Friday, May 30, 2014

I land with a shriek, which is swallowed at once by the clap of thunder

The princess lets me down through the window, lowering me one knot after another. The bed of roses is far beneath my feet, and it looks unreal and a bit eerie from here, because of the strange shadows cast every which way by torches passing through the garden, and by sudden flashes of lightning. I am hanging on for dear life, swaying in the wind between heaven and hell. 
Meanwhile, from the chamber above me, a knock is heard.
The princess unties the ribbons left and right of the window to let the floral curtains fall shut. There is barely a slit between them, so I can no longer see her.
“What now?” she. asks, brazenly. To them she may sound as brave as ever—but I can hear the way her voice starts to falter.
“Move away from the door,” says the officer. “I have my orders.”
“Your orders?” she demands. “And what are they this time?”
And he reports, “The king said, David is sick? If so, I will take care of him.”
With a tone of relief, “Bless the Lord,” she mutters. 
“I don’t think you understand,” says the officer. “The king said, Bring David up to me in the bed, that I may slay him.”
She lets out an unexpected wail, and with that I hear a big burst. The door must have been broken, and I know it because a shard from her mirror shoots out through the slit between the curtains.
My hold on the robe is weakening by the second. I try to clutch at the knot overhead, to climb back and help her—but no, it is too late. I hear many more boots. Soldiers must be filing in already. By now they must be surrounding her.
“She is indecent,” says the officer. “Put some clothes on her.”
“Look,” says one of his soldiers. “Her sheets are soiled.”
“And there, there’s David!” says another. “Oh boy, he looks like the devil himself, smiling there in her bed.”
“Behold,” says the third. “It’s an icon, with a pillow of goat’s hair for its support.” 
In a blink they will figure where I am. So I let go of the knot, close my eyes and fly through the air like a bat out of hell, with a single thought in my mind: I can never come back here. 
I am empty handed. 
And another thing: when I was a child, my mother would sit close to my sister Zeruriah and tell her fairytales, lovely old fairytales about a prince risking his life, climbing all the way up the tower to rescue a maiden in distress—but not once did I hear about her saving him, nor did I hear about him coming down to run away from her.
This is no fairytale. I am no prince. 
Who knows how fast it will take Saul to strip me of my title, the Husband of a Princess, thus reducing me to someone far lower than low. A nobody. Who knows how fast it will take him to brand me a traitor. Alas, all is lost.
I land with a shriek, which is swallowed at once by the clap of thunder. 
And I go, and flee, and escape. 

Michal and David by Gustave Dore

Michal and David by Shagal

When Saul sends assassins to kill David, Michal helps him escape from her bedroom window. This story has fascinated artists throughout the ages. To illustrate the variety of viewpoints, here are the works of two of them. While Gustave Dore emphasizes drama, danger, and heroism, it is the possibility of love that Shagal chooses to focus on. His Michal stands there with open arms, while David floats out into a starry, moonlit sky. 

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"A tale of madmen and kings, youth and old age, prison cells and freedom's ring..."

This is the moment when the truth comes to me, clear and naked

In my novel Apart From Love, Ben refuses, for the longest time, to give up on his mother, who has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's. But in the later part of the novel he is finally facing the moment of truth:

And this, this is the moment when the truth comes to me, clear and naked in its full ugliness, and I cannot deny it, cannot ignore the horrific meaning of what she who used to be my mother does next:
Sensing a presence next to her, she stirs back, as if by instinct, and for a split second smacks her lips. He may think this is a sign, perhaps of gratitude. I can see the sudden relief, the surprise in his smile. His eyes start closing, as if in anticipation of a kiss. 
And then, then she opens her mouth, like some animal—a lizard comes to mind—hungry for its prey. She stays there, seemingly lazy, utterly motionless, jaws dropped, chin hanging, waiting for her feed. Waiting, waiting, waiting for more. Waiting without a word. Waiting with a need that can no longer find its satisfaction, the need of a body, an empty shell of a body whose mind has finally left it. Waiting, because mom will never be able to give.
At once I let go of the double doors so they swing, and come to a close. And I turn, and I run, run out of that place as fast as I can, so as not feel her eyes, looking at me without taking me in. 
I am still running. I have to, because I find myself held still in that moment, when the truth has come to me, damn it. Who can be so brazen as to deny it, and who wants to take a second look.

In this charcoal sketch you can see how I study the features of the face at the moment of shock, when in a flash, you are facing that which you would not face before. A moment of truth can be a personal one, which you experience in private, or a communal one. Which is why I used this sketch also in my large oil painting, Earthquake.

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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Great Portrayal

So happy to discover this short and sweet review for Rise to Power:

5.0 out of 5 stars Great PortrayalMay 29, 2014
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This review is from: Rise to Power (The David Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
This is a powerful portrayal of a royal man of God who deals with the world in his way while struggling with the Law and his emotions. Excellent read.

Rise to Power is #1 in Best Sellers in Historical Biographical fiction

Need I say more? Today, Rise to Power is #1 in Best Sellers in Historical Biographical fiction:

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Very Inspiring Blogger Award

It feels so rewarding! My blog, which is centered around themes of creativity in art and writing, has been in existence for only two years, with traffic sky-rocketting to 
over 13,000 visits last month--and now it has been tapped by fellow author and blogger Catherine Cavendish for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. 

Catherine writes mainly paranormal horror fiction. She lives with a longsuffering husband and mildly eccentric tortoiseshell cat in North Wales. Their home is in a building dating back to the mid 18th century which is haunted by a friendly ghost, who announces her presence by footsteps, switching lights on and strange phenomena involving the washing machine and the TV. When not slaving over a hot computer, she enjoys wandering around Neolithic stone circles and visiting old haunted houses.

Seven things about me:

  • In high-school I wrote a research project about the Israeli poet Uri Zvi Grinberg, who was politically out-of-fashion at the time. As a result, I received a failing grade for this project. The failing grade could have been corrected by taking an exam, which I refused to do, on principle. This meant never finishing my matriculation requirements for completing high-school requirements.
  • I earned my B.A. in Architecture and Town Planning from the Technion in Haifa, Israel,  my M.A. in Architecture from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy NY, and my M.S. degree in Computer Science from the University of Michigan.
  • Since I never learned the proper technique for breast-stroke, I taught myself to swim using my own 'technique', swimming underwater for three strokes and coming up for a breath on the fourth. Looks a bit unconventional (which means, funny) but is gets me up and down the pool with the rest of the swimmers...
  • I do things the Indie way, designing my own book covers (using my own art) formatting the text for print, and converting it to ebook format, all single-handedly.
  • My career spanned several professions—first as an architect, and later as a software engineer, software team leader, software manager and a software consultant, with an emphasis on user interface for medical instruments devices. The longest stretch of work was my eight years for Philips Ultrasound, developing a high-end ultrasound machine that never made it to market, because the company went out of business. This experience gave me the fine detail for the scene in my novel, Apart From Love, where Anita's womb is being scanned.
  • I travelled to China, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Britain, France, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil.
  • During this year, I published the first volume of The David Chronicles, titled Rise to Power. I am working furiously on the second volume, titled A Peek At Bathsheba, and I'm elated at the flow of it! I'm writing as fast as I can, trying to keep up with my character, David.  

My choice of inspiring blogs you will want to check out:

The Rules:
  •     Display the award logo on your blog.
  •     Link back to the person who nominated you.
  •     State 7 things about yourself.
  •     Nominate 15 bloggers for this award and link to them.
  •     Notify those bloggers of the nomination and the award’s requirements

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

We CAN see the world through the eyes of each of the characters

Lovely review for my novel, Apart From Love:

5.0 out of 5 stars Complex and relevantMay 27, 2014
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This review is from: Apart From Love (Kindle Edition)
Well written and engaging throughout, this novel does, as so many have indicated, reveal the multiple truths behind a dysfunctional family. The truth of many dysfunctional families is that everyone just does the best he/she can. The result is often a disaster; but we can forgive each other when we see the truth through others' eyes. This book does a great job of revealing the layers of dysfunction because we CAN see the world through the eyes of each of the complicated, struggling characters this author draws so perfectly.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Very moving!

I am deeply touched by the lovely review written by Siggy Buckley, the author of NEXT TIME LUCKY: Lessons of a Matchmaker. Siggy recently appeared on NPR with Melissa Ross' First Coast Connect on Home Swapping and her book on dating. This is what she wrote for my poetry book, Home:

5.0 out of 5 stars Very moving!May 26, 2014
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This review is from: Home (Audible Audio Edition)
I had admired Uvi Poznansky's exquisite art work and poems on Facebook for a while until I yesterday read her book "Home"- yes in one sitting; I couldn't put it down.
Both her poems and her prose are spellbinding manifestations of deep emotions and the essence of life. The poems of her father, Z. Kachel impressed and touched me equally. Astonishingly, they had never been published before. Though some were written decades ago, they still possess the same enduring quality when he talks about suffering, life, loss and death. Though stylistically different, both poets remind me of the works of Nelly Sachs and Paul Celan.
I will read the book again and choose my favorites. Highly recommended. I would have loved to see a couple of Uvi's drawings interspersed.

Spring and Memorial

Today I feel conflicted. I am torn between the awakening to spring, as celebrated in the Jewish tradition of Shavuot, and the remembrance of the fallen, as marked in the American tradition of Memorial day. This year the two holidays occur back-to-back, which makes the conflict even more palpable.

So in my own way I am trying to join these feelings together. In this small canvas I am putting the finishing touches, trying to bring the expression of one fallen young man back to life. 

This painting was intended to become a part of a public memorial project. But the way I approached the painting is intensely personal, with the widow and the family in mind. The size of the canvas (5x5 inches) also lends itself to an intimate connection at close range. I had David's face lean toward the observer, almost nodding to her. Perhaps one day his widow will receive this painting and  looking at his warm smile, she will recall his voice and will feel him spring back to life. 

To me this is one possible connection between Spring and Memorial.

His smile—even with those sharp fangs—is quite endearing.

He turns to me with a sly look. To my surprise, his smile—even with those sharp fangs—is quite endearing.
“Job’s wife, I presume? Hallelujah! I have been expecting for you for quite a long while,” says Satan. His voice is sweet. He must have sung in a choir in his youth, because in some ways he  sounds as pious as my husband. “Shame, shame, shame on you,” he wags his finger. “You sure made me wait, didn’t you...”
And without allowing time for an answer, he brings a magnifying glass to his bloodshot eye. Enlarged, his pupil is clearly horizontal and slit-shaped. 
Which makes me feel quite at home with him, because so are the pupils of the goats in the herds we used to own. 
Meanwhile, Satan unfolds a piece of paper and runs his finger through some names listed there. Then, with a gleam of satisfaction he marks a checkbox there, right in the middle of the crinkled page. At once, a whiff of smoke whirls in the air. 
Satan blows off a few specks of charred paper, folds the thing and tucks it into his breast pocket, somewhere in his wool. Cashmere, I ask myself? Really? In this heat? 
Back home, when I would count my gold coins, this was something I craved with a passion... It would keep me warm during the long winter nights... 
Then, without even bothering to look at me, Satan says, “I swear, madam, you look lovely tonight.”
For a moment I am grateful that my husband is among the living. Or so I think. Nowadays, influenced by the elders, he regards swearing as a mortal sin, as bad as cursing. He even plugs his ears, for no better reason than to avoid hearing it. But if you ask me, I swear: without a bit of blasphemy, language would utterly dull, and fit for nothing but endless prayer. Sigh.
Strangely, Satan does not frighten me that much anymore. And so, swaying on my hip bones, I strut out of the cave in his direction. I feel an odd urge to fondle his horns. Along the path toward him I make sure to suck in my belly, because in the company of a gentleman, even a corpse is entitled to look her best.

My sculpture (bronze) half-life size
In Darkness Take a Leap
Took me three months of intensive work to create

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Sunday, May 25, 2014

Crazy Like A Fox

A new review with an intriguing title, for Rise to Power:

5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Like A FoxMay 25, 2014
REgina (Christiana, Tennessee, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Rise to Power (The David Chronicles) (Kindle Edition)
I won a copy of Rise to Power by Ms. Poznansky.

Rise to Power is an interesting take on the story of David from the bible. As someone who tries to read the Bible daily, in order to appreciate this book on its own merits I had to set aside my personal beliefs. Once I was able to do that, I enjoyed Ms. Pozanaky's tale.

This book is like getting the opportunity to shadow David as plots and plans a way to gain King Saul's crown. There is a sense that David equally loves and hates King Saul.

One reviewer didn't like the fact that Ms. Poznansky used modern day language to tell her tale. I thought it only added to the charm of the book.

Is there sorrow in her? Is there hope?

"She is looking out the window. 
Perhaps she is immersing herself in the grays and purples quivering there, on the other side of the glass, reaching a blur in the cold October sunlight. Perhaps, with great patience she is waiting there, waiting for the night, for the darkest hour, which is when her image may finally appear. It will come to the surface in front of her as if it were a sunken spirit, rising from the deep. Out of nowhere. 
For now she seems lost, searching for something—perhaps her reflection—in vain. 
I worry about mom, about the little things, which to someone else—someone who does not know her as I do—may seem trivial, insignificant. I worry she is missing her pearl earrings. I must find them for her. The little hole in her earlobe has shrunk away, turning somehow to flesh. 
In a whisper I say, “Mommy?” and wonder how the air vibrates over the tender membrane of her eardrum, how it changes into noise, how she gets it when pitch rises, when it falls. 
Can she sense the change? 
At what point does it translate, somehow, into meaning? By what path does it penetrate, going deeper? Does it excite the nerves, fire signals up there, between regions of her brain? Does it make some sense, at least at times? Is there any point in talking to her? Is she listening? Can she detect the thin sound—scratched like an old, overused vinyl record—which is coming faintly from behind, from the far end of this space? Can she understand the words? Is there sorrow in her? Is there hope?"

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

In a dark night

Poem by my father

Translated from Hebrew by me

In a dark night with not a friend
I walked all alone in the world
A splitting burst of thunder I heard
And sea breakers that hammered and curled.

A thunder rolled over the skies
Wind gusts battered me with a cry
Terror blinded my eyes
I couldn’t tell an enemy from an ally.

In a night with not a friend, all bleary
I could see no shelter around
I walked on, broken and weary
Searching for hope to be found

My charcoal painting, untitled

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"HOME is an invitation, a very personal one, and should not be passed over"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Paint with a pen, write with a paintbrush


Contrary to popular belief, I see the brain working together, undivided between its left and right sides. It is overlaying its creative and analytical functions in every task. There are compositional problems to resolve, and color combination methods to gauge when you are painting a picture, at the same time that you are chasing your muse. The same is true for writing a story or composing a piece of music, with the added effect of time: a painting is perceived at once, more or less, while music and story unfold for the listener one note at a time.  

I paint with a pen, write with a paintbrush. My art strives to tell a story, and my stories strive to bring you into the scene being painted! Here is a good example of the mutual influences between art and writing. I painted this oil painting (seen below) a few years ago, driven to do so by a recurrent nightmare. A few months later I brought it to life in words, and weaved it into my novel, My Own Voice:

Just yesterday—when I laid there in bed, bleeding all day, not even knowing where I was—that was when at last, the dream found me. 
In it, I find myself in a public place, which is strange to me—even though I know, somehow, that I’ve already been here. I’ve visited this place, perhaps the night before. 
It’s raised like a stage, and flooded with light: a harsh glare, which blinds me. For a minute I can’t see nothing in the dark, beyond that ledge—but I know that them faces are out there, blank and blurry. They’re all there, hushing each other, gazing at me. 
I see myself standing there in front of them, naked.
Red-faced, I hunch up as tight as I can. I fold over my thighs, trying to hide, to cover my body, my shame—but my hands, they’re way too small, so my nipple slips out of my fingers. And there it is, circled by light, for all to see, and to jeer at me, and to lick their lips, which is like, glistening out there, tiny sparks hissing in the distance. 
For a little while, my sleep is light. And so—even as I’m looking straight into that spotlight, or like, reaching down to touch the ledge of that stage—I can tell that all this is false, it’s nothing more than a dream. But then I fall deeper, even deeper into it, and now I really believe what I see: 
Some thread is crawling on my skin. Laying across my knees is a strap of fabric, which is frayed and stained, here and there, with my blood. When I pull it in, trying to drape it around me, or use it for a blanket, it resists. It don’t hardly give in, ‘cause it’s tied to something—no, somebody—standing right here, directly over my bare back. 
Me, I don’t want to turn, but I take a peek over my shoulder. Wrapped in layers of rags and straps and loose ends, all of which is tattered and like, drenched in reds and browns, the figure seemed shaky. He lifts one leg, and tries to balance himself, teetering—this way and that—on one foot. His hand tries to touch the back of my neck—and misses it, grabbing a handful of air, instead. 
And his blood-red lips, they’re curled up, in something that looks an awful lot like a smile. A mocking smile, one that don’t change. 
In my dream, my feet must have frozen. I can’t move, can’t run away from him, or even climb off the stage, because at that point I’m weak, and too scared to even breathe, and because of that thread, which binds us. And so, rooted to that spot, I look up at him. At this close range, our eyes meet, and my heart skips a beat, ‘cause at that second, his are empty. 
Suddenly I catch sight of someone else, someone standing way over there, in the distance, behind him; behind the curtains, even. Except for her hand, which is caught in the light, it’s hard to even notice her, ‘cause at first she’s like, real shy, even modest, and keeps herself in the shadows, out of the spotlight. 
But then, she changes. Her long fingers, they’re gathered, one by one, into a fist. And twisted around her little finger, you can find—if you focus—the ends of the rags, and the straps, and the thread, all of which extend from there to here, where he stands; all the way, to the joints of his wrists and his elbows, tying them like, real tight. 
And from backstage, she’s pulling him—raising, dropping, tightening, loosening—making the puppet move, shake, jiggle, even dance on the tip of his toe, and like, bringing him, somehow, to life. I gasp, thinking: she can twist him around her little finger, if she wants to.
Me, I cringe as he puffs, breathing something in my ear. “Go, go back home, go,” says the puppet, in a voice that is not really his. “Go to the place, the place where you came from, you came from. Go back to your ma, ma, your mama.”

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