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Scroll Verse

Untitled by Boris Gerus

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The Scroll is adding to our poetry output with Scroll Verse, a recurring feature that presents the works of Jewish poets–or in some cases, poets who write on Tablet themes or have Jewish souls. Our last poem was Adding It Up by Jake Marmer.

Our latest installment is a work by the Polish poet and translator Boris Gerus, who wrote this poem in Hebrew. Friends and fans are Gerus are working to raise funds for Gerus, who suffers from the rare Takayasu’s Disease.




My old emails
I’ll fling
cast into the river
and they will fly first within the morning smog
into the eyes of ravens
on the water, dappled spots will swim out to them
like oil

My expectations
I’ll set down on the porch
curious birds
will feed on them real food
not digital the kind of food
that can be touched and cleared in the throat
I’ll lay them there as though
they were fresh out of the wash
and not return

The belief in man I will scatter
in a wide smattering in the yard
on the drying line used for
beating dusty carpets
winged creatures will fly
the neighbors will stare
there will be many blows and
much dust

The faith, disease and sorrow I’ll hang
crowded and dangling from lampposts
according to the city’s license for small businesses —
passersby will be free to pull them down
for a special price

With love and war, I won’t do a thing
the city is full of false promises
public speeches
noise of chattering mouths
alphabets tumbling in vain like empty cartridges
after being fired
into emptying metro stations
and the swallows fly lower than usual
in the town square all three crosses
on the way to Jerusalem Ave. in Warsaw
where they will install a sign:
This will help no one

The television I’ll drag
and set on the washing machine
a monument to
forward progress
in the hallway

My death I won’t heat up in the microwave
with respect for
remnants —
I’ll warm it over a small flame on a gas stove

And then they will discard my books
whole shelves of books
the library
they’ll discard
to orphanhood
next to the barber shop downstairs

-Warsaw 2012


Translated by Sheera Talpaz

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Scroll Verse

Untitled by Boris Gerus

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