Very good news, “To the son of whore” – A short story of mine got published on Consequence Magazine in NYC. Thanks to Maya klein and Chaim Rubenstein who translate it. Special thx to my partner Charlotte Misselwitz and the Editor Catherine Parnell 😇
“Mizrahi in Berlin” is an intimate performance by poet and author Mati Shemoelof. What happens to a writer when moving to a place where the language he writes in is no longer that of the majority but a minoritarian one, furtive and spoken by few? What are the ties that connect the literary work of an Israeli based in Berlin to that of other Jewish authors across the world’s different disaporas?
Shemoelof will tell us of the adventures and wonders he encountered in his home city, of his ties to Europe as a Mizrahi Jew whose mother was born in Bagdad. He will discuss the way in which Arabs in Berlin perceive him, compared with how Europeans do, and on what connects a Mizrahi Israeli with women from former East Germany. Shemoelof will raise the question of whether all Israelis living in Berlin are actually Mizrahis, and what life looks like when you reside in the West while your origin country is in the East. And a further question: Are there any borders in the age of the internet? Shemoelof is accompanied by musician Gilad Roth, on Saxophone.
Remembering your golden years: Elegy for George Michael
You were born, the same day your mother’s brother committed suicide. You wanted to know him, It took some joy from your mother’s life
who you always seem to miss.
Your father could not believe you were born a singer. He wanted you to study in a private school; he did not know your magic talent ran restlessly, inside of your wondrous soul
A Greek-English boy with a Mediterranean beauty
A golden angel dancing
Your golden hair spoke to men and women.
People said that?
who said you are a puppet of the pop industry?
They didn’t know that at the age of 14 already music sang inside your brain
Careless whispers of eternity
You fell in love in Anselmo while performing in Brazil, in front of sixty thousand people
and At the same speed you jumped up to heaven, you went down the stairs, when he died of AIDS two years after the careless whisper of redemption.
You were silent for a few years, Until You heard an angel coming down to earth like a Jesus to a child
You described the wonder that thrilled your heart
But the news about your mother was too hard,
She was the one who made you wear those silver threads on your white shirt on “Top of the Pop”. The shirt was ridiculous but the pain was even more difficult.
The Beverly hills police department falsely accused you, and you had to tell the world you are
You hated interviews but you went on a crusade to win them
You came out and gave a performance that you hated,
You sold your secrets on TV.
Yet even gods want to sleep, and you could not live with your
Tremendous success. What can you do when gold stands in your room like an elephant
How can you breath?
We were left to dance alone without you.
The poem was first published on Issues Magazine! 2017 😎
حلب، مرة أخرى إحكي لنا، مؤمنين وملحدين، كيف ننبت أحياء حروف داخل معابدك المنتشرة على جسد روحك، المنصتة نحو الداخل إلى أجراس الحرية. الشاعر الشرقي الشاب ماتي شمؤولوف يكتب لحلب المدينة التي تنحدر منها جدته اليهودية شفرا
ماتي شمؤولوف 21.02.17
Aleppo, I, Matityaho Ibn Shifra, your old daughter, a grandson of your Arab-Jews, mourn the erasure of your city of poetry
Aleppo, how did they forget to save your libraries
Aleppo, was it not fireworks that lit the skies of the Arab spring? Or were the night stars shining all night long
Aleppo, tell me who is the devil that drops explosive barrels upon your residents, and thinks that in this way — they will write his name in love
Aleppo, will you listen to the old, weeping Iraqi who lives inside of me? Here, at the gates of our European towns, stand thousands of your sons and daughters, standing with keys to lost homes, waiting to enter
Aleppo, rich poems will flourish in your botanic gardens; Free, we will walk among your Middle Eastern shifting sand-novel-dunes; freedom will be tattooed on our children’s hands, red words of prayer will spread in the wind
Aleppo, torn poetry books fly in the wind; your children’s memory squashed beneath the rubble
Aleppo, the few who read your heart’s beating poems fighting with those who don’t know shit about the little girl who dances while she writes a love letter to her mom
Aleppo, your daughters, are the new Jews, who are exiled between the libraries of the world, and inside their headphones you can hear the compassionate womb of the Oud
Aleppo, we will not fight with weapons that lead to victory. Nope. We will put our hopes in the gentle candle wax and surrender to mountains of words where the sweet snow melts into rivers; where love springs out
Aleppo, tell us again how we can raise neighborhoods of believers and atheists; among the alters who scattered our souls
Aleppo, your stories will come back to my ears, like a child who sits on his grandmother’s knees