Anat Zecharia

 

Anat Zecharia

 

(Israel)

 

 

 

Due to Human Error

 

The universe is expanding, so I’ve heard,

and new stars are created.

And we hope to have a life,

one case which is exceptional.

Somebody promised us there is tomorrow

so we’re in no hurry to love.

Polished, articulate and fast

we can identify

the questions asked before,

preparing our response in advance.

Answering as though we were

chatting on a bus.

Saying good to bad and bad to good

laying darkness.

Gathering in front of a television set,

entire lives pass us in anticipation

mollified with weak tea,

over and over again:

a Russian passenger plane

nearly crashed due to human error,

somebody bit a policeman’s ear,

a three foot crocodile is trapped

near some Kibbutz,

children kidnapped by their mother

will be returned to Sweden,

a boy invited to see magic

was raped, and route four was closed off to traffic.

And thousands of things we are not.

At the end we’ll be given a plot

not that it’s what we dreamed of,

but the quiet,

the cyclamens.

 

 

© Translation: Irit Sela

 

 

 

Ate An Angel

 

I ate an angel

Standing next to the sink

Lifted it with one hand

Off the ground like a plane in the air

Swallowed elevation to the body.

The wings, last to enter,

Still squeaked between my teeth when he set

In the round spaces insaide me, spreading

On the nothing.

That is exactly what I was lacking

One who would tremble deep insaide

While I’m ticking

Doing my part

To be

He who waits shell accomplish

Meanwhile, the one thing known about me

Is that I’m breathing

 

 

© Translation: Efrat Weiss

 

 

 

A Woman Of Valor

 

“35 soldiers on active duty and several civilian employees at an air base have been conducting sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl over the past year. Many of the suspects claimed during questioning that the girl had told them she was of enlistment age.”
Hannan Greenberg, Ynet News

 

The first
places your head on his naked lap
and one might think
you weren’t being forced but rather
thanked and your head stroked.
The second slides slowly down your back
the feelings are new
and you can still concentrate.
The third inserts three fingers, says
“Don’t move.” You don’t,
the map of greater Israel
in your eyes.
The fourth moves aside a pile of reports
on air accidents in the south
and takes you from behind.
A great love you think
a great love scorches me
and won’t let up.
You raise and lower your arms
your body stretches to the edge of the sky
your hands cupped for the rain.
The unstoppable fifth and sixth
course into you.
The arrogant salt of the earth, avoiding eyes,
those waiting their turn. Soon your body may look beautiful
even to you.

 

 

© Translation: Lisa Katz

 

Translator’s Note: A Woman of Valor, “Eshet Hayil” in Hebrew, is a hymn to the woman of the house which is customarily recited on Friday evenings, after returning from synagogue and before sitting down to the Shabbat evening meal. It is a poem twenty-two verses long (Proverbs 31:10-31) and begins: “A woman of valor who can find? For her price is far above rubies.” (The Jewish Publication Society Bible)

 

 

 

Herzl Says

 

Herzl says
hands up
Herzl says
put your hands on your head
Herzl says to me
count to three
Herzl says
lick your lips
Herzl says to me
get down on your knees
Herzl says inhale the scent
of a man who is good
for your health
Herzl says to me come
let’s strip now
Herzl says, I personally envisioned
you spreading your legs
and turning over.
Herzl, I say
I’m opening wide I’m expanding
I’m looking at my Garden of Eden
which you never knew
because the truth is mine only
when I alone
hold an apple in my mouth.

 

 

© Translation: Lisa Katz

 

Translator’s Note: In Hebrew, the game “Simon Says” is “Herzl says”. Herzl is a typical Hebrew men’s name; it is also the last name of Theodor Herzl, the founder of Zionism known as the seer or “visionary” of the Jewish state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Anat Zecharia, (born in Tel Aviv) is an Israeli writer and photographer. She is a graduate of the photography department of the WIZO Neri Bloomfield Academy of Design in Haifa and the Alma College of Hebrew Culture in Tel Aviv. Zecharia teaches creative writing at The Open University of Israel, and writes dance reviews for “Yedioth Aharonot” newspaper. Zecharia has been part of the “Artists’ Greenhouse for Social Activism” project in Musrara school of photography & media in Jerusalem. Zecharia work has been published in various literary magazines and has been awarded the Streets Prize from the city of Tel Aviv, and the Young Poet’s Prize in the Sha’ar International Poetry Festival and “Prime Minister’s Prize” for writers 2014. She has published two collections of poetry, As Soon as Beautiful, from Helicon (2008), and Due to Human Error from the Bialik Institute (2012). Zecharia was chosen to represent Israel and be one of the 204 poets from Olympic nations taking part in what is being called the biggest gathering of poets in world history —Poetry Parnassus. Anat is an outspoken young poet who writes forthrightly about women’s desires. She does not ignore the times when being on either side of the power equation is part of erotic experience, and she casts her light on the way Israeli politics influences Israeli sex lives.

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