Three Poems


Lali Tsipi Michaeli





Legend of the body



Well, I was gone

it was on the day the mouth widened open in front of

a vacant audience

a hall world, devoid of ears

and started shouting


As it happened

the hearing merits were sealed

and the hall world faded out to mute

and silence was hovering over the face of the earth


a white silence

well bleached



You know,

unlike a wedding dress

like Butoh dancers

white linen cloths with a pinch of pure soul within

white washed face

and a drizzling drop of blood that escaped the ear’s cave

all of that, in front of a vacant audience

Do you know how it feels to shout in front the hollow hall world

Familiar with the colossal reverberation?

If the hall world does not mute

the eardrum could explode


there is no voice, nor any that answers

you stand alone in the life capsule

open wide within a body



translated by Nadavi Noked










My whole body is faces

My whole body is eyes

My whole body is lips

My whole body is chin

My whole body is forehead

My whole body is ears

My whole body is nose

My whole body is nostrils

My whole body is mimicry

My whole body is high cheekbones

My whole body is styled eyebrows

My whole body is fragments



My whole body is upper eyelids

My whole body is lower lids

My whole body is a living cunt spitting forth love.

Did he




from Tractate of Faces (Ahshav, Israel, 2015)

translated by Michael Simkin





Poetry is a Hard-to-Get Girl



She is a woman with feminine intelligence


Put it in its place

Set its boundaries

Give it time to stew in its own juices

And don’t fear cutting when needed.

Don’t accept everything they think about you.

You’re nobody’s doll

Don’t harbor a grudge against your ex

Release the wound

And build yourself anew in each collection.

And never

Wax nostalgic about a poem you wrote in a previous book.

And don’t forget to give yourself a breathing space

Between one book and the next

Before you caress a new body,

Look upon a new face,

Touch a new hand,

Or embark on a new path.



from Tractate of Faces (Ahshav, Israel, 2015)

translated by Michael Simkin









Lali Tsipi Michaeli is an international Israeli poet.  Born in Georgia in 1964, she immigrated to Israel at the age of seven.  She has published six volumes of poetry, attended international poetry festivals in Georgia, Italy, France and Romania, and was part of a residency program for talented writers in New York at 2018.  Forthcoming is The Mad House (Adelaide Books, 2020).  She teaches Hebrew at Ben Gurion University, has one son and lives in Tel Aviv by the sea. 



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