First Edition: Poetry


Starched white suit, he wears

an olive oil can crown on his head,

carries challah as a scepter,

   a scepter

mixes seeds blown from a thistle

rubbed on the honey sac of a bee

that leans toward Jerusalem,


where pebbles rotate in a circle,

strained rusted keys buried

in a mound,

   a mound of salt

near a West Bank settlement,

a pail with yogurt from milk

of a black goat,

   a goat’s

milk measured in a silver thimble

mixed in a cup with a broken rim

painted with a yellow asphodel,


of memory dipped in straw

beneath a twist of barbed wire

recorded in the crease of an eye,


inside the vessel of shimmering heat,

an Angel of Death rises from the desert

where slaughter goes on and on

   and on.   


Lenore Weiss lives in Oakland and has a master’s in creative writing from San Francisco State University. Her work has been widely published in journals, including the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion and Bridges: A Jewish Feminist Journal. Collections include “Tap Dancing on the Silverado Trail”  (2011) from Finishing Line Press and “Sh’ma Yis’rael” (2007) from Pudding House Publications. She blogs for the Jewish Book Council and is a contributing editor to


Her full collection, “Cutting Down the Last Tree on Easter Island,” was published this year (2012) by West End Press and can be found at