Cold Hub Press ~ J. Kates

freepost per copy – national & international

price NZ$19.50

The Old Testament


J. Kates


ISBN: 978-0-473-17781-2


Softcover chapbook 28pp




Two suites of ten poems: “Old Testament Voices” and

“The Arrest of Osip Mandelstam”, plus “Letter to Etheridge”:

a moving memorial poem for Etheridge Knight.



J.Kates is a US poet, literary translator, and co-director of the non-profit literary publishing house Zephyr Press. He has published two chapbooks of his own poems: Mappemonde

(Oyster River Press, 2001) and the award-winning Metes and Bounds (Accents Publishing, 2010), in addition to The Old Testament. A former president of the American Literary Translators Association, he has translated several books by Russian and French contemporary poets, and is the

co-translator of three books of Latin American poetry.



Cracking under Pressure


The morning sun slams into my eyes

like a gooseneck lamp in a gangster flick

saying, Talk, Buddy.


Last night I was cuffed and quickmarched

through iron corridors until I woke up.


I need to know my dreams. I need to know

why I wake up bloodshot, my head livid

with the bruise of night


and the Chinese water of birdsong

picking at my brain until I break

and babble.



© J. Kates 2010