Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Song of the Pomegranate-Eater (2)

"Wall of Light" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here




Awoken by a worm that nestled on my temple
I reached out for mere breakfast
and found
a fruit soaked in pesticide
maggot-riddled
forbidden

And I ate the poison
was condemned to live and die
was cast bellywise
out of the garden of my own naivety

So I set out on my journeys
(inward journeys, outward journeys -
all journeys should be explorations
of the hinterland, the viscera of Man)

dust in my fingernails
the assignation 20/06/19/Sch/J
branded on my soul
like an inverted Mark of Cain
or an item in a Nazi catalogue

(the history of my people
is a far stronger call to arms
than prayer)

Such was my thirst for knowledge
my mouth drained the sap from every stone

Such was my desire
to lay my heart upon the mat
and to display it
thread by each worn thread
that I knelt down and confessed
to every crime I had and had not committed
arguing “Man has done these things
and I am Man”

Like Jacob my forefather
I counted the stars of night
counted the grains of sand
in the hourglass of my nation
and in the desert of its wandering

until I knew the sum of each configuration
the number of the stars that tumbled
each into the same black hole...

*

But now the sky is closing in again
The mountains are full of rain
Clouds tear the moon’s edge ragged

So I will build my ark of coffin-wood
build it for myself alone

So I will sail off when the time comes
dreamless of Ararat
needless of rainbows

When the time comes
I will take my brushes and my rifle in my hands
unhinge the mezuzah from the doorpost
and depart






Bernhard-Ari’s arm was indeed branded with a number, as were all occupants of Auschwitz. This was not it, however. This was his own invention, “branding” his own birth-date, June 20th 1919. Sch/J indicted a political prisoner.




You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/



Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

The Song of the Pomegranate-Eater (1)

"Darfur" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here



A city of clouds rises above the desert sky
ambushing a crescent moon
condemning the night to total dark
as surely as day will later be
condemned to total light

Behold! the scarecrow comes a-marching
bearing its scythe across the lilac field
rattling its bones at dead of night

Behold! the executioner steps forward
anonymous beneath his cap and gown
listening for the klaxon and the knell

Behold! out of the wintry sky
an ark like Noah’s Ark sails forth
(as if pursuing the obliterated moon)
an ark like Noah’s Ark -
     save that it has no flood
          no mount
no rainbow for its destination
an ark like Noah’s Ark -
becalmed upon these foamless waters
marooned in crimson sky

Behold! this is no chariot of fire
but the ship of death
sailing towards me...

                                   *

Now I
I have become
a stranger to the wind
a stranger to the smoke
a stranger to the sand and dust
homeless as Esau in the wilderness of Sin

I have become
this displaced nomad
rendered sedentary by the green of the oasis
and the abundance of a well

I have become
this feckless dreamer
who created God in his own image
learned Torah from the desert springs
learned Talmud from the cacti

I have become
this unmasked killer of the creative urge
who drags the past along behind him
like a rabid jackal on a steel chain
that stretches all the way from where? to Egypt

I have become
and been
and now it is my turn to decline

downwards
ever downwards
through the last spiral
to the last gyration
of death’s hourglass
among the sands of time

Call me Argaman
Call me Shichrer
Call me Yehudah Ha Nachri

These punctures on my arms
are from the thorns of roses

This scar you cannot bear to look upon
is the torn veil of my forehead’s temple

This doom you cannot endure
this fate, this final destiny
(this bang? this whimper?)
this mere nothingness -
it is nothing but the end of Man

                                   *

Lupus, Marja, Argaman, Ayishah, come to my bedside and make a space for me inside your memories. My time is almost come. Make a space of blessing for me. Make a space of earth for me, six feet by three. This is the Will of Argaman, and you are its Executors and its Inheritors. Make the world a better place because of me. Because I lived and breathed and wrote and killed and loved and painted and poured blood out of my own wounds into all the wounds I opened. Because of all this, make the world a better place. For me.




The original photograph on which "Darfur" is based can be found in "Darfur: Twenty Years of War and Genocide in Sudan", powerHouse Books, ed Leora Kahn.

Friday, November 11, 2016

The Last Confession of the Alchemist-Apothecary

"The Remains of Heinrich Heine" - © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here




Additional illustrations included in the audio:

"Hitler Saluting", "Nietzsche as Superman", "There is no such person as David Irving"
© 2016 David Prashker

"Bebelatz, Berlin", at the foot of this page and on the video, is repoduced courtesy of blibfoto.com















And still the sand blows through the hourglass
   sinking
            seeping
into the bowels of this glass desert

I have found myself
            too often now
   conversing with children
      arguing dialectics
inscribing the weak name with the strong hand
   trying
      - but impossibly
            - to separate the individual grains of sand:

Look! there is Titus entering the Temple
Look! there! the hand of Abraham
   raised in awe and in subservience

Look! see that cypress tree!
   yesterday it felled Absalom

Look! at last! a letter from Ayishah!

And still each moment is inbred with contradictions
The poor remain poor
            the needy remain needy

Yet still I wield my axe -
                        the sharp edge
                                 the blunt edge -
casting my own shadow
   in the shadow of Horatius
      forlornly trying to defend civilisation
against the barbarian within

So I juggle the ciphers -
   thoughts of a dry brain in a dry season -
      loving what they reveal
despising them for all that they leave hidden
So I draw up catalogues of my faults
   and punish myself in my own conscience
      and suspend the sentence

So I climb upon the ladder of thorns
   and crush the rose between my fingers
So I model butterflies out of barbed wire
   I hack the shapes of flowers out of stones
      I stain the page with poetry

(Too often!
         Much too often!)

So I vow to return to the flock
   knowing I could never bear the loneliness

So I endeavour to abandon Art and Literature -
   but the matter lies in hands
      far stronger than my own
and the hands drag me back screaming to the page

So I resolve to resolve the penultimate paradox
   I make one last assault upon the Immaculate Failure
     (I manage to go on compiling lists)
I draw up an index of my life’s achievements
 and know that I have already travelled
  further than many of my generation
   and wonder if the time has not now come
    to embark upon a journey
     distant from the comforts of my home

In the hollow of my thigh there are bruises
   in the palms of my hands you can see the scars
      from where I held too tight the ladder

On my cheeks the barbed incisions
   On my arms the punctured sores
      On my feet the dust

See my eyes
   Lupus
      blistered by candlelight

Feel my heart
   Lupus
      swollen with desire

Hear my lips
                     Lupus
   silently mouthing godless prayers
      into the numinous emptiness of heaven

And watch the sand blow through the hourglass
                                                  Lupus
   forever sinking
      forever seeping
   grain by infinitesimal grain
into the bowels of this glass desert

                                                          *

Lupus, it is almost daybreak, 
   why are the bodies broken?

Lupus, let us call a truce. 
   Let us sit down together in the sunrise 
      and speak the things that old men speak.

Lupus, you have heard my song, 
   now it is your turn to tell me, 
      why are the bodies broken, 
         why is the morning still so remote, 
what doubt or sin has chosen you 

The Mirror and the Mask

"Crucifixion 22" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here














A Song Of Lupus


He smiles at me contemptuously
   from the far side of the mask
      in too much of a hurry
         to receive this coin
            with which I pay him tribute
holding his hand out not to ask
   nor beg
      but simply to shake a resolute
            farewell

Armoured to the very loin
   like a beast of the apocalypse
      unburdened by the load he bears
his face is the gaunt face
   of a criminal
      eyes and lips
         of a horned serpent
                  impermeable shell

A creature who has made his choices
turned
   his own way
      at the unredeeming crossroads
who knows what he has earned
   what spent
      what he must pay
what lose

For he is now the master of his vices
   just as he has always been
      the master of his virtues

O he will refuse the invisible
      and refute it
denounce the abstract
            (or at least dispute it)
his kingdom crownless
   devoid of subjects
      his empire empirical
a pure phenomenon of Earth
            (only his authority is beyond question)

Sound then the alarum of his birth
   recite the blessing of his majesty
      praise praise his holiness
            on bended knee

Already his hands tense to wield the axe
   he hoists unmercifully
      and raises or lets fall
            according to his whim

(Nor are these mere gestures but acts
   performed remorselessly
         from age to age)

Then do not raise your hand nor call
   There is no stopping him
         The uncoiled serpent has acquired plumage

Already he goes before me
   with his smile of contemptuous glee
      laughing at mere prophecies
impaled on a dead tree

Already he has breached the labyrinth
   of which he is the centre
      already he has closed the door
which only he can enter

Already he has thrown aside the mask
   that wears the images of you and me
      casting his likeness on a silver coin
immaculate incipit for a century




You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/



Copyright © 2016 David Prashker

All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Song at the Approach of Dawn

"Redemption" © 2016 David Prashker



To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here




If I were to walk naked among shadows
 beneath the glinting of a night-light
  where a star shone without brightness
   in the depths of some desert cave -
    who would ever know me?

If I could converse with my own shadow
 how much I might learn from what he had to say?

If I were to stand naked before the mirror
 in a vast room of no echoes
  in a mansion of cold stone
   before a wall of night -
    who ould ever know me?

If I could converse with my own reflection
 how much I might learn from what he had to say?

But what is nakedness
 what are shadows and reflections
  who are you
          Lupus
when it is night
 when it is cold
               when it is silent?

If the bush in the wilderness is not burning
     all this remains futile

     (The more I learn about myself
      the more it all confuses me)
If the lion’s den is not bloodied
     all this remains futile

     Underneath our human facade
      in each of us there lurks
       a wild preying beast:
        a Behemoth
         a Leviathan
          an Argaman
           a Lupus

(Mistah Kurtz
     he breathing -
               this feather stirs)

We must strive to become human
     Lupus
We must overcome ourselves
     Lupus
          again and again
Man must be achieved

And if the seas do not flood back
 if the child is not redeemed
  if the ladder does not falter
   if the cross does not grow heavy
   if the wire is not barbed
Then all this remains futile

               I am dying
                         Lupus
                                   dying

     (whimper, whimper, whimper, BANG!)

This is the way it ends
                                     my friend
in blood and fire
                           in blood and fire




You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/



Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

I wrestled hard for many years

"The Grey Thinker" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here




















I wrestled hard for many years
I cried into my pillow night after so many nights
     that at last I perfected crying as an art-form
          and my voice left its stain upon the silence
I went down on my knees
     unsure whether to pray or beg or grovel
I found myself doubled over
     but could not tell the laughter from the pain
I lingered in numerous bars and caf├ęs
     warming the backs of innumerable stone benches
I skimmed the scant cream
     salivating copiously
          dribbling
I compiled the n-dimensional novel
I rewrote Don Quixote for the twentieth century
I devoted endless years of travelling
     to forgetting everything I had learned with my head
I composed a thesis on the problem of originality
     borrowing phrase by phrase from other works
          yet still managed to produce something
                    uniquely original
I rewrote History to suit my own interests
I developed propaganda as an existential art-form
I became a novice in Shangri-La
I held the sand suspended in the hourglass
     for a full fifty-seven minutes
I headed for the cemetery
     and listened to the conversations of those youths
          who rape the corpses of beautiful women
I constructed the Tower of Babel
     then dismantled it
          preferring the confusion
I repented my error of judging my fellow-men
I built a skeleton
     adding parts to it
          naming them individually:
     this the broken heart
          this the flaccid penis
               this the befuddled brain
I disproved the ultimate paradox
I almost achieved the Immaculate Failure
I managed to go on compiling lists




You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/



Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

The Lay of the Swallow

"Africa 5" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here










My wings are chains that bind me to the sky
   but sky is endless and my chains are wind

I made my nest among the stone turrets of Jerusalem
   and dined on juice and shishlik
      and sang for those
who marvelled to find a swallow in the city

I made my nest among the concrete towers of Herzliya
   and dined on caviar and breadcrumbs
      and sang for those
who bought me a gold cage and combed my feathers

I made my nest among the clay-brick roofs of Nablus
   and dined on worms - when I could find some -
      and sang
         and sat up dreaming late into the night
and longed to fly southwards for the winter

I flew to Cairo and looked down on the pyramids
I flew to Barbados and looked down on the surf
I flew to Buenos Aires and looked down on the pampas
I flew to Cape Town and looked down on the blacks

I made my nest among the ivory palaces of Taba
   and sat all morning looking at the women
      and the women were naked
         and very beautiful

And I languished in the sun
   and slept and swam
      and drank iced water
and dined on prawn and lobster
   and sang for the young women
      and nested in their hair

In autumn I fly northwards into windy skies
   to make my nest where no one calls me trespasser

My wings are chains that bind me to the sunlight
   but sun polishes my chains and sky is endless


You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/






Copyright © 2016 David Prashker

All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

Song at Machpelah

"Death Valley" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here



Rivers build motion on lofty wings
   crossing stones
                    banks
          other rivers

At the edge of the Euphrates
     Gilgamesh built walls
                    a great rampart
          and the temple
for Anu
               god of the firmament
     and for Ishtar
                         goddess of love;
the seven sages laid the foundations

At the edge of the Nile
     Rameses built walls
                    a great pyramid
          and the temple:
for Horus
              and for Isis
     and for Osiris
the three-part divinity

At the edge of the Zambesi
     Zimbabwe built walls
                    a great city
          and the temple:
for his people
               and for the generations yet to come
     and for the goddess of the stones
that swell the river

And the rivers built motion on lofty wings
          crossing stones
                    banks
                         other rivers

But not here
Here we rummage in the soil for clay tablets
Here we travel in coach-loads to ruined walls
Here we transmute pilgrims into tourists
Here we wage war in the name of gnarled
     graffitoed stone
Here we spit in the face of the goddess
     and tear down her temple
Here the gravel roads lead from rock to rock
     and leave no footprints
The roots are burned with napalm
The cells are divided and partitioned
The seeds are sterilised with DDT
The rivers are polluted.

Scrawled like graffiti
     on the walls we failed to build
the histories of previous civilisations
          each one greater than our own
and not for what they created
     but for what was left behind
                         at their destruction





Machpelah is the double-cave near Hebron which Abraham purchased as a burial-place for Sarah. Genesis 23.





You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/




Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

Song of Departure

"Homage to Valeriya Kutsan" 
© 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here



I close my eyes
     and sink into the heart of the invisible
I lay a sheet across the glass
     and know that I am One
I tell myself:
     you are not lost because you travel
          only God does not travel
I tell myself:
     to cry
          or plead
               is already to create
for the tear transforms the silence
     and the plea echoes beyond one’s own nothingness


And I would do the same things
     even if there were no God
          to offer me free will

I would damn myself
     even if there were no Hell

And these words
   would still be carved upon the granite
      would still be carved upon the marble
         would still be carved...

                                   *

Ayishah
   In the cold evening of late winter
      I juggle with the ciphers
   until the darkness
      at last relinquishes your name

Take your pleasures slowly
     drop by drop
          the way the puritans do
Drink from each cup only once
Accept nothing -
               all may be false
Deny nothing -
          all may be true
Do not fear death
Do not expect to hear from me again

Know that
     a year from now
in the cold evening of late winter
          when the hourglass has turned full circle
I will juggle with the ciphers once again
     but the darkness
          may no longer relinquish your name.



You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/




Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

Song at the Threshold

To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here


Ultimately there is little difference
between Jung                and Lawrence
between Plato                and Aristotle

("the dimorphism of the psyche 
                              produced them both")

between Christianity                and Shinto
between the Star of David    and the hexagram
between Capitalism                and Communism

We are talking about the same longings and desires
for peace                for understanding
for justice               for equality
         for happiness overall

                                             We are arguing only about the methods
                                               the means of attainment

                                             Whatever creeds we adhere to
                                                whatever ideologies we espouse
                                                       the goal remains the same
                                             and the values and principles that inspire
                                                those creeds and ideologies
                                                       always also outlive them

                                             All gods are the same god -
                                                    as Abraham discovered long ago

                                             The real distinctions
                                                   are not the avatar-figureheads
                                                         but the rituals -
                                             I mean, not the deus, but the lex

                                             (The weeks I have spent
                                                  trying to define the Unifying Principle
                                             are like the years of l’entre deux guerres
                                             I dream of creating something
                                                which History could not destroy

                                             I sit up late into the night
                                                reading Maimonides and Spinoza

                                             I keep a copy of the Analects beside my bed
                                                I despair of ever hoping again)





You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/



Copyright © 2016 David Prashker





All rights reserved





The Argaman Press

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Song for Flavius Josephus

"The Face of Death, Kovno, June 1940"
© 2016 David Prashker 
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here





















I came to visit you in your country house
   a man from Nachri bred on mountain-milk

You told me your name and I accused you of lying
   because I knew you no longer had a name
      but only the image of your greed
carved in blood-red ciphers on a city wall

And we - we have erased the ciphers
   we have torn down the wall
      we have struck our countless dagger-blows
one for each of the Furies you unleashed

                              *

“My father’s blood cried from the ground
     and I travelled,
          exiled and outcast
 serving another man’s house
     for the sake of my own roof”

Thus did you whinge and whimper
     bleating like a Passover lamb

You showed me your great book
   told me the great burden of your age
      and I accused you of lying
because your great book is just
   the great confessing of your crimes
      and as to your great age -
why, your crimes are ageless

And so I closed the book
   I recited the psalm of History
      I catalogued your crimes
I read out the list of charges:

Joseph, son of Mathias
   a leaf of grass is no less
      than the journeywork of the stars
and one kiss can betray a generation
   and one hand can turn the key
      and one lie
Flavius
      one lie is quite sufficient

                              *

I exchanged my squalid shack for your royal residence
   and sat for hours
      weaving you a death-shroud

You told me of your loves and I replied
   “You have never loved
      for you do not understand love
you who have never hated”

And I swore vengeance in my father’s name
   in the names of all our mothers
      and I unleashed my own Fury
         until I had created perfect love
                                                 perfect hatred

Then you spoke of your anxieties
     and I accused you of wallowing in them

You spoke of your enemies
     and I accused you of betraying them

You spoke of your dreams
     and I observed that you were awake
                           recounting them

You spoke of your visions
     and I called you prophet
                                 cynically

You spoke of your strategies
     and I branded you a genius

You spoke of your friend the Emperor
     and I labelled you a sycophantic dog

You told me everything you knew -
     name place detail -
          and I was not surprised how little
and how much it was

You spoke of your integrity
     and I knew that you were lying

You spoke of your humanity
     and I recalled how you had killed for it

You spoke of your remorse
     and I wondered
               that you had never learned to laugh

Then at last you made your full confession
     and I led you to the Temple
          manacled your hands
     made you kneel down between
          the cedars and the ivory

mocked you
     forced you to drink vinegar
          plunged my dagger through the palms
of your feet and hands
     gave you your thirty coins -
          and then sentenced you:

Joseph, son of Mathias
   a leaf of grass is no less
      than the journeywork of the stars
and one kiss can betray a generation
   and one hand can turn the key
      and one lie
Flavius
      one lie is quite sufficient

                                   *

Before the method of your sacrifice
     had been agreed upon
I found you before the mirror
     counting your shekels
          and smoothing out your hair

You asked me to bow down before you
     and when I hesitated you said
          it was only to let you kiss me

So I leaned forward
     as you raised your face to me
          and I slapped you on both cheeks

Then I wielded my axe above your head
     and brought it down -

with what insensate fury did I drive myself
     to take my grand revenge
erasing the ciphers of your name
     tearing down the walls
striking countless dagger-blows
     one for each of the Furies you had unleashed



Flavius Josephus was originally Joseph ben Matityahu (37-c100 CE), before he defected to the Romans after surrendering the siege of Jotapata to Vespasian. He later wrote “The Jewish War” and “Jewish Antiquities” for the Emperor under his Roman name. The poem was written for a man whose name is unknown, one of the leaders of the failed insurrection at Auschwitz which is described in "The Flaming Sword", the first volume of "The Argaman Quintet".





You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/



Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

Unfinished Song

"Face 198d"  © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here













All our lives we fumble in the dark
   like teenage lovers
      under cover of a midnight park
searching for what is never as we dreamed

scared as much of darkness as “the other”
   scared of our own indoctrinated guilt
      tormented by the phantom mythic beast
alleged to lurk beneath the lovers’ quilt
   or in priapic playfulness at least -
      yet who is never really so ferocious as he seemed

                                   *

Ayishah, I long to interpret the silence
   you weave about your absence
the coded messages inside your letters
   which confirm our deeper correspondence
the secrets of your hidden life
   untouched by circumstance

Ayishah
It is not true what they say
   about the heart growing fonder
Emotions wander
Opinions vary
In my case anyway
   absence makes the heart grow wary

                                   *

All our lives we torment ourselves with Love
     does she doesn’t she
          will she won’t she
The cry of need
     the cry of lust
          the cry of seeking seed
The cry of passion turned into disgust
     the cry of ultimate betrayal
The cry of laughter
     at the hindsight-understood naivety
          of happy-ever-after

And each cry sounding so much the same
     and still such difference
Each cry issuing from the selfsame vein
     of guilt and innocence
Each cry ending and beginning
     in the selfsame dream
  ending and beginning
       in a susurration
               and a primal scream

                                   *

I am thinking, Ayishah
     not of the first time
           but of the very first time

Of the sixteen-year-old girl I kissed
     when I was seventeen
in the days before sex
     had become enshrouded
          in mystery and taboo
days when love was not yet Love
     and you were not yet You

Nothing is more important than the very first time
     and every time
          should always be the very first time
for with each new relationship we enter
     we renew our own virginity
  render ourselves pure and uncorrupt again
       ready for the necessary violation of our innocence...

(no, today the poetry is not lucid; only the wound that engendered the need for poetry, bleeding, but incoherently)…

                                   *

Ayishah
     it has been too long
               our song remains unfinished
and I am stranded here
     longing to interpret the silence
          you weave about your absence
the coded messages inside your letters
     which confirm our deeper correspondence
the secrets of your hidden life
          untouched by circumstance

Ayishah
It is not true what they say
   about the heart growing fonder
Emotions wander
Opinions vary
In my case anyway
   absence makes the heart grow wary

Ayishah, please be kind to me
     the summer is almost gone
Seven years have I waited for thee
          seven years and then seven
               and now the long winter draws on




You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/



Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

Song at the Mandelbaum Gate

Until it was torn down in 1967,
the Mandelbaum Gate was the main checkpoint in Jerusalem,
defining the border between Israel and Jordan within the city.
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here



(at other times this poem might have been entitled Song At Checkpoint Charlie, or Song At The Great Wall, or Song At Jericho, or Song At The Maginot Line, or even, though more implausibly, Song At The Frontier):


Even though I accuse History
   I do not blame it
Anything that grows is dual
      (a throw of chance
upon the heads and tails of fishes)
    or so the Christians say
referring to it as
            "the problem of good and evil" –

but a falsehood this duality
when white is all the colours
and black the absence of the colours
and grey barely distinguishable from grey
and what we think of as duality
is really the multiplicity
desperately struggling to become One

So I am intrigued by mirrors
So I neither hope nor despair
So I inevitably betray myself
     trying to live several different lives at once
So Gautama wept in the lotus-garden at Sakyamuni
          seeing the crocuses open before the sun
Nor is there any contradiction
   only this false duality
      proceeding by seeming opposites

Progress
     as a creative force
          implying progress
               as a force of destruction
and serving both
     and neither

So I do not hide my eyes
So the act of love becomes political
So I accuse
      but do not blame.



You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/




Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press

A Song at Korazim

"Face in Profile 2" © 2016 David Prashker
To listen to an audio recital of the poem, click here



















Word of his teachings reached us
   even in the lowlands
      though much garbled
         frequently misquoted
and rarely understood

Many of the tales we quite simply disregarded
   recognising in them the quaint traditional features
      of every popular myth:

that he was not born of woman
that luminaries had bestowed gifts upon him
that he had been suckled by wolves
that a tyrant had sought his death
that he had been rescued by water
that unnatural phenomena had coincided with his birth
that birds could communicate with him
that he was impervious to lust
that he could perform miracles
that he had come, specifically, for us
that he was incapable of death

So we had gathered on this cliff
   to hear him discourse
      on the method of discourse
a young woman in her seventh month
   and I
      in my own disconsolate July

And how he spoke! -
   inevitable as a circus hypnotist
   his purple robes flowing as his arms flapped
as comically as any circus clown

"Flame growing into flame -
    the great urge has not yet found a body
       but urges towards creation
 with the great creative urge"

Was this new?
   Was this another prophet’s teaching
               misappropriated?
Was this it?
"The death of darkness is light
    Only the sun cannot be extinguished
       A mirror reflected in a mirror
 engenders infinite possibilities"

This was more like it
   the commonplace obscurities
      that are made to sound like mysteries
the high-flown banalities
   platitudes, absurdities -
      just what we expect from our Messiahs

"You yourself will always be
    the worst enemy you can encounter
You yourselves lie in wait for yourselves
in caves and forests"

But o what power - Lupus
   What eloquence!
      What charisma!

And hearing him speak
   watching the enrapturement of half the crowd
      sensing the vague misgivings of the other half

It was already so easy to prophesy:
   the words that would bring comfort equally
      to those who would kill
and those who would die
   in his name
               and in the name of his prophecies




You can find David Prashker at:
http://theargamanpress.com/
http://davidprashker.com/
http://davidprashker.net/
https://www.facebook.com/TheArgamanPress
http://davidprashkersprivatecollection.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkerssongsandpoems.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersartgallery.blogspot.com
http://davidprashkersworldhourglass.blogspot.co.uk/
http://davidprashkersbookofdays.blogspot.co.uk/
http://thebiblenet.blogspot.co.uk/




Copyright © 2016 David Prashker
All rights reserved
The Argaman Press