December 2015 - Comments Off

Roi Karlinsky

Yellow is the Grinning Color

Summer brings yellow to Judea
             Midas-like, syphilitic,
                           bursting in thorns and cedar needles that cover
                                       the dry bones of Jerusalem stones

Summer brings yellow of dryness and growth
                           yellow that pricks the parks painted in goat blood

drip drip of yellow on Jerusalem rocks
             white-pink like jam in a belly button

Summer brings other things too
             missiles and kidnappings and such
                           though we in the yellow don’t dwell on such things, though
                                       to genteel gentiles this sounds far from holy, and

A crown of thorns sounds like cruel and unusual;              but
             as kids we wore them for bracelets
                          grinning yellow against our bronze and beige skins
                                       liking the pain cuz
             Jerusalem breeds masochists

This is not surprising when you remember that
The Holy of Holies has always banked blood money

Summer in green mats on a yellowing dirt,
             horizontal walls outside the Gaza vertical,
                          waiting on the Jerusalem mansion to voice its aesthetic decisions:
                                       Should we leave the schools standing?
                                       Or would that make too much of a contrast?
                                       Flatter is better with
                                                    fewer limbs in sight

Either way they all bleed yellow between blocks of concrete rubble

Summers with pupils anchored to the redheaded anchor on the living room screen
             Will there be a ground invasion?
                          Now the Bibis and El-Sisis sit on their mahogany, waving flaccid
                                       at the cameras
                                                    Pretending to be hard like the lead they’ll drop

on children shields who at a word will bleed yellow in concrete rubble
             Who at a word will bleed yellow on the embargoed beach
                          Children in asbestos dust

And the masses sit in the A.C., clapping
                          their thorn jewelry against the yellow-beige drip
                                       Grinnin’,
                                                    Jews grinnin’ cuz
             Jerusalem breeds masochists

Now the pundits,
now the internationals,
now the Pope and the reformists and the
             John Kerrys of the world,
                          “The holy land will know peace; the Jerusalem of old will be renewed;
                                       peace and all this when the Word is heard”

And we in the yellow try to decipher foreign words
             and ward off depression

Then I Jew breathe
                          remembering both dick-waving and peace-mongering
                                       are history sterilized,
                                                    Purell spreading like fire on yellow cedar
                                                                 carpet-bombing minds with
                                                                              bullshit
                                                                                           Velcroed on easy as gonorrhea

There was never any peace;
             we live in a city of tombs,
                          every corner named for murder
                                       and this is the truth, inescapable like the prospects of any Gazan:

The pink of stones is red in reality,
                          blood is fertilizer
                                       for Jerusalem bones
             and yellow is the grinnin’ color

Jerusalem has always been a city for sword-makers and money-changers
             Walled in keeping the yellow on the slopes of Gehenna

And The Holy of Holies’ has only ever housed slaughter

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