covered the walls of their apartment with bed sheets for the occasion and the tree was hanging upside down from the ceiling. When the candles on it were lit, it looked like a beautiful green candelabrum, twinkling with angel hair and glass trinkets… the whole idea was that nothing would be everyday. The guests wore costumes and lots of make-up so that they wouldn’t look how they usually did… the Futurist poet Vassili Kamesnki, Mayakovsky’s companion since the very first Futurist battles, was there – an extremely blond boy with the blue eyes of a sea-captain and the flabby moth of a liar. He had his eyebrows a magnificent blue and drawings on his face to match – a little bird adorned his cheek. He wore a spoon in his button-hole and he was my neighbour at dinner.