Treasure Island

gershon hepner

(5 3 38 / leipzig)

choose the jews


CHOOSE THE JEWS

Between the chances, you should choose,
say I, not Auden, only Jews
who read New York’s Review of Books,
but if it is beyond your means
to understand it, move to Queens,
and read the Times’s gobbledygooks.

If God would leave the Jews alone,
they couldn’t use the telephone
or Internet to find their Teacher,
but when He’s left alone by them
He’s always got a stratagem
to prove He’s not as dead as Nietzsche.

What here on earth we lowly mortals
perform, God, in high heaven’s portals
observes, and with the greatest mirth
corrects, like editors, the copy
we send, and they consider sloppy––on
heaven it is as on earth.

Be jealous of the God of dreams
whom Jews invented, though His schemes
lead hardly ever to success,
for if you ever call Him liar
He’ll simulate a bush with fire,
creating a god-awful mess.

Inspired by four verses from a poem W.H. Auden wrote for Harvard’s Phi Beta Kappa in 1946, “A Reactionary Tract for the Times”:


If he would leave the self alone,
Apollo's welcome to the throne,
Fasces and falcons;
He loves to rule, has always done it;
The earth would soon, did Hermes run it,
Be like the Balkans.

But jealous of our god of dreams,
His common-sense in secret schemes
To rule the heart;
Unable to invent the lyre,
Creates with simulated fire
Official art.

Thou shalt not live within thy means
Nor on plain water and raw greens.
If thou must choose
Between the chances, choose the odd;
Read The New Yorker, trust in God;
And take short views.

What high immortals do in mirth
Is life and death on Middle Earth;
Their a-historic
Antipathy forever gripes
All ages and somatic types,
The sophomoric

1/4/09

Submitted: Sunday, January 04, 2009
Edited: Monday, January 05, 2009

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