Anat Zecharia in translation


Do your bitch’s howl for me
That's what your happiness sounds like
When it catches you red-handed
With your tongue hanging out
Later you will pay
Not as punishment, it's just

Language of the Hole

I am interested in holesBut I try not to make thisAn ideologyStudying on my own flesh mutteringOral anal phallic genitalDevelop wandering from one to anotherIn one hole I suck swallowLike oxygen bite curseFrench-kissIn refined cannibalism extractingPleasure from anguish.There are holes filled with meaningFilled with passion. I favorThe empty, signification-refusing onesThey open a possibility.A hole is a kind of localdisorder, a last stop.I want to peek inside itOnly to see it returnA look of ripped fleshProtecting the lips. It is not as if I wish to enterAnd exit all of them I wantTo be a timeless pitA frame to the holeWithout a location without a centre.And when I will erupt, somethingWill stop and another will burst forth. The animal must grow.Running losing running findingIn constant search of satiation.In the meantimeI move another finger aroundInquisitively, without arroganceAs I know I am not on the sideOf God, where the sunIs the enormous anus of the worldI really am on the other sideThe sun does not shine

From my bottom.

West Bank

By the petrol station – for practiced climbers who can pull their bodies by force.
By Kerach 6 – for women who will not need to spread apart their legs, but only pull their dress and show some leg.
By the colorful bicycles drawings – for thin ones who can easily pass through the crack.
By "Hooray for the Occupation!" – for agile, Tarzanned students – gel in their hair who quickly cling to the slippery cement and run.
Near the blood-dripping Star of David and the inclusive map – on the Jeep's window
"I love Israel"
And there is no end, only a beginning which stretches backwards
And one small child with a slingshot is enough to
Set fire to all.

Our Forces


"We cannot be strong always and everywhere"

IDF GOC Central Command

I forget
Idna, Takumiya and Adora
Axis 35
Patrol 22
The hundred meters from the Jeep to the Subaru
By the side of the road,
The five armed men,
The fighters who did not hear
The commander of the force
And Moshe and Bukobza who fired 3 bullets
The movement of the Jeep during the shooting
Forwards and backwards and forwards and backward
The back door which opened
The driver whose name never
Appeared in the report I forget.
The frail heartbeat in the neck
22 no breathing
The paramedic who did not resuscitate
But gave transfusion.
The shot wound in the right shoulder,
Left thigh, right knee
And the two wounds where the bullet entered
The head.
The subcutaneous bleeding
And the abrasion wound inside
The hand reaching for the door
Knows that the slightest movement
May disturb the balance
So delicate
The time 21:20

He who saw the burning bush which was not consumed
Kills the most beautiful among us
And how shall we learn to sing on the hill
When a wildfire devours

The Juggler

Make me a circus
With nine rings
All the acts take place
You focus on one
And lose eight
Make me a circus
I am big I am small
You are the operator.
Make me a circus
I will do a full round
Jumping through the zero hoops
Using the momentum between
The lawn and the moon.
Begging the singing horses
Not to kneel.
Make me an I
I will curve around the six emptiness
Continuing to the nine.
Make me a tamer
Whipping fast no time
With a deep binding stare
Inviting you to sit down and fly
The body will ask to break through full length
In a leap free of habitual concern
Without looking back,
The lightness emerging from the heaviness
Impersonating reflection
Teaching me to count
To ten.

Ate an angel

I ate an angel
Standing next to the sink
Lifted it with one hand
Off the ground like a plane in the air
Swallowed elevation to the body.
The wings, last to enter,
Still squeaked between my teeth when he set
In the round spaces insaide me, spreading
On the nothing.
That is exactly what I was lacking
One who would tremble deep insaide
While I'm ticking
Doing my part
To be
He who waits shell accomplish
Meanwhile, the one thing known about me
Is that I'm breathing.

A Woman of Valor

35 soldiers on active duty and several civilian employees at an air base have been conducting sexual relations with a 14-year-old girl over the past year. Many of the suspects claimed during questioning that the girl had told them she was of enlistment age.” 
Hannan Greenberg,  Ynet News

The first 
places your head on his naked lap 
and one might think 
you weren’t being forced but rather 
thanked and your head stroked. 
The second slides slowly down your back 
the feelings are new 
and you can still concentrate. 
The third inserts three fingers, says 
“Don’t move.” You don’t, 
the map of greater Israel 
in your eyes. 
The fourth moves aside a pile of reports 
on air accidents in the south 
and takes you from behind. 
A great love you think 
a great love scorches me 
and won’t let up. 
You raise and lower your arms 
your body stretches to the edge of the sky 
your hands cupped for the rain. 
The unstoppable fifth and sixth 
course into you. 
The arrogant salt of the earth, avoiding eyes, 
those waiting their turn. Soon your body may look beautiful 
even to you.

Everything's Fine

They ask: what 
have you been doing lately? 
I answer: waving castanets in the air 
from left to right, up and down, 
and so my arms ache at night. 
I’m looking around, 
waiting, just waiting 
until I have the strength 
to fall down. 
Meanwhile a shout takes off 
while I myself in complete silence 
let some silly 
cooing and ahh-ing escape 
from the back of my neck 
nothing else 
after “Everything’s fine, 
thanks a lot.”

Herzl Says

Herzl says 
hands up 
Herzl says 
put your hands on your head 
Herzl says to me 
count to three 
Herzl says 
lick your lips 
Herzl says to me 
get down on your knees 
Herzl says inhale the scent 
of a man who is good 
for your health 
Herzl says to me come 
let’s strip now 
Herzl says, I personally envisioned 
you spreading your legs 
and turning over. 
Herzl, I say 
I’m opening wide I’m expanding 
I’m looking at my Garden of Eden 
which you never knew 
because the truth is mine only 
when I alone 
hold an apple in my mouth.

Let Me Be

to simply masturbate at home 
in a standard 
acrobatic operation 
anyone can do 
because I’m not 
a pervert. 
Let me be 
I’m not hurting 
I fantasize about what 
I have and not about 
what’s forbidden. 
Let me be 
I want so much 
to move my lips 
searching for pleasure 
between them 
just give me a drum roll.

Noli Me Tangere

She says 
don’t touch me 
only one more step left 
one firm stride 
before she reaches the water. 
Don’t touch me. And she drops down. 
Moving lightly 
she sees her shadow 
grow on the bottom. 
Don’t touch me. Nipples float 
surprised by specific gravity 
reaching for the bull’s eye of the sun 
and everything she touches 
ripples behind her as though behind a stone 
for no more than two 
or three perfect circles. 
Don’t touch me 
she sinks and prays for limpness 
to weaken the mechanisms of thought 
and calm the flesh 
as after lovemaking. 
Don’t touch me 
don’t touch me because I haven’t yet risen 
from under the heaps of water with which 
the world can’t fool me, and all that brown 
above her head opens into a sea anemone 
crowned by sentient anemones 
her center opens. 
Under the water 
everything thinks 
like she does. 
The fish enter and exit her 
as if among themselves 
and she continues to hold her breath 
For I still haven’t risen 
she says 
and everything she says is completely 
She has no breath but she 
won’t rise until someone comes and takes 
a snake of fire from his lips 
and she believes 
that he will love her forever. 
Don’t touch.

Youth Will Console Me

It will console me 
sway right and left 
crane its neck 
lean on sharp elbows 
pale round fingers 
encouraging different cloud shapes 
at each curve 
in a tightly closed space 
and steam strikes the window 
and no dog barks. 

Youth will console me 
lowering a rib cage 
over which I will soon rise 

Youth will console me 
rest a hand on a head 
grab my hair 
flutter eyelashes 
leave the grass glittering 
and a lip bitten. 

Youth will console me 
my flesh and blood relative 
I wanted to enjoy 
cutting into flesh 
I wanted to be both sexes 
I wanted to be fought over there 
Pierced to the hilt 

I guided a hand to my chest 
as though in thanks for applause 
when that unequaled brightness 
flooded over everything. 
Outside everybody talks about me 
and that’s the way 
it should be. 

Only youth will console me 
in broad daylight. 
Resting in double beds 
clutching down blankets to my heart 
doesn’t do it for me at all.


'I like to use the languages of the various arts – literature, music, theatre...I think that is the spirit of the modern global era.'- poet Ivan Hristov spoke to SJ Fowler of 3AM magazine about the evolution of the contemporary Bulgarian poetry scene.


Cosmin Borza discusses the work of Romania's 'Generation 2000' poets, including Radu Vancu and Claudiu Komartin in an essay at Asymptote.


At the Sofia Poetics festival, which was organised by Word Express participant Ivan Hristov, Scottish based poet Ryan Van Winkle caught up with fellow festival guests SJ Fowler and Tomasz Rózycki. To hear Fowler and Rózycki discussing their work and reading some of their poetry, listen to the Scottish Poetry Library podcast here.