existential wounds

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Love Poem
Yehuda Amichai
People use each other
To heal their pain. Each puts the other
on their existential wounds,
on the eye, the penis, the cunt,
the mouth, the open hand.
They grab one another and will not let go.

Photo by SHTTEFAN on Unsplash

“the mouth that aroused”

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The Mouth
T. Carmi
The mouth that enthralled
is the mouth that appalls.

The mouth that lulled to sleep
is the mouth that awakens,
saying: Enough.
Your dream, like cobwebs,
sticks to my hands.

The mouth that sucked
the breath of your sleep
like a rescued man on the beach,
clenches like a fist.

The mouth that aroused
is the mouth that numbs,
saying: With your permission,
these tears tenderize your flesh,
to set the table for the feast of the dead.

The mouth that bound is the mouth that releases,
saying: from now on you’re permitted
to one and all.

Photo by Anna Sastre on Unsplash

inflamed frame

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Synopsis
Amir Or
You put on your gorgeous
fornicating body
wear it like a tiger
wears its pounce.

I dig in your wound
toward the capsule of morphine
splash in the gorgeous plague
squirt meta-pain sparks

into the inflamed frame,
bounce from trampoline of skies
taut to the limit–
shoot
a last rain
definitely last.
Now
a long shot
roams the nebulas of flesh;

now it is permissible
to fold the skies
break the frame

edit memories
pay

Like a tiger its pounce
I take off your gorgeous
fornicating body.

discrepancies of translation

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When I selected this particular poem, Asher Reich‘s “The History of My Heart”, I had only read the translation by Tsipi Keller but when doing a bit of background research found another translation by Vivian Eden. As always, I was struck by how different the meaning can be depending on the interpretation of the translator. I have included both translations here (but cannot find the original Hebrew, and I would not be able to read the original anyway, so I don’t know which translation best reflects the closest literal meaning versus which best reflects intent/figurative meaning).

A good example here of what I mean is that in the Keller translation, it’s a line is translated: “dark ages of humiliating defeats” while the Eden translation cites “dark ages of shameful defeats”. Personally I feel that there is a vast difference between the meaning and nuance of these two word choices: humiliating versus shameful. Shame seems so much stronger, imbued with a much deeper sense of self-blame and guilt, while humiliating does not make me feel the same sense of ongoing ‘defeat’, i.e. humiliation will embarrass you in the moment but shame will stick with you and even alter the course of your actions, possibly even your life? What do you think? I prefer Keller’s version (shown below first), but I like both.

The History of My Heart
-Asher Reich
Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 13.53.00
Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 13.53.54

A second opinion:

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 13.51.13

Photo by gn dim on Unsplash

robotic clasp

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This Evening
Shin Shifra
If things were tailored
tonight to fit my size
I’d put on a frock
of crimson
weaved of raw lust
like the scent of unruly chrysanthemum
harboring a promise
of rain.
Whomever I meet this evening
on my way
will be small for my size
and when I return I’ll be an old hag
and lust will turn
to longing

Every day the sun like a groom
toward me
and until night
I waited for you clad in white —
who is it tottering up the stairs
the voice of my love
your arms closed on me
in a robotic clasp