Paint Me Ablaze

Translated from Hebrew by Michael Simkin

paint me ablaze
like Rome
start from the head eyeballs mouth nose
hills via neck

dusty roads
long hands fingers of

waist stomach
kingdom of sorrow
all the king’s seats
streams of the fields
and valleys of love

my thighs and knees will slowly burn

for a sign of my future shame
a birth mark
my calves that are trained to go stright ahead til the ankles
the king’s army

like an air my name will burn
my meaning will be strewn from my ashes
any sense from my tendons will be free

About the Author

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 poetry books so far. Attended international poetry festivals in Georgia, Italy France and Romania. She was part of a residency program for talented writers in New York at 2018.

Her books have been translated into foreign languages. Soon her book “The Mad House” will be published NYC and in Spain as well. Lali was defined by Prof. Gabriel Moked in his book as “Erotico-Urban Poet” and was highly regarded by critics, who consider her as an innovative and combative. Lali talks in her poems about the state of the world and man in our age. On the loneliness of man in the technological age. In her apocalyptic poem, published in a political literary journal YEHI, she spares no rage and reproach and positions herself as a prophet of fury. In 2011 Lali conducted an anthology for protest “Resistance”, in which she presents her personal poetic manifesto, claiming that “poetry as a whole is a revolt.” In the past decade, Lali has created 15 Poetry Video Art that have taken part in world poetry festivals such as ZEBRA in Berlin, where she reads her poems in public spaces, expanding the circle of poetry consumers. “The poem is not purely purely individual. It is common ground and should be heard in a great voice,” the poet claims.

Lali teaches Hebrew at Ben Gurion University. She has one son and lives in Tel Aviv by the sea. To view more of her work click below.