Poems before Prophecy
A Poets Prayer:
Ezra. Help. Do poets pray?
What if a becomes e
And we are consumed in this conversation?
Collaborations? Poetry as duet?
A seminary for prophets?
Ezra. Let us go then and keep it succinct.
An event poem.
Include a match with manuscript, and burn this book.
Book? Not so much in the future.
A screen that mirrors our image
In letters and colors and light?
Yes and Yes.
Smash this screen?
Poets prayers in letters, sounds, a symphony, a soundtrack, images, moving pictures, so
Hollywood be thine Name?
On earth as it is in heaven?
Where angels proclaim The Endgame
To all the wing clipped
Smooth shouldered bipeds?
Is this prophecy a poetry?
Or is poetry more than prophecy?
No need to burn books
when a gentle point and press deletes.
So, Ezra, perhaps you are right. You the poet. Me the Rabbi.
Me the Priest, you the Prophet?
Who writes and who edits?
Or will this be Moses and Aaron again?
Will you order my stutterings?
Will you write in gilded script
Poems for the final pageant
For Oscar (tamed) or for calf?
To make fictions supreme?
What type of rabbi?
Yes and yes.
AA on Arete.
A pain in the A?
The thorn that guards?
A turning sword?
A poets prayers?
Of the Garden?
So Ezra speak.
The poet’s is not a collaborative art.
Or is it?
This motion picture is.
Once we get this straight and ordered in prose
Let the poetry begin.
We are all Ezra’s, in need of help.
Why shadow the light with more words on a clean screen
Or desecrate another tree by slicing into pages its very flesh?
Now let all the trees of the forest rejoice.
This must never be a book.
Hallel ou yah!
The unfenced forest has no gates.
The cost of admission?
That living in the dark letters
we are afraid, or at best, bored
As in the Chassidic story
Of the man lost in a world of words
That paints the black forest;
Who sees a lantern and rejoices in the light salvation.
(It is only I, holding the lantern
I ali ya who, Elijah, so too you!)
That while I have a light in hand
I am also lost
And will instruct and map the exits
That led to nowhere.
And I invite you
To take my hand
And we will journey together a while
And in this be found.
In fact I take two hands
My mentors Wallace and Edwin
Stevens and Friedman.
Beyond Wallace I invite you to be
A poet who is Highpriest of the Visible.
No need to abandon a belief in God
As you teach:
The major poetic idea of the West.
If poetry supercedes
Redemption becomes a fiction
The poet a priest but no prophet
Possessing the personal, alone.
O Wallace my Wallace
The poem does reveal itself only to the ignorant
Those who know
of a certainty
are modern Highpriests of idolatry
who my rabbi Edwin admonishes
with praise of the poets prayers; and their ambiguity.
So, beyond the Old and the New we declare a Final
that is also a beginning.
So Wallace becomes Rabban in Tikkuned Torah
Gospels. Good News when read as fiction.
Quran as final testament, a fiction.
Literature as final religion? Poetry.
The poets prayers?
Books as thin sliced pages of print bound by covers have a limited future. Art is becoming image and sound and script and event. More than a creator of concrete poetry the poet will become a movie maker for our imagination.
No one can make a movie alone. The soundtrack is essential.
The Kabballahists insist on ten for a prayer event. Good for them. They fix prayer and order meditation.
I contend that every fixing is also a breaking. Today’s event poem is not always sufficient for tomorrow.
At some point one must pound out
their own heart song
and get to work.
(this a poetic version of the rabbi’s definition of prayer).
So Ezra, are we creative writing teachers?
Yes and yes. And destructive writing teachers.
The Book for Prayer in Hebrew is a Siddur, an ordering.
The order of prayer is modeled on the ancient sacrificial system of the Temple in Jerusalem. This inspires the many to imagine a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem as a place of animal sacrifice. Is this our future, or a final final solution, a nuclear flood of fire that we inspire?
Oy Oy Yoy.
The Siddur patterned on antiquated modalities from the past
inspires me to start over. To ruin the sacred truths.
I am not advocating burning Siddurim, but all must be reordered.
Are ya runnin with me Ezra?
Is prophetic voice inspirin or adonoying?
Opening the Sources
So, Ezra this e-book, full of motion, will teach prayer in a poetic open ended way. In other words, to the making of this book, there is no end. We will construct an order and then follow our hearts and open our minds to all the patterns of order, understanding that every grain of sand reflects a dimension of eternity.
We will sink our toes into the sand and stretch our arms towards the stars and with our body’s link heaven to earth.
Our daily bread will include the wisdom we share here.
Our prayers will all be forgiving. Forgiving ourselves for our persistent failure to be a better me. Forgiving all who harm us so we may be free of their chaos.
This will be a poet’s prayer as we will not be tempted to define another’s pleasure as evil.
The sand of religion
we will allow in our craws
so we may cast forth from our mouths
pearls of poetry.
Ezra, our help, as I envision, is to keep our form fluid and our focus on inspiration.
I spent many years in Hartman’s library and Zalman’s library and praise their study as davenin and davenin as study. They have laid a foundation and we construct a building.
Not necessarily a Temple, certainly not The Temple
(on second thought perhaps this is Isaiah’s Temple).
Let this be a site that raises towards the heavens a house of prayer and poetry for all people of every nation.
Traditionalists will always conserve the old forms so we will be bold and strong as creators. Like all great art we will build on but transcend all that came before. We are all after the tradition, anyway, whether we know it or not.
So, being a Siddur, an ordering, and then a See-doer involving all the supreme themes of art and song we begin with tradition and then offer
a unique way to listen and see and experience that transforms prayer from work into play, from slavery to freedom.
Is it odd to begin in evening?
The Shema demands a listening
At eaze in Zion? In prayer?
No and no.
With awe read the Shema of evening time
The greatest teaching,
And ask “when”, assuming an obligation,
A tradition of recitation.
The Talmud says:
The Teacher presumes a recitation and a listening
the Oral one,
the one Moses Kabballahed on Sinai.
Our Tanna, (Mishna teacher) is teaching interpretation of scripture
A new religion, rabbinic, of listening, reciting, questioning, and assuming
that evening and morning, when we lay down and arise
We proclaim Listen. Israel. God. One. Alone.
And these words are the words of Talmud, Torah,
A Supreme Fiction
We believe in
As did Rabbi Jesus.
You know the time the Priests enter their homes
to eat their daily donations.
Wait. Is this the same time
The poor man (who has no light)
Comes home to eat his daily bread?
O, is the beginning of evening then
The same hour for Priest and Poor?
One law for the priest and for the peasant?
Yes and Yes.
May we learn from the Sabbath?
Observance and Remembering requires precision, so
When does noon
Just when does evening begin?
And then after the evening;
When is the morning?
Until what time may we recite evening Shema?
That in itself is a separate discussion.
Welcome to Talmudic tradition. Repetition. Ask again:
From what exact moment may we begin to fulfill our awesome obligation
of evening recitation?
If evening means we see the stars
Is an earlier a legal recitation?
This is why
The Shema you say on your bed
On my bed?
O. I hear. The place of union. Joining. One!
Come. Let us pray. O God.
Everything in its proper order.
time and place.
So now we have a third recitation, in or on your bed
before you enter the realm of dreams
which is one sixtieth of death.
In the morning recite once again
With blessing before and after
This is formally not yet prayer
A separate Mitzvah
Do you hear?
Do you hear
Will you listen?
Do you hear
Will you proclaim?
Will you strap on black mystery boxes
and hear what God proclaims
in response to our Shema listening?
Fundamentalists will you hear a fundamental?
Thus respondeth the Lord:
Who is like my people, Israel
One nation on my earth!
Before Morning Prayers
One does not arise
Save in a focused frame of mind
The First Chassidim waited an hour
(Rashi: In the place of prayer)
so they could Kavvannah their hearts
(Roshi: to focus the minds eye and listen with the third ear)
on their Father in Heaven.
(Roshi: Mother Earth awaiting an entering, a joining, an ecstasy)
Such that even the Kings “Shalom” is not responded to
And a serpent coiling around your heal
is no excuse for kavvannatas interruptus.
Gemara: (Never ending learning and discussion)
From where do we learn these words?
Says Rabbi Eliezer, from One Samuel One, Ten
“She was in bitterness of soul.”
We learn prayer from a woman?
The Original Chassidim?
Perhaps she was not the inspiration
Being bitter, says Rabbi Joseph,
Rather turn to the Psalms
And learn Kavvannah from this:
Psalm Five Verse Eight:
In the Abundance of Thy Loving-kindness
Enter Your Home
And bow towards Your Temple
In Awesome Fear.
Perhaps David, being exceptional
In soul searching is not the proof
So Rabbi Joshua learns praying with intention
From Psalm twenty Nine Verse Two:
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
Read the Hebrew Hadrath “beauty”
as Herdath, “trembling”.
The text is proofed?
Questions are raised.
Why go for word play
when the entire song of the psalm
booms with gravitas and praise
that the Flood of Fire is turned?
We may just survive the atom
we are as silent as the earth
and then praise
that by the power of prayer
we turn to the blessings of Shalom.
Still,other texts are offered, this the nature of rabbinic studies.
Rabbi Nachman would rather learn how to truly pray
from Psalm Two Verse Eleven.
(Roshi: The Psalm of Sod on the marriage of mind and emotion)
“Serve the Lord with Fear
and rejoice with trembling.”
Rejoice with trembling?
Rabbi Adda teaches in the name of Rav:
In the place there is rejoicing
There should also be trembling.
Modern day Chassidim say:
Where is chesed, where is joy
without obedience to tradition?
We tremble at the under serious.
Our heads are heavy with hats.
This the meaning of
Koved Rosh= Gravitas
Which is why we are heady Chassidim.
ADMOR (Adonenu Morenu v’Rabbenu) , Our Master and Teacher Sir Edwin, disciple of Murray teaches:
Serpents are serious. The certain are all serious. They coil, they strike, they inspire only fear. Mammals have warmth and playfulness and joy.
The serpent always coils up your back
It licks it tongue beneath your brain, its prey.
The blood that beats is joy and warmth to veins.
Prayers hover like the Cortex, reflecting
an hour, or so
on heavens opening.
(Let not even God
Interrupt this prayer.)
The Psalmist sings of Awe and Joy
Two hands clapping.
Not one hand shaking
In trembling rage.
The Prayer before Prayer of Rav A,
A Study before the Ari-A
Before you pray, Kabballah this from my namesake, the real original Ari O.B.M.: Ari A.
I formally Kabballah in the essence of my soul the Positive Commandment
To “Love My neighbor as Myself.” (Leviticus Chapter Nineteen Verse 18.)
True Kabballahists say this as a prayer before they pray.
Now Ezra, this really helps, to pause before we pray
The most quotable chapter and verse.
But wait, that is only half of verse 18. Turn and read, in full
Bnai am echah
I am God.
Is this a Golden Rule?
The Great Teaching of Torah?
Half the verse is quoted for fear of the whole!
Listen, in context, is your neighbor only your kinsman?
On One Foot, in Book Two of the Final Testament has one answer.
Who is our kin? Who an Israelite?
Once the sons of Jacob were only permitted to marry within their tribe.
Reuvenites with Reuvenites, Levites with Levites, Judah with Judah and so
on. Then “members of the tribe” expanded to all twelve. One tribe could intermarry with another. (This innovation more for the Sons of Israel, daughters, then, chattel.)
Two thousand years ago, the moment before the birth of Rabbinic Judaism and the Catholic Church, our Rabbis of blessed memory, Jesus among them, began to expand the definition of kinsman. Narrow minded Shammai
resisted and inspired the good Lord to destroy her own home, the Temple in Jerusalem. She has waited now, for two thousand years, to return to her home.
A literal strict constructionist reading of our golden verse assumes exclusiveness and sexism. After all the Hebrew original does say:
Bnai = Sons
Amcha= of your Kinfolk!
The Rabbi’s called on the prophet Amos to read the verse.
All goyim are our kin
We clear the air and our heads before we pray.
Do we pray only for ourselves, our kin and our neighbors?
Does the return to Zion on Jerusalem and the sovereignty of Peace not effect all of humanity? Will our savior be a woman? For women?
Is it not also possible that Christian and Jewish Israelites will at least acknowledge our common origin in Jacob, both Rebecca’s Children?
Yes and Yes.
Yes, and even a mention that the Greatest Commandment of the Gospels
and Acts is from Old Deuteronomy and Leviticus.
And in this hour of meditation, before any thought of prayer, our teeth are set on edge by the golden rule, by the end of the verse (18).
…Love your neighbor
I am God;
If you do not love yourself
and All, as brother and sister, father and mother;
I am not your God!
So why bother with prayer?
Do I have your attention?
Noon? When to when? After? Before? Sunset?Evening?
The Rabbinic Lawyers say:
12:30 to sunset.
The preferred time in our day, in our times?
Not before three and one half variable hours after mid-day.
(a variable hour =one half of the time from sunrise to sunset.)
Got that? Ezra. Help. Noon to right. Noon to left.
The poets say:
Between the evening and morning, every noon we have Isaac.
Isaac, consumed in the morning with the burnt offerings
returns at noon as in a resurrection, with Jesus, and Daniel
who, at noon are thrown into the lions den of history. Let us pray:
Ash-ray, ashray, ashray, Happy, Happy, Happy! Isaac, Daniel, Jesus
Survivors, unbound, uneaten, resurrected,
Isaac, happy with those who dwell in Sealah, the uplift.
Daniel, happy with those who pray, three times a day, Sealah.
Jesus, happy with those whose Lord is the God. A. Sealah!
Sealah? Raise those voices. Shift. Ascend. Feel Gods approval.
Yes, recite Psalm 145. Then:
A Noontime Prayer Event:
Write Ten Acrostic poem-prayers in English that express the feelings in your heart. Do not fret, I will help with x, y, and z.
Spend ten years studying Hebrew and Torah and Kabballah and write Ten Acrostic poems in Hebrew that are prayers. Create worlds from words.
No help with this one. Nun.
Now stand up.
We are ready to breathe life into the 18 themes of prayer.
Fall on your face?
Yes, then master Psalm 6 and arise.
Wait! You need not do this for eighteen hundred years.
Choose any Psalm. Begin with One. Each a poets prayers.
Recite Psalms in any order.
Now to the Adoration. Alenu
When you are ready
We will chart out your Atonement plan
and route to the holy land
redraw the maps and enroll you in this never ending
face to face encounter.
Are you ready to fall on your face once again?
Prayer is much more than words.
The prophet falls on her face after every prayer.
An atonement moment.
Ready to see? Are you a doer?
A Prophets Prayers
O Theo Theo Theo
Where to begin?
Do a google search for prophecy, and we will talk.
I will be here when you return.
Not much. Sealah and seminary and prophecy
Lunatic fringe, prayershawless, in need of judaizing. Yes.
Listen Theo, we need to talk.
This is personal.
They threw me out of services when I was thirteen.
I was as bored as Franz Kafka. Another Bar Mitzvah student, as bored, was trying to make me laugh during Yom Kippur services. No luck until he touched the spine where gilded letters proclaimed,” Prayer Book Press.”
He pressed on Press. First I laughed, then tears, then hysteria, I was out of control. As the rabbi was about to begin his sermon, I was ejected from the synagogue. If Hebrew school had a yearbook I would be voted least likely to become a rabbi. My Bar Mitzvah was a meaningless repetition, as I have described. My next encounter with prayer I also describe at the front end of Final Testament.
In Jerusalem I learned the order of the Siddur, and mastered the language. It never occurred to me then that the actual prayers, excluding Shema and the Psalms were a type of polemic. While my rabbis taught no creed I was expected to recite, three times a day, the exact same words for a lifetime.
I did become bored with the recitation until my teacher; Rabbi Brovender gave me a Hebrew-German prayer book. This worked, for a while, since every translator is an interpreter. Blessing number one, on the merit of our ancestors says God is the shield of Abraham. Now, when I pray with a Minyan I thank God Abraham was acquitted in his tenth trial and that all sons of Abraham be removed from every altar.
When at home, alone, I do not use the required text, or even the ordered themes, of our Siddur. I prefer study, which is also a type of prayer.
Theo, as you know I have become a connoisseur of chaos concerning the Siddur. I find a great disorder in its order. I do not want to honor the ancient sacrifices. My Abraham says “No” to his marching orders. I love my teachers, but they are an emissary of an emissary of a father who traditioned from their fathers who chain and link the rabbinic fence.
All of these pages are a final blueprint of the violent order of my disorder.
Like troops constantly drilling, the Minyans repeat, until the great white horse arrives with the Anointed ready for battle.
Enough already. These prayers are gelded, fixed as Messiahs steed. Or donkey.
Do not speak to me, a disciple of Admor Stevens, of the greatness of prayer, I seek music, and not mantras or hymns.
Ten for a Minyan is also a contrivance, as are the ten spheres, for they are ten within ten within ten to infinity. So ten are one in ten. True prayer is also alone. And prophecy.
One hundred blessings blooming every day is a plan endorsed by my great great uncle in his Aruch Ha-schulchan (1, 46:2) and quoting his chapter and verse simply proves how banal I have become, without the b. I still keep count until one hundred. Another contrivance. Instead, some lines that launch the poetic to the prophetic:
Like a dull scholar, I behold in love,
An ancient aspect touching a new mind.
It comes, it blooms, it bears its fruit and dies.
This trivial trope reveals a way of truth.
Our bloom is gone. We are the fruit therof.
Two golden gourds distended on our vines,
Into the autumn weather, splashed with frost,
Distorted by hale fatness, turned grotesque.
We hang like warty squashes, streaked and rayed,
The laughing sky will see the two of us
Washed into rinds by rotting rains.
Ah, this is why Admor Stevens is Rabban.
An offering for final liturgy
and a true prophecy.
Come with me, take my hand, as we run
from the fixed, and ban the banal.
Ten Ashlamta’s before beginning:
One: Spend one full year, beginning now, being on the same page with other students of poetry and prophecy. Answer the call to the A Ascent.
Two. Master the music. Learn all the variations of trope recitation to create your trope opera. Sing Shabbat. Sing Atonement. Sing of Zechariahs inspirations. One full year.
Three: Ashlamta the Musical. Transform the prophets weekly operas into modern musicals. The collaboration begins.
Four: Ashlamta, the Movie. Re-vision the End by beginning again In the Beginning. Direct many versions of your visions.
Five: The Sountrack. Ashlamta.
Six. Create ten film versions of Consider Me a Dream.
Seven. Enroll in the Sealah seminary. You the only student.
Eight: Now find a study partner.
Nine: Take everything I say, like the offerings of old, with a grain of salt
Ten. Create music for Evening, Morning, Shabbating and Noon. Music for wedding and dying. Etc, the list neverending. Record. Share. Post.
Pray! Poets all. Prophets all.