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  August 2007
volume 5 number 2
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Rick Lupert August 2007



    Los Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway ( ) and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 22 collections of poetry, most recently Beautiful Mistakes and God Wrestler: a Poem for Every Torah Portion and edited the anthologies A Poet’s Siddur, Ekphrastia Gone Wild, A Poet’s Haggadah, and The Night Goes on All Night. He writes the Jewish Poetry Blog “From the Lupertverse” for, and the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.
Poetry Super Highway



Yom Kippur at Mt. Sinai

At eight thirty in the morning the cemetery is teeming with life. This is not an allegory about the trees or nature or anything coming out of the dirt; but people, I've never seen so many people at eight-thirty in the morning. Frankly, I haven't seen eight thirty in the morning since who knows when.
This cemetery is alive and the people in the administrative offices love my yalmukah. I tell them it is from Guatemala, made by people who didn't know what yalmukahs were but were assured they were a good idea.
Everyone here says "good morning" with the enthusiasm of the living. When walking amongst the dead it is in vogue to act as alive as possible, to distance oneself from the inevitability that you may one day be driven here and then never leave. My mortality confronts me like an empty chair.
There are thousands of empty chairs here, two hours early, while the choir practices. A woman sits directly behind me. I attract that kind of attention here in the sun with the French horns and the cantors. Two drops of rain belie the sun and make my ink run. They are asking for a music stand for the shofar blower. It is amazing to me how an instrument that plays only one note needs music. It is amazing how complex the simplest things are.
Someday, when I am dead, I will spend all my time learning everything.

copyright 2007 Rick Lupert