Night of the Wedding

Wedding Night*

The night before the wedding
All the companions adorned the bride.
She had been preparing these seven weeks —
The repairs would be made later.

Day of the wedding
The supernal mother descended.
All the souls expressly named by God —
Blessed,
The interpretations —
All new.

The principles and the stories —
One seamless document
Integrated.

All told
Through the radiating light.
The telling —
A lightning
Of words.

jsg, usa

The Lost Song-Poem Bar Yochai

The Lost Piyyut Bar Yochai

I am the lost piyyut [song-poem] of Bar Yochai
Written by Shimon ibn Lavi
It was said my particular melody
had the power to restore the soul
and align the body
I have been lost for centuries
I have ten stanzas
each one corresponding to one of the sefirot
the holy emanations —
activity intra-Divine.

The refrain has been brought down
In all the melodies this way:
Bar Yochai, you are anointed
with joy, the oil of delight
from your sacred companions.

There were ten of them expected by Bar Yochai,
called the Chevrayya
they left a record of their teachings
they often said, if we had come
into the world only to hear these words
— it would have been enough.

Bar Yochai would be remembered
but not Ibn Lavi
who wrote the ten stanza’d poem
and other than the poem of ten stanzas
and some verses about his silent son

Ibn Lavi has been forgotten.

There are many melodies
To the piyyut Bar Yochai
But the one melody
The one that restores the soul
Aligns the body

Has been lost.

Until now.

james stone goodman
united states of america

Your Double Coursed Sister

I am your double coursed
Sister

My modal figure —
My yearning for voice.

I am a single line
I am the melodic snake
Advancing by half-flats.

I am the hands of Ziryab
The blackbird
The one born in Baghdad.

I am oud player to the Umayyad court
Cordoba
8th century,
Ziryab
The dark one.

I am your hands
I am the reeshi in your hands
The eagle feather
As you pluck the strings.

I am the fifth course of strings
Introduced by Ziryab –

The soul —
Added to the four courses
The four humors of Aristotle.
I am the soul —
The fifth course.

I am the hands of the old man
Sitting by the Seventh Well

I am the sixth course
A single string
I am resolute
The absolute
The sixth course.

I am your hands
Rescuing you.

jsg, usa

Congratulations on Your Marriage in Iowa

Conventional Wisdom
Wedding Poem #11

Conventional wisdom has it
It’s easy to get married
Hard to stay married.

Easy to get married:
Go downtown to the justice of the peace
Think you’re in love and ask someone
Maybe the first someone who gives you a tumble
Or says: I love you
Will you marry me?
Sure, why not.

One year later
You’re eating breakfast separately
One of you likes the television on
One off,

The other one
Has a stomach ailment
That produces excessive noise.

By two years,
There is silence in your home
Other then the noises of digestion, television —
Silence.

Easy to get married,
Conventional wisdom has it,
Hard to stay married.

On the other hand,
There might be an Iowa
A state in the Mid-West
To condone marriage
Between man and man
And woman and woman

You might have to find a sympathetic
Judge in the state of Iowa
To give you a license
You might have to come in a bus
From another state
Missouri, for example

You might have to leave at 6 AM.
Hard to get married, I say,
Easy to stay married.

You work the politics,
The bus,
The weather,
The complexities of another state
And the management of a team of clergy,

You conclude with the optimistic:
Hard to get married,
Easy to stay married.

This is known as a syllogism
Spelled with a y not with an i
from the root word silly

It’s counter to conventional wisdom
All wisdom is counter to the conventional
We know this from the Hebrew masters of the nistar,
The hidden wisdom
Which is really real,

As taught by the old masters of Kabbalah
And jazzmen who once blew saxophone
In St. Louis, Missouri –

In years to come
You might look at each other
With questions,

You will say
Remember how hard it was to get married?
This –
Is nothing

And you’ll fall in love
More
And
Again.

jsg, usa