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BROAD STREET

Yehuda Amichai New translations by Robert Alter

BROAD STREET

DANGEROUS TERRITORY

Shalom Auslander The value of hate Susann Cokal Barbie’s best friend

Chad Hunt Soldiers in and after afghanistan: portraits Tama Janowitz Finds her way

dangerous territory

Judith Sara Gelt Spring’s betrayals

Lea Marshall Three views of satellites Paisley Rekdal Love, marriage, and murder Jeanette Winterson On memoir and memory

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Summer 2013

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY PO BOX 842010 RICHMOND VA 23284-2010 www.broadstreetonline.org

A new magazine of true stories Summer 2013

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Editors’ Note

The Overture

sion, soldiers in Afghanistan and afterward, satellites both planetary and close to home, murder in Salt Lake City, the value of hatred, female friendship and Barbie’s forgotten sidekick, despair and redemption, and what it means to write a memoir—or to write at all. We are thrilled by the literary and visual artistry of our very first contributors. We will continue our mission to find unique new voices and visions to converse with established writers and artists; we feel honored to work with all of them. Upcoming themes include “Hunt, Gather” (winter 2013), “Bedeviled” (summer 2014), and “Maps and Legends.” Finally, we are grateful for the support we have received at Virginia Commonwealth University, our home on Richmond’s own Broad Street. Among many others, we thank Henry Rhone, Vice Provost for Student Affairs; James Coleman, Dean of Humanities and Sciences; Robert Meganck, Chair of Communication Arts; and Katherine Bassard, Chair of the English Department, for their encouragement. This project was made possible with a grant from the VCU Student Media Commission.

Broad Street exists to present great true stories. We love stories. Who doesn’t? Stories make sense of the world, examine it from slant angles, give it feeling. And just as there’s a Broad Street in most cities around the globe, there are fascinating tales waiting to be told at home and abroad. Finding the truly special stories and their tellers is our mission. We define “stories” broadly—the category includes photos, researched essays, poetry, memoir, painting, art of all sorts. Our definition of “true” is far narrower; we mean things that actually happened. No weaseling. No cries of “But that is my truth!” or “But it makes a better story that way!” True stories. The best magazines are something like choruses, or jazz bands, or orchestras: Each contributor strikes a note that, when joined together, can create melodies and countermelodies, harmonies and syncopations. To help guide that chorus (or jazz band, or orchestra), each issue of Broad Street circles a theme. This issue, “Dangerous Territory,” is a fine example. Our contributors step into the perilous terrains of love poetry and true pas-

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C on t e n t s Stories My Little Pony

Learning to ride. Tama Janowitz 4

At the Bar with the Hate Camel

When hate is good. Shalom Auslander 8

The Lives of Strangers

Betrayals, murder, and marriage in Salt Lake City. Paisley Rekdal 11 Satellites

Callisto, a daughter, Europa: three views of dependents. Poems. Lea Marshall 21 Making Friends with Midge

Your best chum and Barbie’s. Susann Cokal 24 Ghosting Home

Soldiers in and after Afghanistan: a photo essay. Chad Hunt 33 A Pious Fraud

Spring and the lies it tells. Judith Sara Gelt 44 It’s Always Some Battle

A conversation with Jeanette Winterson. Chad Luibl 48 That’s How It Is Now

Yehuda Amichai

Poems translated and with a note by Robert Alter. 57

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Art

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Andrew R. Wright 9

Buddy Patrol Josh George 10

There Are Angels Living on the Roof of My House Lee Strasburger 20

Model Midge Tyler Darden 25

Mother Midge Tyler Darden 30

In the Grass Ally Hodges 45

Portrait of Jeannette Winterson Shawn Yu 49

All-Seeing Tyler Darden 59

Postscript 66

Contributors 65

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Tam a J an o w i t z

My Little Pony Learning to ride.

I had a pony named Misty Belle. It was fly season. I bought her a fly mask and I sewed tassels on the tips of the ears. I did not know that she could twirl her ears. She could twirl them in the same direction and in opposite directions. I played music from a little player when I rode and when she started whirling her ears in time to the music the tassels swirled around. When I got down the trail I was riding a Vegas stripper from the 1950s and I could not stop staring at the tassels going in time to the music. Maybe the tassels weren’t such a good idea. A short time later she twirled her ears so hard the tassels flew off. I wasn’t a very good sewer. I wasn’t a good rider, either, but then Misty Belle was not a very good horse. She was more an idea of a horse or a non-working, preliminary prototype from an early meeting. I started riding in the winter. I had gone to Miami on a magazine assignment. The editor took me to the weekend house of the man who owned and published the magazine. The magazine’s first issue hadn’t yet come out. I was supposed to write a “story” about the man’s hotel, which had originally been a private mansion. We drove for about one hour to the man’s weekend house. When we got there his orangutan was playing on the swing set with the man’s daughter. The orangutan was four years old and very tender toward the child. I sat next to them. The ape began to roughhouse with me, climbing on my back, and—although he looked like a small, dumpy old man—he was immensely powerful. His red hair was coarse and wiry. The child sighed and went off to play alone. She seemed to be used to the fact that people made more of a fuss over the orangutan than her.

When the handler took the orangutan away, the little girl wanted to give me a ride in her pink Barbie convertible. She was five years old. Her car was a real Mercedes-Benz, miniature and electric. It was a tight squeeze for me. Her bodyguard ran behind us. There were giraffes in a paddock—a large male with his five wives and a baby. We passed a zebra, llamas, macaws, cockatoos, and a gibbon. She drove me past the thirty-foot-tall enclosure cage of the chimpanzees. They threw sand at us, hard. A pool had been dug out of the ancient coral bedrock and the coral had been used to build a small mountain along one side, where the flamingos were kept. Three times a day the pool drained, naturally, and was refilled by an underground spring. You could cross it by paddleboat. Next to a tiled wading pool was a miniature town, with a two-story gingerbread playhouse, a fire station large enough to have a fireman’s pole from the top floor, and a child-sized restaurant. In another paddock was the little girl’s beautiful palomino mare. We circled the avocado orchard and peacocks. The estate was surrounded by a high fence. The bodyguard still trotted behind us, sweating in the heat as we arrived back for lunch: lobster tails prepared by the eighty-five-year-old cook, who had been Tito’s chef and then the cook for the American ambassador to Sweden. At the end of the afternoon the host asked me, “Do you ride? Come back and we will ride horses on the beach!” “Great!” I said. “Fantastic.” In upstate New York it was gray and the snow was gray. I was living in my mother’s house. It was full of thirty years of her accumulated pos-

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sessions. The house was dark. It had been warm in Southern Florida. There were palm trees. I saw myself galloping down the white sand, laughing. Then I remembered. I couldn’t ride. I went for lessons at the equestrian center at the nearby university where my mother had been a professor for thirty years before I had to put her in the nursing home. I took a private lesson. The instructor was an undergraduate named Emilia. She was pretty. She was one of those women who have no hips. I used to see them a lot in New York City, creatures with no hips and no rear ends. Emilia wore jodhpurs and a polo shirt and little gloves and riding boots and everything about her was clean and tidy and tiny and you knew she was going to graduate the Ivy League university and get a good life. I didn’t know what that good life was going to be but I figured it would probably not include a kitchen where the food had expiration dates from three years earlier and when you opened the box moths flew out. Emilia had only been riding a few years but she was one of those people who only need to ride a little bit before they are experts. When I was younger I would have hated her but now that I was older I could look at her and think, Wow. What a tiny perfect creature. It was good not to have to be consumed with envy and hatred. I remembered that when I was a bit older than her age, I was in Time Out London for the publication of a book I wrote, and there was a photograph of me and my dog and the caption said, “Which one’s the dog?” After that I could never feel good about myself or pretty because no matter what I saw in the mirror, I always knew the caption. When you are older and you put on weight it is there on you and you think, How did this extra weight get on me? This weight doesn’t go away. You can eat less and you can run on a treadmill but since the weight doesn’t go away it is easier just to give up. It is like another entity joined forces with you and since the other entity obviously won’t leave, you just have to learn to live with it. In my case my entity was a twenty-pounder. That was something I learned compassion about. Now when I saw people who were overweight I didn’t think, the way I had when I was young, that person should lose weight. I just thought, Oh, they

got joined up by another entity, too. I couldn’t believe I was middle-aged. I was out of shape, I was overweight, and I couldn’t ride. If you are middle-aged, people keep a wide berth from you in case they catch it. Men wince and

bolt—in case you might be trying to make a pass at them, I guess. I hadn’t gotten much in the way of admiring glances when I was young but when I was young I had always somehow thought someday I would grow up and become a beautiful swan. There was no book about an ugly duckling that emerged as an ugly duck. Years before, I had a big tumor in my stomach and I also had a lot of fat there. I got an operation to kill the blood supply to the tumor in the hope that this would cause the tumor to shrivel up and die and right after that, to speed things along, I went to a doctor and I had liposuction. That was a mistake. Afterward, I still had fat deposits, they were just moved to other regions. The tumor didn’t shrivel up and go away either. It calcified. When they finally took it out, the doctor showed it to me. I had been living all those years with a tumor the size of a five-month-old fetus. When it was gone I still had a large stomach. I wasn’t even all that interested in myself but I had to look at myself once in a while and then I had self-hatred. The university’s equestrian center had a huge riding arena, big enough for indoor polo. There were many women in breeches, wearing high black boots. No one made eye contact but they all looked efficient and knowledgeable and superior. Emilia said I would ride Jack, a nearly comatose horse they used to evaluate riding skills. It was freezing, although the arena was enclosed. I took out a pair of gloves. “You can’t wear those,” Emilia said. “They are not proper riding gloves.”

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Buddy Patrol. Mixed media on wood panel. josh george

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Pai s l ey Re k d al

The Lives of Strangers Betrayals, murder, and marriage in Salt Lake City.

The summer I moved to Salt Lake City, posters began to appear on telephone poles across the Avenues neighborhood where I lived, warning residents about a budding serial killer. Cats had been disappearing only to turn up later in the graveyard two blocks away, their throats cut and innards razored out. It was the work of a satanic cult or serial killer, the posters worried: someone was learning the craft of disemboweling pets before they moved on to larger prey, like human women. The fliers were Xeroxed on retina-scorching yellow paper. I found them at the park where I took my dogs. I had just purchased my very first home: a large two-story Victorian with asbestos siding and something mysterious ruining the roof. In wind storms, a thin groan would emerge from the attic that could never be identified, the sound shivering up and down the boards behind the ceiling’s drywall. I had moved here for a new job and because of the divorce I’d gotten within the same month. Now my dogs were sick from the heat that rolled into the valley the same time we did, the two of them staggering and vomiting, sleeping in the shade of two tiny peach trees the previous owner had planted on the front lawn. I was also breaking up with the man I had left my husband for. He was a Norwegian I’d met two years ago hiking outside of Bergen: tall, redheaded, older, a smoker. He produced sports shows for television and traveled often in America: over the course of a year, we met in hotels across the country. In between these times, the Norwegian would send vaguely incomprehensible emails that said things like “I want to shear my mind with you” or “I’m over the rainbow with kids for you.” Still, when he called, I’d shut my door and listen to him breathe over the crackling of our cell phones. What precipitated our breakup was a series of

emails I’d received from an Oslo girlfriend of his about whom I’d known nothing. She contacted me after hacking into his computer and finding our correspondence. It may be a morally dubious position to become enraged by the betrayals of a man with whom you have also betrayed your husband, but I managed it. What stunned me, if anything did, was the sense that one part of my life had just been viciously yanked out of concert with the others. For the past three years of my marriage, I had felt content, trusting and trustworthy. And then I wasn’t anymore. It wasn’t simply that I had fallen in love with someone else, though I had, or that I was only discontented with the life I shared with my husband, though I became so. I felt instead as if a small, hidden part of myself had overtaken the others, turning me into something terrifyingly unrecognizable. Increasingly, it was in this woman’s strange emails that I found the voice closest to my own. “I do not Know why I am doing this,” she would write in her awkward English late each night. “Why should I write to you? He never tells me about You though I ask him, and when I ask he says to me nothing. He says I am like Heroin, he is completely addicted. But he never wants me near Him any more.” She would then go on to describe the long nights spent waiting, his distant demeanor, her confusion. Occasionally, I sensed a trace of my own marriage in her relationship: the unexplainable absences of her lover, the hours he spent away from her, claiming he needed time to be alone. Hadn’t my husband, too, increasingly absented himself once we got married? The woman’s voice was intimate, unnerving. Like the summer itself, it seemed filled with a quiet menace. The house faintly throbbed with it when I woke each morning: the memory of

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L e a M ar s h all

Satellites Callisto, a daughter, Europa: three views of dependents.

The Fourth Moon: ““Most Beautiful’”

The surface of Callisto is heavily cratered and extremely old. It does not show any signatures of subsurface processes such as plate tectonics or volcanism, and is thought to have evolved predominantly under the influence of impacts. Callisto’s surface is less affected by Jupiter’s magnetosphere than the other inner satellites because it orbits farther away.

He thought he set her up in stars—Great Bear with her son, a magnanimous repayment for all that Trouble with his Wife. But when he loosed her from the earth Kallisto shed her smoke black fur, found her body marked by battles older than herself. She clothed her skin (so salty sweet, he had muttered as she clawed his cheek) in ice, in carbonaceous rock carved the bear from her side and flung the glinting fragments to the sky. Most beautiful of all Diana’s nymphs she was, now cratered, with her liquid locked away. She cast herself into the cold where Jove, oblivious, sat storming to himself. As she settled into orbit, locking her gaze with his she felt him flinch. And then she laughed and laughing she remains and knows he cannot reach her, can only wing his ions through the dark, the heft of him immured behind the spin of her ellipse.

There Are Angels Living on the Roof of My House. Acrylic on board. LEE STRASBURGER

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S u s ann C o k al

Making Friends with Midge Your best chum and Barbie’s.

fifty years of friendship If you were a well-indulged little girl in the early 1960s, playtime presented a couple of overwhelming questions. First, which of your slick-bodied, perfectly coiffed Mattel fashion dolls should be dressed for a party, which for a career? And second, when you and your friends were getting together to play, how could you carry around all those dresses and accessories, not to mention the multiple dolls who wore them? Would you choose your shiny black “Barbie and Midge, Travel Pals” carrying case, with its spaces for two dolls and a limited wardrobe—or, if you were particularly well-stocked, separate trunks for Barbie and “Midge, Barbie’s Best Friend”? Perhaps you were heartless. Or too heartful. You might decide to pack the glamor up with your ponytailed Barbie and leave Midge smiling all alone in the case that identified her as Barbie’s bestie. After all, it wasn’t really Midge who was Barbie’s bff. That title belonged the little girl who combed her hair and readied her for “Evening Splendour” or an adventure “On the Road.” Yes, you were Barbie’s best best friend. Poor Midge. Chances are that readers of today don’t remember her, or at least not the “real” Midge. Her first iteration was born in 1963 and gone by 1967. She was barely a memory in my own growing-up years, a name whispered about but a face never seen. She didn’t have her own clothing labels— everything belonged to “Barbie by Mattel”— though she did share Barbie’s spectacular figure, which was stamped on the bum with both their names. Her original injection-vinyl face was wide-eyed and freckled, ready to tag along for fun, while Barbie’s was sultry, with downcast

eyes and pouting lips. Midge was the unthreatening sidekick, the extra who reflected light on the star but never even dreamed of becoming an understudy. She was, as all Mattel’s toys and books and marketing materials identified her, “Barbie’s Best Friend”—not simply herself. She never even had an essay written especially for her. But now, for Midge’s fiftieth birthday, it is high time to celebrate the supporting player who is crucial to any friendship. Midge, in her several incarnations, means friendship itself. Best Friends and Travel Pals “Who’s your best friend?” Every little girl has been asked that question a dozen times. Mainstream American culture exerts tremendous pressure to pair off, not just heterosexually, but also with a same-sex friend who will be a long-term better half. Sharing secrets, sharing clothes, practicing kisses—harmless girl fun. It’s one of our childhood fantasies, even if a real girl’s best friend changes from one day to the next. “Will you be my best friend?” is tantamount to a proposal of marriage, and on every playground, at every recess, the question gets asked at least once. Girls need female admirers. It’s a kind of romance separate from what most women have with men: someone who is very much like us recognizes the best in us. Only another girl (and I am writing primarily of heteronormative culture here) can truly understand and help us express our worth. Even into adulthood, women feel a need for a single person with whom to share every little experience and thought of the day. That sharing typically comes with an exchange of compliments, sympathy, and an PHOTO BY Tyler Darden

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Midge Art

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Making Friends with Midge C h ad H u n t

Ghosting Home Soldiers in and after Aghanistan: a portfolio.

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Previous page: Specialist Thea Windsor, 554th Military Police Company, photographed at Camp Keating, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, September 2006.

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Private Nathan Bozman, 10th Mountain Division, photographed at Camp Keating, Nuristan Province, Afghanistan, September 2006.

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Nathan Bozman, photographed with his girlfriend in Toledo, Ohio, September 2007.

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J u d i t h S ar a G e lt

A Pious Fraud Spring and the lies it tells.

Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants. —Dorothy Parker

.... I lie naked on the covers. Flat on my back, I think, No man has touched me in a year and a half. At fifty-five, I figure it out in dog time--that’s ten and a half years. Outside my windows, robins clear their throats. A few weeks ago, three-foot snow banks wore car-grime coats, and I’d squinted, gladly, as Denver’s blinding sun bounced off weird white shapes. I didn’t care that I hadn’t found my sunglasses even though my head throbbed. Arriving home from teaching eighth graders, I’d wrapped myself in fleece, hunkered on the sofa, downed ibuprofen, and sipped tongue-numbing chai (plus soy) with my buds Jim Lehrer and Dr. Oz. Not now. It’s a spanking new season. Lilac and crocus pop purple, and green restores anemic horsehair lawns. Add temperatures nudging eighty with four more hours of shiny day, and there are further possibilities for “doing things together.” Jacking up blinds to watch flowers blossom, eventually fade and wither to lies? My only relief—fantasies of sleeping pills with a cosmo chaser. .... Spring makes everything look filthy. —Katherine Whitethorn

.... I haven’t done suicide since my sixteenth spring. With a mother in bed weeping about being a horrible person, and a father not remembering

my birth date but dictating curfews, one afternoon I copped Mom’s Seconal and drove to undeveloped wooded land behind our suburban house. Winter’s runoff rolled between jade grasses, and huge cottonwoods shed white clouds of fluff that floated around the car. I lowered the windows and, inhaling a chill breeze, swallowed those pills with prune juice (honestly, the only drink in our fridge with a lid). When I woke the following day, I choked on every breath. But I found myself in a hospital with a good doctor. The season passed. I grew older. I grew happy. Now I feel no well in my Wellbutrin. It was spring when I fell in la-la-la love. We had a twelve-hundred-mile long-distance relationship; so, after my third divorce, I felt safe. Tony lived in Michigan. Everything about him reeked of romance. He swept me away by professing his love through poetry. And, long-distance, our passion ignited without face-to-face realities like dirty laundry and overdue bills. It seems impossible, but looking back, for almost a year we were never grumpy. Traveling to meet in Bay City, my body shook, wanting him. True love commenced when Tony’s visit coincided with my backyard’s rebirth. Working the garden, our bodies’ sweaty scents mingled as the sun warmed our T-shirts and we pruned juniper and privet. We severed potentilla and tender spirea limbs to make way for burly shoots. Whistling show tunes like “Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin’,” I aided the survival of young plants by tearing out spiny thistle and unwinding bindweed. The promising smell of newly uncovered dirt rose with spicy barbecue sauce as we grilled chicken breasts on the back deck. Then we watched

In the Grass, Ally Hodges

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I N T E RVI EW

it’s always some battle A conversation with Jeanette Winterson. Conducted by Chad Luibl

Jeanette Winterson is a dashing, daring, constantly evolving writer who has never met a genre she couldn’t take on and trump. She landed on the literary map with her first book, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, a semiautobiographical novel that won the Whitbread Prize in 1985. Since then, she has produced more than twenty books and countless shorter pieces: novels, stories, children’s books, screenplays, journalism, and essays. Among the most acclaimed of these are Written on the Body, The Powerbook, Art Objects, Lighthousekeeping, The Stone Gods, and Sexing the Cherry. Her other honors include a BAFTA Award for her adaptation of Oranges; the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize for her novel The Passion; two Lambda Literary Awards; and an Order of the British Empire (OBE). Celebrated for testing the borders of language, gender, form, and sexuality, she now teaches at the University of Manchester. Winterson’s recent memoir, Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?, asks a very important question as it describes growing up with strict fundamentalist adoptive parents (“Mr. and Mrs. Winterson”) and discovering the forbidden pleasures of story, as well as some clues about her biological mother. It’s a smash hit, and we just had to talk to her about it. When editor Chad Luibl met Winterson at this year’s Associated Writers and Writing Programs conference, he stepped into heady territory. She’d been the center of a major event the night before and had been entertaining interviewers all morning; we were her last. But she was in fine fettle, laughing one moment and impassioned the next, game to answer questions about the subjects that occupy Why Be Happy? She explained how she pried her creative spirit

free from the Wintersons’ control and harnessed it to an ethic of hands-on work like cooking and chopping wood. She discussed the evolution of her career and her aesthetic. She talked politics. She talked love. She talked about her cat and about being driven to find a perfect form (something cats seem to have mastered). A leitmotif snakes through The Passion: “The cities of the interior are vast and do not lie on any map.” The creative interior is indeed a mysterious, often dangerous place; here Winterson provides the cartographer with more than a few coordinates. BROAD STREET: You wrote Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? twenty-six years after your first novel, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Why did you decide to write the memoir, and why was this the time to write it? JEANETTE WINTERSON: I didn’t intend to write a memoir. I was on a personal search for my biological mother, which I didn’t intend to do either. You know what it’s like: The big things in life you never plan. You micromanage everything and then the big things come along and you never saw them, and you never expected them. That’s how it is. So I found the paperwork, as illustrated in the book, and I thought, I’ll go on this journey. But for somebody who is actually quite organized and has a good memory, what I discovered was that starting to search for my mother made me forget everything, and I started losing things. There was obviously some of what A. M. Homes calls “cellular trauma.” She says that stuff is so deep that the moment you start

PORTRAIT BY SHAwN YU

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Ye h u d a Am i c h ai

That’s How It Is Now Poems translated from the Hebrew by Robert Alter

Introduction by Robert Alter The poetry of Yehuda Amichai (1924–2000), poetry is essentially a recasting of German origiwho seems to me more and more one of the great nals is quite groundless. Amichai was manifestly poets of the twentieth century, is deceptively ac- enamored of the Hebrew language—not only its cessible in translation. He was part of a group sounds and its rich historical associations but of young Israeli poets in the early 1950s who ef- even its grammatical structures—and his poetry fected a vernacular revolution in Hebrew verse, plays vigorously and inventively with the formal rejecting the high literary language and the rhe- properties and the cultural backgrounds of its torical thrust of the previous Hebrew medium in ways that generation of Hebrew poets and cannot easily cross the barrier finding ways to make poetry out Amichai was manifestly of translation. One extreme and of the plain words of everyday therefore instructive example is speech. This effort is clearly vis- enamored of the Hebrew lan- an early poem, never translated ible in a good deal of what Am(for good reason), called “The ichai wrote, and it is what makes guage—not only its sounds Sonnet of the Conjugations.” It at least some of his poems seem and its rich historical associ- is one of the finest Ages of Man perfectly transparent in English, poems of the previous century, almost as if nothing were lost in ations but even its grammati- but it chooses to trace the movetranslation. But his language cal structures—and his poetry ment from infancy to the last is scarcely as vernacular, and decrepitude by following the not at all as simple, as it is often plays vigorously and inven- sequence of the seven conjugaimagined to be. tions of Hebrew verbs as they tively with the formal propAmichai arrived in Palestine are taught in school, from qal, from Germany with his parents erties and the cultural back- “simple,” to hitpa’el, “reflexive.” at the age of twelve, in 1936. In Uncannily, the paradigms of Headdition to his native German, grounds of its Hebrew medium brew grammar are transformed he knew a certain amount of He- in ways that cannot easily cross into a haunting expression of brew when he came because of the human condition. the religious instruction he had the barrier of translation. Amichai obviously relished received (his parents were Orthe directness of the only rethodox). He naturally retained cently revived spoken Hebrew some attachment to his mother that he quickly acquired in the tongue, though English modernpressure-cooker circumstances ist verse appears to have been a more decisive of adolescent immigration. Yet, unlike most Heinfluence on him than German poetry, however brew poets of his generation, he also never let go much he admired Rilke and, later, Celan. Ger- of the language of the Bible, the prayer book, and man drafts of a few of his Hebrew poems have other traditional sources to which he was extenbeen found in the Amichai archive at Yale, but sively exposed both in his German childhood and the claim of one recent critic that much of his in his teens in Palestine. These traditional ele-

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All-Seeing, Tyler Darden

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Bitter and Brusque

Bitter and brusque came the end, but slow and sweet was the time between us, slow and sweet were the nights when my hands did not touch one another in despair but, in love, your body, that kept them apart. And when I entered you, it was the only way for great happiness to be measured with the precision of sharp pain. Bitter and brusque. Slow and sweet were the nights, bitter and gritty as sand the time now. “Let’s be sensible,” and similar curses. And the farther we grow from love, the more we’re compelled to talk, words and long composed sentences. Had we remained together, we could have been silence.

We Did It

We did it before the mirror and in the light. We did it in darkness, in the water and in the high grass. We did it in honor of man and in honor of beast and in honor of God. But they didn’t want to know about us, they had already seen that sort of thing. We did it with flair and in colors, with the mingling of reddish hair and brown and with difficult exercises gladdening the heart. We did it like the wheel-shaped angels and the holy beasts and the divine chariot of the prophets. We did it with six wings and six legs, but the heavens were hard over us like the summer earth beneath us.

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End of the School Year in Hadasim

A year blessed with rain will make many plants grow in the spring that will build up the fiery flame to consume them in the summer. A year blessed with children will build up the war when those children grow up in this time. Here among the trees whose dark tops sway like oaths and like vows, classes of life part from each other to the accompaniment of a tune, the big windows lit and open like pages from a picture album. The big iron gate like wings in a rustling of open and close. Wings riveted forever to this earth and to the fate of its sons in their going and their coming, and the roar of departing planes foretells what we already knew. The hands blessing will go far from the blessed and lips kissing will forget, like the drinking lips that will forget the water. And one way leads to the planted field and another toward the hills and the third way is not there for it died in my heart.

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Contributors Robert Alter is the author of twenty-five books, including translations of and commentary on the Bible’s Book of Genesis and the Psalms; he has also written about world literature from the eighteenth century through the present. He is Emeritus Professor of Hebrew and Comparative Literature at the University of California, Berkeley. Yehuda Amichai was born in Germany in 1924 but lived most of his life in Israel. His poetry is widely translated and has received numerous awards, including the Shlonsky Prize, the Brenner Prize, the Bialik Prize, and the Israel Prize. He died in 2000; his papers and archive are housed at Yale University. The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, edited and introduced by Robert Alter, will appear with Farrar, Straus and Giroux in 2014. Shalom Auslander is the author of Foreskin’s Lament, a memoir; Beware of God, a collection of short stories; and the novel Hope: A Tragedy. “At the Bar with the Hate Camel” was first published in The Drawbridge (UK), and other work has been featured in GQ and Die Zeit. He lives in Woodstock, New York. Susann Cokal is a fiction writer and essayist whose literary criticism appears in The New York Times Book Review. Her novels are Mirabilis, Breath and Bones, and The Kingdom of Little Wounds, which will be published in October 2013. She is an associate professor of English and creative writing at VCU. Judith Sara Gelt has published in Iron Horse Literary Review, Portland Review, and The Denver Post. She teaches at Metropolitan State University of Denver and has recently completed a memoir, Snow on Pluto. Josh George is a Virginia-based artist who has shown in New York City, Boston, Scottsdale, Aspen, Kansas City, and many other locations in the U.S. In Italy, his one-man shows have hung in galleries in Milan, Brescia, and Bozzolo, and he has been featured in group exhibitions in Mantova and Sicily. His painting Buddy Patrol is part of a series called “Multitudes.” Chad Hunt’s photographs have appeared in Time, Popular Mechanics, and The New York Times. His Afghanistan photographs received a Military Reporters and Editors Award and are in the permanent collections of the George Eastman House Museum and the Worcester Art Museum. He lives in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Tama Janowitz is the author of eight novels that have helped define our era, including Slaves of New York, The Male Cross-Dresser Support Group, A Certain Age, and They Is Us. She has published a book of nonfiction and a book for children, in addition to work as a journalist. Her books have been translated into twenty-two languages. She currently lives in Ithaca, New York, where she is working on a memoir. Chad Luibl, who interviewed Jeanette Winterson, is an MFA student at VCU and editor of Broad Street. He also serves as the coordinator of the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award program. Lea Marshall, an alumna of VCU’s MFA program, is a poet and dance writer whose work has appeared in Diode, Hayden’s Ferry Review, and Anderbo, and with Tupelo Press. Her dance criticism is featured in Pointe and Dance magazine. She lives in Richmond, Virginia. Paisley Rekdal’s nonfiction and poetry have garnered numerous awards, including a Fulbright, an NEA grant, and two Pushcart Prizes. Her works include a book of essays, The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee; a photo-text memoir, Intimate; and four books of poetry. She is an associate professor at the University of Utah and a 2013 winner of the Rilke Prize for poetry. Lee Strasburger is a Massachusetts-based artist who has lived in many places, from London to Kenya to Venice. She attended the Massachusetts College of Art, London’s Central School of Art, the Sorbonne, and the California College of Arts and Crafts. She has had one-person shows in Tokyo, Toronto, Manchester (UK), and Boston, and has been featured in group shows all over the globe. Jeanette Winterson (interview) has written eighteen books for adults, including the memoir Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal?; the essay collection Art Objects; and novels such as Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit, The Passion, and The Stone Gods. She has also written four books for children. She lives in England, and her most recent work is a novel, The Daylight Gate. Featured artists Tyler Darden Ally Hodges Andrew R. Wright Shawn Yu

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Broad

Street

P OSTS C RI P T

1914: Austrian immigrants Edvard, Martin, and Maria prepare for a Confirmation in Springfield, Illinois.

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BROAD STREET

Yehuda Amichai New translations by Robert Alter

BROAD STREET

DANGEROUS TERRITORY

Shalom Auslander The value of hate Susann Cokal Barbie’s best friend

Chad Hunt Soldiers in and after afghanistan: portraits Tama Janowitz Finds her way

dangerous territory

Judith Sara Gelt Spring’s betrayals

Lea Marshall Three views of satellites Paisley Rekdal Love, marriage, and murder Jeanette Winterson On memoir and memory

Broad Street Mag Cover w/spine.indd 1

Summer 2013

VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY PO BOX 842010 RICHMOND VA 23284-2010 www.broadstreetonline.org

A new magazine of true stories Summer 2013

8/19/13 4:28 PM

Broadstreet tour 1  

A quick tour of Broad Street Magazine's debut issue "Dangerous Territories"

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