TWO POEMS by Elana Lev Friedland

Ode to a Genderful Deity

i am weary with want, o god
please be a field for me to lie
in. i know nothing but you, o
blessedness. the earth cool
beneath my cunt so wanton
so willing to cleave dirt, burrow
deep in my devotion. every
blade of grass cuts closer to you.



Spring Ritual

I. Front Lawn Golem

Post-snow-melt and you canโ€™t not get grass bits the same color as bunniesโ€™ hides stuck in your little monster, your little body guard. Hopefully the HOA says nothing. Sees nothing. Hopefully your landlady your roommate notice nothing. Wet dirt dug out from the sides of the patches of grass with scooping fingers. Another tiny golem. Today youโ€™re singing ื›ืœ ื”ืขื•ืœื ื›ื•ืœื• ื’ืฉืจ ืฆืจ ืžืื•ื“ all the world is a very narrow bridge, a very narrow bridge, a very narrow bridge. And the most important thing is not to fear, not to fear, not to fear. You decide youโ€™ll take three scoops of mud as your material and that will be that and your golem will be as big as that will be.

II. Homemade Golem

When I am am am truthfully uncertain of how closely to spread this mix across my face, wanting it to cover most surface areas while still seeing and breathing. Does this count? Yes. Intention. I am the mud man mud woman mud person. Save forehead for last, write out the word ืืžืช . Step out of bathroom away from vanity lights to sing

ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืชื” ื”ื•ื ืจืืฉื•ืŸ
ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืžืช ืืชื” ื”ื•ื ืื—ืจื•ืŸ

because no praying besides commodes, no praising, no. Finish covering face. Then wait until tightens hard to breathe before defeat, removal, again saving forehead for finale.

III. Peanut Butter Golem

How much a sin to make a protector you can swallow? Kroger brand peanut butter so brown so malleable. How your parents would hate this. Mush the meat and donโ€™t eat a chastisement chased into the annals of your memory past the safety glass safely shatter windows keeping most of your childhood from you. Why NOT make a joyful protector? Why only left to the realm of suffering, Remember that we suffered an upbeat klezmer parody in your favorite TV show. If only youโ€™d thought to purchase Kosher marshmallows. Kosher pretzels. How blasphemous, how osser if the shul found out if youโ€™d tried to do this with the kids but you didnโ€™t. You tried to be the golem yourself. You are not eatable. You are not a golem. You are people. This protector spreads easily and cannot be too big. You do not need to worry about it growing out of control.

IV. Studio Golem

You write ืฆื“ืง on your forehead. No one knows the script, so no one knows the difference and

ืฆื“ืง ืฆื“ืง ืชืจื“ืคื•

Singing Bessie Smith, you smear fuchsia from your eyes and lips. Do your duty. Pink tracks and a pale green mask with one hand. While the other crafts the mud man. Dirty mounds on an oil pastel flower drawing, scripted

ืชื–ื›ืจื• ืฉืกื‘ืœื ื•

printed Never Again.



Elana Lev Friedland is a writer and performance artist. Originally from the Midwest, they are currently based in Boulder–by way of Boston–where they are an MFA candidate in creative writing at the University of Colorado. Their writing can be seen or is forthcoming in tap lit mag, Cartridge Lit, Dream Pop, Reservoir, and Cosmonauts Avenue.