The poems in this book abound in wise ecstasy and an immoderate ease, an assured delight. Passion and comedy infuse the work - "Kamenetz's poetry is alive with visual fantasies and everyday images." Baltimore Sun

Rodger Kamenetz's most recent book of poems is The lowercase jew; he is the author of Terra Infirma, The Jew in the Lotus and Stalking Elijah: Adventures with Today's Jewish Mystical Masters. Dryad Press published The Missing Jew, which has been published in a new edition, The Missing Jew: New and Selected Poems. He is a professor of English and director of Jewish Studies at Louisiana State University and lives in New Orleans with his wife, the novelist Moira Crone.


I had the idea of writing a poem
in which things begin very quietly
low key, musicians unpacking
their instruments, a violinist
carefully lifts her violin from its case
an oboist assembles his oboe.
Then tapping sounds, shuffling, coughs,
a janitor walks by humming a tune
the concertmaster swiftly crosses the stage
someone scrapes the floor with a chair.

I see a blonde straddle a cello,
her face creamy but flushed.
She rocks back and forth
with the instrument between her legs,
the Mozart is redundant.
In "real life" a telephone operator
from Ottawa I'd met at a disco.
I thought I was too good for her
but now, eyes closed, intent on the music
she ignores me, her face
is a bright cloud.

Her gown falls away and I see
intelligence, purity, wisdom embodies.
Behind her left ear, a mole
stained dark purple like a floret
of Queen-Anne's-lace in a meadow
overtaken by waves of flowers.
"How did you get here?" I ask.

- By reading your poetry, reading
through it until I reached
the other side, where I found you.
blinking. . .

Rodger Kamenetz

80 pp., 5-1/2 x 8-1/2

Cloth, $13

Paper(sew-wrap), $9

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