A proverb tells the truth.
“You can’t grow corn on the ceiling”
is a Yiddish saying I particularly relate to,
not because I farm per se
but I do often feel the weight
of large, jeweled objects dropped into my hands,
and tend toward hanging those kinds of things
by a string from the ceiling,
as opposed to burying them
and showing patience. Imagine
how wrong we all have it—
had we just buried the mirrorball
like G-d intended—fuck!
What sterling trees, bearing gleaming disco fruities.
I am smote by the silver images.
“You can’t outrun the moon” is another phrase
that brings me solace, because yes, thank you, I do feel
that the moon has been chasing me,
which is, I think, what they call
vanity. “A man should stay alive
if only out of curiosity” is good advice,
though I fear most people
pay attention more to the man or alive, and less to the if only.
The saying “All spruced up” is translated
from Vie Chavele tau der geht, which means
“Like Eve on her way to get a divorce.”
Imagine her, stepping out of her bone cage,
ready to love the dark.
I think “All spruced up”
is the most romantic phrase
in the whole of my Yiddish phrasebook:
“If only diseases stuck to clothes and thistles to the body.”
“If only we never tired of eating only dumplings.”
“If the bears were as soft as cooked carrots.”
“If brides were beautiful and the dead, pious.”
“If only love were more like buttered bread.”
“If only the goose hadn’t starved in those oats.”
“If only thieves loved darkness for the same reason you and I do,”
yes you, you, you
with the punim.
And what do we say of G-d?
That his ear is an oyster.
That he glitters
even in the mud—
Or was that G-ld?
No, that’s what never rusts.
Never rusts—That was rain.
No, not rain—Or was that heaven?