June 13, 2022

“Ideology as a Way of Life,” Poetry by Tali Shabtai

“Ideology as a Way of Life,” Poetry by Tali Shabtai

  

"Ideology as a Way of Life"

Women like me, yes 
have been added over the years to overshadow  
what preceded us  
that is mostly  
not in line  
with our agenda. 

The accepted wording is  
not what
will satisfy our desires –  

Desires? Ours? Well then, I write  
in the female first person plural 
so as not to sound  
as one who sins with pretension  
as an individual woman,  
however  
I do not have many female friends for this journey  
and those who have already passed  
through a station or two  
according to  
the  
fixed  
rules  
of society  

A woman like me  
tries  
to stay free  
from society  
and at the same time  
to be in it  
with boycotts in double-digit ages  
until the arrival  
of the adolescence age  
and beyond 
 
I bear this bitter  
insult  
so far  

So! Spare judging  
me  
that “Cohen Shabtai  
has rules  
of her own…”  
as Amos Levitan wrote about me 
 
I came  
with the goal of  
satiating inspirations  
based on  
my theories  

Therefore  
I collect poems of the margins of humankind  
since  
they have a greater potential  
to waver from 
the conventions –  
just like me  
With 50 cents  
in my wallet  
I  
live my own actions 
lest 
my inarticulate mouth  
will be passed over and my eyes?  
My eyes are blinded. 

Women like me, particularly  
at the beginning of  
the fifteenth century  
were persecuted and burned  
for being independent and strong  
at the Catholic church’s instruction 

Nowadays? You can petition  
the High Court of Justice.  
So it is for a woman like me. 


**


"Controversial"

I love people who  
are controversial  
that their polemic is spiced with unambiguity  
in doses  
that they eat throughout the day. 

And that taboo is not only for purposes  
of research for them  
in the night hours  
when the darkness encourages humankind  
to communicate  
hormone with hormone in the intercourse 
of two  
at the most!  

There are other women  
who fertilize a number of men  
in a day, and wear a necklace around  
their necks with ‘phallic’ stones  
by the light of day  
they are  
the polyandrous. 

I love controversial people 
like Yeshayahu Leibowitz  
who  
forces us to see with brutal clarity  
the sharp-tonged intonation  
that for various reasons was comfortable for us  
to evade 

he earned Israeli society’s nickname “prophet of the apocalypse.” 

He  
conceived concepts of philosophical questions  
and found in them contradictions  
even though many claimed otherwise –  
for that I have solidarity with him 

moreover, he did it so  
differently from the accepted definition  
that stimulates and challenges  
my  
intellect 

his sharply-phrased wording and use  
of the paradoxical  
could instigate in me  
an orgasm  
of the sensual type  
in the hours when I read  
his book  
“Five Books of Faith.” 

I like being me  
I don’t flow continuously  
in the water  
that you are sipping now  
I shock your  
digestion  
until the body cries out  
to vomit  
like this poem that is not understood 


**


"Sunset Before Sunrise" 

‘The sunset is preparation for the strengthening sunrise the next day’ 

 

This sounds to me sloganistic if nice to write, yet  

not patently accurate and can even be interpreted  

as lowering the value of  

the intelligence  

that knows a thing or two about ‘rising.’ 

 

By the way, 

I checked this statement at twighlight  

the sunset was even observed  

in “Cogan Marina” in Oslo. 

 

And the sunrise the following morning amounted to an incline that I trod and rose from a flat, slightly elevated footpath that can be climbed by foot and reach a level  

slightly higher by a few centimeters between each stair. 

 

Secondly, there is no necessity for the sunset I  

feel it covering itself every evening between my breasts  

beyond the western horizon  

watching from within the earth while I am  

in the east. 

 

So it is true  

some phenomena occur with the rising of the sun 

such as  
we rise higher, the atmosphere is thinner at a height of a few hundred meters and then it dissipates into space 

 

and there are also those who believe that the sun’s red color at sunset is explained by the sun passing in the evening over hell and in the morning at sunrise over the roses of 

paradise  

and this is indeed a nice allegory.  

– but –  

 

In order to remain sane  

immediately after sunset I adopt the time between the suns – time between day  

and night  

that ends with the stars’ coming out  

When I rise for the shacharit morning prayer and recite the blessing “I thank you in front of you,” opposite a hazy  

mirror   

 

Observing every wheel of the sun under the line  

of view is a creation that many  

have knowledge of 

 

It is known that in the Jewish halacha (ritual law) that the time of the sunset determines the timeline for various commandments, such as the mincha afternoon prayer,  

or when the Sabbath  

commences 

 

For me? It’s just sunset. 


**


"Leaving"

I have been around enough 
And its  
Okay 

The total  
Is Okay 
Even better than  
Okay 

Is much more than okay 

"Now you will be I 
I will be you" 

It's possible to close  
the  
Door now 


**


"By the Force of My Doom"

By the force of my doom 
The outcast 

The blood of disgrace 
Is in menstruation. 

And not upon 
(A foreign) foreskin 
In humility 

And not as 
A wife to bear it 
In humility 

For this 
I give 
No guarantee.

 
**
 

"Positive Psychology"

Giving thanks is the understanding we 
Won something not necessary we 
Deserve it 

And a grace is the theological term -  
To thanks giving, it’s a free gift 

I have failed in this subject and confessed 
That he hasn’t rested me of  
Empty words 
And of 
Another exploded admonishment. 






 

***

Tali Cohen Shabtai was born in Jerusalem, Israel, and is an international poet of high esteem with works translated into many languages.  

 She is the author of three bilingual volumes of poetry, “Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick”(2007), “Protest” (2012) and “Nine Years From You”(2018).   

A fourth volume is forthcoming in 2021.  She has lived many years in Oslo, Norway, and in the U.S.A.  

Tali is known in her country as a very prominent poet with a special lyric, “she doesn’t give herself easily, but subject to her own rules”. 

Tali is living in Chicago. 

Ideology as a Way of Life
#feminism#poetry#tali shabtai#womanhood
1 comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.