Wednesday, April 27, 2005


... And that morning, God didn't knock on your door nor the newspaper came, and you hadn't realized it wasn't morning as yet in spite of those long blue lines that were making up the manifold faces of heavens, giving you an intoxating and banal impression that morning had strucken with a swift smell of aether, such as there was in the days of the creation; even before men knew sorrow or pain of any kind. You again didn't pray, for it was just too late, and unresoluted in regard to your faith, you were resoluted to follow your fate, so the many-coloured home of your father you left, and even wanted to forsake. Your last cigarette poisoned you enough, nevertheless too late. You had made the decision, a child you would become, and you would do any of those things that he would love.

The streets were deserted, but far from being a desert... and the large streets of town seemed to shorten themselves and form threads in front of you as if they were complices of your sinful deeds, of your history; and aiding your escape, your way out of reality, your dream-for-a-day. Different machines of the modern western world were resoluted to halt your march but the leather-coated paviments of the earliest of mornings prevented them from wrongdoing, henceforth as once was, before the creation and recreation of men you were the only living creature on earth and the chemically knot-tight structures of the urban metropolis joined forces together so that you would reach your destination, a first-class flight, well-booked in advance. Maybe some god in heavens was your ally, or probably the dew was coming late that day and didn't notice the beats of your heart. No automobiles halted your way, no second thoughts diverted you, no remebrances would haunt you, not now.

The particularly vertical lines that joined the urban milieu in an instant decomposed themselves to form a thin and well-iluminated highway for which your instincts would make the only passenger, such as a lonely book waiting for the tram, trying to catch a writer in the station or some love story in a bar, as its pages were empty and its heart thirsty of savage lust. There you were, in the middle of the street, whereby your phone would never ring and being far from your home, then no letters would come, no lovers of the past would address you and no intimate momenta would be there in store. Had you not remembered that song you heard last, you could have gone astray and perished; for that's how afraid you were, you are. At that very moment history you didn't have, you were perhaps a little story, a song is all what you had. You were a Schliemann in Troja, or maybe like one of those gods of the Genesis; a word would be your guide through life, you would be a word yourself.

Then the creation spotaneously took place, giving birth to the urbis of the 21st century; machines started to awake as morning approached and other human beings joined your demeanour, unconsciously, probably just running patiently to some unskilled job or returning from a licentious night with a whore. Everything had changed by now, save Selene, who kept watching you in her mortal motherly pain that would condemn her to disappear in the streams of light as her husband would approach, and him Helios, you were unwilling to face; for the Aurora would flow in between his fingers and since early morning play the lyre without a cord with the simple intention of shaping human fate, in musical conspirations of duration, connotation and augment. Only her sounds you wouldn't hear. You were an Argive on caffeine, or maybe just on adrenaline.

But treacherous Selene was to ail your sores, having worked a business deal with Cronos, the ruler of time, so that the watch would halt its march for a little while, and her husband would delay some more. The march of the needles would seemingly stop for a while, at least until you would be on your way in a cab, and although the first rays of the sun filtered through the carbon prismas of your glasses, you were assured... there you would be before sunrise. Not that we know what Cronos would get in exchange for the treachery before the sun, maybe a good set of selected bonds and stocks. The kind of things that are planned before the average man wakes up, just perhaps.

The driver in the cab couldn't notice your Eastern nervosity, as you were closing a promise with the help of treacherous gods and their deals in stocks; for why would you, young handsome man, want to drive to the sea just a few minutes before the morning broke? You certainly didn't look like one of those overromanticized Eastern European ladies who would undoubtedly commit suicide, what would be then? You had to invent a story, one of those stories that only a cab driver would be prone to believe. The truth should be withheld, as a maximum security diplomatic affair, poorly diplomatic but certainly an affair. Your thoughts were fixed in long series of letters exchanged over a couple of years, letters that didn't come handwritten by some old lover, or by some one-time friend left once in a little and meaningless Scandinavian town; but were letters written by a man you didn't know, never more than a few lines, never nothing you would recall in your books, or in your lectures. Nothing sympathetically meaningful, screens of mist, undecipherable scripts in the overcomplicated semiotics of an Oxford classicist, or was it Cambridge? I didn't mean to offend, that in the case I mistook by chance.

And there you are, closing what was probably the only gap left in between from your St. Anne's days to the wunthering echoes of the Middle East. The sun still didn't trace your steps and Selene expired slowly into the Mediterranean, you were still free. The beautiful and mortal lapislazuli of Helice was still visible as the night covered herself in those white shawls that uncovered the sun, ruler of men. Aurora Borealis kissed you good-bye, and asked you for coffee, of course some other time, when you would borne again.

Yes, there you were and a gentlemen handshake would be followed by a meaningless conversation, as those of old pals who have been to the navy together; there's no corner in their souls they hadn't crossed together manifold times, nevertheless adding a real face, wearing a skin of silk showing the first traces of adulthood, skin such as that that only young gentleman can wear. Slightly toasted by the inclement sun of the East, who must be a different deity though, for in the plains of Kent and Canterburry our young men look significantly different, with that touch of pale mellancholy and mischief, that anyone who has been a reader in St. Anne's could distinguish perfectly.

The conversation still revolved about nothingness, and it's not clear whether had you remembered Parmenides statement that "there's no nothing" it would have been so different. Helios decided to take revenge on your insignificant human condition, so that the light would blind your sights, and the Boreal winds wouldn't reach your forehead, not to mention that the needles would now knock faster, leaving you in your helplessness as your mother Selene, your protector, was drowning in her sleep. Your time was over, and your coffee still undrunk, you owed to return.

Your tie was waiting for you, and also was your mobile phone and your portable computer, everything remained immobile until your well foreseen return, for it wasn't your day to reach Aurora. You had certainly closed a chapter, of an unwritten book and you were so glad you did, I know it since I saw your reflections and the traces of your steps in the sand, for no other young men would wear English shoes before morning, just to wander about in the sand. The ritual was complete, but now all the gods had noticed your games; now it isn't up to you to decide, although many of them did take pity on you and invested you with that permanent feeling of glory and supreme joy that man experienced after he reached the moon, or in simple words after a 45-minutes sand affair, next to the Mediterranean at 5 am and just right before Aurora, in between blues and greens of jaded tones.

The newfound Phoebus remains as yet a mystery, or perhaps a simple childish idealization, you don't know and probably don't think about it much. You obeyed the laws above the laws, such as an Antigone of the 21st century, an Antigone post-Auschwitz, an unconventional man, a fatalist. The next morning you woke up, swallowed your coffee and daydreamt for a while. The joy of the morning didn't return, neither did the Phoebus and no longer wrote you long letters, it doesn't matter no more. She turns about in the same spot and watches for Orion(*)... and yes, you! you were there, you saw her and she bid you good night, even in the morning, even before your coffee. You didn't see Orion though, but it doesn't matter, next time perhaps, just perhaps.


(*) Homer, Od. 5.274

נגב - נגד

הגעת, אבל איחרת קצת
אני כבר לא הייתי שם
ולעולם לא ישבתי כאן
אותי, לא ראית אף פעם
ביכית, מעבר לקיר
מעבר לנשמה
ולא שמעתי אותך
הרי ברחתי ממך
מצאתי ירח אי-שם
אין לי הסבר מסובך
עברו ימים
גם אחרת שנים
ולא הרגשתי קוליך אף פעם
לא היינו בן אדם אחד
שניים גם לא, אף פעם
אמא שלך מספרת
שאני לא אהבתי אותך, אבל
איך הייתי יודע?
לא אמרת לי שום מילה
אפילו לו מול הים
וגם כוכבים עדים
שלא היה בינינו דבר
ומה תגיד מחר?
אולי כל אשר אמרת היום?
כמה שאני אוהב אותך?
כבר לא רלוונטי
כבר לא מעשי
כבר לא אתה, עדיין לא אני
ספר שלא נכתב
סיפור לא מסופר
אירחת קצת, אדוני
ביכית כבר,
התעלבת פעם
למה זה עזר אבל?
אני כבר לא אצלך
גם לא חלק ממך
והאם קר לך בלילה
הייתי רוצה לדעת
לפחות בישיל לחשוב
לא בדיוק עליך
אלא על מחר
ההוא שלנו לא היה
הרי ברחתי ממך
אבל עצוב לא כדאי לך
אהבתי אותך נורא
ואני הבחור של העצב
לא אתה
אני המחכה
הבן אדם קטן, חלש
תהיה חזק גם היום
הרי אני לא אהיה כאן
דבר אם אלוקיך
אולי הוא יידע
למה מתישהו זרמו
חיים למוות
לפנות בוקר לערב
ים כחול לאדמה
לעולם ועד
עם ירח מלא
כיום הזה
כיום ההוא
שלא אמרת לי מילה
עזוב כבר
הקפה נהיה קר
תשתה ילד
תשתה כבר
במקום לבכות
שממש לא יפה לך
בן אדם גברי
תקרא אולי עיתונים
כדי שתדע לך
הסיפור הזה
קרה להרבה אחרים
וגם הם לא היבינו
מה אל רצה
ואם הוא רצה
אולי יווני אחד
הוא השולט של העולם
ואתה פשוט יהודי אחד
לא כדאי לך לבכות אבל
תמיד במדבר אני נמנצא
כשנהיה קר
כדי לחבק אותך
she turns about in the same spot
and watched for Orion

Monday, April 25, 2005

Orion dies in the Ocean

The many lives that I've lived
And their manifold faces
The lives I've left behind
The lies I've told, still unkind
The children
That child that I was
Or that maybe never was
That child who I am
That pain I bear
No longer in still
Silenced, still
Even in those days
Ever like today
When it rains
As it thwarts
Only in your mind
A piece of demeanour
An endeavour
For human redemption
For procrastination
For a new TV set
And I wished that he would love me
Like I loved yesterday
Before my eyes went pale
Before we were too jaded
Before this morning stroke
As if it left my life
Without knowing where to go
Hovering on my foes
Wound in the road
Such as the winds
Helice, Orion
The Pleiades
And as if we didn't know
How the world came to unrest
How the word came to undress
Those minimalist odes
Should you be a mariner
Could you understand this song
Which is more of a sorrow
But it will be mellow tomorrow
In a coffee shop smile
In some forlorn morrow
Such as human-like
Unsaid, nonetheless
Those many lives that I've lived
The ones that are haunting me
And they haunt you as well
A heirloom of fools
A thought
An ode
How odd
It's to wake up tomorrow
If we're living just today
As my suitcase is unready
And not willing to go
Such as my hands
Naked in the flow of stories
Coated in the fire
A soul that doens't cloud
When I'm to uphold
When the child is to claim
When the day is to live
And the moon is meant to die
Release this woe sometimes
Drink your coffee in the morning
The Ocean can now die
As you watch for Orion
As the Pleiades say your pledge
One day when you'll rise
The day when he'll smile
A perfect day for a ride
And then hide
The Ocean can now die

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Homer of the 21st Century

A generation, in-generation, in generation
In need of some education
The nature of secular knowledge
The curse of a premature existence
Man and god
Both overwritten, overriden
By themselves
At the foundation of the word
In the transmision of their history
Transmutation of souls
Your mental nakedness, and mine
Precious vulnerability
A souvenir of postmodernism
The ignorance of the end of times
Maneouvres of men
And then
She turns about in the same spot
And watches for Orion*

The child of the end of times
Cries out to keep his eyes shut
Born into the light
Blind from the bright
A first-time stellar navigation
The map had been once lost
Altogether with humanity
Now you are on your own
Looking for Orion
In the ethereal
In the eternal
In the end of times
Born with your eyes open
History takes pity on you
On your silver-coated face
On your imagination
On your idealizations
For man is nothing
And Orion is not visible tonight
How will your find your direction?
Should you not be a Phoenician
But rather an educated New Yorker
Who will find your direction?
Orion is not visible tonight
Once more she turns about in the same spot
An wide open sea of information
In an era of contemptuous humanization
The concrete
The idealization

You have lost your way back home tonight
And so has all this generation
You also turn about in the same spot
And look for Orion
As three thousand years went by
You are still looking for Orion

(*)Homer; Odyssey Line 5.274. Thanks to M. Finkelberg for the ancient exegesis and criticism on her 2004 paper published in Greek, Roman & Byzantine Studies 44.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


You patiently stared at my odes
You didn't understand though
Patiently you tolerated my words
Reverie of my endless graves
As if tomorrow
All this were to change
Thus, you vowed
You owed
In your silence
You craved, you stumbled