Communicating the Bird
The Burning of the Jews
It was a woodcut in our high school history text, Unit 4 Beginnings of the Modern World,
that so disturbed,
from the Nuremburg Chronicles depicting "the burning of the Jews," flat perspective,
faces of the victims among flames, in no particular agony, not especially Jewish,
during the Black Death 1/3 of Europe died 1347-1351 alone. Although
you die together you die alone.
Earlier that week
I had attended our 6th grade’s performance of Fiddler on the Roof,
at first thinking
Coltrane should have recorded Matchmaker as a bookend to My Favorite Things
but as the play darkened
with the town’s absorption into the diaspora, democracy
yet unthought of and rule of law a fig leaf for authority
Jasper, who played Zero Mostel, delivered his line well to the effect
you’re just doing your jobs while wrecking our lives.
Anyway, nothing like that is happening here, is it?
The gardener planting tomatoes, the gravedigger finding skulls,
there is so much life a little death won’t matter.
I’m reading Bloom in the Times, how
anyone who doesn’t believe Israel should exist is by definition anti-Semitic.
Come to find out, I may fall into that category not that Israel shouldn’t exist,
but as a so-called Jewish state
any more than a Muslim or Christian land. To some,
Jewishness is not a religion, it’s an ethnicity. You have no problem
with the Swedish state, do you?
Should the Swedes be expected to open their borders to the Finns?
was a beautiful ham,
big as Zero.
A friend posed
this question: must all states be melting pots like the United States?
I said yes
not because they should but since
it’s inevitable. Let labor flow like capital!
I hate when people disagree with me.
I get angry.
When a plate breaks, it asserts another possibility.
America was the last word of the play and brought a tear of pride to my eye.
Immigration, exasperating argument re the Other.
How many’s more than enough? 9 billion, a rational,
real number that exceeds or
is within the carrying capacity of the planet.
Climate change is the new Black Death.
I like the Amerindian body type and face mixed in with the European, African.
The irrepressible economy rolls out reams of logs, ores of elements, bags of ice, fields of
Embargo. The moon stares, bare, full of interstellar space.
Better a cold shoulder than a visit from our military.
The crazy Nazis must have felt themselves extraordinarily compassionate toward the
mother, earth, the goddess, history, or some such abstraction and, thus, acted on a
fraction of all they did not know.
Selfless soldiers just doing their jobs expanding the border or,
on the other hand, collecting fagots for "the burning of the Jews."
Copyright 2012 by Robert Ronnow.