Warra Warra! were the first words spoken by an Australian native to a white Go away!
But the whites didn’t though they were appalled by the women whose bodies were sooty from cook fires smeared with fish oil and whose upper lips were ripe with “excrementitous” snot
For the aborigines who lived naked the gender of their white visitors was the great enigma
Captain Porcelain ordered my ancestor Dwight Keplin to satisfy their curiosity Dwight had followed many hard and onerous orders but pulling out his cock for the savages seemed like no great imposition, great fun in fact He’d always played the card in school and, when the natives made a great cheer, showing their awe and admiration, Uncle Dwight beamed like the fool that he was Having this glorious lineage, it’s no wonder I turned out the way I did, liberally sharing my cock with schoolgirls, only by showing it off, of course But in the eyes of the law I might as well have put it in them, as I am equally a sex offender and treated as unfairly, no forgiveness ever for a crime much less dangerous than selling drugs or knocking someone about the head and robbing him I legally changed my name to Dwight Keplin, a name no one remembers, except the most meticulous of historians Warra warra! Go away! Stop tormenting me. Go back in time and don’t begin to torment me. I am who I am, Dwight Keplin the innumerable
Hot in Cold
The seas are cold but the blood of a whale is hot like a kettle on the boil
Giant kettles traverse the depths of the icy sea Steampunk creatures, they fill their vast guts with plankton like an engineer shoveling coal slowly and methodically
We must cross the Rockies on these tracks
Mass Conversion Whether you like them or whether you’re an anti-Semite, even if you fantasize whips and chains in Hitler’s bunker with a beautiful lieutenant, you’re all becoming Jews and Jewesses You hide in dim rooms the shine of the laptop on your face studying words manipulating them in your mind as if in these words are wisdom and beauty and you wax eloquent over the process of Creation and yes, you’re pretentious but you feel as if you’re really getting somewhere You’re a Jew or Jewess though it’s not God you glorify I’m not judging What does it matter? Everyone knows God is an illusion a human-created artifact All is folly Only some folly is more foolish than others You’re a Jew or Jewess because you stare at your screen instead of going outside to plant apple seeds like Johnny who ambled thousands of miles through the countryside All these useless words You’re a member of a conquered people an American The wealthy haggle over your soul The wealthy refranchise the temple’s money changing tables You’re a Jew or Jewess You live in a pod of your own making You’re a Jew or Jewess You’ve become one You’ve been made one by the futility of our lives our inability to make a difference You’ve become a Jew or Jewess Me, I’ve always been one Retold to I and I The disciples of the blessed Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav (b. 1772) the last Jewish mystic listened to his wisdom stories from his mouth to their ears and later tried to write them down but their memories were poor they were logicians more than poets litigators of texts not painters not skilled at mosaics and they did a poor job of it So Martin Buber retold them in all freedom, retold them to I and Thou to I and I I shake out my dreads eat a tuna sandwich by the side of the road no mayo in the heat of the day drink water from a gourd as a wild mule walks by a wild pig I think about wisdom in which I don’t believe Interpretation This is Martin Buber’s and Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois’ interpretation of the first section of Rabbi Nachman’s “The Rabbi and His Son” He had a little room in his father’s house where he used to sit like the little room in which I sit bare, featureless but with a Samsung laptop and a Canon printer and a picture of Ma and Pa Bunny from Broken Toyland so I can look up occasionally and be reminded that degradation exists But his little room had only a table and a chair and books well-thumbed well-fingered, with burns from his penetrating stare But his soul could not persevere over the books He was like a child in an American public school in the 1950’s looking every seventeen seconds at the clock on the wall the clock like a flat, round stone His glance did not stay on the endless surfaces of rigid letters but again and again flew out over the yellow billows of corn to the dark streak of the distant fir woods There were Christian boys working out there not manacled by words He got up and left the classroom the scolding voice of the rabbi behind him fast fading in his ears He approached the Christians who began to deride him He knew the only way he could escape from the endless words was not to use them Wordlessly he approached the biggest boy and punched him knocked him down He was naturally strong even without exercise When the boy got up he knocked him down again In that way he got work escaped Biblical studies and escaped his father whom he detested
Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois has had over a thousand of his poems and fictions appear in literary magazines in the U.S. and abroad. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, The Best of the Net, and Queen’s Ferry Press’s Best Small Fictions for work published in 2011 through 2015. His novel, Two-Headed Dog, based on his work as a clinical psychologist in a state hospital, is available for Kindle and Nook, or as a print edition. To see more of his work, google Mitchell Krockmalnik Grabois. He lives in Denver.