My deceased father | I wish I could return between the knives of time | Why there is no (re)union in reunions or, the cabin of our decline

The tree of life, by mati shemoelof, personal collection, 2003

The tree of life, by mati shemoelof, personal collection, 2003

My deceased father

The stamps have collected the final days

of my father unto countries where

he never traveled.

He laid them in a bowl of his soul’s water

and peeled away the envelopes of neglect

of the lower-class neighborhoods of the city of Haifa,

But the octopus-like hands of the government authorities

do not loosen their grip on the stamp

and the black ink persists like the mark of

Cain.

(“Poetry Between Hazaz and Shemoelof”, 2006)

***

I wish I could return between the knives of time

Hadar neighborhood in Haifa awaited my grandfather in a worn-out wedding dress

and in honor of his retirement granted him two crumbling backgammon dice,

and poured him a glass of arak

and my grandmother told me how she sat in the roofless bus station, of the Eye without the Sea neighborhood,

and worried, but he never returned from there the way he left.

The past has its own time.

The time has its own past.

Allah be with you, grandpa Shlomo.

(“Poetry Between Hazaz and Shemoelof”, 2006)

***

Why there is no (re)union in reunions or, the cabin of our decline

A memory of trees dancing between the lotus flowers that the goldfish suffocate

In the grove that stretches back to the thorny high school days in a bug’s dance of incomprehensible moves.

Who dropped to the quiet rocky ground duck-like in their origins and awkward in their movements?

Who touched the angry sky with kittenish clouds?

Not you Ehud Banai, because there is no bonfire here and even the word, burning in a memory with no memory, dissolves.

Dust-mote wars and twigs dropping off bored hornet’s nests selling venom as if it was honey

and before them the children are quiet, silenced by their lack of imagination.

Was it my fault the laundry was colored red?

Devouring sunbeams from pebbles of scalded tea

Facing the passion of one thousand five hundred flies disturbed in the night of the sunflower eaters.

Do not get close to snort all the dream dust, you pair of mothers fucking between silken clamps.

A surrogate stagehand once again forgets to inform the goddesses of the East that the creation of the crucified She ended a long time ago, during high school in Haifa.

(“Apetite for Hugner”, 2013, fortcoming)

***

Beautiful terrorist

My lovely terrorist,

Don’t be afraid of the Jewish people.

I will serve you black coffee.

I will bring you a plate of stuffed cookies.

My terrorist, play me the music you download from the internet

and we will watch movies together.

You are my terrorist.

Terrorist you are my sister.

My sister you are a terrorist.

Come and let’s study together the books of spoken Iraqi that I received from Gal in Haifa.

Dear terrorist, you are so tired, perhaps rest a little on the bed.

We’ll go to the garden and harvest the giant mint bush that spread and overran the entire garden since ’77.

How much sugar do you take?

Shall I leave the tea bag in the cup?

Now before we part with the lovely Jewish blessing: See You Again

And a thousand blessings on your eyes,

We will watch in a long breath for an even longer breath.

May Allah give you health and strength.

 (“Apetite for Hugner”, 2013, fortcoming”)

This poems were first published on Anisa Eskar art catalog (2013) / HAIFA MUSEUM OF ART

****

I was interviewed by The known Journalist Petar Volgin Bulgarian Radio about culture and protest in Israel after July 2011.

Shabbat Shalom!

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About Mati Shemoelof

משורר, עורך וסופר. A Writer

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