Leonard Schwartz

Six Ways
Two Places
At Once


Collage is empty
and the gorge of the frogs

mighty deep,

everyone in that valley,
including the frogs,

as silent as yucca.

Tacit tanks target distant ocean's waves
human rights receding, crash of armored tide
now bobs, now bombs
news of the heavy wedding many dead
and child's brightly naked teeth.

And the wind in the oak leaves
as soundproofed
as the inside of a lobster.

The cueing machine tells of spring snow.
The cueing machine tells of spring snow
but I once rode an escalator which,
without warning, reversed directions.

The Pentagon rises like a phoenix,
even larger than before.

Groaning under an Administration
steeped in oil, lighting fires as it steeps.

"To keep the whole capacity
of the potential intellect
constantly actualized".
To keep the whole capacity
of the potential intellect
constantly actualized

and now, if your ears are nimble,
you can hear July 4th frogs
proposing to July 4th frogs
in the gully of July 5th.


The silence of perception
is the flesh of the book
opening itself
to the wondering reader.

And the name aids you
in its very impenetrability.
Nature fills the emptiness of the sign.

a clarinet shines
like a sealskin.

the life-world of the destroyer-nation
surly with commuter traffic,
its deepest consonances

Look: a TV nailed to an oak tree
transfixes the worshippers in deafening.

Listen, look:
the polymorphously conceptual Father
a harbor seal barking philosophy from the piers
and the rocks.
Proteus is his name.
Proteus is also rich, dark coffee.

Have skimmed for a word of the first language
in a black bound Bible
and in the dismantled lightening
lining the heavily trafficked
super highways.


Road kill after road kill,

The silence of perception
is the cry inside the flesh
surging towards
the letters of its exile.


Memory passes into formal knowledge; knowledge begets
capacity and power; power permits forgetfulness.

Such is the symmetry of the two way bridge
between oppressor and oppressed.

Amongst all the atrocities
  I shrug,
motoring in my new car
up the causeway, out past
Indulgence Farm - that robust enterprise-
far from the light of the little lighthouse
of First Anger.

Nix to logic,
nein to recognition,
nope to news
that stays news.

Nay too to the opposable human thumb?

Blood off the coastal waters:
the radio says you are better off

taking the bridge.

To wipe the footprints of toppled towers
off of curtainless cities
through whose windows
the moon stares:

to wipe the fingerprints off murdered continents.

Thus the Jenin atrocities were never documented.

I'll take the bridge

I'm taking the bridge right now

not to plunge into the morass
the private drama of guilt
is merely the scum over,
not the climax.


Taught to fear
   complexity, -
to beware shifting
the self insists on boundaries
hard and fast.
Or so the moral community
its posture headquartered in pious depression about
its own fate, its lack of reputation
   in consumer society,
and most of all, its absence of courage.

Never assume there is one
   who can speak clearly
into the contradictions
of non-identity and loss
or that such a person's
 knowledge of suffering
extends to his organization, or to us.

Yet there is a victim under all the formulas,
surreptitiously subscribed to and conceded
by all to be a necessary evil,
denied any intellectual
status or recognition by all parties involved
because less valued.

Whats worse,
men who out
of the desperation of their lives
try not to exist
by blowing up the dancers
with themselves?
Or a whole system
howling "Sub-Humans"
and acting on that precept,
having pursued in tanks
    the tortured
right into their ruined hives?

I grow strong hearing myself
unable to justify it all,
falling silent
false words only promote
the affliction.

Security forces preempt security
in favor of their own
regularly scheduled



Occupation again, and the tanks that bring occupation
arrive to padlock every dimension of everyone's life.

After the military incursions
ethical fires burn in every woodland
of A country, in every city where the incursion is applauded,
    urged, rationalized,
in every room where persons not in that room
have their existence denied.


1) After the burnt offerings and the black milk...
2) After the bulldozers and the bantustans
3) Tears pour forth from nubile ground.
4) And the stars, full throated and welling.
5) A peacock broadcasts theology.
6) Violence will not be put to rest by violence.
7) Only after acts of creation can come a day of rest.
7) Violence will not be put to rest by violence.
7) There is no Sabbath during occupation.

7) And Occupation said
let there be light:

A leprous light entrenches itself during occupation.
No ambassador from these fingers to those,
     not in this leprosy.
Theology infiltrates the very stones;
7) geology is theology is fence.

7) Marina Tsvateyva once wrote
"All poets are Palestinians".
While an Israeli who writes in Arabic -
an Arab Jew, he longs for Baghdad
before the expulsion - unfurls his latest text.

7) Helicopters empty their fire, tanks roll, writers write,
as Jenin takes place, echoing Shatila.
From the Negev to New York
    my tribe is going mad.
In my distress I call upon a Lord
    I don't believe in (7)
but the Jewish Arab
from Baghdad, writing in a language
his new land despises
dreams for seven nights
      is real...

The very being of language
implies an other with whom to speak.
Language is always the other spoken to.
Each hill of Jerusalem knows that,
next year in
cry indeed unto
next year in.


My city once achieved fame
for its disclosure
of an unknown language
within a language

that yet remained mysterious.

Now sacred and profane wars
flush out all vanity
from the tall grass
of former meadows and woodlands.

Day and night an outpouring
of scare tactic warnings
trade on the gap between
words and awareness,
zones of ambiguous utterance
closed by the authorities
until further announcement.
Liberty Avenue and
the slave burial ground
form a single Main Street.

The new militarism annexes my sleep.

Sacred and profane conspire to justify
the one disconnect.
Sacred and profane
justify garrisons
in rainforests
and peach orchards.
The city beckons me into its logic
of mutually assured midnights.
Each siren announcing the last siren.
Each emergency an ember of all emergency.

Not that fire but another fire.
Not bomb by bomb obliterating
more merchandise
Empire then remaps
in its own image,
but instead witnessing
an image you'd never have guessed at
emerge from emergency.

Born of a love with no past
a city speaks within us
in unexpected journeys,
wine-dark dictionaries
foaming with words and opacities.

"Birthday of a new world"
Thomas Paine wrote in his proposal
for American revolution:

black copters crouched
in newfangled flowers.