Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Barbara's Ark

I saw you last in New York
Down that tiny passage inside an electronics shop
Right next to the gentleman carved out of advertisements
But at the time I didn't feel up to odes of any kind
And you were too seemly entangled with the smoke
As to heed the commanding God of the writer
To diminish yourself from
"Le plus haute tour"
Of your guilt
And land on your face to the world
Bleeding those little comments
One often makes blissfully
When staring into a hungry painter
Who refuses to draw the beautiful woman
And strives to glimpse the bad smells in her hair
Growing as a rich well of epiphanies
Planted in a Bohemian street
Right outside Agnes' window
Inside an empty can

That was of course before the creation story
Before that sickly perversion with language
That deceived both Adam and Eve
And no less than Lilith
The Midrash answers
To a question no one asked
Since the earliest beginning
Turning all possible knowledge
Into falsehood
Cueing to enter a church
Whose walls are papered with fingerprints
Of unsaintly book-covers and grass
To feed nocturnal lights
From Valle-Inclan's tortures
And at the time
I already learnt the Talmud
With Helen of Troy
Who abhorred the wisdom of the serpent
So that she translated herself into a woman

But today I still cling onto that yearning
For those printed days
Before my mani-fold exiles
Like when we finished the milk
In Jerusalem
Thinking of more innocent questions
That wouldn't ransack the imagination
From a comatose world
Whereby sanity turned into a commodity
And newspapers into the real life
Of a nihilistic sort
Nourishing our speech
With marzipan fingers
Cut out from an ocean of silences
And even then
Beneath the olive tree
Having forgotten my rosaries
On some coin-machine
I thought about Mephiboshet
Whose murderous screams
Didn't revert everything to a void-and-chaos
Whose silence didn't hasten the night
Bespeaking the treaty at Sinai
Poor Mephiboshet
That finished his days in a traffic jam
From Staten Island to your house
Awaiting a new world
That would be more just
With flitting eyes
Sipping ambar
From the comfort of an earthly home

And I remember having waited
While you were in the kitchen
Until Michal told Helen
Somewhere in the Talmud
That Jonathan had died
And we were then joyful
That this world might never be redeemed
"Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us,
But unto Thy name give glory,
For Thy mercy, and for Thy
truth's sake"
Which expounded my most intimate doubt
Whether isn't it so that the truth
Is important only for God?
That to us he's bequeathed only one world?
And poor Helen was so disappointed
That she journeyed to seek an answer
From Rabbi Elisha
And when he informed her it was no longer important
Because we had exhausted the questions in Auschwitz
She had herself christened
But from her immaculate silences
I know she still loves Mephiboshet
Like the three sisters from the legend
Even that one who fled to Palestine

But it isn't too simple
And both Franz knew it
That we couldn't be too much at home down here
And it's all Helen's fault
And not the serpent's
Who shouldn't have been loathed
We would drown here down
And choke there up
For when I quit reading the Bible
Just like I didn't quit nicotine
I understood the tragedy of the philosopher
Which is tragic only insofar as
It is a parody
An awful joke
In that by accepting God
We've obliterated everything else
Even the world
The only home we had
And like Bergmann
All we can do
Is to gather details
Just in case

We've lost the firm ground of the soil
And we can only build houses of safety
From the Aufstand der Wasser
That will not eliminate our fears
But simply exclude them
Until that day
When we'll be swimming
Into life
Like we do in our earthly exiles
Among traditions and spaces
We'll be swimming into time
But for the time being
We can't know
We can't know
Just like with the revolution
We can't speculate too much about it
We need to experience the abyss
Right from the top of the cliff
Not just from the Polis
But from within the wombs of the earths
That lie beyond the apparent worlds
And the fictitious ones
And when we will
This will be no longer philosophy
Or language
Or anything we've known.

"Death will take the spectacular difference
Between fire and water
And cast it to the abyss" (Zelda)

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