Poetry

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By Anna Rabinowitz

Anna Rabinowitz's voice, which levels from reflective to prophetic, from passionate to wry, shapes and reshapes language to accomplish the partial, retrieve the misplaced, and salvage what is still while the human physique and the our bodies of relatives, tradition, and heritage threaten to break down. those are poems that confront loss and have fun survival in a global that's "context and university, icon and diehard, push and pull, conceived and keeping on."

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Example text

That was all.  She slipped her arms into the sky draped behind them and wrapped it around her body until she basked in their breaths.  Together they entered the world. It was new, altogether different from anything they had been familiar with.  They found no landmarks, no night.  No one said a word, not a single word, nor did any of them take the pencil in hand to make a mark on that pristine white they inched through, holding one another up so as not to stumble in all that seeing, that white seeing.

But some, like Eva Mettnerova, drew black pitchers, black daisies, scattered leaves of soot through the sky. At last we are in a clean hotel and the water is drinkable. Wednesday, May 17, the old Jewish ghetto Thy root is ever in its grave And thou must die The cemetery buck gnarl twist earth weighted with our deaths choked within boundaries bridling So we blanketed the fits and starts New soil New flesh New stones Over now over Rabbi Loew's tomb Wishes inserted in crevices rear among cobwebs Golem Recipe One kilo mountain soil One litre spring water Knead with heel of right palm Yields one servant YHWH Sealed between his eyes Beware When he runs amok Peel the letters from his brow Relentless candor of decay sprays of ivy claw stone Tier upon tier plies of experience The dead lie disturbed Page 41 Even stones grow weak helpless; tilt bend erode press against each other but not forever Thursday, May 18, the study of the 16th-century Jewish Town Hall The Cantor rocks on his stool In Yiddish Everything we have everything money food clothing enough books roofs over our heads and prayers taleisim yarmulkes but of people we are poor poorer than mice in barren fields The Rabbi clutches the arms of a threadbare chair Let us seal the pockets of our eyes Let us empty the sleeves of our ears Let us not make problems Rise dead shake dirt from your teeth brush flakes from your bones bind the threads of your muscles throw fists of worms to the wind Stones hold your breath Mark this time III.

Her colon has been amputated. His atrium fibrillates. Her abdomen rounds. His scrotum rests in the cove of his crotch. Page 22 At the borders of their temples, above their lips, among their pubic hairs tiny beads of moisture swell. It is noon, mid-August. They cut their food. Page 23 Reading the Newspaper While Trying to Write a Poem Released data tell us that despite all attempts to deny the fact, we have failed to cut it.  at night. Vagrants warble the blues, then passionately, with decision, twist screwdrivers, jab blades into the smooth, lovely, ringleted shoulders, the taut stomachs, the pink- nippled chests of unsuspecting joggers, of dog walkers rinsing their faces in new-dawn sun, strollers coasting like dancersslow, quick, quickto this fox-trot/ waltz/tarantella called life.

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