Rubber, or: Glue

My 1st rhyming sestina

Some people don't like the word Jew 
A label that fits me like comfy shoe 
Jews were murdered and made into glue 
Regarded as less than beasts at a zoo 
Blamed for both the plague and the flu 
In the end, though, it's the haters who stew 

Jewish cholent is a magical stew
If you'd like some, just befriend a Jew 
It can cure both COVID and the flu
And when it spills, it won't stain your shoe
Come, let's pack some for a trip to the zoo
Food and family bind us like glue

From true history we cannot unglue
All began with primordial stew
We all got here by way of the zoo
European; African; Jew
Mortality fits us all like a shoe
And we die of the very same flus

There are always new strains of the flu
Viruses to human cell membranes glue
Vaccines help but cannot fully shoe
We are but chunks of meat in this stew
Asian; South American; Jew
Are we destined to live as if in a zoo?

It takes a great deal to get me zooed
I don't suffer much from brown bottle flu
My friends joke that I'm a Russian Jew
I reply that I'm rubber, they're glue
And we laugh over hearty Jew stew
The secret ingredient's sole of shoe

In the heat, men buzzing flies shoo
But not so those beasts at the zoo
Nor are they wont to sit and stew
Every species has its own flu 
DNA is a powerful glue 
Oceanian; North American; Jew 

Some racists claim diplomatic flu
When accused, they stand as if glued
Much abashed by this very proud Jew

Notes

  • My initial intentions in writing this poem were:
    1. Write a sestina that rhymes
    2. Write a poem about antisemitism
  • I deliberately used the word ‘Jew’ as one of the rhyming words; the other five words that rhymed with ‘Jew’ were picked at random.

58 thoughts on “Rubber, or: Glue”

  1. I love your rhyming verses David. You did a wonderful job. You could illustrate those verses and write a story for your children to enjoy. :>)
    Dwight

  2. Dear David,

    “In the end, though, it’s the haters who stew.” LOL. So true. Love the wit, the rhymer and the sestina humor. πŸ€—

    Peace to you, and multiple roses,
    Dora 🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹🌹

        1. David, More than one of course! Never mind. Give her this πŸ’ for her joyful inspiration to your verse. πŸ’

  3. Excellent!! I’m impressed because doing the monorhyme is not the easiest way to do a sestina!! Also your topic is a difficult one as well. This is such a divergence from your usual Tanka/Haiku-esque style – I’m very stuck on this effort…

  4. I’am glum and dumbfounded ! My eyes are glued on your poem and I couldn’t take it off !! This poem has some juice in it πŸ‘πŸ€

  5. This was somehow deadly serious and frivolously fun at the same time. Is there a Hebrew word for β€˜hats off to you?’ I would very much like to say it!

        1. I had to look that up as we don’t use Cyrillic in Slovenia. I can now say β€˜enako!’

  6. As Ingrid says, it was ‘deadly serious but frivolously fun at the same time’. I think that is typical of Jewish humour? Fabulous poem, David!

    1. Lesley, thank you ❀

      You know, I actually have no idea about Jewish humor… I mean… famous Jewish comedians range from Andy Kaufman to George Burns to Woody Allen to Roseann Barr to Jerry Seinfeld to Sarah Silverman… and dozens more… Is there something that typifies them all? 🀷

      1. Ooo, I’m not sure, David. Maybe I’ve just got ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ stuck in my head. πŸ˜€ I need to give this some thought as to how this became my perception.

    1. Dolly, yes, to the extent that I “believe” in anything, I believe that evolution is the most probable process by which homo sapiens came to exist.

      ❀
      David

        1. Broadly speaking, I think it’s our Jewish myth, just as all cultures have their myths. There may have been some basis to it, but I doubt that it happened just as told in the Torah.

          Last year, I joined some discussion forums that encourage debate and discussion between people who are OTD and people who are believers in mainstream Jewish doctrine, and I find the comments of the OTD people to be much more relatable to me.

          BTW, I don’t fit either category – I don’t have much faith in anything supernatural, but I’m also not OTD – if anything, I’m more “on” TD than anybody on either side of my family.

          ❀
          David

        2. OTD = Off the derekh, Dolly.

          Yes, years ago, I owned and read his entire collection, Dolly. Back when I was in college – ~20 years ago.

          ❀
          David

        3. Thank you.
          Perhaps it might be worth your while to re-read? Just a gentle suggestion.
          I grew up with an unshakeable belief that Torah Emet, and anything that is not Torah cannot be true. That does not mean that every word of it must be taken literally, of course, yet we are not qualified to separate the literal from the metaphorical or from ‘the Bible Code,” as it is called nowadays. I believe with all my heart (‘Ani Maamin b’kol Nafshecha u’v’kol Levavecha) in the coming of Mashiach, at which time everything hidden will be revealed.
          Love,
          D
          P.S. We used to sing Ani Maamin b’Emuna Sheleima at the train stations when our friends were leaving…

        4. I’m a non-believer, Dolly, and I’ve been around the believing block for years. I’ve learned to be comfortable in my own skin, for the most part, although I do envy believers because of the comfort that belief provides them.

          I’m glad that there are people like you in this world, but I do not want to be one – it feels unnatural and untrue to myself. I used to wish that I could and aspired to believe. I once convinced myself (for years) that I did believe. Ultimately, that wasn’t really true.

          Every religion claims to be the “Truth”. I reject all such claims from all such sources. Being born a Jew doesn’t affect my perspective… although I have a soft spot in my heart for our people’s stories and values.

          You have a lovely soul. Thank you for sharing of yourself.

          ❀
          David

        5. Dear David, I don’t believe that one could aspire or be convinced to believe. I do not aspire to convince you to share my belief, other than to remind you that we are ‘believers, sons of believers’ although some of us are daughters), regardless of what any individual Jew thinks or believes.
          Again, I believe that when Mashiach comes, everything will be sorted out, so I personally have no issue with anyone, especially a sincere person like yourself.
          Love,
          D

        6. Are you sure it will be a He, David?
          Just kidding, of course. He is a Son of David, not a Daughter.
          I am not a what they call ‘mashihist’ in any way, but I do believe in ‘when,’ rather than ‘if.’ Then I’ll make gefilte fish of Leviathan. Wait till you see my Shavuot recipes – there is a fish almost the size of Leviathan!
          Much love,
          D

    1. Thanks so much, Cindy πŸ˜€

      There wasn’t a prompt, per se… just a concept that I had in my head, but I’m happy with the result!

      Much love,
      David

  7. As several have noted, you have a great ability to treat serious issues with humor. It’s a good approach to life. We all have the same origin and ending…dust to dust. Why make the between so fraught and difficult? (K)

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