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As the occupation nears its 55th anniversary —a grim milestone, ARS POETICIA [ii], Exceptionally embarrassing, Community, DE NILE AND OTHER PSYCHOLOGICAL RIVERLETS, Imagine, 2 POVs, Turn Toward Impermanent Winter Darkness: Craving Is [Ig]Noble Truth—Gerard Sarnat

Gerard Sarnat has been nominated for the pending 2022 Science Fiction Poetry Association Dwarf Star Award, won San Francisco Poetry’s 2020 Contest, the Poetry in the Arts First Place Award plus the Dorfman Prize, and has been nominated for handfuls of 2021 and previous Pushcarts plus Best of the Net Awards. Gerry is widely published including in 2022 Awakenings Review, 2022 Arts & Cultural Council of Bucks County Celebration, 2022 Rio Grande Valley International Poetry Festival Anthology, Lowestoft, Washington Square/NYU Review, The Deronda Review, Jewish Writing Project, Hong Kong Review, Tokyo Poetry Journal, Buddhist Poetry Review, Gargoyle, Main Street Rag, New Delta Review, Arkansas Review, Hamilton-Stone Review, Northampton Review, New Haven Poetry Institute, Texas Review, Vonnegut Journal, Brooklyn Review, San Francisco Magazine, Monterey Poetry Review, The Los Angeles Review, and The New York Times as well as by Northwestern, Harvard, Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, North Dakota, McMaster, Maine, University of British Columbia and University of Chicago presses. He is a Harvard College and Medical School-trained physician who’s built and staffed clinics for the marginalized as well as a Stanford professor and healthcare CEO. Currently he is devoting energy/ resources to deal with climate justice, and serves on Climate Action Now’s board. Gerry’s been married since 1969 with progeny consisting of four collections (Homeless Chronicles: From Abraham To Burning Man, Disputes, 17s, Melting the Ice King) plus three kids/ six grandsons—and is looking forward to potential future granddaughters. 

As the occupation nears its 55th anniversary—a grim milestone

—“thanks” to The New Israel Fund

Passover Easter Ramadan 

are times for families around the world—

including in Israel and the Occupied Territories

 —to gather together.

But the occupation divides Palestinians, 

leaving their hospitals/schools/ jobs

bisected by walls, checkpoints plus a labyrinthine regime 

of arcane permits and abrupt restrictions. 

With recent Israeli police raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque, 

the governing coalition on brink of collapse, 

tensions rising from the Mediterranean to Jordan River;

these capricious acts are only likely to increase.

Palestinians in the West Bank 

live at the whim of the Israeli military 

which will often impose arbitrary limits 

that severely affect people’s daily lives. 

These can range from barring most West Bank Palestinians 

from traveling into Israel 

to preventing Palestinian farmers from tending to their land,

thus destroying livelihoods and holding relatives apart.

For almost two decades, Israeli law has barred Palestinians 

living under occupation who are married to Israeli citizens 

from obtaining Israeli citizenship—thousands 

of Palestinians are forbidden from living with their spouses and children.

Isn’t enough enough? Although Albert Einstein was a founding Zionist, 

he also said, “The definition of insanity 

is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Quit supporting such an oppressive state. 


i. Losing Touch 


Mid-late septuagenarian can still keep pace

(just very very barely)

With pobiz industry


from past analogue envelope-licked snail mail

(year’s wait for response)

to today’s lickety-split digital 

(fearsome warp speed)

which garners so-sorry apologies  

(“took whole week to reject”)

but then not quite so much

(I do grok Google docs now that migrated Safari→Chrome)

regards those whippersnapper editors

(your “obscuring yellow logos?" query to they/thems)

condescending explanation

(“indicate where designer has questions”)

if Gerry weren’t such a Luddite

(“click or hover to see comments”)

whose mazel tov toward himself

(did figure what “native photos” meant!)

is short-lived before faces next novel torrent

(absolutely incomprehensible challenge)…

ii. Now Sorry About That

10 AM, still too tired to exercise

I tend to default into writing

Then sometimes circulate

Which works for me if no one else.

Exceptionally embarrassing

for post WWII boomer brought

up along with that whole Harvard

class of ‘67 with aspiration to follow

our fellow alumnus J.F.K. as President

but given current state of good old USA

 if this Jew had a do-over choosing where

to live—I gotta admit, despite all its warts

—Gerard (shudder…) might consider Paris.


We have lived among ourselves for forty years now

so know each other from quotidian ups & downs/ diseases

(although for what it’s worth they seem to me to be more stable)

to much longer currents just blowing on the wind surrounded by these

primarily welcoming, gentle, agreeable; yes, shapely, but often gnarly… 

                  + totally still virginal holy jolly green gigantic with bark wild oak neighbors.


1. Granta* Snapshot

Do not know about you

But rounding that bend

Toward my 9th decade

I don’t take for granted

Much of anything now

Definitely including

Rowing on River Cam

Tomorrow morning 

—Oy get the point

Or still in some denial?

Which Gerry very

Likely was/ is

Regards our assumption 

We life-partners will 

Just keep rolling on

Function better together

Help as well as inspire

Each other forever

Publicly plus in camera.

*Original name for England waterway

2. Gerard Sarnat On Nile A While

Gersundheit Sarnatzky’s

Peace dividend from Sadat’s

1978 visit to Began’s Israel

Was a last-second booking

To oy fly (imagining myself

An IDF fighter pilot) to join

Only-available tour of Egypt

Hooking up with ur-German 

Group (one year Auf Deutsch

Under Ger’s belt) that started

In Cairo, first proceeded by

Ferry north to Alexandria

Then south through Luxor,

Aswan & finally Abu Simbel

Near their Sudanese border

To ogle giganto temples built

Through Ramses II slaves’ –

Some of them Jews? – effort.

Start to finish, getting into

Weird headspace where fellow

Travelers were covert Nazis

+ Moslems still enemies, this

Atheist uttered not a word, only 

Ate canned kosher tuna brought

In suitcase all the way from Jerusalem.

3. despite


your gloom ’n doom

regards any reasonably

plausible global horizon


or inconvenient quotidian

spiteful truths we privileged

Homo sapiens must deal with


it might not make much sense

but underneath all of that—Gerard’s

carburetor’s still tuned to be a happy man.


For those of you

Who follow politics

In Israel where a fifth

Election in last four years

Looms, as Prime Minister

Bennett moves to dissolve

Their Parliament (i.e., Knesset)

….In 2024, we could experience

Parallel revenge tours with Trump

Whose politics resemble Bennett’s

But also rose to power after big media

Career like interim P.M. Lapid—U.S.

As well as Israeli so-called competent

governments paralyzed—why not vote

autocrats The Donald & Netanyahu back in?

2 POVs

i. an elitist Tel Avivan’s [self] righteous Israel

our grandest cathedrals are inside calendars

not in the ground: politics is this country’s

collective soul which tells monstrous

nonsense about not-final solutions

by clumsily, so clumsily, dancing

heterogeneous plus sometimes

despicable—but (at their best)

such truly admirable feelings

now sadly leached of power

ii. the Dalai Lama (in camera) haiku

an ability 

oy to smile on command’s worth 

thirty IQ points

Turn Toward Impermanent Winter Darkness: Craving Is [Ig]Noble Truth 

“What in tarnation’s happening up there with all that traffic of dark clouds?”

our almost-five grandson inquires

before boy answers own question,

“Oy look how those dinos now change shape from TRex to Brachiosaurus!”

as his mom’s dad imagines someday

seducing Israeli child to be a JewBu.

But when Liav continues to describe/ draw Abba*’s dour rays as angry not-

knowable Biblical or sour sun gods

I decide it’s time to drop religulous.

*father in Hebrew


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