Chris Bendon

1995. 128 pp. ISBN-13 978-3-7052-0431-7; ISBN-10 3-7052-0431-9
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Excerpts from Jewry

To the Reader
Reader, you have opened this door
back on its hinge of care:

      either come in, or leave
      for music which will surely sway -
      or a movie - or a really good read
      in which curiosity shall find appeasement,
      from an argute vantage, your loneliness
      solace, your spite rich reward..

Here is nothing but a dazzling light
to which you must bring everything you own.
Here is a mystery yoll must make the sense of.
Here is no mirror, but communing alone
with forgotten rhythms across the snow.
Your guide does not speak your language either,
though it sound like words you know
(oh lost subjunctive, buried in the close-of-viewing snow,
oh lost remoteness of all you in a Dark Age knew..)

Legalise MOSS! Check Isreal!
Be nowise monarch of all you survey,
      but come, give your hand and
      playing card heart.

The past - look back - you look ahead - is at the foot
of the unpaginated mountain.
Your feet spontaneously spondean,
the summit is lost - you are too close
to the glistening, now lilac-shadowed matter
like shadows of the world's own tiredness,
something like consumption
gripping your chest as you struggle on
clinging to chill fact (your compass bearing,
your grip on God's plinth, on Mary's robe

      which is the shabby sky that's all,
      same old sky that's never the same.

If you climb high enough, she will put on
      crown of all this universe.
If you slip, are buried,
it is on account of hell's great heat,
hell is getting more open these days..)

You are getting warm: look at the pines
in their proper setting; at runes of
certain birds, fabulous, you never see.
The snow which at first seemed so uniform
is a cell organisation, passing it on,
      word of your coming, your passing on.

See the many rainbows: walk into

      the one. Come this way
      But first shut your eyes.

      Remember a future all over again.

Fröhliche Weihnachten, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noël
A domestic tyrant hits at little Tel Aviv;
a gross empire notches back its belt
to the old contemptible, a Communism that's incompatible.
Just when everything was going so well ...
Two neighbours, the one middle-class-but-poor,
the other plebeian but sporting
yet again don't swap cards.
The Community Playground's only here by mistake,
to stop a campaign against a child-plagued neighbour;
already the drunks have taken to the swings,
the roundabout almost makes them faint
and someone's made a star of a festive shop window.
Just when everything was going so well ...

My divorce comes up soon, my resolution is absolute:
from now on, alone - which I got used to, unbroken
as a child from a broken home ...

        Here is the shadow of

        the shadow of a doubt.

        Here's projection of the Tom and Jerry cartoon.

Friends, where would we be without our enemy?
More to the point: what?

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