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  April 2007
volume 5 number 1
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  home   (archived)
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  Lea Deschenes
  Jamie Asae FitzGerald
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  Kirsten Ogden
  Traian Pop Traian
  Elisha Porot
  Ryan Tranquilla
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Elisha Porot April 2007



art by jared barbick

    Elisha Porat, the 1996 winner of Israel's Prime Minister's Prize for Literature, is a Hebrew poet and writer, and has published 21 volumes of fiction and poetry, in Hebrew, since 1973. Porat was born in Kibbutz Ein Hahoresh in 1938. His works have appeared in translation in Israel, the United States, Canada and England. The English translation of his short stories collection The Messiah of LaGuardia, Mosaic Press, was released in 1997. The English translation of his second stories collection Payback, was published 2002 at Wind River Press. His new novel Episode, a biographical novel, just released by "Y&H" Publishers, Israel, 2006.
    His works, poetry and fiction, were translated from the Hebrew into the English, and were published, as print and as online, in selected literary stages. Elisha Porat's works have been published at Midstream, Tikkun, Ariel, War Literature and Arts, Rattle, Porcupine, Oyster Boy Review, Another Chicago Magazine, Boston Review, Snake Nation Review, The Paumanok Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Poetry Magazine, Jewish Quarterly, and others.




Inside the crying, inside the lament,
I sometimes feel the buds of recovery
Might burst into life. As if here --
At the bottom of my deepest hole --
I only need to climb, simply climb.

And when I'm laying there, immersed,
With salty water flowing from my eyes,
Streaming from matted eyelashes,
I delude myself that I'm redeemed:

In the cost of skin, of finger, of nail,
In their memories that are sunk in streams
Of salted rain, in all those ghosts who try
To make sprouts in my soul, a greenhouse
Who instead shelters my flawed seeds of grief
And sorrow, without a chance of consolation.

(translated from Hebrew by the author and Ward Kelley)

copyright 2006 Elisha Porot



On Memorial Day

On Memorial day I run off from the groves.
I'm upset again, as every year.
Through the picnic smoke I watch while
The lamenting land, mournful, slumps its shoulders.
And when the ghosts are all assembled before me,
From the rocks, from the caves, from the earth,
I give a command: you are all free to memories.

I turn my face away, then whisper to us living:
That's it, Gentlemen, they are trapped.
They can't escape. They left behind
Their last will and testament, here in our hands.

(translated from Hebrew by the author and Ward Kelley)

copyright 2006 Elisha Porot