Offcourse Literary Journal

In Netanya, above the cliff, by Elisha Porat.
Translated from the Hebrew by Eddie Levenston.

In Netanya, above the cliff, on one
of those sweet Friday afternoons, I
sit on a stone that marks the border
between the garden, the promenade
and the street. A warm sun ploughs
furrows that shiver across my back,
echoing the foam above the waves below,
of a wintry sea that retains the chill.
The town around me already
slowly removes the bandages
from terrorist attacks that hurt, grinding down
without mercy. Suddenly I am pounced upon
by this vision I have had before: my whole being
beholds the grim advance, the realization
of day-to-day Zionism.

The first German tourists run up and down
the paths, and the entrance to the gallery throngs
with holidaymakers: the town is coming round;
on warm Friday afternoons; at the end
of spring, two thousand and four.
As before, I am cast aside. Your turn
has not yet come. Someone else
will pledge his heart on your behalf.
With the grim advance, the realization
of day-to-day Zionism, the salt of my
life, and the single breath of spirit
from the fibers closing slowly
around my aging heart.


A few of Elisha Porat's stories, translated  from the Hebrew by Alan Sacks, have appeared in previous issues of Offcourse.
See "Family Language" and "Long Haul" in the Fall 99 issue, "A Bullet Fired" in the Summer 2000 issue, and
"A Spit in the Face"
in our December 2000 issue. His poems have appeared most recently in the Summer 2003 issue.

We have included reviews of his collection, "The Messiah of LaGuardia", in the Summer 2000 issue.   

These URL also contain references to his work and the work of Alan Sacks, his translator.
Growing Old, a new poems ebook, at



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