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Late Beauty a new book of Tuvia Ruebner translations by Lisa Katz and Shahar Bram, forthcoming from Zephyr Press (January, 2015).

Poems and reviews of the Tuvia Ruebner’s work on Poetry International Rotterdam.

Toby Perl Freilich’s Tablet interview with Tuvia Ruebner.

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In this issue Lisa Katz’s poems

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

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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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Shahar Bram’s website

An interview with Shahar Bram

On Bram’s poem “North of Boston”

A talk at the Gloucester Writers Center in Massachusetts on poet Charles Olsen

Bram’s book on Tuvia Ruebner’s ekphrastic poems Ambassadors of Death

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Contributor Notes






from Late Beauty






by Tuvia Ruebner




Translated from the Hebrew

by


Lisa Katz                     Shahar Bram

Lisa Katz           and           Shahar Bram

Tuvia Ruebner

 

 

 

 

 

Postcard to My Soul Mate

 

 

You won’t believe this – a postcard from Paris –

Paris des Rêves,

the Paris of dreams.

What, you say you think it’s London,

and the cat on the window sill

staring forever like an ancient Egyptian

is not Parisian? This can’t be. There are no

such cats in London. And no

such pair of lovers lying on the grass – what an embrace!

Hyde Park, you say?

And the fire eater?  

It seems like his heart is burning. In London?

And the one blowing soap bubbles

like shiny little lies in sunlight –

where did he come from? And this river, so gray

that a passerby on the other side seems not to exist at all?

And those people sleeping on the edge of the dock

who knows if they’ll sail off soon – where to –

are they Londoners or Parisians, uh?

The Thames? Not the Seine? And anyway how can it be

that you answer while I’m writing a postcard

and say just the opposite,?

You mean to say I’m not there at all, that we two are here

next to each other, still close,

weaving a dream?

 

 

 

Postcard from Vienna

 


A raised arm may be lowered

a salute – withdrawn.

A mouth filled with shrieks is also capable of speaking.

Wild shouts may turn into laughter.

It isn’t absolutely necessary to clean sidewalks with toothbrushes.

Yet Vienna is beautiful, a spotlessly clean city

with a rich past. Many musicians

lived there, actors, a lot of authors.

A city with much to be proud of.

On the Heldenplatz the sparrows chatter,

the traffic hums.

A hangman doesn’t have to be ashamed because he was

a hangman. And the Danube

is not really blue.

In a certain sense goodness is boring, Kafka wrote,

 without consolations. Be seeing you.

 




Orphic Light

 

 

You can live with one arm, one leg, one lung

one kidney, no legs, no arms, one eye, no eyes.

I live with one heart.

I didn’t want to say it. I don’t know why I did.

Now they’ll come with thin, sharpened fingers

to poke, probe, decree: a total lie –

I know, I know. I

eat, sleep, work, listen to music.

“From the pure thoughts that arose before blessed-be-his-name

he created angels. And from thoughts of disaster

he created demons.”

What nonsense. What terrible nonsense.

 

When flying over gray cumulous clouds, in dim, late light, one imagines

how easy it would be to go, a light step swallowed unheard no effort,

to lie down and never rise again, an airy body, floating, almost bodiless –

a soft landscape of death, the depths of death, the death-sun sinking, the hills

             of the underworld

are made of down – images, images. I’m not a cat. I haven’t got nine lives.

For what, what’s this all for?

I don’t know. The truth is –

what terrible nonsense.