The Artist Speaks

F train to Broadway- Lafayette, November 4, 2013.
She didn’t have time, so she asked for the paper and I granted her a remote train exception. Overnight. It was worth it.

Merging Worlds                                                         the artist speaks___

The artist speaks:

Glass, reflections, flashes, speed,
Squeaking, hissing. Metal wheels in motion.
No conversation in the subway to Manhattan.

Descend into the Hades.

Cosmic dust dancing in the lights,
Phantoms emerging. Climbing up and down
On and inverted Jacob’s ladder.

The wagon with the Master of the Good Name
Rips the nebulas over dark forests.
“Alexei, let the reigns slip!
Let the horses run free towards the stars!
Our mission: to release the Sparks.”

Grating wheels, metal on metal,     co
Gr I n d in g. . .

Is this stop Medzhibush?
Broadway -Lafayette???

Author’s notes:
-Jacobs ladder: see Genesis 28:12: the dream of Jacob, a ladder set between heaven and earth with angels descending and ascending.
-The Master of the Good Name: the Baal Shem Tov (Rabbi Israel ben Eliezer, founder of Chassidism. Died 1760, lived in Medzhibush, Ukraine. He often asked his wagon driver Alexei to let the horse run free, so the wagon would miraculously travel through the sky and cover long distances in a few moments.
-Sparks: a Kabbalistic concept of Divine Sparks which became shattered and hidden and must be found, released and reunified with their Divine Source by good people doing good deeds.

Read a poem by Ava

3 Responses to The Artist Speaks: Shoshannah

  1. Thank you, Madeline! The drawing next to the photo is an impression of Orpheus and Euridice, the drawing I had in mind while writing this poem is about the Baal Shem Tov, who travels with his wagon through the skye:

  2. Justin says:


    I really like both illustrations as well as the poem. The one featuring the angel and train tracks is interesting. Her presence seems to upend both obvious paths, and it looks like she’s being courted by the devil.

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