Disaster Relief (Flint, Michigan 2015)

Pharaoh’s magicians, you apprehend 

too late that technical slights 

and sleights-of-hand resolve nothing; 

the techne you seek, the immense stillness 

of negligence. 

Conjurers, your hands 

at rest give answer to Israel’s gestures 

with the rust that makes our rivers bleed


J.L. Wall’s poetry, essays, and fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in America, Modern Age, Hollins Critic, Ordinary Times, Jewish Fiction.Net, and Baseball Prospectus—Wrigleyville. At the University of Michigan, he teaches and writes about modernism and Jewish American literature.