IN A SUPERMARKET IN NEW ORLEANS
-for Allen Ginsberg
I am my own ancestor. "I exist as I am, that is enough" as Whitman said. And the scent of these armpits? "Aroma finer than prayer." So I'll just twist open a can of corn with my raw hands and spring it on a bed of lettuce. Sleeping on lettuce is comfortable if you are small and yellow and nearly round. I was a seed once then I was a man of seeds. Now I am a seedless man with corn in his teeth. Walt will you be my angel? Push your cart this way holding a head of purple cabbage and the head with a beard high on your neck. Come close, looks like you’re a discount angel with a black magic marker and scraps of poems pinned to your vest. Barbaric yawp in aisle three clean up in aisle four. America mops behind its angels once they spill the beans. A spritz of ammonia and the scent of poetry dissolves in a bouquet of Froot Loops.
by Rodger KamenetzA poem from DREAM LOGIC forthcoming from Presses Universitaires de Rouen et du Havre, 2020.
Rodger Kamenetz is an award-winning author, poet, and teacher. His best-known book, The Jew in the Lotus, has been called a "revered text" by the New York Times and recounts the holy pilgrimage of rabbis to meet with the Dalai Lama. It became a PBS film of the same title first broadcast in 1999. Stalking Elijah (1997) won the National Jewish Book Award for Jewish Thought. The History of Last Night's Dream (2007) was featured on Oprah Winfrey's Soul Series. Burnt Books (2010), a dual biography of Franz Kafka and Rabbi Nachman of Bratzlav, combines literature and religion in a hybrid text of fiction, biography, and memoir. Kamenetz's seven books of poetry include The Missing Jew and The Lowercase Jew. His most recent books of poetry are To Die Next To You (2013) and Yonder (2019). Kamenetz has degrees from Yale, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford and is a retired LSU Distinguished Professor and Sternberg Honors Chair Professor who focuses now on writing and helping others with Natural Dreamwork. You can link to his page here, http://rodgerkamenetz.com/biography.php