anna rabinowitz





Vanished as if she had somewhere

to go and had to arrive without delay


How sudden her flight, how lithe her legs

winging arms, swift of  flex


Nowhere was dying

to greet her



She made her getaway with ease


weightless dancergrace


from place                           to space


Birds, kites, flying fans

could speed no better



But we slept—

that was the rub…


Baby called our bluff


NO –


Luxuria snatched her                           loathsome lust left us bereft


We ‘ll never know why



No worse, there is none  no worst, there is none


We keened by her side


WHY          WHY


we’d never know why


wailed                 wheeled                 in wildest woe





April is the lustfullest month             tulip month

she loves me, she loves me not




fickle handmaid to seed


defies its promise   toys with us


denies hereafter


defames our weather



Beware loss by stealth

Beware blanketing rain







Superbia bursts into the room,



high-arched feet,

52 bones and 66 joints,


perfectly pampered in pearly hose,


staggers on eight-inch sequined heels.


Steep insteps remind the flex of her back

breaking at the wheel.



Brash-lipped lover of her own excellence,



Oh, those thrice-layered laced lashes (through which she barely sees).


She believes in pleasure and herself.



She dreams of climbing blustery heights.




Superbia, Queen of Queens,


of shoes on her feet,


 of cozy


in fondling shoes

of how she can’t slip


the same shoe

on every foot,


but when the shoe cuddles  she nuzzles up




She dreams of pride of possession,


of 2,700 pairs of shoes

in one woman’s closet,



of feats of collection


and 6 million pairs in god’s vitrine


and one pair of lucky baby shoes


dangling from the rear-view mirror


now berthed in the too-soon grave




She has travelled a great distance to trace the baby.


She sheds her shoes.







My soul is not itself,

A loud jargogle invades the plague of contingency.


Of course, I often deliciate in a state of confusion,

Especially when I wildly corrade detritus with illusion.


Many collages create mayhem, but these days folks

Giggle and kench, hosting bitter tears in their eyes.


No one seeks the mockery or scorn of ludibrious games.

Our ailing world is dedicated to erase sanguinolency.


Hence the decline of bloodshed in our current wars.

Drones, our best to date grade A, silent, unmanned aer-


Ial vehicles, our sleek UAVs, aces of launch and leave,

Save lives. SAVE LIVES. Hip, hip, hooray, yippee!?


 Remote control: surf the Web, site define

In its prime: eye on the screen, eye in the sky.


Get it down cold in comfy seats at safe old Creech.

Skill the scan, learn the drill and clinch their cease.


The shift is done, a setting sun, and home

To ground round patties on the grill, a jog with the dog,


A kiss for kids, drowsy, and wiped, hitting the sheets,

Plus shades down for a fuck, a hug, and a good night’s sleep.


We’ve navigated a boundless longinquity.


Life is luculent.


War is kind.







...O belly, O stinking bag filed with dung and corruption. At either end of thee, foul is the

Spawner of Sin


Gula, voluminous voluptuary, never gets her fill

Too soon, too delicately, too expensively, too greedily,


Spawner of Pride

Haggler, tippler, intriguer of feast




Be not among winebibbers: among riotous eaters of flesh. For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.

Spawner of Sloth


Gula, worn by hungers

Fullness of bread neither sates

nor placates


nor abates

Food and drink, with thee she schemes to live

Crapulous and unfulfilled


Discharge, phlegm, mucus running from the nose, hiccups, vomiting and violent
belching...The increase in luxury is nothing but the increase in excrement.


       Spawner of Greed


And like a Crane his necke was long and fine,

 With which he swallowed up excessive feast.

       Spawner of Lust


Flesh made safe


Death tied to the stake

Gula plays hostess at tables laden to groan






GREETINGS!            WELCOME!            TAKE A SEAT!






Break bread with malignant maggots    
gnats and flies


Beef gleams in the feast’s corpulent dusk


trout bathe in béchamel


succulent hens bask in béarnaise


pots de crème            triple crème            crčme Anglaise


legs of lamb adorned with mint rosettes

pork roasts recline on polenta cakes

crustaceans wade in bouillabaisse


stuffed tongues            boned hams            breasts of veal

tureens of consommé            bordeaux and beaujolais sausage ropes coiled
like salacious snakes






















That somber greens — ferns, conifers, cycads — flittered

              with fruit and bloom


That the earth’s face pinked, reddened, honeycombed glow


That angiosperm came to outnumber gymnosperm


That they seduced insect, bat and bird, flaunting colors

             and smelling good


That they multiplied, hybridized, colonized east to far,

             north to near, valley to peak




That brush crowded out burr oak and big bluestem grass

That weed evicted sweet brown-eyed Susan

That buckthorn unseated cream gentian and violet bush clover




That there had been prairie-fringed orchid, Indian grass,

             large-leafed aster


That there had grown starry campion and bottlebrush buckeye


That there had flown great spangled fritillaries, Edwards’ Hairstreaks


That Cooper’s hawks, eastern bluebirds, Appalachian browns

             had manned the trees




That what was mis-taken reappeared


That flowers strummed in the trees




That they made it and made it, new, now, and again


That it is possible, possible, spreading, and so





We’ve traded the hiss, the fuzz and the fizz of the fair for
elsewhere, a landmark in the riddled dark of “why is a raven
like a writing desk?”


We laugh when we can no longer cry and last laughs brood


Sunrise entreats us with Goya disasters of war, Munch
forests, and Warhol electric chairs.


Pre-emptive fictions and futile plots unmask reality as a
triumph of open wounds.


David Lynch once said, “images are no longer beautiful, but
chains are.”


Oil fields and T-shirts are now extinct. Fourteen-foot fences
fail to enclose dissolute goals and murderous needs.


As for abstract marks or loving gestures, those strokes no
longer seize the eye.


To fabricate is to make and to fake.


Lies are the intensest truths.


Oh, how we miss fertilized hair and lacquered toenail
clippings shaped into red- ripe cherries.


Who can take pride in bottling the sweat of beleaguered
brows for sale to the highest bidder?


If only we could costume memories. But our headmasters
refuse to learn from old clothes.


If only we could find radiance in the forlorn.


I have always been a dreamer.









It begins in a far meadow, a bright room, a hillside thick with time

A woman in a field of flowers interrupted and carried away

A thick of meadow begins it in a woman bright with flowers and time

A room carried in a hillside interrupted a far field away


Had she kept a place in her mind empty to welcome a guest?

And so she played and plucked— lilies from silence

And so she in her mind kept a guest to welcome lilies and

A place empty she had played and plucked silence from


It is a lie that serves the truth

Beauty by nature rules over strength

The truth that serves beauty is a lie

Nature by its strength overrules


A thick silence interrupted in a field of time—a hillside bright with it

Flowers in the mind—in a meadow a room

Is plucked and carried empty to welcome a lie. Her guest

Rules over strength and beauty. And so kept by nature

She had played Woman. It begins far away. She a truth

from a place that serves lilies.







Unarmed, unwarned


must she yield—

                                                                                                  must she stop—


a gasp           alas

           aghast            perhaps


expecting this—


                                                                                                  (whose greeting sneaks

            into her peace?)


at this moment


                                                                                  sundering syllables right

from his heart



                                                                                     Hail thou that art highly favored




just like that he arrives—



                                            in to her —

                                                                                        unto her  —              in



barges in

             just like that


        comes in and then—


              and now—

                                                                                                         how can she duck


out of this—


                alone—                 afraid—

                                                                                                         poor duck

out of water

                                       not yet known by man


                                                                                            forced here to stop—



(squalls in her breast

                                                                                            sudden twitches in


her groin—)


                            (shall she bend to smell the lily—

                                                                                                                                or sneak

another peek at her book—?)


                                                                                                            IF I AM FAVORED

                                            LET ME FINISH THIS BOOK—


                                                                                                                       (or bolt right


out of this place—

                                                                                                                or look him right

in the eye)


                                                                                            Listen, you uninvited duck

winging in this way—


                                                                                                                     if I am favored

leave me be

                               —I’ve got things to do around the house

                                                                                                                      let’s put a stop

              to this plot


                                              sweat beads in her crotch


down her thighs—


               why me—             why me                                                                what’s in


this for me—


                                                                                             (elsewhere nails drive in—)


(coo to her         do to her                     do with her—)


                                                                                          do by her—


by her—


                                        do not toy with her—


                                                                                                                    (must he sneak

in on her between breakfast and lunch—)

                                                                                                                              poor duck

plucked from—


                       sucked from—


                                                                            (what dreams hammer to a stop—?)


                                                     it is with great pleasure I tell thee thou art favored



          (the looked-up-to turns away—)


                                                                                                                 favored, favored

for what—


                                                                               (wanting to flee but leaning in—)


Mary                  Mary

                                          not contrary


                                                                             at Gethsemane your garden stops—


with cocky swells and modest belles—

                                                              what a fine crop—



green are the grasses of grief—



                                                                                  out in the yard a red-billed duck

takes off for the lake—


                          as in there was an opening down the road—

                                                                                                                                a sneak



                  preview of the way which is not home

                                                                                                                that sneaks

into the scene

                               out of the distance—

                                                                                                                  terrain favored


with going on—


                         because of must

                                                      because of be


                                                                                                       because nobody ducks

out of this Baby—



                                                                                 Mary it’s your chance to step in—


for the good of—

                                  the need of—

                                                                                  (might even be fun—— right—?)





                                                                                               oh finest fruit at full STOP

in the enactment STOP


                                        this unraveling STOP


                                                                                                           as it sneaks STOP in


through your favorite door STOP


                                                                      raining harder now STOP so duck right


down STOP (or out) STOP


                                                                  duck if you can STOP but you can’t STOP


                                         now he’s come











And what if a soul

fall into a body…


And if it gaze into pure light…

And if something grow into life…


As the spider spins its web

          she spins him of herself,




life-bestower, nurturer,


agent of futurity


oh, woven child

          you must not unravel


she webs and warps with finest, strongest yarn






Thou shalt never forget thy mother and what she has done for thee…For she carried thee long beneath her heart as a heavy burden, and after thy months were accomplished she bore thee.


Three long years she carried thee upon her shoulder and gave thee her breast to thy mouth, and as thy size increased her heart never once allowed her to say,


“Why should I do this?”


She is and remains a mother

even though her child die,


though all her children die.


For at one time she carried you under her heart.

And you do not go out of her heart ever again.







That which installs itself in the mind embraces sound


                         rounding the fecund earth


Birth, as in what is not, as in one makes one,

                                                  is a mighty absence to understand


(and there are those who fail to get their lessons done)


Dun is the color of submission


Unfledged, she leafs through what has been nothing never

Never to be what she is/ or could /or hope to be

Bewitched by dictions (fictions) on the surface—


Face naming that which she must save, polished like an apple—


Apple of the eye, amour of town and street, apple of the cheek

Eaten with a dab of honey for a sweet year


Ear to who am I in the suddenly-arriving what-comes-next

Next to being, next to delivery, next to undergone

Gone parenthetical but now revived as her eye

Spies the sudden trespass of his unexpected welcome—


Succumbing, coming unto him in full sun this morning


Mourning what she need not beguile or lie beside









Inside:        a story —

                                       inventories, incidents —

                                                    pleading to be flossed

                            from the teeth of silence —


Leaching congealed vowels

                                      lately of / longing for / words —


Explanations not yet factored into claim: —

                                                                                   this is this —

                                      that is that —


As in first annunciations/ as in debuts

                                      for old roles /


                                                  as if to atone:

                                                                           yes, I love you —


Namers courting drifting sands,

                                      fated to root heels,

Toes into dunes rampant with consonants of

Unreachable destinies,


                                      lonely nouns of hearts

Pilgriming to wished-for places

                                                   on the verbs

Of desire —

                       destinations where nothing feels

New but an aching need to shout out.


Again and again the narrative howls for words.


Circling, leaping into

                           / out of / shade, but it makes

Only wrong turns —


                                       how can it say the right thing? — shall it

Pledge never to do that again,

                          to be good next time?


                          — a daughter


Parents —

                          blooms at the edge of a small scream —


In the beginning is the end — words and more buds —

                                       fingers knotted / throats

Choked —

            syllables scuffling for a spot / patient for a time


Entropies, upstretched vacancies,


Grazing sound —

                                                    too soon for /

                                                               in the aftermath of / being —


Amok with what is unseen / unsaid: love me,

Touch me, make use of me —




                                                    as in dawnings,




                                                    as in prayers


Ensnared at the main gate —


                                                    and now —


                                                                  and now—


                                                                                                     oh god —


                                                                                 they’re dead.





GLOSSARYblack holes / white holes / wormholes / origin and     fate — they’ll last me a lifetime sans regret:what I know I cannot know, I need not forget. prior translations sprout on scattered tongues;     hear me’s moss in bloodless mouths: what theydidn’t want to remember, I’m unable to forget. root of all roots: cause of all causes: unreadable,     unknowable, except to itself: speaker in numbers:what I cannot know, I must not forget. an infant universe of ten dimensions once ripped apart:     remaindered: reality: three dimensions plus time:a man, a woman, dimensionless, crossed the sea to forget. they include time yet they are timeless: they contain     the world, but the world would not contain them;what I’ve come to note, I must not forget. the world is names, the names numbers: Isaac the Blind,     unfettered by terrestrial eyes, saw ten digits without end:how do I quote names I can neither recall nor forget? chapters locked in time: shredded Torah scrolls,     sacks of flour poured on the road, posterities of pineflamed to ash: I’ve come to know; I must not forget. what is admissible: her knee nudging     the sewing machine lever, his gun-shot leg:that which must be scavenged, because we forget. arms assembling / reassembling: number my     stars: number my grass: number my blood: earthdeafened by ciphers indecipherably quiet. the narrative reveals hints of what it was / is / should /     could have been: their sisters and brothers readhaven anywhere: even remote islands chose to defect. black holes roam enfoldments deeper than fears     trapped in their eyes: never-to-be-knownscenarios sentenced to decomposed alphabets. I am trying to get to the bottom of things;     I am trying to open the folds, to unroll the bolts;I am trying not to forget. this meal with the foretaste and aftertaste     of not knowing: these entrees sauteed in unbutteredsounds: this meat-starved, chipped-plate banquet. Safed: in the presence of absence, saying little, intending     much, Isaac ben Solomon Luria spoke to the speechlessbirds: black are the holes’ cavities, awesome the glister of jet! we die into life; we live into death; printouts     torn and seamed, ravelled and patched:nothing is chaste. hollow bowls (graves) of when beneath crazed plates (fields)     of where beside empty cups (houses) of why :their tables were set. they wrote letters begging to be read, and got no reply;     pried open windows of windowless rooms, rubbed outtheir eyes with failures of light; swallowed gruel and grit. why did you forsake them: why did you retreat     from your witness sky, your righteous world unbuilt?:must their candles perish because they’re unlit? theirs is not stillness unnoised; theirs is silence exiled from     sounds of uncountable generations: theirs is languagewith the grammar beaten out of it. because they inhaled the air, because they exhaled the air,     because they occupied space, slept and ate and walkedstreets, because their eyes were green, blue, sometimes violet... see to it that nothing is lost or forgotten...record...and collect!     but their history was ending, their families erased:they sealed their lips and left me to imagine what to forget. let the poverty of my words not be abject; let them     persist in making and remaking, shaping, reshaping:to name, rename, unname: not to forget. for a world never to be repeated, only to be archived:     trying-to-enter-the-thing, trying-to-name-the-loss words;survival not as a desire, but as a duty to celebrate. a community in the van of the East...a land set for a halting-     place of enmities, a neutral ground...wilderness becomea pool of water and the land no longer termed desolate. they didn’t believe in God; nor that they were chosen     as models for the gentiles; they understood suffering,otherness: tattered clothes: how well they came to fit. why? was it because their language was never spoken     by anyone with power, the only tongue withouta vocabulary for war: merely howls and ash to record it? when you have a great and difficult task...if you only work     a little at a time...without faith and without hope, suddenlythe work will finish itself. But will it be free and I free of it? singing your song without singing your song:     dashes, dots, commas, deflected threads splicing air:to disclose what it would impoverish me to forget. what I know is what I need to unknow and reknow:     a sea of syllables frightening to swim,bent on utterance before I forget.Thesis:   Hypothesis:   Ein Sof:   A priori:   Note bene:   Cosmology:   Insight:   Empirical:   Numerology:   Themes:   Premise:   Understand:   Leitmotifs:   Sixth sense:   Ergo:   Ontology:   Furthermore:   Gnostic moan:   Epistemology:   Rationale:   Mandate:   Affirmation:   Nomenclature:   Destiny:   Belief:   Inquiry:   Rebuttal:   Tautology:   Hypothesiscum plea:







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...









Of all colors    the dense lore of them    the black border

hounds the white page    o the demands    on order

one two three    hide in order    four five six    seek land

where the hill breaks    where the shore cubes    the borderland

where looted harbors    where long ago    dolors of gold ore

refused to melt    ingot upon ingot loaded    full on board


how shall I bore into this    who has bored

out of this    please give up your cool    from where border

patrol forces have sped    I will not ignore clamors of language or

disguise myself    o the hooded roaming     in short order

the order to flee    the ports jammed    where the borderlands

why these doors    where the subject/subjects    where land-


ing holds its breath    on the spot    it is inscribed    we all land

together    we’re in it together    o the fictions stored on board

“to think is to fail”    “in it together”    they sing no idea    borderlands

o resonant lanes    o corded woods    the weird boarders

whose untold parties    discarded rooms    numbing disorder

out of which    due to which    on stage    we must reor-


der    out of frayed shawls    erased disclosures    and/or

filthy fingernails    the palm roars in the mind    aborted land-

ings    where folklore shrieked to a halt    where the new order

silenced metaphor    where original lacunae climbed on board

where the temporary name themselves    where the border

takes its memory    where its pulse cannot be found    borderlands


what will it take    the opaque brittles    the night-baked borderland

where candors sprout from rocks    where characters cannot oar

out of estrangements    the darkling of that    will you get bored or

angry being neither here nor there    to have clawed to land

where fish are fowl where it is not manageable    to be on board

hating the mirror and inking your face out of photos in order


to tell less than you know    where there is too much to order

where seams gape and hems weep    where sleeves moan    borderlands

where space is mute    where the volume is low    where board-

ed-up orifices mourn walls    of ships of state unmoored    of rumor

of absence    of digging    of plowing    of people    of no-one’s land

of the tyranny of denial    of the monarchy of doubt    of the border


hoarding more borders    the record defiant with emptiness    of the order

to land before the final history    once and for all to the borderland

quick to the core    where first traces storm    all aboard    going aboard







Then, she says, a penis is needed, female

artists almost always can use one, taking

charge with tools like brushes and palette knives to

          build up their pictures,


bold as men are, spraying great skeins of yellow,

cobalt blue, and crimson across the canvas,

rage or quiet made at their will, exploding

          measures of failure,


risking planes, dissolving full spaces, Bluemner

hurling turquoise clouds on a purple field as

blackbirds wheel in formation, Hartley sculpting

          skies out of granite,


oil as cloud made palpable, air as breathless

form accreting mass in its own defense while

ends begin and boundaries disappear.

          This is how men die.


Now, she says, O'Keeffe is my point, consigned to

desiccated bones smoother than silk, unblemished

petals, lilies swollen in heat, faint tensions

          vectored through tunnels,


warm vaginas, moisture of vulvas, furtive

stand-ins, meanings plain as your face: a woman

minus penis making art with her body,

          trapped in her body.









From the top of her head to the black coagulation —

If you think she's floating you're right,

right over slippery scales of graphite.


From the top of her head to the black coagulation —

her throat slit by the hyphenated run.

If you think she's floating you're right,

right over slippery scales of graphite.


From the top of her head to the black coagulation —

her throat slit by the hyphenated run

impossible to subdue once begun

If you think she's floating you're right,

right over slippery scales of graphite.




Trust me. There's nothing unusual in a lost face.

Dismemberment gets to the parts (heart) of things:

what bleeds, what cannot; what seeps, what clings.


Trust me. There's nothing unusual in a lost face,

severed between points, dismantled, erased.

Dismemberment gets to the parts (heart) of things:

what bleeds, what cannot; what seeps, what clings.


Trust me. There's nothing unusual in a lost face

severed between points, dismantled, erased,

flesh bone dry or cloyingly moist, whatever the case.

Dismemberment gets to the parts (heart) of things:

what bleeds, what cannot; what seeps, what clings.




Look, her lips couple with nuance ardent for things to say,

and under the text of her brow note how the eye,

spangled with lust, resets the margins of desire.


Look, her lips couple with nuance ardent for things to say

about hermeneutics parsed in foreplay

and under the text of her brow note how the eye,

spangled with lust, resets the margins of desire.


Look, her lips couple with nuance ardent for things to say

about hermeneutics parsed in foreplay,

language dandling codes fervently relayed,

and under the text of her brow note how the eye,

spangled with lust, resets the margins of desire.




Adamant colors breathe deep, sustain your duress,

Eye, stick out your tongue. Shake up the old domain.

What is given to understand consorts on new terrain.


Adamant colors breathe deep, sustain your duress,

Fondle nails, ears, sweaty feet, punctuate each caress.

Eye, stick out your tongue. Shake up the old domain.

What is given to understand consorts on new terrain.


Adamant colors breathe deep, sustain your duress,

Fondle nails, ears, sweaty feet, punctuate each caress.

Lick the bottom of the bowl, sweet eye. Yes, oh yes,

eye, stick out your tongue. Shake up the old domain.

What is given to understand consorts on new terrain.









Then I will deliberate with the bones of earliest memory

And I will revoke fields of sown obligation

I will demand a site-specific locale for the face en face

And I will disarm dialogue with splintered phrase

And I will needle zeitgeist with parody

And I will backdate the check I’m to sign in the morning

And in the evening I will revise the beginning because its end is everywhere

Yes, I will plunder residues to state my case plainly

But I will be ambiguous as the distant horn of the barreling car


So, where will you find me, where will you find me




Yes, I will fly solo to the bones of earliest memory

And I will stow seed revoked from fields sown with obligation

And I will invent cosmic order for the face en face

And I will arm concept with splintered phrase

Yes, I will needle agenda with parody

And I will decode the check I’m to sign in the morning

And in the evening I will emulsify the beginning because the end is everywhere

Then I will plunder dream to state my case plainly

And I will be distant as the horn of the barreling car


So, how will you find me, how will you find me




Yes, I will fly solo to deliberate with the bones of earliest memory

And I will run rife with seed revoked from fields of sown obligation

And I will make actual a site-specific, cosmic order for the face en face

And I will disarm concept with the dialogue of splintered phrase

Yes, I will needle agenda with the zeitgeist of parody

Then I will backdate the recurrent code of the vintage check I’m to sign in the


And in the evening I will revise the emulsified beginning beginning to end

And I will plunder dreamy residues to state my case plainly

And I will be beholder beheld, ambiguous as the strident warning of the distant

              horn of the barreling car


Try to find me, try to find me, try to find me
















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