It bears some explaining now,
how to survive the longest day of the year.
But first, the acceptance:
You will have to be diurnal.
You didn't ask for it, I know,
this merciless day-dwelling,
the milked and measured time of men.
And then the moon
demanding all night
that you listen to her stories,
write them down even
with insomniac hands.
She pulls at the strings she wove
at the base of your heart
until tissue meets bone,
threatening to break out altogether.
There is no rest.
This tilt of the earth is not for you.
But since you are here,
more woman than wolf,
you should know something
about how to meet the hours.
The morning is easy.
You can rise as early as you wish.
The earlier it is, the more dream-secrets
she whispers in your ear
to sustain you.
And if you hurry, without rushing,
you can feel the urgent, tender arms
of perfect love reaching for you
before they travel west
to hover as mist
over the slow-waking mountains.
You give yourself to the tending,
to the plans of yesterday
not quite finished.
There is movement in the late morning hours,
flow and fulfillment.
The noon hour is meant to blaze
with a single fierce intention.
You claim the peak,
abrupt and craggy apex though it may be.
You must sleep away the afternoon.
Your ancestors are so brutally far now,
and you are truly, utterly alone.
We are together in that.
Let restless dreams
carry you to the twilight.
The ache of estrangement
will loose itself.
At five o'clock, the river begins
to rage again,
and it is your rebirth
You are reacquainted with yourself
as caretaker of your own boundlessness.
Now is the time to write.
It is the time to sit with a beloved
and imagine, in delicious detail,
how it will all be made new.
It is the time to co-conspire.
It is the time to linger
with lips and fingers and breath on his skin,
not for the heat
but for the cool assurance.
If he is no longer,
and it is almost the same.
The next three hours
are the truth of your life.
They will show what work
you are willing to do,
how earnestly you will
seek the horizon,
whether you will fall in love again
with desire itself
for another year.
Use the weight of your body
to lean in,
drag the fear along behind you
if you cannot set it down.
Your mother is rising to call you
into the now haven of night.
"Mixing Up the Bible: New Theologies and Theodicies in Post-Shoah Israeli Poetry" (Study Prospectus)
(Sample poem excerpts in translation at: http://prezi.com/wdo8n1dx92_r/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share)
Yesterday was Hildegard’s feast day.
on the lips of a lover,
'I kiss my own creation,
every image I have made out of the earth’s clay.’
In the same year of her life,
Not that it comes without question.
that the heavens were opened
and a blinding light of exceptional brilliance
flowed through my entire brain.
And so it kindled my whole heart and breast like a flame,
not burning but warming
...and suddenly I understood
the meaning of the expositions of the books.
But although I heard and saw these things,
because of doubt and low opinion of myself
and because of the diverse opinions of men,
I refused for a long time the call to write.
in a world that is interpreted for us by others.
An interpreted world is not a home.
Part of the terror is to take back our own listening,
to use our own voices, to see our own light.
and no women at all,
a Doctor of souls.
with endless green promise.
It has been the same refrain
with almost all my loves,
the same words whispered
in the tangle of twoness,
this strange formula of fatalistic devotion.
I don't think I told you
that you were in company.
"You will be the end of me."
The words address a stranger.
I search my reflection for anything
more dangerous than unshakable youth,
desire and tears equally ready,
my flesh more pulsing heart
No one there is peddling extinction.
To be sure, there are the wild thoughts
disordering the dark libraries of my mind.
Not so uncommon.
And besides, they demand ink,
So who, exactly, will be the end of whom?
And what is that end anyway
except tremorous beginning,
asking all of the questions again,
the gentle flaying of coming clean
when you thought the game
was to layer compromise on compromise
and forge a life
from the religion of consequences?
Eliot said to hold fast to the end,
if you are fortunate enough to find it
The beginning is there,
and the end again--
But it is not advice
What you left me,
is the doctrine of irreplaceability.
It feels like the place
where your hair meets the skin
the skin of your neck,
rising with touch.
It sounds like the holy quiet
of night giving way to dawn.
In a dream, I place you,
in my grandfather's garden.
After decades of failed attempts,
I am suddenly, strangely
able to grow things.
I can watch the sprout of a pepper plant
and know how light and air
will preach it into bearing.
I can feel the delicate spines
on the skin of a ripening tomato
and see love and letting go
open a window
on the crowded earth
for it to arrive.
Our four hands share
the prophecy of dirt,
the late summer drought
yielding to fruit.
You have tethered me
to the setting sun,
its measured crossing
of the dark side of the earth.
And I go willingly,
My brother is an artist,
though I am not sure he remembers.
I picture him drawing in charcoal years ago:
I turn flesh into dust,
immaculate at its sharp edges.