SEMANTICS: A FUGUE

A sign,

mark,

language, token,

an omen,

 portent,

     (constell

 -ation, grave—

 how it’s said,

  might come down to)

significant,

   or Sanskrit: to see,

 look, he meditates.

 

*

A pity no one can truly trace

how things rhyme,
***************that is, get along 

***************in symmetry or proportion,

 move or flow—it depends (I guess)

                        on providence,

fortune or grace—though

                        the fact that things can, and do,

seems to me a mystery

                                                meant for multitudes.

                                    *

In Hebrew a sign’s a siman,

or omen

of apple, pomegranate,

carrot, honey, beetroot

we ingest to usher in the new,

hoping to remember

words are multiple,
multi-pull—in meaning,

never to be

just one,

to take in, to become

 

*

Human:
********(featherless planti-

grade biped mammal)
********which is to suffer (Cf.

 allow to occur,
********
continue, permit, tolerate,

fail to prevent or suppress)
********such that sufferer is he,

or she, on either side
********of that equation of

allowing. Suffering:
********a painful condition,

agreed upon.

                                    *

Though experts are divided 
************************as to victim’s origins.

Some suggest sacrifice

(Arabic: adĥa)
****************but it also bears

resemblance  to vicis (turn,
occasion). Con-

nected perhaps by viscous

bodily fluids,

vicious droplets,

what happens to you happens, too,

to me (powers-that-be                      

                                    dislike this fact                                               

                                                            of biology). . .

*

Coming down, perhaps, to this:

no one’s ever
********just one 

but rather,

in exchange with, vicarious

knobs and branches

along paths where

people (populonia, lit.: she who protects
****************against devastation)

link up

at the edges, scent to scent,

                                    body to body.

*

And naturally, mind to

mind— which meant
(perhaps archaically)

loving memory,

 or significance, import.

 Someone long ago thought:

                                    she who protects against devastation

                                    and thought:

                                                      people.

I’ve wanted to share

the source of a certain despair

but nothing stays

                                                            in place. Somehow, the mind

is where we love

what’s gone. Roots (underground

 part of a plant) turn to trunks.

                                                A word meaning body has

replaced life in certain

tongues. Wherever

we look, the wonder of seeing—

 to behold in the imagination or a dream—

 in a word, what we mean.

***

Annie Kantar’s poems and translations of poetry have appeared in The American Literary Review, Barrow Street, Bennington Review, Birmingham Review, Cincinnati Review, Entropy, Gulf Coast, Literary Imagination, Poetry Daily, Poetry International, Rattle, Smartish Pace, Tikkun, Verse Daily, and elsewhere. Her translation from the Hebrew of With This Night, the final collection of poetry that Leah Goldberg published during her lifetime, was published by University of Texas Press and  shortlisted for the ALTA Translation Prize. The recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize and Fulbright Scholarship, she has recently completed a literary translation of the Book of Job, for which she was commissioned by Koren Publishers. 

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