Offcourse Literary Journal

Two Poems, by Elisha Porat.

Ibid (translated from the Hebrew by the author and Ward Kelley.)

"Ibid, ibid," and even more "ibid ..."
I was sent, in my youth, to
the footnotes on the bottom of the page.
But I couldn't see how these "ibids,"
below the scrolls, below the papers,
Helped waste my life there wandering
Among them. Today I'll not wonder any
More: I know there is not any "ibid" that
Can divert me from the final hole
That waits for my life to finish.
My last "ibid" is already there:
Waiting for me, ready for me...
To its end I'm sent.



  The State of Things (translated from the Hebrew by Nitsa Ben-Ari.)

Good of you to call. It was nice to hear
Your voice. And how are you? Great, you have made
Progress. I saw what you published in the
Journal. Yes, quite a few years have passed:
And they have left their mark: there are a couple of grandchildren,
I will not say how many. They should simply
Not be counted. Me, what about me? The same walls
And forty-two square meters: the earth is
Moving, and everything is cracking up. And at night
I am terrified: sudden crashes, the plaster
Is peeling, and on the roof bats spit volleys
Of fruit mashed with vomit and grain: and if
I strain my ear to this silence that comes
From your phone, I can well hear:
Herds of longing galloping away to the mountains.




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