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Julia Vinograd


Dancing Time


Because of the attacks on a kosher grocery in France

all the baguettes in Paris are now circumcised.

Every star wears a yarmulke because the night is holy.

Because of the shooting in a synagogue in Copenhagen

the moon wraps a rabbi's tallit around herself and davens,

leading the prayers. Nothing must stop the prayers.

Wind is the cantor. Bullets are helpless against the wind.

Because it's Saturday night the cops try to keep

everyone off the streets, out of the clubs in case of more shooters.

Stay inside. Be quiet.

But eternal Hasidim, Jews who worship by dancing,

fill the streets down through the centuries

they can't be killed, they're already dead

and nobody dances like they do, spinning, kicking

and waving handkerchiefs over their heads.

Singing and dancing.

Singing and dancing louder than guns.



Julia Vinograd has published sixty books, most recently Cannibal Café. She received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation; she also received a Pushcart Prize for her poem "The Young Men Who Died of AIDS." She has three poetry CDs: Bubbles and Bones, Eyes of the Hand, and The Book of Jerusalem. She holds a BA from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA from the University of Iowa and is the recognized unofficial poet laureate of Berkeley's Telegraph Avenue.


— posted June 2015
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