Tali Cohen Shabtai: 2 poems


I don’t listen to songs 
in which 
the soloist thinks in twos 
and because 
there are two halves to both the buttocks 
and the brain.

Last night, the vendor 
at the bookstore 
offered me a book called "A Collection of  Love Poems " 
and I turned him down.
They are no different 
than pretty letters that acted as 
a roof for two
between a sender and a recipient, in most of whom
an address.

This sentimentality should not
be expressed 
and humanity accused because 
many people
are lonely.

to animate a loved one in writing 
she acted by taking steps – 
and sometimes overlapping
from characterizing (the beloved) in the elements 
as of an altar/ idol, the holy of holies
ritual and even binding
use of this exaggeration is an anecdotal distortion

If we admit the essence of the need 
for our other half according to the saying that ‘the most popular form of stimulus
is the one provided by physical closeness’

And that love does indeed distort 
the disadvantages

So let's assume that you’ve understood my approach 
to the term “love.”


Why do I have 
to walk around with,
 in geometric jargon, 
shapeliness in my face?

Two ellipses
in the eye socket 
that delineate two rectangles 
of a wild 
plume of hair
of eyebrows
almost two 
in number

In the top of the face 
is a vertical nose 
that is equivalent 
to a horizontal line 
between the right ear 
and the left 
in a wide line 
it is placed 
in the middle 
of the 

There are many bumps 
but most in the part
of the face
are flat

there is a single hill 
to the lips 
when I kiss myself 
a French kiss

Through the reflection of 
creation from the geometric

I scribble 
and spit blood.

Tali Cohen Shabtai, born in Jerusalem, Israel, is a highly-esteemed international poet with works translated into many languages. She has authored three bilingual volumes of poetry, “Purple Diluted in a Black’s Thick”(2007), “Protest” (2012) and “Nine Years From You”(2018). A fourth volume is forthcoming in 2022. Tali began writing poetry at the age of six. She lived for many years in Oslo, Norway, and the U.S.A. and her poems express both the spiritual and physical freedom paradox of exile. Her cosmopolitan vision is obvious in her writings. Tali is known in her country as a prominent poet with a unique narrative. As one commentator wrote: “She doesn’t give herself easily, but is subject to her own rules.”

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