week of August 27-September 2, 2001
My name is Lyn Barzilai, previously Graham (I’m a Scot now living on a communal settlement-Ein Carmel-in Israel, just south of Haifa), married to a Yemenite and with three children I’m currently working on my Ph.D dissertation in the field of poetry, and I write poetry myself now and again, more since taking a creative writing class at Haifa university
The following work is Copyright © 2001, and owned by Lyn Barzilai and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.
Words Will Not Do
I find your sleep-face looming on the pillow Your eyes open slowly –
Close down their lids once more “Just two more minutes,
I stumble away to make coffee,
To make your favourite tea,
(The house fills with the smell of raspberries)
As you lie in your bed
Like a pod, like a foetus,
The coiled loop of your legs
Still trapping the last shreds
Of your dream
Soon you will be carried away
On the wave of the morning,
You will leap keenly into tomorrow
Without, perhaps, looking back
But for these two
You are here in this room And these words will not do
For the telling of it.
Sitting in the auditorium
We listen to your poems One by one they come off the page
Ballooning into life
As they rise in the air
And drift among us,
Nudging us, following us home
Later, when they burst,
As balloons will do,
They wrap us in a ribbon of substance For instance: Mr Isaac,
Who knelt among his garden
Like our Polish neighbour Mr Gayda,
(Who buried memories of camps and bones
And rustling skin)
So proud of his gangling teenage son
He made him play his violin at the gate
For everyone to hear A thin and plaintive sound,
It followed us to parks and skating rinks
Or saw us off to school with bags of books and oranges,
A song of Here I am.
Rachel Opatik is from Grand Rapids Michigan She graduated from the University of Michigan in May 2001 and plans on pursing a law degree in the fall of 2001.
The following work is Copyright © 2001, and owned by Rachel Opatik and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsover without written permission from the author.
I have this bag
that holds 25 summer sized shirts, 14 careless shorts, 27 pairs of lemon fresh underwear, 2 lightweight coats and 3 pairs of weathered sandals
Runaway with me!
We can take my new gargantuan periwinkle duffel bag, and your shabby khaki backpack filled with everything basic from the bathroom We’ll stuff it all in the back seat of my car with swizzled sticks of red sugar, Mars Bars, Captain Crunch, a cooler full of bitter sweet soda, bottles of clear mountain springs and store brands of BBQ chips made of lard
I promise to pack you ham and processed cheese sandwiches on buttered white bread and crunchy peanut butter sandwiches on wheat At night we can sleep under a feather blanket nestled in each other’s arms and watch stars dance through the country black sky We’ll tell each other stories about miniature versions of ourselves and how we used to think the moon really was made of gorgonzola cheese
When our clothes start to stand stiff we’ll search the tawny cushions of my car for forgotten quarters and go to an all night laundromat There we’ll empty my duffel bag and watch our clothes circle in white bubbles while we listen with open ears as a lonely wrinkled woman named Sally tells us about her cat Bob As we wait for our clothes to spin themselves dry we’ll discover the 35-cent beverage contraption and sip luke warm water splashed with stale cocoa
Runaway with me!
Let’s find out what it’s like to be the people our parents don’t want us to be as we fly across the open road Driving we’ll pass people who are afraid to stop being Kodak images of what other people think they should be We’ll leave the windows open and let the thick summer air cut through our hair twisting it into knots
We will loudly play Tom Petty until our red rocket screams for fuel and then we we’ll listen to him again until our ears are almost deaf At first we will just haphazardly drive down any road but then we’ll discover personal direction I promise you won’t regret leaving Have you ever watched the sun rise from a marigold ocean made of salt? Have you ever dashed up a mountain and realized that the world is indeed giant only the towns are minute?
We can buy tall glasses with flashy neon colored frames and violet lenses for $2.99 at the first 7-11 after the state border Once we have been nameless travelers for a week we’ll purchase tee shirts that say, “I’m with stupid” and go to doltish tourist dives and see if people notice we don’t have destination When we’re hungry we’ll only eat in restaurants that serve lumpy mashed potatoes and flavored maple syrup
Let’s go now, before your alarm clock screams Monday And tells you it’s time to go to a job where they can’t stop patting themselves on the backs of their fat cat suits long enough to realize they call you the wrong name and make you work almost every Saturday Grab my bag It’s strong and big enough to hold these 5 AM fantasies The night is old but we are young
Runaway with me!