A Modern Yiddish Dictionary: A Photo Tale Collaboration with Mari Pack

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Brooklyn-based artist photographed poet Mari Pack as part of a photography and poetry film collaboration for Quail Bell Press & Productions. The following photo and poem—or Photo Tale, as these word-and-image creations are called at Quail Bell Magazine—first appeared in Vending Machine Press:

<p>Created for Quail Bell Magazine.</p>

Created for Quail Bell Magazine.

Christine Stoddard

I.

The old Ashkenazim at my office say “nuu” when they want something like fucking Israeli teenagers they are restless, urgent – unrelenting.

For the Goys, of which I am half this means come on, or answer me like a prayer disguised as postscript it begs confirmation.

II.

In the throes of illness, I bargained with what was left of my body for grace and when G-d did not listen, I begged through every swollen shame, for any answer at all – crooning “nuu, nuu” out loud to the soul-sellers of Brooklyn hands pressed to the gate like a prayer, like a wail.

Watch the related poetry film, “Like Breath, Like Air.”