Transcript 2001 - 2014

Anat Zecharia – Five Poems

By Anat Zecharia
Original language: Hebrew
Translated into English by Irit Sela
Theme: Impressions from the Mediterranean
Standard text | Formatted text

Excerpts from Due to Human Error

All that Flesh and Fat

All that flesh and fat, the coffee and the muffins
sunflower seeds in Atlantic sea salt,
all those matching items, the pillows
with tiger-head drawings.
All those shadows revealing beauty in motion,
all fluttering like bats
above a cold light source,
with coral reef wall-paper
for an illusion of depth.
All those women whose flesh is bound
by swimsuit straps,
by the appropriate garlands, peacock’s splendor,
the sweets. All those fans
fighting for their lives,
their backs clinging to ceilings,
bits of recycled metal,
locks, a nail-file, knife, screws,
and the blackening ink which stains
the children’s clothes.
All those glass plates that build
a new transparent city,
the shapely stairway curving at the corner,
all the notices pasted upon notices,
pasted illegally,
“Offenders will be prosecuted.
Be forewarned!”
All those empty beer bottles, black bin bags,
dark skinned people from Africa
red that is also light brown
and yellow that is also pale.
And the moon overflowing on television
and the puddle collecting on the floor
and silence.
An entire pack of dogs upon one lone kitten,
All the mice in yellow fields,
and the scratch and peeling, revealing creative and annihilating light
honey and milk under our tongues.
And the blowing wind before we depart,
and the geometry, the symmetry and the “Doctor! Doctor!”
and the Trojan Horse of Death.

I Appear with Head

I appear with head severed
that is the only option
as the night progresses.
Can’t run in a suede coat,
and who will precipitate it but me
all my tongue juices between two legs,
seek and ye shall find.

On Tuesday it began
in total obedience to break forth,
one side was exposed to the sun and was ruptured
forgetting soft blankets.
You all appreciate this: “Well done”.
What exhaustion, I say
to myself, what have I shown
that you haven’t seen before.

Since then I’ve been walking around slim figured
stroking the fuzz of a tennis ball for leverage
standing alert buttoned up
chattering some very pleasant something,
dripping honeydew and fat.
And whatever I don’t want, won’t touch me
I’m an idealist.
And it takes more, to be more.
And if that’s not how it is
then something’s wrong.
Here, have more and more daffodils.
I’ll never have enough of the touch of fingers on my legs
and between have and have not,
always have me.
I’ll never behold bread and quail raining from heaven.

(translated by Vivian Eden)


Always repeating the same mistake

Always repeating the same mistake
going up and down the escalators
passing shops, billboards, neon signs,
hundreds of thousands of things for sale: running shoes
a glass brooch, old-fashioned soap flakes, a small tube
short white socks, buy one, get one free.
Figuring how much food will cost, what
More there is to buy and arrange.
Not thinking precisely.
Devouring everything with pleasure, even
what can’t be enjoyed
warding off jam and carob spread.
Imagining wet borders
keeping the big city teenagers’
noise that never stops, prattling
as though every place
is the most pleasant in the world.
Hoping someone isn’t hearing this
but instead gleefully eating bread
and looking around him.
Beaming silver light and covering
the waning half-moon.
Summing up heavy things in a light tone
prettifying exactly these days
now, with what they don’t have
talking a lot leaning over water.
Crossing long legs
always ensuring the right word:
See you, hello, I am well
I have no complaints.
Trying not to be absent for too long
pouring tea, water, whiskey
In this restaurant, near the front door
saying: We ought to go to bed
developing a talent for invention
for different kinds of men.
Finding the one who resembles you
who won’t really desire. Letting him
stroke your hair before mid-September
always repeating the same mistake.
Finding out indeed you’d been right
and you should never have let this

To say nothing about myself

Remember, no family name no age no profession
there are lovely places for a first time.
I’ll wait at the entrance
if there’s sunlight I won’t,
the door will be open
and if I don’t open it myself, come in,
because I may be watching the curving street
there’s an inner yard in Yehoshua Bin-Nun thirty four
that I haven’t yet been to
I like back yards I haven’t yet seen
and maybe just the headlight that shines on them
through the night branches.
There’s something that can do me as much harm,
as it can do me good
and it’s all in your hands.
That’s neither here nor there
and we’d better be careful or be able to reach
our toes with our finger-tips
and be redeemed.
I won’t go into existantial philosophical questions
one always reaches some barrier.
I’d say I must be strong
your laughter says I am strong –
I have no choice.
Wrapping legs around loins
is always a bang. Always a bang. Always a bang.
Please note that from seven thirty to one thirty
it’s always sunny.
And I always know where it’s sunny,
sometimes in my bed,
and it’s hard to leave this house
with you here there is so much sun,
and beautiful people really hypnotize me
if you see the most beautiful hills in the world,
there’s nothing you can do
because sometimes precision is paralysing.
I say: maybe you should leave,
before it starts to rain.
I say no more than that.

Untitled 2011

They say that everything is connected,
the flapping of a seagull’s wing
changes the weather forever,
a tornado in Texas
isn’t just a tornado in Texas,
a forest isn’t just trees.
You throw a stone into a pond
and waves expand in every direction
until a fish in Australia
grows hands and feet,
prefers walking to swimming,
crawls out of the water
picks up a stone and beats three fish
on the head
reminding us of all we know about blood.
It’s ages since we’ve been protected
from the whiteness of walls.
Shrouds of plastic bubbles protect our hands
from committing evil.
It’s easiest to devote yourself to red and gold,
suffice it is to ask ourselves:
What is our name?
To be lost, wanting to go out,
out into main streets to see,
to see the sun’s texture,
something in the branches moving incessantly,
each murmur turning into a code,
we don’t dance around the calf for nothing
or beat wheat in the press to scatter them,
conspiring hand in hand.
Our hands have forgotten
what they knew
Man cannot live by faith alone
and we do one thing
to compensate for another,
thus is the way of the world.
And it’s crowded, ever so crowded,
everyone rushing downtown.
The only expanses we’ll have left
will be airports.