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Jewish Journal

Gospel of the Golem of Los Angeles

by Tony Barnstone

September 18, 2013 | 11:57 am

The students glisten with youth. Every one of them is beautiful.

The world has yet to enter them and breathe away their souls.

I want to be like the children, but I am dirt and clay.

I woke one day and told myself, Stand up and walk like a man!

I raised my dust up out of bed and looked into the mirror

but couldn’t read the word written by my forehead lines.

I keep a piece of paper under my tongue and on it one word: be.

So I write my way into my life, trying to name it as it leaves

and walk this clay around, a thing empty of belief.

My body’s covered with hair, just like a human being,

but my hands are sticks, my brain’s in rags. These days

I feel the hand of death on my forehead and it feels like a relief.


“The Golem of Los Angeles” (Red Hen Press, 2008).

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