Marsh Hawk Review is an online poetry journal sponsored by the Marsh Hawk Press collective. Marsh Hawk Review will appear twice a year, under the revolving editorship of collective members. Each issue will offer a selection of poems solicited by the editor, in addition to new work posted by poets in the collective.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jakob Stein


By the light of black candles
thru the horn’s hollow maw

scorched lips scorched tongue

cut & cut off & no longer called

you now unveiled

kares, bashert


The burning tether

the man throne-thrown
& jerked back at the end

of his tether of smoke

from his choked throat one
song croaked out

one last song of one


I know this beyond

even here adrift in the arcades of Edom
among all their bone-books & vaporous gods

even under the drone of this fallen tongue

one song of one echo of one


Body to book: not trope
but true mutilation

cut & cut off shall I
leaving nothing

for Am Yisroel

but this

seedless seed


All the threads of my roads
tied to one knot

cinder of light

impossible impassable


Shell within shell

within husk within

O within O

O Farnear

braid into bread

into Name-helix spread


funneled down to the pen-point

of all the lost all


Who am I in this grinding light
in this bone-house You lent me

charred walls on a cliff
backed by sand-reefs

windowless threshold


thrown thru time, mute beggar

dust over dust

with only my silence
for solace


Black candles ignight the ruined horizon

cut off from the City of One

stripped down to this pretext
then further peeled

fires on the plain, throat-pulse
that echoes thru hollows

already gone

one breath past the last

poem’s home


From this dark harbor the hulls set out

black sail

black sheet of water
the shroud the

bleak page of it

scripted by storms

all planes overwritten & pens gone dry

blood-written on air
till wind

till wind


Spoor blown wide
ungathered, far-rooted

Your phare, does it see to
such distance

thrown thru galus & then
further thrown

exiled from exiles bent over their books

thought reaches, falls short

then shorter again

then even shorter


Lechem oni, poverty’s bread


only bread of my poverty

feast of redemption’s delay


My limbs lie about me

kares, cut off

thick husks lie about

till burned pure in galus-fire

ash turns in the wind


We two cut off

kares, Shekhinah

I seek you I fail
to seek you


You brutal

will not let me sink tho all
my weight tugs me

all flesh & foolishness
all failure & all

adhering to matter

so bears me down

where Your hand awaits
to raise me

to gilgul


Clenched as Mitzrayim
tight in the fist of the plague of the dark

my thought could not move

O You were all that escaped me



verse cuts


heart-wounded by heart

I bind my wounds
with scrolls

I cannot read

no way to geulah

only unrolled the slow hard

to truth



Am Yisroel: the people of Israel

Bashert: divinely intended spouse

Galus: exile

Geulah: redemption

Gilgul: literally, turning; resurrection

Mitzrayim: Egypt; literally, straits

Shekhinah: feminine presence of God

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