Marc Chagall’s Poems

On the occasion of a reading on November 11, 2001 in rememberance of Crystal Noct and the shattered glass and souls who went through flame on September 11. [Hosted by the Holocaust literature program at the State University at New Paltz]; written in response to hearing Marc Chagall’s personal secretary lecture and read from Chagall’s journels during the Resnick Lecture Series at New Paltz.

Marc Chagall’s poems are better than his paintings
Even his paintings are better poems than they are paintings;
more pictographic/poetic than to look at;
his own face half cow; martyrs of his village nailed to steeples.
When he visited Yad Vashem and wrote; “ I have been to the new temple;”
he ended my search for the red heifer’s ashes.
Now I’ll let the ashes in the basement there
settle on the altar, show the fingerprints,
swirl into the breath of the sanctuary.