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ChapBook from March of the Living

At Majdanek

i have seen the unmarked, featureless unformed flesh writhe
outside there was a jewbird.
it fluttered away, it beat black and white feathers
across blue sky, like: it was a prisoner and,
given a second chance to enter majdanek,
it wouldn’t

this panorama makes me claustrophobic.
sitting alone in this wide open space seems like pan throws lightning at me
like adolf is shotting at me, like this pregnant verdant land
hiccuped the miscarriage that ate all these people
and josh said majdanek could be started tomorrow
suddenly i want to take the batteries out of this toy
it’s unsuitable for minors and
the fence - if you pick it up -
prick you, sting you, screw unto you a responsibility to
remember
and aim it in the right direction.


bone poem

we buried a bone today
A pill the ground couldn't swallow the first time
Small and cold, the browned white
Reeks of stomach acids that
Have digested impurity, and above
The earth it lays

We buried a bone in Majdanek today,
1/206 of a person we planted
In the wallowing undulating unquiet grave
That slopes and winds like God was rolling dice when he molded it

We made another incision in the nauseous nauseating land today
And tried to force it to swallow its vomit
We put 1/206 of a soul at 1/206 of peace
Today
And we stepped all over the ground,
Filled to the level of land with ashes and
Ill-befallen memories and private,
Private pain
And we promised to remember
Thropugh wind and torrential rain and torrential pain
We cried as we promise dhim we'd remember him
(Unless it was a her)
And we all cried a single collective cry and
Said sshhh it's ok
But it's not ok
And i will not sshhh though I'm going on for too long
And i will not forget, and I cannot remember
The himher whose bone
We buried today
And already we're moving on, which
Is what you say at funerals
At my grandfather's we talked about the man he was
And here we think about our 1/206 of this (wo)man's life --
She misses a hammerswing of the orchestra-perfect synchronization
Of the Jews building the new barracks
A German yells, s/he hesitates and out of the corner of
Her/his eye sees a gun whipped out
And sees a chunck of white fly across the meadow
And sees just a blur
And, 50 years later, some people gather
(quiet, reverent and afraid)
On the nauseous undulating hills:
We buried a bone today
and i want to bury myself instead


The Yeshiva-Building Fairy Tale
(recounted by Rabbi Bruce)

so one day reb Isaac had a dream that he wasd digging under a bridge and found a treasure, so he went to a nearby bridge and began to dig. A guard accosted him, so the rabbi told him about his dream, and the guard said to him:

‘I had a dream that a silly jew was digging a hole under a bridge and I told him to go home and dig under his kitchen sink and he’d find a treasure there.’ So reb Isaac did, and he found treasure. with it he built a yeshiva.

this is a rather good place to link to this *paper* i wrote about *Feminism in Jewish Fairy Tales from North Africa and France in the Thirteenth Century*, which is actually a lot more fun – and more scientific, believe-ie-me, than it sounds.


Treblinka
(or, 4000 stones simultaneously hit me
and Irealize I should look around)

You are everyone you are no one and you are all of this at once:
the freaky thing is it's happening at all
because the same way monsters don't just appear
and rip down your bedroom walls of reality
people don't just kill jews
(cause you know they'll kill you you're not that
blind i mean where do you think they took everyone huh?)

as you take a step the smooth hard rock
sticks straight up from the ground like a dagger through cardboard
and your foot comes down hard
(you expected to walk regularly
you expected to live regularly)
and you know by the way the hands on the clock don't move
time is being taken care of for you
that this is all a fucking sham
and the liquid death you almost used in the getto revolution
is in yr pocket
and you know when you set it off you'll never breathe again
it doesn't matter
you'll never breathe again anyway
and the tracks stretch on forever, and the people even
longer, and they all just wait
and that, you think, is what kills them -
(not the lack of air, or the bullets, or the flames)
but the fact that
through it
you don't move. if you do it's them that's moving you


Night Fevre Dream: The Grand, Warsaw

the streets are a picture of the week after a nuclear holocaust, an urban ansel adams of neon & multipostered kiosks that - like treblinka today - is both tranquilly organic and the bearer of subtle threats. as easy as it is to imagine abduction and rape outside is it hard to think of rape and murder econo-sized at treblink. the three buildings that comprise the skyline here - all hotels - flicker on and off, uncertainly, like the city consciousness itself. european american techno on the radio is a sustained soundtrack preaching loneliness and horniness. i like how ys are attacked to the end of polish adjectives: it makes them seem cuddly to americans when all we're doing is misinterpreting. like how we treated german intervention.


tthis, of course, is not everything. neither is the real-live-paper version, but it's got more. and visuals. i like the words alone too, but i don't really like the way you just look at it onscreen. so email me with comments, stories, or requests for the zine/real version of this stuff.