I am learning to run again.
Well, I have started jogging, and my ankles tell a sad tale every morning just to prove that they do not deserve it, but this isn’t what I mean. If the sea was an exercise in sitting, a stationary movement and a watchful quiet, then coming back to dry land is a matter of acceleration. Coming back to noise, crowds, responsibilities, telephones, deadlines, bills and syllabi has me feeling like a silkworm clinging to the headlight of a porche. I haven’t had any time at all to write, and it’s wearing on me. I especially haven’t had any time to update this blog, but to that effect I will post a new (old) poem in progress called El Maleh Rachamim, which I wrote the night of the terrorist attack on the Mercaz Harav yeshiva seminary in Jerusalem. The name of the poem is taken from a Jewish prayer recited for the souls of the dead, translated as “God full of mercy.” It may help to know that the Mercaz Harav served as a nexus of hawkish religious settlers who assert Israel’s right to control the whole of the biblical “kingdom of Israel”, and often agitate in favor of extreme anti-Palestinian measures. I have performed this poem only once, at a University of Michigan conference in honor of Karl Pohrt, the esteemed founder of the Shaman Drum independent bookshop in Ann Arbor, MI. The conference just happened to have been held the morning after I wrote it.