Alexandra Reiss

Rookie - 0 Points (New York, NY)

Market In Tel Aviv - Poem by Alexandra Reiss

Clotheslines run between temple-stone and shutters. The laundry, a symbol of humanity: mundane—and yet a totem of daily life. Although the styles have changed somewhat, this totem has strung together centuries of neighbors, whose private underthings flap next to one another openly, dried by the same wind. Below, the colors of the trinket-selling stalls overwhelm the beige temple-stone. This dust and sand city resists all attempts at beige monochromaticity, refusing to be a beige city. Holy men and women navigate the same throng and bustle as ordinary men. Tourists snap pictures of architectural oddities: a lion adorning a doorway, a winding alley home to numerous sunbathing street cats, a door knocker shaped like a eagle’s talon. I do not want to experience this moment through any lens, camera or otherwise, standing separate behind a device. I want to feel the heavy tapestry and time-worn carpets and the cool glass basins of heavy hookahs, standing tall with Persian-looking motifs in candy colors. Rows and racks of red kabala bracelets, evil eyes, and hamsas—excitable vendors, pushy and eager, who usher you in with sweeping gestures and raised voices. Everything here is negotiable; so I haggle, argue and bargain until the nick-nack is mine or I hold in dust-caked palms a trinket for someone at home. Shwarma carts, heaped with pitas, mounds of falafel and hummus, entice the tongue and the belly.

I think of how I will hate to leave this place; how home seems somehow less alive now. I have nowhere near enough time to take this all in, I rush from stall to stall, my feet catching on cobblestones. Still, I feel I have found something here—not bought from a cart or a stall but rather soaked in through its streets.


Comments about Market In Tel Aviv by Alexandra Reiss

  • Kelly Seale (9/30/2012 4:44:00 PM)


    ...I do not want to experience this moment through any lens, camera or otherwise, standing separate behind a device. I want to feel the heavy tapestry and time-worn carpets and the cool glass basins of heavy hookahs, standing tall with Persian-looking motifs in candy colors. Rows and racks of red kabala bracelets, evil eyes, and hamsas—excitable vendors, pushy and eager, who usher you in with sweeping gestures and raised voices...

    ...Still, I feel I have found something here—not bought from a cart or a stall but rather soaked in through its streets.

    -What an amazing write Alexandra, Your descriptive words remind me of when I was there... although I couldn't resist to capture all you have just described thru my lens... and in those captures... I have frozen time... holding the worn-out photographs in my hand...yellowed and torn, water-soaked and covered in dust from all my moves throught the years... I can still smell the aroma from the street vendors... I can still taste the fine glass of Merlot Galilee from the Carmel Winery... And the people... I can see why you fell in love with Tel Aviv... I did too.
    Superb Write! Great Ink! ! ! ; -)
    -Kelly.
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Poem Submitted: Sunday, April 25, 2010



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