Readin Tel Aviv in Berlin

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While the Middle East conflict rumbles on, ten thousand creative Israelis have moved to Berlin. Norbert Kron (titel thesen temperamente) recently launched the story book, Wir vergessen nicht, wir gehen tanzen, about the relationships of young Israelis and Germans. Now he brings two amazing Tel Aviv artists to Soho House Berlin: Tal Alon, the founder of Berlin’s Hebrew-language Spitz magazine, and Mati Shemoelof, the political poet and novelist and the writer Norbert Kron. Here two poems from a vibrant panel with poems, provocations and politics.  25.11 19-00 Berlin.
 
Berlin Lesung/Diskussion am 25. November – Tel Aviv meets Berlin
 
es würde mich ganz besonders freuen, wenn ihr Zeit und Lust hättet, zur ersten, höchst exklusiven Veranstaltung ins Soho House zu kommen: “Tel Aviv meets Berlin” – Gespräch und Lesung mit Tal Alon Norbert Kron und Mati Shemoelof. 25.11 19-00
In an Entire Ruined Village and at the Jaffa Expulsion

In an Entire Ruined Village and at the Jaffa Expulsion
 
Listen my mother
A satisfied white rat
Convinced the contractor
To dine with the supervisor
To feed the politician
To sleep with the judge
And to flatten the history of the people.A great rat, mom, I swear I saw
her chewing on the ruins
hungrily, and her excrement is the culture
that eats and can never be filled.And why am I telling you this, O mother,
Maybe because I feel like it can’t go on this way
We have to stand together
In front of the rat and scream the pain of the bitesYou’re right mom,
We aren’t rats
But the marks on the body
The ruin in the eyes
Have already passed to my daughter
Who asks how it is that we
Didn’t do anything.
 
Translated from the Hebrew by Chana Morgenstern. Translation published in Zeek magazine page 18. The poem first appeared on my fourth poetry book “Appetite for Hunger” – Nahar Books, 2013. 

Why don’t I write Israeli Love Songs

To Amiri Baraka

First bring me back my history
And then my textbooks
And don’t tell me my poem is a political manifesto
When you haven’t got a clue ‘bout your wrongs. So here is a lead:
I want compensation from the National Bank of Israel
For the Palestinians, the Mizrachim, the Women, the Gays and the Lesbians
For every comment, transit-camp, closed military zone
Disappearance, disfigurement.
I want you to open the poetry safe
And give back the land to those you took from
And compensate for a horrible occupation
I will wait by the national bank of Israel,
Outside the window of the National Insurance Institute,
Under the cars of the treasury Department
Until you aptly compensate for all the distilled racism
And only then, when the children of children of the compensated ones
Will study in university, in an equal society
Only then will I be willing to write Israeli love songs.

The translation was first published on “Fusion” Magazine – Big Bridge #15, Spring, 2011 >>> and It appear on my third poetry book with the same name [Nahar Books 2010].

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About Mati Shemoelof

משורר, עורך וסופר. A Writer

One response to “Readin Tel Aviv in Berlin”

  1. Mati Shemoelof says :

    Reblogged this on عودة الروح: روحٌ جديدة | רוח ג'דידה and commented:

    שני שירים שהקראתי השבוע … תהנו.. שבוע טוב

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