I Am Therefore I Am [poem] by Mark Elber

I am the sea endlessly rinsing itself beside the ungroomed sand
I am the ubiquitous chain of ephemeral footprints
An epigram wishing I were an epic
A siren awaiting an Odysseus worthy of my allure
A surrealist temperament trapped in the body of a rationalist
Both “not-A” and “A” claiming the same logical piece of the planet

I am a narrative wading in a stream of consciousness
The phone rings
I am the silence on the other end of the line
I am undeclared income
I am off the books, off the record, off and running, off to a good start, off the deep end
I am the deep end
The steep ascent
Fear of heights
Height itself, absolute height

I am the blinding headlights which are nothing more than you racing towards your own reflection
I am the compulsory flaw
Pure melody afloat in rhythm
I am the child sacrificed on the altar of no god in particular


Image of 1930s Switchboard Operator

[Refer: This poem put the editors in mind of Douglas Currier’s poem “The Sea.”]

Image by Tammy Ruggles

Mark Elber grew up in New York City.  Did his undergraduate work in philosophy at U. of Penn. and graduate studies in the field of Jewish mysticism mostly at Hebrew University in Jerusalem and then back at Penn.  Been writing since his early teens.  Published poems in Mudfish, Home Planet News, The Sierra Nevada College Review, Minetta Review, Arc, and Slow Motion among others.  Won a few prizes including Undergraduate Poetry Prize at Penn and Beat Museum Poet of the Year 2007.  Residencies at Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain Lake, and Arad Arts Project.  Wrote songs for 20 years and fronted a band for five of them.  Author of The Everything Kabbalah Book.  Lives in Fall River, Massachusetts where he is the rabbi at Temple Beth El.