Ballad of the Middle of the Twenty First Century

לגירסא העברית.

Ballad of the Middle of the Twenty First Century

(with thanks to Serge Gainsbourg and Danny Blair Shwed Jones Grossman for the inspiration)

I peek at her white body and at that other one standing beside her,

her body shrivels from him, and her spirit sings a gentle song versed by her fancy.

So, the Botticelli painting stands in my orange bathroom

with the black stains of mold.

Her colors don't fade,

the light shatters on her body,

only her clothes shrivel

and get wet on the old floor tiles.

I look at her and him from afar

like a grownup peeking into his childhood,

and my mind captures photos with a rare camera

that you can't buy these days

despite all the advanced technology of our age.

The bathroom colors the painting

with wet orange, and that other one cowers from the holy

water, under the mold.

On the walls little angels and fairies,

dance around her only.

After washing her hair,

she's busy drying

while that other one

chews the fat

with her shadow.

The smell of her hair knocks me down from the peeking stance,

that other comes right over to see where the racket came from

and then right in front of my eyes, from my hiding place,

his goat's feet come into view with the terrible smell.

The movements of her towel are so gentle,

that even the bathtub itself wants to get up and make love to her

without penetration, just a sequence of touch after touch

stringing together a pleasant perverse feeling.

I look at her white body and at that other one standing next to her

I get hard from her and from him.

And this is the angel of death

that is competing with me for her love

and I have no way to beat him

but to die at her feet

and wait

for her to come to me

and my arms to be weaved into hers.

***

The poem was first published on my first poetry book 2001. The Poem “Ballad of the Middle of the Twenty First Century” was also published on “Märchenland: Die beteiligten Autoren setzten sich mit den Märchen der Gebrüder Grimm auseinander, brachten ihre prosaische Form auf eine lyrische Ebene und begaben sich in die mitunter ambivalenten Bereiche des kulturellen Gedächtnisses in Deutschland und Israel.” 2007.

פורסם על ידי Mati Shemoelof

Mati Shemoelof was born in 1972 in Haifa. He is a poet, editor, and writer. He graduated with honors from the University of Haifa where he studies Film and History. He has published seven poetry books so far. The last of these was published in Germany in 2019 in a bilingual edition "Baghdad | Haifa | Berlin", published by Aphorismha Verlag [Berlin]. His first article book “An eruption from the east: Re visiting the emergence of the Mizrahi artistic explosion and it's imprint on the Israeli cultural narrative 2006-2019“ was published on “Iton 77” publishers in Israel (2020).

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