Friday, December 25, 2009



The strength in the eyes of the young girl in uniform who got me on the right bus.
Grocery store clerks who yell at you for asking where something is.
Taxi drivers who ask about your sex life.
Oranges, bananas, apples that don’t taste like plastic.
Fresh squeezed pompagranate juice.
Eyal Golan playing on the bus.
Thick hot chocolate.
Ein Baya.
Cold nights in the desert.
Feeling like I need God.
Ir Hakodesh.
Black, brown, and yellow men in kippot.
Arsim selling ripped CDs.
Short, direct, hard words in Hebrew.
Fresh shakshuka before hiking.
Swimming in the winter.
Bringing a gun to bed.
Wearing jeans to work.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Coming back from a month in Israel was hella tough, and the Hajj returners packed on my flight and the Christmas carols echoing through the airport didn't really help.
Neither does this cold.
But what bothers me most, I think, is how quiet it is.
I used to think the noise that all my relatives complained about so much about would get to me. I have very sensitive hearing -- everyone in my family thought I would end up becoming a musician when I was a kid. But my life took a different path.
As it turns out, I miss the noise. I miss the musica mizrahit on the overcrowded bus, the guy with the loudspeaker who screamed "PEROT PEROT YERAKOT ANAVIM BANNANA" every morning in the yard near my aunt's apartment in Haifa, and singing zmirot as I walked down the streets of Tel Aviv with friends on Shabbat. I miss loud arguments over soccer matches, angry protests in front of government offices, honking cars, and screaming children.
The streets here are dead. People rarely venture outside...only to their cars, and back again in the evening.
I guess quiet does not suit me, after all. Unless its the quiet of the desert.

I miss Israel so much.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Plant that orange tree that hangs in Jaffa

What I really want to be

Is a wild orange tree

Growing in the warm dust

Of life’s sweet lust.

Here in Jaffa, I hang in a pot

I want to grow roots

I want my ripe fruits

To fall on brown earth and take seed,

Not sleep on this street and rot

Kicked into the sea,

Stolen for souvenirs,

For ornaments to hang on a different kind of tree.

What I really want to be

A wild orange tree

Growing in the holy dust

Watching heaven rust