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 Roy Chicky Arad


 

 

 

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Poetry-Video

Reading "The Owl" in a Kibutz

45 min of poetry

I Vanunu

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

 

Stupid Shirts / Roy Chicky Arad

shirts are so stupid

 

shirts are so stupid

DJs in coffee shops are so stupid

jellyfish are so stupid

a mobile phone lost in a taxi

is so stupid

 

jeeps parked on the curb of Bograshov Street

are so stupid

the newspaper I write for

is so stupid

the newspaper I don’t write for

is so stupid

the lemon is so stupid

sitting on the straw

in the heart of the empty glass

Ariel Sharon and Shimon Peres

are so stupid, so stupid are Peres and Sharon

 

the plants are so stupid

salad dressings are so stupid

talking about the Holocaust is stupid

both always get attention

always stupid

bearded men with earrings are so stupid

especially if they wear a pouch

 

my heart is so stupid

my heart is so stupid

a ring is so stupid

the same dog is so stupid

the dog so stupid

the beautiful waitress from Hungary – she’s smart

bus stations are so stupid on Saturday morning

jellyfish are so stupid on Saturday morning

 

shirts are so stupid

on people’s chests, on beautiful women’s chests

on the chests of 37-year-old women, tourists from France,

sales ladies in clothing stores, women who smoke and women who don’t,

shirts are so stupid

 

Translated from the Hebrew by Lisa Katz

 

The Owl

Out of the golden sand,
it slaughters falcons,
turns cobras pale,
the rock owl.
I’ve seen it all,
I haven’t seen anything yet--
the rock owl.

Everywhere

ads for R.C Cola.
Around my earlobes
Israeli rap on loud speakers

--the rock owl.

Igniting the desert wind,
pure on a dark sand dune,
the owl,

and on the dune a man in a colorful American shirt.
Here!
Right here!

(ten years earlier)
Skies blue as a tee shirt.
It’s the middle of the desert.
On this spot the Negev Mall will be raised,
bones looted.
A Swiss-made surveying instrument,
whose rage is crystal and
arrows metal,
clangs toward
the owl born of panic.

And the Beer Sheva city coalition.
The owl and I!
The owl and I!

Wielding the sword
in his wounded arm,
the owl
son of Anat
of earth, of the crescent.
the owl.
Beer Sheva of the early Nineties,
and the former desert,
slowly spreading its wings,
bronzed and mortared,
and quietly revealing his sword.
What sense for me now
owl and love?

And then the mall,
three stories, octagonal with fluted skin, and a floor of restaurants
yellowed with dust,
standing five and a hundred cubits
clad in chill marble.

And the folks with their swords,
next to picantic-china
across from i.M.P.
The Fox-Man store is next to a pile of orange clothing,
and the Fox-Man salesgirl,
a pretty gumchewer aged one score less two
her face pitted, chewed, blue-green, gleaming with
fire,
her heart chewed
with lust and passion.
(On her chest a freckled shirt that will never by stylish, whatever may come
to pass)
And in the volume of the mall
shouts the owl with zeal
with a torch-cry
I am immortal
I am King Kong of the desert,
I am Godzilla of the Negev
The Golem of the Negev Mall.

His grandfather?
Baal.
His grandmother?
A Canadian real estate developer of Jewish origin,
massing and buying,
racing with their dumb shopping bags
down the neon corridors,
in the formike passage.
And the local paper’s photog flashes,
And then the guard, brave and proud
(He already fought in Afganistan, a Lau missile powdered his
nose),
he draws his gun,
Looks at the Fox-Man Girl, the foxie human’s girl.
And the owl, there’s the cool and quiet flint,
weary, his eyes today are dry,
the beat of his wings is aureate,
his feathers are pure Kerolite,
he smiles.

Raise the fire and consume the mall and its daughters,
conflagrate the merchandise of Fox-Man,
the wild bull of Burger Ranch.

I’ve seen it all,
I haven’t seen anything yet--
the rock owl.

Who will re-inter the rock owl, the fire owl?
What transgression made I on this dread world?

-
-

Mall nation by the owl accursed.
A human being by the owl accursed.
An owl by his smile accursed. 

Translated from the Hebrew by Pesach Slabosky. "The Owl" participated in Michal Helfman's work in  the Venice Art Biennale 2003.

The Owl  - Text
The Owl - mp3 (Hebrew)


 

The Corpse

The eagle approaches the corpse.

The falcon squints at the corpse.

It’s a rainy day. Nevertheless, a serpent crawls on its belly towards the mound

of the carcass. Out of his tongue rise venom and a yellow vapor.

 

The eagle and the falcon fall onto the corpse.

Their heads entwine like lace. The eagle pokes the falcon's belly.

A brave ladybird rolls in the desert sand.

 

As slippery as the future, as elegant as an opinion,

the serpent comes closer. It can already smell the corpse.

The faded centipede plots from the rock,

as pale as paper! Its legs like an upside down "Y"!

I am the first to reach the corpse:

I am the corpse.

 

Translated from the Hebrew by Jan Greenberg and Eran Hadas

 

 

Some recommendations  

I recommend to my readers not to fall in love

and to eat herring

eat herring with onions

don’t fall in love

women are trouble

men are mud and heartache

pickled herring

won’t do anything bad to you

I recommend Tolstoy’s biography by Henri Troyat in two volumes

to my readers

read the part in section two where the elderly Tolstoy gets a bike

and get back to me

I recommend to my readers

to sleep in socks

despite the recession

because of the recession

nothing will happen if you sleep in jeans

I recommend eating sweetsops

Tsachi, a party animal friend of mine told me they’re very healthy

even though the last one I bought

wasn’t ripe

and turned gray in the freezer.
I guess I did something wrong

if you are musicians or poets

I recommend that your next work be

emotional or danceable

don’t try to be too smart

or too stupid

it’s better not to try too hard

it’s better not to do anything if you’re musicians or poets

you can learn to do nothing slowly. my advice for success and luck –

invest in your toilet paper!

that’s the only superstition worth believing in

listen good my readers! it’s better not to do anything. invest your money there!

Get some great, expensive, high quality toilet paper, even if you’re poor

triple layered, quadruple-layered and even quintuple-layered

politicians will disappoint you and won’t move a finger when you’re fired

they’ll send you to your death for a photo in the free tabloid “Israel Today”

but nice toilet paper will console you

So

I also recommend a trip to Cairo

and drinking cold Karkade juice there

in the cheapest café

I recommend to my readers

never to buy more than one book and never to agree to take more than one book

I advise all my readers not

to sleep with the same person

day after day

don’t sleep day after day

with the same partner

So no one will get used to the idea

I recommend to my readers

to join at least two labor unions

I recommend to my readers

to sit near the window

and to avoid war any way possible

nothing good will come of it

not even a motel. the bother is a real waste.

I advise my readers

to make use of construction in the city

to watch the cranes at least

ten minutes a day

to look at the holes in the ground at the building sites

to bang your head into the metal fence, even if there is a warning sign

and to look deep into the stormy shafts at the building sites

and to love anyway

 

Translated from the Hebrew by Lisa Katz

 

©roy arad chicky99<at>gmail.com


More Poems


New Translations (11 poems)

Political Kimo 

Kimo!
I Vanunu - 9 long poems, 2005

From Private Magazine, Italy

Die Eule - The Owl in German

Prose

The hygienist (a novellete)


 

 

Maayan Magazine 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Books

The Nigger

Shadurian, 2000

 

Aerobics

Shadurian, 2003

 



Paintings and Poetry 2000-2003 

Shadurian and Tal Esther, 2003

 

 

Rifles and Credit Cards

Plonit, 2009

 

 

 


Publications  outside Israel


Germany

Wonderyears Catalog

NGBK

German and English

 

 

Macedonia


Blesok Magazine. Editor: Igor Isakovsky

Hebrew and Macedonian

 

Italy

"The Owl" Catalog, Venice Biannalle of art 2003. Michal Helfman

English

Italy

"Sea and Sun", poems for shelly Federman exhibition catalog. Venice Biannale of architecture. Israel Pavillion 2004
Hebrew and English

 

 Soon

20th June - Poetry Night, Tmol Shilshom, Jerusalem

Poetry anthology: Poems after art. USA