Page 39 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 49

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In conscious caves,
let changes of celluloid
fix the imagined wound
the visible shadow
to images beyond
till there be lovings in the street
and no one look, the knowledge-tree
smoke in the eater's mouth
that tongue issues instead of swords
paint lick the abstracted body
with brush-fire . ..
let ripeness come to speech after
the shudder .. .
(“Instructions to a Movie-Maker”)
In the tradition o f Dylan Thomas, Hartman gores open the
language and lets it bleed onto the page, pene trating the myth
and forcing it to deliver messages o f spiritual immediacy. They
rivet the reade r to a heightened consciousness in which meaning
and comprehension are inconsequential except as reverbera­
tion, a resonance o f sound/sense that lodges itself in the dep th
o f the soul.
The pilgrim scale of darkness
on staves of arable script,
golden quavers, night
runs from the star-toothed seed.
The angels groan, they cry
glutted and holy-song:
What is man! as dawn
babbles among the stars
Whose throat it stops down
with light .. .
(“Who Gives Food to all Flesh”)
By utilizing the dep th and bread th o f a liturgy that is ob­
viously the catalyst for his own creative urgency, Hartman en ­
treats us to open ourselves to the words o f the psalmist, to let