Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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After Reading the News This Morning, I Turn to the Curses
of My Ancestors: A Found Poem

!האַלדז אין אים מכּה אַ
A make im in haldz!
A boil in his throat!

During World War II, a woman shouted this curse at
the radio every time Hitler’s voice was broadcast.
—Stutchkoff, Der Oytser fun der Yidisher Shprakh

May you live to a hundred and twenty,
without a head. May you grow
like an onion with your head in the ground.
May you crawl on your belly.
May you become swollen and veined
as a mountain, pepper in your nose
and salt in your eyes. May all your teeth
fall out, except one to give you a toothache.
May you have a hundred houses,
in each house a hundred rooms, in each
room twenty beds, and may fevers
and chills toss you from bed to bed to bed.  

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