JL Feinstein was born in the Former Soviet Union into a Jewish family. They are an Israeli citizen, having grown up in Palestine. Currently, JL lives in the United States. They are a parent, a student, a Hebrew teacher, an organizer, and an aspiring poet. This is their personal website, so expect the quality of content to vary. If you have a reaction, please use the social media links above to let JL know, or email them at email@example.com.
You Are Real
Said the Butterfly
To the Caterpillar
the summer when I came to visit,
when we were both fifteen?
What would you think
if you could see me now?
A great wall
stone piled upon stone
waiting to fall
I sat at a table
it was a hip little joint:
low lights, cats in the corner
playing jazz, messengers
from a different decade.
The small red embers of the incense burned
like an incandescent flame of rage;
All the rage, however many embers:
decorated rooms that weren’t mine,
with their scented candles, and their damn
bouqets in vases or in pickle jars…
On my way to school today
the car was covered—
and I mean really covered—
Oy God, what is this world?
What is this world you made for us?
We toil every day that you gave us and for what?
It is very cold outside
I am sad
Maybe if I go outside the sadness will freeze out,
like how you make applejack.
Or maybe I’ll just skip some steps
and drink another glass of gin instead
Where is the poison?
My venom sacks are overfull. Acerbic,
An explosion of acid that if you’re in its path, beware!
Why don’t you come, my dangerous darling?
Without you evil is too hard to bear…
Look how he sweats and scrambles, climbing this entire stinking, slippery, steaming mountain of shit. Braving wide bogs of excrement; wading up to his neck in deep drifts of dreck, stumbling past flatulent geysers that spew brimstone and fecal ærosols that seep into his every pore, coat his throat with their septic humors, and settle in his lungs to fester and rot…
Humans are confusing beasts.
If I should undertake the risk:
Pretend to understand the kinds
of things that go inside their minds!…
One time I made this base assumption:
My friend’s behavior meant one something.
But from what happened after that—
they might as well have been a cat.
Such a bitter alchemist is loss,
transmuting golden joy to leaden poison;
how subtly it ingrains its deadly dose!
into my lungs, crushing,
into my limbs, weakening,
into my eyes, dimming,
into my throat, choking,
into my tongue, parching,
into my heart, muffling.
Some seeds need scorching heat to wake and grow,
they lie asleep in clement rain and sunshine;
while others wake and bloom they surely know
their time will come when all the world is fire.
The longest bridge spans not two hundred miles,
Across quick rivers, gulfs, or deep divides,
Its graceful arches do not fly
Between the earth and the sky;
The longest bridge spans not two hundred miles.
Stones, strewn beneath the sun on a quiet hill;
The wind rustles among the grass.
Reverend bones turned to dust and dirt,
Artifacts of pottery and bronze waiting to be classed and counted,
Should that be their fate—
Else lie and fade and be forgotten,
Revert to clay and tin and copper ore.
Listen to the lonesome plaintive cry
of the Common Mr. Nice Guy:
and you all be like damn, who forgot to take out the trash?
God I’m so woke it hurts