Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Grand Jew at the Piano

I find myself in Jerusalem and now I try to find myself in Jerusalem. Here are some poems that have been inspired by the last two weeks here in Jerusalem and also by the small show I saw today put on my friend Ariel Elisha, who played Grand Piano, Aaron Catz, whom I know from Tucson and whom played his guitar and sang, and from Yehuda Shuleman, I think his name was, whom played saxophone.


The Creation of the Holy One, Blessed be He

Is like an apple

For the skin He created Beauty

Beauty is thin

Outside the skin is found nothing – Beauty is the most external pathway to further truths

Those who stand outside of Beauty have nothing

And Beauty is nothing compared to Purity

How many a peoples’ hearts have been swayed and stolen by persuasive Beauty?

Claiming their sights, sounds, smells, tastes, touches, thoughts, emotions, connection?

Fathom that for fathoms beneath the Beauty is the pulp of the apple

And the pulp is Purity

Purity is better than Beauty

Inside the core of the apple are the seeds

And the seeds are Holiness

Purity separates Holiness from Beauty

And Holiness is better than Purity

The Holy One, Blessed is He, will pour out honey on the apple

And we can all celebrate the New Year

Then He will turn the honey into wine

Then He will eliminate spiritual drunkenness when He turns

The wine into water, reversing all evil

Of water into wine

And He will thrust the apple against the wall with violence

And the apple will explode into pieces that will fall to the ground

And the water on the apple will fertilize the seeds

Which will grow into trees

I gravitate and polarize around the Source in the middle

Like a holy mesquito I fly around the Place

Just yearning to poke my straw into the center

Like a pendulum I swing back and forth around Hashem

My body pushes my soul away, my body resists my soul’s yearning to cleave

Like a planet I revolve around the sun, I cannot get closer

How can I penetrate this gravitational force

That at once keeps me near but keeps me away?

G-d, show me the way and bring me closer

Drops of light fall from the sky

Drops of light form into puddles on the sidewalks of Jerusalem

Puddles of light form into seas than flow down the streets of Jerusalem

A sea of light flows through the Land, dimming the sun above

People swim and float joyously on the ocean of light

So bright that the sun’s reflection is invisible inside it

Like a match to a fire

Let me absorb water of Torah like a grass and let me grow strong and tall

Not honey and not wine, but water

Has no color for the colored ones

The humans whose skin is like skittles

They try to taste the rainbow but close their mouth to the water

But the water gives life and honey and wine taste fine

But water gives life

In the end it is the water that will be confirmed sweet

Seeping into the hearts of men

In the end it is the water that will arouse the senses

Making joyous the hearts of men

In the end it is not water, but honey and wine that will drown the evil

It is possible to find the right place the wrong way

In a world of streets, sidewalks, foreign buildings, and signs

One can find the right destination by following the wrong signs

But he must walk back and forth like aimlessly

Passing locations several times over

Asking for directions until he finds the right place

Shame will cover his face and fear will fill his heart when

He realizes that he is lost among them

They will all look ugly; the streets, sidewalks, foreign buildings, and signs

And the people too, they will look the ugliest

And he will feel the ugliness inside him swelling and consuming, numbing

Until he arrives at his destination

What signs can a man follow?

What signs can he be sure will arrive him at his destination?

He must go for the signs that have always been there.

But how does he know which of the signs posted in the streets are those signs?

He must ask his fathers and mothers

For far back enough some of them have witnessed the posting

My eyes have become super-sensitized to the beauty of holy women

A beautiful woman is one whose body is invisible and whose heart is not shared

With everyone, her emotions are rarities for those who deserve them

And whose soul belongs to G-d

A beautiful woman rejects the stallions of conformity and emptiness;

Whom toil in their muscles, remove all hair from their body, apply sweet smells,

And train their words like grotesque dogs

She seeks fine grain and yearns to mill it, and she will have it

The Chazan stands at the front of the Synagogue singing out

He is covered in His Talit

I look to the ground, I cannot see Him, but

I can hear His voice filling the Synagogue

He sings to us and we respond to Him and

We sing with Him

My ears respond but my eyes cannot

Although He opens my eyes and I yearn to look at Him

Please G-d, Whom I cannot see and cannot see and live

Please enable these eyes to hold in more of You


Many times I find myself getting nearer to You

I begin to see the fibers of this world wave away and become stripped away, torn

I become afraid that if I leave this world too much and enter into Yours

That I will have to abandon the systems of conformity of this world completely

Having seen You and unable to reject Your Truth, with what would I be left

Other than pursuing with a full heart the urgencies of Your Words?

This fills me with fear and I choose to cover myself in small amounts of Klippah

Just enough to stay connected but not forced to sprint after You as if nothing else

Existed, but nothing else exists and nothing else matters, so please G-d let me be

Strong to run after You, for the dictates of my body and soul, alone, will not withstand

The pressure of nearing You and the world will corrupt my soul irreparably without You – so the journey of

Nearing You is more preferable than the death of the wwways of the wwworld, for how can death be better than

Life?

1 comment:

ariel elisha said...

hey brother, good page. be sure to correct your spelling of my name, i'm ariEL elisha, not arYEH elisha.

be well,
choidesh tov

Aaron says hi