anna rabinowitz




So little cause, and illusions of meaning withdraw.

O little cause of timetorn torntime motes in time,

Little can they know trapped in that time,

In that abyss of history when wordclaws


Tear at their throats, when an alphabet — hell-sent

To taverns of steaming samovars, hell bound —

Lies in wait, not knowing when, how, why peril may sound —

Elbows into the marketplace, jostles the remnant


Crowds — Moishe the Barber, resident now of silence,

Apostle of naked chins, shaves the peasant faces,

Unbeards the Jews who have strayed —

Simon the Merchant mans three carts at once —


Edifice of fur hat, hill of velvet frock, pyramid of boot,

and in New York “Little

Flower” reads the comics, swings a baton at Carnegie Hall,

On his motorcycle rushes as if tomorrow can be stalled,

Rushes in his sidecar to the latest fire, has faith that evil,


Culpabilities are temporary alliances with darkness,

Antipathies slated to be erased from the moral terrain,

Rounds the corner on the glittering, unstoppable wheels of better days

On a roll, on the march, speeding through expectant, hope-doused streets —


Little causes: skullcaps, sideburns, leaning cottages on chicken legs —

If we forget— lest we forget— O scattered sheep exiled to lost roads,

Nuggets of piety cling to their coats, on their brows they glow — O

Guardian light — on the floor a child writhes, the rebbe's in the stove —

Slumber, landsleit doze — long live this drone,

         this winterdark of dregs...