September 22, 2019

Nice Smells for the Lord – A Poem for Parsha Vayikra

And he shall lean his hand [forcefully] upon
the head of the burnt offering

The intimacy with the victim
An innocent of the kingdom.

The sacrificer burdened with
physical contact.

Later a meal for priests and
a fragrance for the Unseen.

This animal breathed and
had every hope to breathe again.

Your hand on it’s head –
the least you could do.

And the descendants of Aaron the kohen
shall place fire on the altar

The key here is not the task
but who is doing it.

Not just the living descendants
but every descendant

from our time at the mountain
to the time when

electronic poems tell you
what it’s all about.

This is the life-long contract
when you’re born with

Cohen tacked on to your first name,
Don’t blame your mom and dad.

This predates them by
forever.

It is a burnt offering, a fire offering [with]
a pleasing fragrance to the Lord.

Imagine the nostrils of the Lord
Imagine the fragrances that

would find favor in the holiest
of nostrils of the Lord

This is the great Bath and Body Works
in the sky.

This is the people selling incense
at Venice Beach, hoping they’re close.

This is the air-freshener of your dreams
the Glade plug in of your fantasies.

Your nostrils should be so lucky
to smell what the priests

cooked up for the Lord.


God Wrestler: a poem for every Torah Portion by Rick LupertLos Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 22 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion“, “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “Beautiful Mistakes” (Rothco Press, May 2018) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.