November 14-20, 2005: Denise Noe and Helen Bar-Lev

week of November 14-20, 2005

Denise Noe and Helen Bar-Lev

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Denise Noe

Bio (auto)

Denise Noe lives in Atlanta, Georgia and writes regularly for The Caribbean Star of which she is Community Editor She has many articles online at and at She writes a regular column called Denise Noe’s Lizzie Whittlings for an online magazine about the Lizzie Borden mystery called The Hatchet Her work is featured in the anthologies The Writing Process, Here and Now: Current Readings for Writers, and Strategies for College Writing She has also been published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Humanist, The Gulf War Anthology, Light, Gauntlet, and other places Her chief interests are dinosaurs, the ape language experiments, and social welfare issues — not necessarily in that order.

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Denise Noe and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Song of Ruth & Naomi

This is the song
.of Ruth & Naomi
.Woman followed
.woman freely
Living in the desert
.Each carried
.a pocket of sea
.Slippery cavern
.called femininity

When Ruth
.loves Naomi
.she loves softness,
.fine silver hair
.the creases
.in multiplicity
Ruth cannot fear
.the wrinkling
.of her skin,
.the graying of hair
Aging holds no terrors
.for Ruth loves Naomi
& loves what she will be

A good woman teaches a woman
.to love
.her femininity
A good woman teaches a woman
.joy &

Female body
.warm &
.warmly best
Oh Naomi! Teach the fountain,
.the wish &
.the crest!

When Naomi loves Ruth
She loves herself
.in memory
.Hills newborn &
.Flesh supple
Black jungle
.And the red sea
.parts in privacy
Ruth’s miracle
.for Naomi

Published in Wicked

Exodus 33:23: “And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen “

Why God Mooned Moses

Exposing ass, the place of punishment and defecation,
is cross-culturally recognized as an act of impudence When God said to Moses, “My face cannot be seen by human eye”
God’s best friend watched, his heart full of joyous anticipation,
as God pulled His hand away and His Holy Buttocks filled the sky Burlesque has no tease when it is redeemed by Divine Providence.

Published in artisan

She had a name
.but I don’t know it

she had a name
.but I don’t know it

though all know her
Potiphar’s wife
.the man deceived
.the role betrayed

she studied her mirror
.skin wilted      
.chin sprouting weeds
sagging breasts
.birth-scarred belly
.and a butt as big 
.as a chamber pot

Potiphar’s wife
(she had a name
.but I don’t know it)
was a woman for whom
.the time of red wine
.had died
no swollen stomach
.no false child

Potiphar’s wife
(she had a name
.but I don’t know it)
saw Joseph
.supple skin and      
.hard muscles
felt her private Nile
.warm and moisten,
.then ache
.and flow

Joseph curdled at
.her lust; she was
.Potiphar’s wife

Potiphar’s wife
(she had a name
.but I don’t know it)
thought Joseph’s eyes
.were mirrors
.mean and merciless

did Potiphar thank
.his wife when she
.poured his wine or
.stirred his soup?

did he buy her gifts, thinking:
.she would like this–
.no, this one instead,

did he call her
.by her name?

did he even know it?

Israel, God-Clutcher

.face to face
.with God

Jacob’s hands
.grip His flesh
.knees thrust
.beards tangle

.as a kiss

Jacob’s hip
.breaks and
.day breaks

But God holds
.still holds
.the broken man
.Jacob, who
.holds Him

Unnamable, He
.names Jacob:
.Israel, God-Clutcher

“For Israel, God-Clutcher,
.you wrestled with God
.held onto
.your flesh,
you saw My face
.held onto
.your life “

.holding life

No longer limping
.still scarred

.the face
.of God

.as a kiss

This country,
.the one He
.Israel, God-Clutcher

Helen Bar-Lev


I am 63 year old artist, born in New York City and living in Israel for 34 years, now in Mevassert Zion near Jerusalem I have a degree in Anthropology from California State University, Northridge, but have devoted myself to art exclusively since 1976, and have had 80 exhibitions, including 28 one-person exhibitions I was the curator of the prestigious Homage to Yosef Hirsch exhibitions, 2002-2003, which were exhibited in three venues I paint mostly watercolour landscapes, but also animals, and last year tried my hand at illustrating two books of Poetry In 2003 I began writing Poetry; it has come at a persistent and steady pace I have been published on many poetry web sites and in chapbooks, in the Voices Israel 2005 Anthology and the MANIFOLD Magazine of New Poetry based in London I was awarded third prize in the Dancing Poetry Contest based in California and commended status in the Tom Howard Poetry Contest, both this year Many of my paintings have been featured on poetry websites I belong to the Voices Israel English Poetry Society and to the Israel Painters’ and Sculptors’ Association
Visit Helen on the web here:

The following work is Copyright © 2005, and owned by Helen Bar-Lev and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Paris in the Autumn

O sweet peace loving French
moralistic to the core of your essence
how you love to preach to us
for our infamous intolerance of terrorism
for our suspicion of our cousin nations
their innocent outbursts
justified in violence
victims of cruel circumstance

You have become a bit obnoxious
in your self-righteousness
assuring us of their noble intentions
providing the best of medical attention
to the emissary of the devil
who was the cause of it all

And so in exchange for your hospitality
and with a flourish of Middle Eastern gratitude
your cities today are enflamed
World War II enemy plans at long last fulfilled
“Is Paris Burning” is no longer a question
no longer lives in the imagination of a terrible enemy
is now an historical novel begging to be rewritten

You, historical defender of liberty, brotherhood and equality
of all the world’s multitudes except the Jews
(of course if we take a longer look
these three graces do not seem to have lived up
to certain demanded international standards)
even though you grimace in disgust
every time we defend our existence

Is it possible that you might now take a clue
from the rioters’ countries of origin
who would, under similar circumstances
without introspection or time-consuming hesitation
without the inconvenience of missing a dinner
with suave savoir-faire
by a few unfortunate heads staked in the square
restore order in a few ordinary moments

So now all eyes on you France the tolerant
whatever you choose to do
however long it takes you to continue to brew in your flaming stew
debating proper solutions over fresh baguettes wonderful  wine and camembert cheese

Please next time we stop a supposed-innocent at a roadblock
or a department store or a market
do attempt to be nonjudgmental
try to avert your criticizing eyes
divert them inward
where they have more important matters
to attend

An October Thursday Morning

We should have been tired last night
but weren‚t
were not in bed yet at midnight
but chose not to hear the news

Yet now it is early morning Thursday
sleep has been short and dreamless
The pillow does not give as much comfort
after an attack
The body aches with the strain of waiting
only the ears are not exhausted

We have a cousin in that city
who was at the market a few hours
before the attack
and heard the explosion from her flat

And of course you used to go there often
when you lived in the adjacent town
prior to the intertwining of our lives

They were all our ages, the five who died
beyond their prime
and having contributed already to society,
this is no tremendous tragedy,
and the country sighs with collective relief
that the children were all in school

One of the dead was Arab, why not?
One has the same last name as our neighbours upstairs Is that why they were so quiet last night?

Thursday morning
hugs are suspended
the telephone rings
it is the man from the internet provider
to address a question

Business as usual
and five more funerals

The Golden Moth

You were a moth magnificent
wings a regal golden yellow
black-flecked to accentuate your uniqueness
one night you flurried fearless
into the lights of this home

Fluttered from the clutches
of one curious cat to another
they juggled you and teased you
but you refused to play into their paws
rescued, you were banished
to the kindness of the outside darkness

The next night you were back
into the claws of the cats
again escaped by the grace
of some sort of moth miracle

You were so beautiful
we cheered your tenacity

Then you were gone
we were relieved your pinpoint brain
realized this property
was off-moth territory

But we found you foolish moth
wings still intact
singed dead in an instant
of moth madness
burned by a lightbulb irresistible

Almost like a soldier
returned home after battle
killed crossing the road
while running an utterly mundane errand

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