Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Check out the next steps in the illuminated Megillat Esther that Josh and I are producing. Click the link below to see what page 3 will look like, approximately, as well as a photo of Josh, Maddy, and me.


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Transmigrant Journals, a new story

One of my long term projects is to compile stories of odd events, other-worldly experiences, and strange dreams in a book titled Transmigrant Journals. Here's the opening scene of a story that I'm currently calling "Re-Education".
Read it here...

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Megillat Esther: Vashti portrait

While Josh is producing pages of text, I'm working on the illuminations. Here's my most recently completed image, a portrait of Vashti, the king's courageous wife who will not be disgraced as a sex object by the crude and drunken king. 

To see the complete slideshow, presenting the portrait's development, please go to Filtered Lights. Here's the link:

Here's one of the images, showing the initial gold work:

Tuesday, August 07, 2018

Mystical musings by the Atternen Ju (Eternal Jew)

The following short excerpt is from a scene in The Atternen Juez Talen. Our hero has recently migrated to Poland (around 1320 CE) to start a new life, yet again. He is reflecting on a line from the daily prayers, that the Master of the Universe daily renews the act of creation (often interpreted to mean that the world, and each individual in it, is created anew each day, or even each moment). Reflecting on his own renewal, he goes off on a riff.

Here is a prose translation into standard English (what I call 'old English'), and then the original text as it was composed...

I, the Eternal Jew am a voice in the streaming world a-coil in you -- a recurring face, a recurring place, unknown, familiar, a recurring embrace. Hate me and I will choke you with hate. Fear me and I will hound you with fear. Love me and I will ignite a desire that consumes but can’t be satisfied ...

To read the whole excerpt, please go to my new blog, Filtered Lights. You will find the post here...

Thursday, August 02, 2018

For those who praise war...

The Eternal Jew hears a noise one morning. At first he thinks its thunder; then an earthquake. Then he realizes, an army is attacking. This scene in The Atternen Juez Talen takes place in approximately 1100CE. First a translation into standard English, and then the original in MetaEnglish. 

And behind the forward shock of noise
The walls of dust that choke your breath
And cloak your face in a deathly mask
So dragoon and drayman, commando and corpse
All look like statues in a Roman tomb.

And this the song them dragoons sung:...

To read the rest of the poem, go to my other blog, Filtered Lights -- A Public Notebook, at 

Monday, November 06, 2017

Jonah ReVisioned

I partnered with 2 others to produce a rethinking of Jonah for Yom Kippur -- Jonah ReVisioned. Here it is at the Forward:

Friday, June 09, 2017

Filtered Lights: Colorwork on Akhashverosh

Here's a link to a video showing the progression of colorwork on the first image for our Megillat Esther:


Thursday, June 08, 2017

On Filtered Lights: While saying the Sh'ma

Here is a poem that came to me last night that tries to convey the ineffable experience of transcendence. The poetry is followed by a prose translation in normal English:
Wile Sayen the Sh'ma, I Wuz Herd...

The full text can be found on Filtered Lights:

but here's a taste:

Wile Sayen the Sh’ma, I Wuz Herd...

Yur evver waer iz this Ruwakh werl
But hu knoez the Ruwakh tu see it?

Yu wuz spaken a roer
That ar seemen a silens,
Tho Yur Proffets say iz a wisper
Evver wun heerz
But hu ar lissenz? Evver wun
Stanz so klose but stil too far....

While Saying the Sh’ma, I Heard...

You are everywhere in this Ruakh world but who knows the Ruakh to see it?

You who spoke in a roar that seemed like a silence, tho Your Prophets say it is a whisper everyone hears, but who is listening? Every one stands so close but still too far.

Friday, May 19, 2017

On Filtered Lights - the first rhyton

Filtered Lights: a new post -- Megillat Esther, the first rhyton.
Six images showing the progress of my illumination work on an image. Here's the link:


and here's one of the images:

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

On Filtered Lights: Megillah color work

My latest post on Filtered Lights, my new blog...
"Megillat Esther: new images; colorwork."
You can find it here:

Here's a preview:

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Filtered Lights -- illumination work on Akhashverosh

My latest post on Filtered Lights can be found here...
Next step, colorwork.

Here's a preview:

Monday, March 27, 2017

At Filtered Lights, a new post... 
'Nature Studies'.
Some photos of local wetlands, and enhancements of them. You can find this and more at:

A preview:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

New on Filtered Lights, my new blog...
Work on an illuminated Megillat Esther. You can read a brief description and see some images here:

Here's a little preview...

Wednesday, December 07, 2016

Song ov Elmallah, VI, Tranzmigrents Lamment

Continuing to edit The Song ov Elmallahz Kumming, Part VI, I came across this poem.
Part VI takes place during the Holocaust. The main character, Rivkah is fleeing overland towards Palestine. When she began her flight, a Torah was forced upon her to save. Now, months later...

Tranzmigrents Lamment
...oh, oh, well I want to know
will you come with me?
   “Uncle John’s Band”, Grateful Dead

Thoze owwerz and thoze lievz
I thot I livd; thaer relleksOn a tabel, now overternd;
Like so mennee objekts, tinsel and goeld,
Skatterd, krusht, or kikt asside.
Wut did I see in them? Wut did thay hoeld?

Now tell me wut it meenz tu be a hewman,
And tell me wut it meenz tu liv a day.
And tell me wut it meenz tu be the chozen,
And tell me wut it meenz wen we ar pray.

I held wun life;
1000 plezherz filld me.
I held wun life;
1000 terrerz gript me.
I held wun life;
1000 luvz wer in my hand,
And now the wind haz bloen them
Like a seengel graen ov sand.

And like 1000 leevz, wisselleeng, russelleeng
I thot I koud heer sumtheeng in the wind.
Leevz tumbelleeng and sand hisseeng...
And then it got kleerer, and then it got neerer:
Plaenz grumbelleeng and bomz thundereeng.
But that was not it. Thay past awway.

And then it got purer, and then it got shorer:
Not a sownd at awl, nor a feeleeng, nor a thot,
But a rezzaddew ov eenk that had rubd off on my skin,
Now dizzolvd intu my blud, that aenshent proffessee
Askeeng or demandeeng az evver it had dun:
“Erthah, Rivkah, wut I wont tu kno,
“Iz, wen will yu rize and wok with me?”

Sunday, December 04, 2016

Song of Elmallah, Part VI, introduction

I keep putting off completing the last book of The Song ov Elmallahz Kumming. It just needs revisions to some of its poems, so I went to look at it tonight, and behold, I found another reason to put off working on it! I read the introduction and thought it was so good, I decided to post it here. (I suppose if I didn't like my own writing, I wouldn't write.)

Gottverdamnerung: In the End ov Time
You Will Soon Be Leaving Me, Too

How suddenly I feel thrust out of Heloise’s arms, with whom I’ve lain these many years, trying to complete my Knowen of her. How cruel and sudden death is. We know it’s coming; we expect it; there are moments of dread. And then death divides us! Our bodies are irrevocably separated; our hearts cloven with an unimaginable wound. Our tears fill but a cup. It overflows.
A semi-transparent filter has darkened the world. Everything is the same, but the tone is more somber. How many layers of these filters are lain upon our Souls until all light is filtered away? I love Heloise, and she is no more.
I have thrown rock and soil upon her, and walked, broken, away. I call out to my God, “Where is Your Moment of Bliss?” There is no answer. Again I must remember I am here, down here, in the world, in Ertha. Here I am, and like a child who cries out to a parent and receives no response, I cry louder. I sob. My Parent stands ready in the next room, but this I must do, without help. We both grieve at my sorrow.
They say a ladder was extended from heaven, and angels descended and ascended. This was a dream. In reality, angels may descend, but once we have touched Ertha, once we have kissed her or cursed her, a filter darkens our eyes, our hearts, our Souls. No more can we find the ladder. If it is there, we cannot see it. If we reach out to it, we cannot hold it. Its rungs will not support our heaviness of heart.
So, what is there to do? I must build a ladder! Some say the ladder is there, and I must merely climb it. They call it Torah. Others say climbing is merely a matter of faith. With faith, all will be accomplished, they say. They refer to new books extolling a man. What is the difference between faith and illusion? Those that talk so boldly are full of illusion. And it grieves me, for Ertha is full mostly of illusion and very little faith. Our Sacred Books are not a ladder. They are but incomplete instructions. Each of us must build. And each must improvise.
But wait! A wonderful realization has just now struck me. This is not only the work of angels. Everyone is building! Some are still searching for the first tool. Others have amassed materials but can fashion nothing. This work is hard. Having too much creates an impossible burden. With too little, nothing holds together.
Heloise, you have helped me fashion a rung in my ladder. For this you are inscribed in my Soul, and you are made holy. Who now will hold me in her arms? Will her kisses be so sensuous and eager? Will her body tremble with a pleasure that reaches to the Moment of Bliss? Shkheenah, will You love me so sweetly again?
And you, my dear reader, my leader who has followed me so far! You too, will be leaving me soon. But I will not leave you!