October 22, 2019

Don’t Touch Dead People! – A poem for parsha Chukat

Anyone touching the corpse of a human soul
shall become unclean for seven days.

Don’t touch dead people!
They couldn’t be any more clear on this!
You’ll be unclean for a week!

You’ll need to wash yourself with
the ashes of a red cow!
The poor red cow –

The gingers never get a break!
They’ll mix it with hyssop!
(I only tell you that because I

never got to use the word hyssop
in a poem. They say, once you’ve
used a word three times, you own it.

Hyssop. Hyssop. Hyssop.
Does that count? Has my
vocabulary increased?

And why are we setting a red sheep
on fire too? What is Our beef (haha)
with the ginger animal community?

Don’t touch dead people!
It’s worth saying again.
It doesn’t matter what color their hair is.

If you touch a dead person
and you don’t clean yourself
You’re defiling the Lord.

You’ll have to leave the neighborhood
for good. You should have sprinkled
the water when you were told.

You should be covered in ashes by now.
You’re thinking of touching a dead person
right now, aren’t you?

Don’t do it! The red cows
and the red sheep, are coming to
burst into flames

right in front of your unclean
dead people touching
eyes.


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 23 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 “Hunka Hunka Howdee!” (Poems written in Memphis, Nashville, and Louisville – Ain’t Got No Press, May 2019) 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.