MARTYRS

Sometimes I imagine Im sitting with

that old schizophrenic cross-dresser Joan of Arc

and were discussing what drives people

to lead others and what happens when you

lose that old charisma. Shes not Jewish

and doesnt quite understand

why I am blaming her

for not getting through the witch trial.

She even tried using those cliches of Shaw on me.

France is alone and God is alone

and what is my loneliness before

the loneliness of my country and my God?

You gotta live with the people in the madhouse youre in --

wear what they wear, Joan,

I say, And deny everything -

thats my motto. In the country of the deaf,

just say youre dont hear nothing.

Karen Alkalay-Gut

From The Love of Clothes and Nakedness (Sivan, 1999, 2003)