July 15-21, 2002: Sarah Kobrinsky and Ben Pasikoff

week of July 15-21, 2002

Sarah Kobrinsky and Ben Pasikoff

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Sarah Kobrinsky

Bio (auto)

Sarah lives in London, England, with her partner Gideon She is active in the London poetry scene and belongs to a writers collective called The Splinter Group Currently for work, Sarah is working as an assistant on a building site and as a waitress at a vegetarian cafe She is also trying her hand at her first novel.

The following work is Copyright © 2002, and owned by Sarah Kobrinsky and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Cursing Avocados

Florence rocks her baby while
cursing avocados, says
everytime she turns her back,
they’re rotten to the core Such is life, she sighs
into her daughter’s sleepy ear,
recalling all the times
she ever turned and looked away,
letters she wrote and never sent,
opportunities that appeared
and disappeared just the same;
her solid heart softened
to its bittersweet core
Baby stirs in her mother’s arms,
fumbles with newfound hands
for her mother’s breasts Florence raises her blouse,
wonders if her milk is bittersweet,
if her child can taste
her pain, if she can make
her daughter immune somehow And she remembers for nine whole months,
her baby became her core,
Florence was given another chance,
one more love letter to write
and send off proudly into the world;
her soft heart hardened
back into its perfect form.

Forever Bent at the Elbow

Look, my love, there we are
fifty years fom now
across the pub in a booth
saying nothing to each other
She is drinking white wine
(like me!), and he is pulling
all his strength to tip back
that pint down his throat
He can not extend his arm,
forever bent at the elbow
from all the pints he ever
(once a day at dinner time)
tipped down his throat
But he can still hold
the remote control; he can
still hold her frail hand
at awkward angles in the night
And he can still cup
her soft face in his hands
every morning when they wake
Look, my love, there we are
fifty years from now,
holding hands under the table
and feeling perfect peace.

Love Poem

There is nothing I hate more than love poems
so I will start somewhere else Somewhere far from roses and lemondrops,
far from picnics and paradise I will start from the centre of the storm,
the moment I knew you were going to stay–
our bed full of sand, our bellies full of beer–
and we were not perfect All our learning was gone
and we had our entire life before our eyes.


Lying in bed wanting to trim
my pubic hair, too tired to run
a bath or look for the scissors;

On nights like this the wild wind
is my destiny, calling me
gently, gently out of bed.

Ben Pasikoff

Bio (auto)

I am a retired industrial engineer returned to his first love, poetry I married one, spawned two, am a graduste of Brooklyn College where I majored in lunch and minored in cutting classes

The following work is Copyright © 2002, and owned by Ben Pasikoff and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.

Whence Gaza Mourns

In a loose moment, out of clock, I saw God Unaware, without his gown and long gaze,
he needed a shave, his eyes jumped here and there Heavily he sat in a cantly cushioned chair
before a 43” screen (diagonally measured),
the latest tech, his own of course –
who could believe any other He was at a terrible angle to the world;
presidents and popes and other dynasts
made strut and terror and holy havoc
with timely amendments to the ten commandments –
he was diagonal with time The doctors on the 43 incher
locked their lips to ghettoed women
(and what woman does not ghetto-walk, womb-walled?);
flag fluttering generals in multi-mufti
ordained his will in tombless tumble of bodies;
felled minarets entrailed with roofs of holed hospitals
to justify the ways of man to God Sad feisty Christs no-homing,
needy knees skinny-boned on the sidewalk,
snow-toed in the ashcan morning So much to atone for, being God,
thinking He could have been something else,
been somewhere else, some other space
unskeletoned with splintered stars –
some other God with new teeth and fast shoes,
rosy with new blood burble,
nostrilled for alternate natality,
naked of metaphor for once (by God) He turned his baby blues (were they contact-lensed?) –
there was a crossing of mirrors He counted me And boomed his old-toned Sinai stereo,
“I call you clear to invoice, order –
your spiry architecture enstoning me
in statuary, balding my true being You are my dream It is my darkness
you are following Witness the six million
unchosen Witness the wormly courteous
white smother of black beginnings Unwounded by the uneternal
I light my starbold years I sanctify original bang, connect
all chaos with my dark decisions
until the last undancing atoms “
Wind-wrinkled gown unlaundered,
belly-out body stumble-stepping,
he left me in untrue time, untold To whom should he pray, being God?

Holy Moses

Reading from the accepted
lists of sin,
I prayed when necessary
to the accepted gods
Shawled choruses
toned holy mutter
mid centuried wood
the color of colon
Shoulders bore Torah
blistered with history:
bearded words browned
with rabbi saliva
Synchronic chomp
supposed a God
alone and closed,
whose whiskered pity

behested our welter
of elderly Chevys,
terminal lilies
and action of grass
Thus Torah and tallis:
living is holy,
and minus the othergod
hell and hereafter.


True lust odored my uncles four
seasons and sad aunts concurred
with dolor, producing cousins

who swam in their bright fishbox
life complete, while my shoulders
bore Uzis through daily body babble
Side-eyed and golden without shadow
breathing their own water they finned
serenely to the tail-end of their time
My way was other, scarring
desks and ids, unbelieving
mirrors or rolled Torahs
Enter death and elegy One by one in honor and hardwood
uncles and cousins exeunt
MetLife or other having compounded,
the aunts collected soul and paid
for chisel-bitten stone periods.

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