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Lisa Katz’s translations of Tuvia Ruebner in this issue.

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Lisa Katz’s chapbook Breast Art in a previous issue.

In a previous issue her translations of:

Sharron Hass

Agi Mishol

Rami Saari

Admiel Kosman



Her interview with Agi Mishol with translations from Mishol’s The Dream Notebooks

Her interview with Gali Dani-Singer

Her interview with Shirley Kaufman

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Lisa Katz’s poem “Leaning on the bar with Walter Benjamin”

Lisa Katz’s poem “B is for the Birds”

Lisa Katz’s essay On Hebrew poetry after Amichai

Her book review On Translation

Israeli pages of Poetry International Rotterdam

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Contributor Notes




Lisa Katz

Lisa Katz

Lisa Katz

 

 

 

 

 

Not a Pantoum

 

You stroked my left hand and held it.

I brushed your cheek with a palm.

The blinds fell from the window.

And my feet were over my head.

This is how friends make love.

 

This is how friends make love.

My feet were over my head.

The blinds fell from the window. 

I brushed your cheek with a palm.

You stroked my left breast and cupped it.

 

I stroked your face resting on my shoulder.

My feet were over my head.

This is how friends make love.

The blinds fell from the window.

 

The blinds fell from the window.

This is how friends make love.

My feet were over my head.

My face brushed your cheek and I kissed you.

 

My feet pointed to the stars.

And the blinds fell around my head.

 

 

 

The Secret of Non-Euclidean Geometry

 

 

I held the worn red book in my hands

its cover dulled by students

looking for answers

 

to the question assigned by the teacher

who sent us to the library

to learn about Euclid.

 

He wanted us to understand

Ibn al-Haytham and the Persians too.

 

Parallel lines meet somewhere in twisted space

in the curved world whose rules are false.

 

The flattened house

comes up behind me now,

 

a boy and a girl bear flowers away

to the place where all things converge

 

like the Mobius strip

which is never on the other side

 

of where we are.

 

 


 

Call to Prayer

 


Don’t call me, I can’t come.

What once was a well

is dry as a wadi. I never

guessed it would be like this

my father said and I agree.

The wind is sere. Now me.

 

Gaza is arid and now me.

You called and I didn’t come.

You say you disagree.

You’re looking for an angel.

Samson was born of this.

And he asked God for water.

 

The meaning of forever

is eternal thirst for me.

Is that the prophecy?

Love called and I came,

water drawn from a well,

honey made by bees.

 

We’re Philistines, don't you see.

Bondage is forever.

Delilah’s no angel.

And the oasis is empty.

You call and I don’t come.

Forever is like this.

 

I’m not promiscuous.

Not the bee and not the honey.

You call and I don’t come.

Dew doesn’t last forever.

You have the spirit, but not me.

I’ve plumbed the last of the well.

 

Religion dried the well.

I always expected this.

I didn’t want to age, not me.

There is a hell, I agree,

for the non-believer.

You call and I can’t come.

 

Agree or not, it’s come to this.

That good well is gone forever.

The spirit wills, just not in me.