This Passover maybe we can liberate ourselves
from holding onto what happened
We don’t have to subscribe
To Be Here Now but we can try
letting go of all that happened
that gets in the way
of how pink Egypt is how much
we loved one another before
life intervened. This...
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2 weeks ago
This Passover maybe we can liberate ourselves
March 5, 2014 | 11:41 am
January 31, 2014 | 10:54 am
December 12, 2013 | 12:59 pm
This old man in the armchair’s plush embrace
waits for his thoughts to settle. He is not
my grandfather despite the wrinkled face,
gleaming skull, vast snout, gargly voice, and odd
twist of lips. They sound like men from the same
village in an old country bordering
November 22, 2013 | 12:43 pm
November 20, 2013 | 3:47 pm
All morning I thought of my mother,
how often we waited for her to die
and then the affront of it
when she finally did, as if it were
up to her family to tell her
when she could let go,
as if by holding her tired fingers
we could drag her forcibly back
to this life, when...
October 30, 2013 | 12:51 pm
A man swings through the open doors on crutches,
his long arms thick with muscle like the Christ
whose marble shoulders shouldering the cross
are sculpted mighty as Odysseus’s.
Before he crosses forehead, heart and chest,
the cripple leans one crutch against the wall
October 23, 2013 | 11:32 am
They come together to bury their father
in the cave where Sarah’s body lies.
(No one imagines the vaulted church
-turned-mosque with painted ceilings
or the synagogue, or metal detectors
to keep armed men from getting through.)
Isaac and Ishmael wash him with water
October 16, 2013 | 1:33 pm
October 3, 2013 | 4:53 pm
When Noah prayed
You sent him a flood
and charged him with the safety
of all animal life.
What I got was rain.
I forgot to wash my shirt
so it grew mold.
In every generation
the holy men we have
stand on different levels.
We all get the hero
On behalf of mold
— and on behalf of my wife,
who loves when I do laundry —
I will try
to be worthy.
September 11, 2013 | 4:23 pm
It’s time to talk about grief
as if the mere mention could
crack the sky leaving the stars
to break through shattering
As if at a preordained hour
all the lovers of the world
will stand still, like the minute
of remembrance for the dead,
August 28, 2013 | 11:06 am
like a skin on milk
I write to you
I hurl the letters of your name
onto every page, one and many
I know you are reading over my shoulder
look each of us possesses a book of life
each attempts to read what the other has scripted
in these almost illegible letters tipped by...
August 21, 2013 | 4:54 pm
August 14, 2013 | 1:54 pm
for Rachel Tzivia Back, U. of Minnesota Symposium
on Jewish American Poetry, Feb. 17, 2013
We stood as she instructed around the stone of losses,
declared what we had found
and waited for other Jews to claim it.
Centuries inspected us: had we fallen
out of their pockets?...
August 7, 2013 | 1:16 pm
a new lay upon this lute for You
Let me hum the new day
of loose strife and lily
Let prayer plant and mallow
Let heads and hearts let heels
and thumbs feathers and fins
and all things fleet and slug
antennae’d and furred
all sing all shirr all rub and buzz
and fling their...
August 1, 2013 | 10:09 am
I take her to the park, I swing her in the little swing
Help her on the slide, lotion her face and arms against the sun
She runs around in her little bluejeans
The sun is getting higher, as it does every morning
The game now is for me to chase her
July 17, 2013 | 12:05 pm
July 2, 2013 | 11:27 am
June 26, 2013 | 12:01 pm
My Bubbie mumbles a Yiddish invective every time I mention
getting some new item for the baby not yet born:
the crib, a blanket, a book case.
I can’t argue her out of the world she knows.
There is no word in Yiddish for the small
whooshing sound of a heartbeat on a...
June 24, 2013 | 9:13 am
You were born and given eagle's
something soft, something big.
Something fluffy, something free,
have you ever heard
about the latent cells in the human heart waiting until some perfect time, a pre-determined time when all will sing?
Are you ready, Song, to be heard?
do you even care that you weren't before?
"yes!" Because the song she sings
will envelop you like eagle's wings.
June 12, 2013 | 6:14 pm
June 6, 2013 | 3:29 pm
May 29, 2013 | 4:54 pm
May 22, 2013 | 12:08 pm
saw it all in the mirror
of the chlorinated pool
world’s swimming under-painting
you in it
future-to-past, a fugue;
what you’d call
then a name
a fear –
of being –
Jake Marmer is a poet and performer. His debut collection, “Jazz Talmud,” was published by the Sheep Meadow Press earlier this year. For more information, see jakemarmer.wordpress.com
May 15, 2013 | 3:44 pm
May 8, 2013 | 11:23 am
I fail. Every morning shade drawn,
hair brushed, swaying, I can’t
fasten to the words, Hebrew letters
breathe, young sparrows in my palm.
Yes, calm stands up in the coolness
of morning, light pushes, falls
from under the shade’s edges.
A skittering stops me at each...
April 19, 2013 | 11:04 am
I had a dinner with a woman mad
for God. I told her I have learned to walk
without a crutch. She told me I was made
to look like him but I have always thought
he has my nose. So am I God’s worst blunder
or is he mine? She told me I should raise
my children in my image. That’s...
April 18, 2013 | 8:23 am
Exalted One –
You call us to holiness,
To climb the ladder,
Higher and higher,
To reach as far as we might,
But never to rise above the angels.
You call us to purity,
To be as priests,
In this world,
Separate and apart,
Between our flawed humanness...
April 18, 2013 | 1:25 am
Thomas Soxberger was born in 1965 in Lower Austria. He moved to Vienna to study History and Jewish Studies. In the early 1990s Thomas participated in Yiddish Summer Programmes in Oxford. 1998-2000 - Master Degree in Yiddish Studies at London University. After moving back to London,...
April 10, 2013 | 7:43 am
Near the Atlantic Ocean, past the last subway station,
Streaks of sand on the sidewalk,
Armies of aging Jews soaking up sun
As if it were Talmud,
And the rickety white stairs
To an apartment like a frail body.
My uncle and aunt were both warty, like alligators....
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