I want a dyke for president, Zoe Leonard #ImWithHer #HillaryClinton #VPDebate

I want a dyke for president.

I want a person with AIDS for president and I want a fag for vice president and I want someone with no health insurance and I want someone who grew up in a place where the earth is so saturated with toxic waste that they didn’t have a choice about getting leukemia.

I want a president that had an abortion at sixteen and I want a candidate who isn’t the lesser of two evils and I want a president who lost their last lover to aids, who still sees that in their eyes every time they lay down to rest, who held their lover in their arms and knew they were dying.

I want a president who has stood on line at the clinic, at the dmv, at the welfare office and has been unemployed and layed off and sexually harrassed and gay-bashed and deported.

I want someone who has spent the night in the tombs and had a cross burned on their lawn and survived rape.

I want someone who has been in love and been hurt, who respects sex, who has made mistakes and learned from them.

I want a black woman for president.

I want someone with bad teeth and an attitude, someone who has eaten that nasty hospital food, someone who crossdresses and has done drugs and been in therapy.

I want someone who has committed civil disobedience.

And I want to know why this isn’t possible.

I want to know why we started learning somewhere down the line that a president is always a clown: always a john and never a hooker.

Always a boss and never a worker, always a liar, always a thief and never caught.

— Zoe Leonard, 1992

Watch Mykki Blanco perform Zoe Leonard’s 1992 poem ‘I Want A Dyke For President’: http://dazd.co/2dptAgW

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A Beautiful Town by Haya Pomrenze #poem #Jewish #death #mourning

A Beautiful Town by Haya Pomrenze

When my father died I was twelve hundred miles away
because a giggly-bosomed hospice nurse
in loud pink scrubs chirped
that it could be weeks, even a month.
That evening he had mushroom barley soup
then gave each child an I love you.
Over the phone it sounded like a regular I love you
not a final phrase, which is why
you have to see people when they speak to you.
I wish I could say that looking back
I heard my father’s wet cough, his rattled breath
a long pause, which forced me to board a plane.
Instead that night my father went to the bathroom
with his walker and his Jamaican aide he loved like a daughter,
which makes me feel happy and sad. His kidneys shut down
the way his face did when he was hurt or angry.
Back in the railed hospital bed he counted down in real time
the same way he did when we were late for carpool or synagogue.
Five minutes, four minutes, faltered at three.
He made it to one minute, eyes at half-mast.
It’s a beautiful town, he said.

—from Rattle #45, Fall 2014
Tribute to Poets of Faith

__________

Haya Pomrenze: “With the exception of eating rice pudding and chocolate babka, writing poetry is the closest I’ve come to a true spiritual experience. I’m a believer in God on my own terms. I write poems in synagogue, on carpool line, while having sex, working with my psych patients. I have absolute faith in a higher power when I write. There’s a bit of the divine in my mortal words.”

Sunday Afternoon, Denise Levertov #poem #girls #church #wild

One of these poems that are so lovely your heart aches and you want to spend the rest of the day finding every single poem this poet wrote. A sort of poetry feeding frenzy.

Levertov, Denise Levertov: “[I knew] before I was ten that I was an artist-person and I had a destiny.”

I started reading about her life and I have to close the window, because I must read property law first. Who are the Black Mountain Poets?!

Oh! Look at this title: “The Life Around Us: Selected Poems on Nature (1997)” And “White Owl and Blue Mouse.”

I wonder if the afternoon sun lay red on the white dresses or if they actually changed clothes. Maybe it is a Catholic thing.

Sunday Afternoon

After the First Communion
and the banquet of mangoes and
bridal cake, the young daughters
of the coffee merchant lay down
for 1 long siesta, and their white dresses
lay beside them in quietness
and the white veils floated
in their dreams as the flies buzzed.

But as the afternoon
burned to a close they rose
and ran about the neighborhood
among the halfbuilt villas
alive, alive, kicking a basketball, wearing
other new’ dresses, of bloodred velvet.

If you are forever watching dogs or just your own dog, this rhythm in the next poem feels so very familiar… Except in spring when a dog needs to sniff every scent in 30 minutes of pausing for half a block. And except in Winter when it is too cold on the bottom of the paws and the only scents are the neighbours dogs’ yellow snow.

Overland to the Islands

Let’s go—much as that dog goes,
intently haphazard. The
Mexican light on a day that
‘smells like autumn in Connecticut’
makes iris ripples on his
black gleaming fur—and that too
is as one would desire—a radiance
consorting with the dance.
.                                                    Under his feet
rocks and mud, his imagination, sniffing,
engaged in its perceptions—dancing
edgeways, there’s nothing
the dog disdains on his way,
nevertheless he
keeps moving, changing
pace and approach but
not direction—’every step an arrival.’

Denise Levertov (b. 1923)

Ruvn Ayzland There are pale girls painted red yiddish poem

It’s noon. Around us, all is quiet.
Only a single machine is humming like a bee, somewhere in a corner.
A girl is eating, cracking the shell of an egg,
and one or two others are sipping tea
in a warm and cozy mood.
Nearby someone is munching onions and bread–
and there are pale girls painted red.

And in the window I sit alone, my legs crossed and my hands in my lap,
And look out — just look out.

Ruvn Ayzland.

From: Yiddish Literature in America, 1870-2000, ed: Emanuel S. Goldsmith. Translator: Ba.rnett Zumoff. 2009.

Buy at Abebooks here.

#Shoah #Holocaust #iNeedFeminismBecause “I cannot swim” by Irena Klepfisz

 

I cannot swim by Irena Klepfisz

I cannot swim    but my parents
say the land is less safe.     And
the first day    the water was smooth
like slate I could walk on.
It was a deception.

The sky greyed    darkened
then grew bright     as if it understood
our mood. I watched the land sink
and disappear. The boat was form.
I sat holding onto my father’s leg.
I was not sick like the others.

 

(..)

The poem goes on, you can google it, it is too heartbreaking to type out.

From:
Sarah’s Daughters Sing: A Sampler of Poems by Jewish Women
edited by Henny Wenkart

 

#Wintersolstice Brittle World by Lew Sarett #snow

matt-anderson-commercial-fine-art-landscape-gallery-decor2009_01_10_164328_Final

Photo by Matt Anderson

Brittle World

Brittel the snow on the gables,
The sleet-hung pines, the night
Sprinkled with stars that quiver
Over the waste of white.

Fragile the earth in the moonlight,
The glassy sheet of lake;
If I tapped it with a hammer,
The brittle world would break.

Lew Sarett in All the Silver Pennies, ed. Blanche Jenning Thompson

seventeenth-century-snow-witch-house.jpg

Photo by Daseger. “Witch House” or the Jonathan Corwin House in Salem.

Poetry foundation: “Poet, lecturer, and teacher Lew Sarett was born Lew Saretsky in Chicago to parents who immigrated from Poland and Lithuania.

He was educated at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Beloit College, Harvard Law School, and the University of Illinois Law School.

Sarett became interested in nature and American Indian culture and lore at an early age, and these interests are clearly reflected in his life and in his poetry.

[…] lived among the Chippewa Indians of the Lake Superior region, and was adopted by them and given the name Lone Caribou.”

Read more here at the Poetry Foundation!

Four Little Foxes
by Lew Sarett

Speak gently, Spring, and make no sudden sound
for in my windy valley yesterday I found
New born foxes squirming on the ground
Speak gently.

Walk softly, March, forbear the bitter blow,
Her feet within a trap, her blood upon the snow,
The four little foxes saw their mother go
Walk softly.

Go lightly, Spring, oh give them no alarm;
When I covered them with boughs to shelter them from harm
The thin blue foxes suckled at my arm
Go Lightly.

Step softly, March, with your rampant hurricane
Nuzzling one another and whimp’ring with pain,
The new little foxes are shiv’ring in the rain
Step softly.

Out of longing, Dvorah Fogel- Yiddish poetry! “…Every night something should happen in the world…”

Favourite stanza because the thought:

Every night something should happen in the world.
Something should come
of all the walks
One takes in a day.

 

Out of longing

Today I bought yellow cherries
smelling wetly of loneliness.

Cherries never grow old.
Just sixteen, seventeen years old.

Today I’m a yellow cherry,
I taste emptily of drifting
through night streets, city streets.
Yellow lamps.

Every night something should happen in the world.
Something should come
of all the walks
One takes in a day.

But last year
and again two and three years ago

Only the watery taste
of loneliness.

Dvorah Fogel.

 

From: a Treasury of Yiddish Poetry edited by Irving Howe and Liezer Greenberg.
USED and NEW: http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=13535919967

http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/fogel-dvoyre

“Together with her husband and son, Fogel was killed in the Lwów ghetto in 1942.

Fogel’s remarkable experimental poetry, all written in the 1930s, was, in the spirit of early twentieth-century art, radically avant-garde and attuned to all the modernist minimalisms.

She attempted to fuse modern art and poetry in a new style that she termed “white words,” striving, as she put it, to create a new lyric poetry of the urban condition: a poetry of cool stasis and of geometric ornamentation with a rhythm of repetition that can replace melodiousness and dynamism, in which monotone becomes theme.

In her creative prose she employed repetitive detached impressions (“montages”) to achieve the same goals.

Contemporaneous and later critics considered her style too intellectual, studied and obscure, and lacking in traditional Jewish and feminine thematics.

Yet Fogel herself regarded her project not as a deliberate experiment, but rather as “a necessity, achieved and paid for with life’s experience.