A desert-scape; unbroken sand; sand lifeless; skin creeping
    up to knees
    Chest backsides shoulders; headless though, hence
    Just like the world - a part, part of the whole; sand open to
    an undivided sky,
    By tree or fowl unshaded, but for a human shadow a frame
    wide enough . . .

    Suddenly, something I related to before my eyes; two snakes,
    entangled figures of eight,
    Both creatures after all with heads, and therefore somewhat
    more communicative than sand;
    Like a mirage of animates they looked in the impassive
    oneness of the desert
    Dying they too like me against eternity as it were and

    Longer the one and more robust and faster, surely the
    master of the other
    That passively endured a prolonged martyrdom by teeth and
    Just like a slave shrivelling up under his master's whip,
    Just like a Jew resigned to the savagery of a vibrant glittering

    Equally glittering, that snake exuded too some sense of
    racial superiority
    Over a subjugated being, writhing, bereft of will, unable to
    Or even to escape, left to the mercy of a bully with old
    scores to settle
    Or simply exploiting his strength for domination and

    The brood of different mother-snakes, and from afar
    dispatched as if by them
    To this convergence, to this spot on earth, to re-enact once
    more the supreme drama
    With both sharing the leads - wrong-doer and wronged, killer
    and victim -
    Under the rules of tragedy, their disentanglement was now
    no longer possible.

    And in the lifeless sand, they were to me flesh of my flesh,
    and I felt torn
    In two, convict as well as hangman, equally hating both, and
    with such loathing
    For any living flesh on earth that eats grows propagates and
    That gradually I was led away from pulsing life into this
    desert here.

    I scanned the unbroken sand around with urgency,
    yet failed to find
    One single stone to hit the common foe and target
    they embodied
    Wreak vengeance on that flesh as it profaned for me
    the pure infinite field of Nothingness
    - By representing something - thus yet again degrading it
    to theatre of life.

    And ever since, I have been left on ecstasy, (hallucinating
    From my prolonged exposure to this desert here), eyes fixed
    in dismay on that scene
    That loomed larger and larger with time, and was growing
    already dreamlike unassailable,
    Whereas I stay small in my thwarted aggression,
    - without even a stone in my hand.... more »


    Oh miserable patrons of the concert hall,
    I watch you as you listen to a piano piece
    Ostensibly playing it on the arms of your seat
    With fingers twisted, aching and arthritic,
    Aping, poor wretches, the distinguished soloist
    On stage or, further back, the famous composer,
    Ostensibly playing the tune, beating the rhythm
    Conducting it for all the world with head or foot.

    Truth to tell, what frustrated composers or soloists we all are;
    And indeed what frustrated lovers
    - In spite of all the loves we may have known - ;
    Frustrated yes, but not resigned, playing as we do
    Into our ripe old age on the arms of our seat
    Or even on the wood of our last bed, the same old tune
    Like an answer to a dream long unfulfilled
    And on matter that fails to respond to our fingers.... more »

  • SUMMER '99

    With my own free will, each morning I create
    The vineyards and the olive groves as though on a black canvas,
    - Just like a painter, leaving no gaps. From time to time
    A colorful bird (that too my own invention)
    Falls heavily on the foliage.
    Like a kite out of the stillness.

    Other creations, (open sea, sky, mountain slopes,
    Visages of this land, parents and friends)
    Through my free will they all appear perfectly natural
    - While the breeze (yet another invention of mine)
    Drifting across the face of the sea
    Ruffles in places the seamless serenity.

    With my own free will, in this stagnant season for the senses
    (Altogether a construct of poetic wilfulness)
    Tears flowing I finally create
    The fresh face of a girl; the guileless gaze,
    The unready lips, the taut arc of the neck, that petulance
    Innocent and precocious of the flesh.

    And when my will tires itself out, and leaves me,
    Like the day-labourer who dog-weary
    Returns home to rest till the break of the new dawn,
    I too, a day-labourer you might say
    Exhausted by this daily toil
    Return straight to my grave as to my home.... more »


    I avoid the coastline like a shark.
    When a bulge
    of land appears
    gaining depth and perspective
    like an embryo gradually forming
    The details steadily multiplying until
    as in Creation
    Man arrives at last, and human families
    start moving about
    endowed with cinematic quality,
    Even before I discern an individual's
    eyes, nose or mouth,
    Though I too an anthropomorphic
    I take to the open sea.

    From a secure distance
    the mainland is just another cloud
    Though looking back as I flee
    I glimpse the phases of Creation
    in retrograde, the closer
    Lost inside the farther away
    The more recent in the older
    In this way escaping into distance
    becomes a flight into time
    Until the signs of an antique age
    are all around me
    as if God had not yet gone
    beyond the horizon, a life
    Still bearing the imprint
    of apocalyptic scripture:

    When waves are low, inclined
    to final submission
    like scraps of paper hovering
    until held motionless by earth
    Or when with uneven
    momentary peaks corresponding
    to uneven degree of horror
    on a spiritual scale,
    When the sea possesses the dimensions of heaven
    Or fits wholly inside a flash of lightning,
    I see fleeting fins
    tails emerging from water
    disappearing tentacles
    Like limbs in museums, elliptical, unintelligible
    parts of an invisible whole.

    As if I were living in a time
    before Man
    Where the whale too participates
    unsuspectingly in some general preparation
    waiting for an arrival that
    for its own sake shouldn't happen - for truly,
    Humans, your faces in the distance
    empty yet of eyes, noses, mouths
    as if half-finished or hidden
    behind a murderer's stocking-mask
    I don't want to see you close up:
    I'm prehuman, a creature
    Indifferent to calm or tempest -
    Light in the Ocean, secure
    As a floating plank.... more »