The log flared on the grateas I poked its side, poor demon
left to its own devices, hissedblue lipped, then shriveled
into itself like a stunnedworm, before turning to ashes;
I stirred in my chair, half consciousof darkness lapping –
even you, my lambent fawn, softhammered in copper,
leapt back into the shadowsof the holy mountain
(whose rock makes us fierce)with nothing to confess
when I rose without ceremonyand called it a night.
by Gabriel Levin
'Vigil' is copyright © Gabriel Levin, 2008. It is reprinted from The Maltese Dreambook (2008) by permission of Anvil Press.
Notes from Anvil Press:
With Jerusalem as its epicentre, The Maltese Dreambook extends Gabriel Levin's
quarter-century-long ramble through the Levant, his adopted homeland.
On a Greek island, in the desert wastes of southern Jordan, and in
Malta, whose Stone Age temples serve as a backdrop to the title poem,
this collection abounds in unforeseen encounters that blur the borders
between the phantasmal and the real, the modern and the archaic, the
rational and the imaginary.
Gabriel Levin was born in France, grew up in the United States, and
has been living in Jerusalem since 1972. He has published two
collections of poetry, Sleepers of Beulah (1992) and Ostraca (1999), and several translations from the Hebrew, French, and Arabic, including a selection of Yehuda Halevi's poetry, Poems from the Diwan
(Anvil, 2002). He is one of the founding editors of Ibis Editions, a
small press established in Jerusalem in 1997 and dedicated to the
publication, in English, of literature from the Levant. His new
collection To These Dark Steps will be published by Anvil this month. You can find out more about Levin's books on Anvil's site, and read a review of The Maltese Dreambook here.
Anvil Press, founded in 1968, is based in Greenwich,
south-east London, in a building off Royal Hill that has been used at
various points in its 150-year history as a dance-hall and a printing
works. Anvil grew out of a poetry magazine which Peter Jay ran as a
student in Oxford and retains its small company ethos. Visit Anvil's
website here, where you can sign up to their mailing list to find out about new publications and events.
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