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B’rachot: A Catalog and Three Friends

for Sydney One for grass (field of sighs). One, perfect pitch (voice’s veil). Clocks (sun’s ascent, demise) – you name it: blessed, wholesale. One for bringing me to this day should not be repeated for the same event but once … Read More

By / January 1, 2008

for Sydney

One for grass (field of sighs). One, perfect pitch (voice’s veil). Clocks (sun’s ascent, demise) – you name it: blessed, wholesale.

One for bringing me to this day should not be repeated for the same event but once in thirty days – attrition by repetition

when I always thought the strategy of prayer, accretion. Since you cannot form the sounds for the soul’s return to the body,

I will – including your thanks for middle and index fingers, which sate you until the hunger says, cry out, in perfect pitch – innate to infants. All: cry out. (How loud the finches! A regular Friar’s Club meeting. A ten-hen party.)

I have told you that birds say “chirp” and “tweet” – please understand, I am a poor translator, living off one flat ear while the other berates the past in triple-meter,

counterpoint of Cossacks on horseback, fields of conscience underfoot. I am incapable even of mimicking you mimicking me,

and so we wait for the lift in Babel’s lobby: our speech will never grow less confounded than on this day – yom zeh – today, to which we have been brought. (The why I do not know.)

Three Friends

i. Interpret This

Butler and baker, both dreamed: one of the vine, one of bread. One filled up the Pharoah’s cup. One whose crumbs the birds devoured. You will be restored, I told the man whose night sang of wine. The other hanged. The birds supped.

I told the Pharoah: only God interprets dream. I hope you’re on good terms, he winked. Fat kine and full corn mean plenty. Withered ears, of having none: famine. Boom, bust. No one blinked. Once, I dreamed I was the sun.

ii. The Butler’s Quandary

Pity the baker his head now separate from his torso and served up tartar to birds, hanged from the terebinth tree. If I seem hard, it’s that I wonder: does dream instruct fate, or from fate take its cruel cues?

And pity poor Joseph, stuck in jail for being too good- looking. I forgot about him, the good turn he did me. Now that Pharoah’s dreams of kine and corn keep us up at night, should I let Joe save the day?

iii. The Baker’s Lament

My specialty was angel- food cake: harder than it looks. Inside each, I baked a small angel: difficult to find, unless you know their grottos and habits. They like to scratch the noses off our idols.

Of course, my source was bound to dry up – and so, my pastries. Jailed, I met a guy who sifts signs and symbols. I told him of the seven loaves atop my head and saw his fallen face. Aw, say it ain’t so, Joe.

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