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Three Poems
by William Levy

Only the Astonished Know Germany


"The Bible only knows the terror of forgetting.

     --Yosef Hayirn Yerushalmi, "Reflections of Forgetting."

From now we have to start
from scratch on
Forget how we fled
to Germany
for Rosh Hashanah
you a goy with a soft g
carrying cherry tomatoes
and good Brie and me
with an Elmore Leonard
novel and a whole
roast chicken
Forget the ominous portent
that well-dressed
barefoot man
on the train ride
up the romantic Rhine
through the hills
covered with tawny vineyards
like chattering children
gray restless waves whispered
around the steep Loreili rock
Forget our plan to become
millionaires by manufacturing
Theodore Herzl garden gnomes
Forget everything
that has been and not been
Forget going out on a limb
approaching der grune Zweig
because it would have been
too cruel to refuse
another's generosity
even though you didn't climb
the round red tower at Weinheim

  Forget walks along the Neckar
to the synagogue site
in Heidelberg
Forget the midgets
drowsing on our balcony
overlooking the Chiemsee
a delicious crotch smell of
smoked-fish on the Fraueninsel
the thousand year old Linden tree
stumbling over General Jodl's grave
Forget your shiny
black patent-leather slippers
your Mary Magdalene bow and arrow
upper-lip caressing a filigreed
silver cigarette holder
your sculptured-marble Augustan nose
holding too high
the candle of recognition
the burden of afterthought
the muse of measure
your Eleanor Roosevelt cheek mole
above right eye twitching
washing my feet with tears
wiping them with
your Frederick the Great hairdo
Forget your black silk kimono
barely covering
shapely calves hard thighs
pillowy chest chubby arms
that ornamentally painted
Oberammergau hotel room
Forget you can't yodel and kiss
at the same time
Forget those souvenirs of Jesus
being crucified in a snowstorm
Forget the blue-balls
I had while limping
up the spiraled hill toward
Mad King Ludwig's dreamy
Schloss Neuschwanstein
Forget Lohengrin

Forget the Swan Knight
all secret names
Forget you yourself are seventh
of twelve children
bliss to your blood
Forget you refused to speak
with your father for a whole
year and henever even noticed
Forget your mother scolded
you for paring potatoes
with too much peel
Forget your fear
being bombed
when the Allies
went a bridge too far
Forget you had an affair
with the husband
of one of your sisters
Forget old Professor Kisch
went on his knee
to propose marriage
so when he died his
pension wouldn't go to waste
Forget you beat the name
of Huysman's pet suffering saint
Forget how we got into this mess
my little Catholic girl
Catholic girl
who will never confess
Forget this year's bumper crop
of apples in Bavaria
Forget autumn surprised us
coming over the Starnbergersee
we mixed memory and desire
and drank coffee
and talked for an hour
Forget the whip music
in a beer tent
at the Oktoberfest
Forget the philosophy of trifles
that laughing tour of the Isartor.

on the 87th step entering
the cafe of 'Karl Valentin's Musaum
a bat flapped its wings
Forget pretzels
Forget pretzels
Forget that howling
simultaneous orgasm we had
holding hands
while masturbating ourselves
under spire of St. Paul's Church
in Munich
Forget our itch
looking for urge
even unto the end of the world.
Comrade Lover
I will never forget
your bringing me a
bone filled with marrow
and two boiled beets.

Two Mornings in Amsterdam

Lost Soles

A lot of people wanted
to be in his shoes.
Rob Scholte (36)
the great white hope
of the Dutch art
scene, a homegrown
Jeff Koons
handsome and bold
decadicly scrumptious
a kitschy, quirky intense talent
I thought
when translating his
pleonastic catalog for the
Venice Biennale
a few years ago.
Since then
he bounced between
global commissions
cocooned as an art celebrity
with money, women, villas
and cars.
One rainy morning in November
he slid into his BMW
parked on a sidestreet in
Fashion Jordaan district
twisted the key in the ignition
switch of the vehicle and a split
second later there was an explosion.
Carbombed by a crafty critic
his lithe young blond
ex-model companion

suffered only minor
cuts and bruises
from this grenade serenade.
At the bottom of
every piece of ill luck
there's the wrong choice
the slip of the will
opening the door
to disaster.
Rob Scholte always big
Is smaller now.
He can still paint:
His eyes and hands are intact.
but he lost both legs below
the knee, aesthetically brought
down a couple of pegs by harsh art
with a, hidden agenda.
(Shoes for Scholte committee
will not be meeting next Tuesday:
there were not enough heels to attend.)
The smashed and charred
was placed on exhibition
in a gallery
Radical readers everywhere
Brutus' razor-sharp kritkos
they'd stuck Kit Marlow in the eye
for Dostoyevsky's firing squad
to fantasies of pickaxing Trotsky
in benediction to lick
blood from the boot that kicked Pasolini
Khomeni's rushdie to judgement
the Greenwich Meridian to stop time
the standard meter demanding
restoration of the sacred measures
the Anne Frank house
expectorating guilt.
The Scholte Affair
seems to be part of this trend.
Next March on a morning in Milan
an elegantly dressed
fundamentalist footwearphobe
made an extremist
fashion statement.
Taking Mernit Oppenheim's
shoe work
(trussed-up heels
in the air
looking like sides of beef)
one step further
he shot Maurizio Gucci
in the face three times
then quietly walked away.
Assuming the stance
of the anarchist
in Conrad's story
of the same name:
"deny nothing!"    

What's So Good About Good-Bye

"The bouses are baunted
By white night-gowns.

Wallace Stevens, "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock"

Crunching through the fresh snow
from a hooded cape as black as ink
her silver-helmet shines like a halo
gliding past a bush flowering pink

January in Amsterdam
the no. 16 tram is coming
beyond Heineken Brouwerji
russet bricks piled like corpses
a numberless clock golden letters
reflect a bleary rising sun
the tram approaches
snaking around the Weteringsplein
in front of the Carousel Pavilion
There she goes
There she goes
librarians are the hottest babes
the ranking Miss G. with a Ph.D
for a study in Zionist history
who offered to marry this refugee
to save him from the Sadducee
There she goes
it pays to make passes
at women who wear glasses
There she goes
to her royal water board in Leiden
to boss around a score of underlings
to plot against the Baron
to deal firmly with that awful boy
to play solitaire on a computer
with a wry half-smile, a shy wave
There she goes
with a throbbing wet memory
last night's rude tremors
first communing with temptation
she eucharisted a cannabis chocolate
the oblique Chagall feeling
being tongued
from anus to clitoris
from clitoris to anus
punctuated by his stumpy thumb
feeding her fluttering sparrow
being tongued
a potent treasure
seemingly forever
"Such wild pleasure"
he hummed
being tongued
thighs tickled
by a sinister old Jewish
gentleman wearing the radiantly
colored purple feathered mask
she gave him the day before
on his 60th birthday
There she goes
There she goes
He worries about her not sleepin'
He worries about her rough skin
He prays she will get a garden
He knows she will let him in
a prim parting at that tram stop
on a bridge
over die Lijnsbaangracht
she shivers
the snow from her raven bonneted
silvery white hair
on this frosty winter's mom
air strikes labia.
Desire doubled is
Eros doubled is
Chaos doubled creates cosmos.




Email: levyandco@hotmail.com

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