Magazine for Sexuality and Politics

God is an Acquaintance from Student Days

Zvika Szternfeld

A young poet

The poet saddens

because his poem

lacks a title.

"Look at me", I pointed,

"I am encumbered with titles

but the text is blurred,

my pain grows wild

and I can't catch up with the laughter

rolling within me.

Obviously sometimes a title

is a kind of medal awarded

before the smell in the battlefield has withered

and the outcome of the campaign

is not yet known.

One can do without a title".

Say You're an Ape

The ape seems a deer to his mother

(An Arab proverb)

Say you're an ape.

Climbing a trunk

brings no happiness

and jumping from branch to branch

is joyless.

It's a way of life.

Say you're an ape.

Delousing is an acceptable


and hairy females get you off.

The night pales at your gaze

and the lion's roar dissolves

into sweetened quiet.

Say you're a poet ape.

Thanks to a rare sense of hearing

you hear the stars

bargaining their position in heavens.

Attentive to a ripening egg

and to the fetus' swearing at the end of pregnancy

your ears embrace the stamen's beat.

The rustle of your fellow apes' sex life

rhymes with the trickling of the stream,

unfurled like a hand.

Say you're an ape

and one morning your palm is smooth.

You cannot climb trunks

even though it's a way of life

and you cannot write poetry.

Your mate's hand slips

through your fingers.

You wound your palm to roughen it

and rhyme notes into it

only to discover that your foot

has lost its lines

and next to the pupil

a moon has settled, mocking.

In the Heart of every Poet

"In the heart of every cat

Lives a lion"

(a boy)

To a poetess

Sadness is wild in you

and your poems are stains of loneliness

into which you dove

and returned dripping with poetry.

Days sweep dead sparkles from your eyes

and in the act of love you satisfy your desire

like breastfeeding a child,

patient, involved,

knowing evening has come

or morning

that it's time to continue

worshipping Poetry.

A letter to a literary figure or

Memories from Café Roval

When I was among your boys

always on your own,

always by your own,

you used to count us:

So and so many boys times two eyes,

so and so many girls times two buttocks.

The same stories always floating on your soup,

always the same soup.

Slowly I sipped my Cinnamon tea

verifying that it is neither sweet nor salty,

ensuring that I am not.

Cinnamon trunks floated on my tea

to build a barge

and sail



foam on waves,

without which the sea is but a mirror

to the bareness of the sky.

In Wonderland

Here I am


legs of things,

standing on top of metaphors

to reach myself.

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