Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TERROR, by JEROME ROTHENBERG



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First Line: Dream of the jews
Subject(s): Jews; Middle East - Conflicts; Mysticism - Judaism; Terrorism; Judaism; Arab-israeli Conflict


. . . . . . .

dream of the jews
has ended something else
waits in its place
a gunman maybe
standing at your door
who watches
in back of his blood
the horse's eye
run through his mind
"a wolf" the killer
calls himself
offers his body, shyly
to the fathers
wakes at dawn, his eye
bigger than the moon
shines for him
& leads him down the hall
-- hellos, exchange of dishes
fantasies of home --
the mouth of the fanatic
trembles stutters
he is in love with his first dream
the taste of honey
cloth against his fingertips
traditions of their people
motors secret hideouts
his mother even now
whispers to his dark side
the letters of the universe
exploding lights
signal him on
he will address the bride
again a lesson of his courage
he will give her
satisfaction
night & day
he circles around her
like a watchdog
prowling prowling
beside her father's stall
the gunman
speaks to his own shadow
on the hill
-- depletion --
-- death --
over the hill a camel
walks, stupidly
into the camera
stop him!
even if for a moment
cries the gunman's mouth
the teeth of the fanatic
biting staining the pale roots
the mask of antiochus
finds a jewish face
looks back at us
in righteousness
in anger at his own flesh
what can we give
but whispers
to make the rain appear?
the rain won't,
will it?
the daughter returns to the hut,
party ended,
bodies propped on bare beds
the fanatic's kin
his victims
tunnels exploded through their hearts
fly past him
foam pours from his mouth
his lungs fill up with foam
the wounded deer flies past
& calls him
like his vanished thumbs
another landscape
opens
with his boot he presses
legs & back
moving the flesh aside
& probes -- aloof -- the thin line
where the legs meet
grown thick with hair
how tight the dreamer's hand
becomes how close
to prayer
his angry copulations
the mind of the fanatic
fills with glass the fish
swim in the broken auto
furniture & rags
ignited
clot the hallways
processions of pale jews
are arabs now
the gunman, dark fanatic
gentile become jew
jew gentile
bellows in broken hebrew
in accents of his childhood
southern towns
assassins & vigilantes
even his mother can't believe
the coming struggle
treasons against god
repelled
forever the killer
born to kill
escapes from the viet nam tunnel
in the street of little jewelers
semites of his mind
he rides a hairy motor bike
(the friend says)
gun slung over chest
into a world of strangers
caftaned killers
heavy with arab names
who wait for him
will stage the final shootout
the clock is moving
toward its end
explosions at the father's grave
the decade is a thrill for them
a new encounter
bigger than the last
the blood is such a clock
& such a clock
is always throbbing
in the blood
& in the morning sky


Used with the permission of Copper Canyon Press, P.O. Box 271, Port Townsend, WA
98368-0271, www.cc.press.org




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