End Of Year

It’s been a long while since I posted. Over the past 9 months, pregnancy has made me read more, write less [publicly]. But now, as I count contractions, I can’t help but find myself with an overwhelming desire to make things: baby things, poem things, food things. I also can’t help but find myself wanting to strip things down by furiously cleaning, throwing away junk, organizing desk drawers.

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The Head of the New Year

Today is the second day of Rosh Hashanah, and while I’m not going to a synagogue (it’s been years since I’ve stepped foot in one), I’ve been feeling like participating in the ritual of this holiday. Maybe it’s because the baby is on the way and because Rosh Hashanah has never been about prayer for me, but about family.

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Baby Names

I stumbled across a gorgeous poem by Rachel Mennies the other day, called “Poem: For Rose,” which speaks to the ritual of Jews naming their babies after the dead. Mennies calls the ritual “practical,” but for me it is a practice—a religious performance, repeated and carried out through time so that, according to the Talmud, the work of God continues to be “drawn down into this world through a person’s name.”

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Into Submission

My husband, another couple, and I sat in the living room of an eco-designed concrete and wood constructed cottage on a vista in Molokai. We looked out at the shadow of Oahu resting upon the vast Pacific Ocean while sipping homemade Dark & Stormy cocktails in celebration of New Years Eve.

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For the Love of Chapbooks

Back in 2007, poet Noah Eli Gordon wrote that, “From the 16th to the 19th century, chapbooks flourished as a locus of popular culture, religion, folklore, myth, history, poetry, and story; for many, they were the sole link connecting them to the events of the day, and, implicitly, to a sense of personal identity.” in his article “Considering Chapbooks: A Brief History of the Little Book” in Jacket 34. Historically, chapbooks were sort of like our present-day Facebook pages, Tumblrs, and tweets.

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More than Sisters

Barbara lived with her husband Alex in one of the largest retirement communities in South Florida. Their apartment was only one flight up from my grandparents’ place, a modest two bedroom with low ceiling fans and a large mirrored wall.

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Make It Stop: Reflections on Ghettoside and Citizen

The morning started off with a gloomy chill off the North Shore. A few chickens pecking in the yard interrupted the early morning silence. My husband and I have a newly adopted Saturday morning routine. We sink into our side-by-side wicker chairs on the lanai, share a pot of coffee, and read until noon.

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How To Write Like a Woman

As a poet who is also a woman, writing in a space that has been historically dominated by men, I’m constantly trying to understand what it means to write like a woman. Is it the content of domesticity, chock-full of ironing boards, plated dinners, and brooms that make a poem “feminine”? Is it the language of the hyper-lyrical, the presence of the confessional “I,” or the omission of gender signifiers? Is women’s writing concerned only with the body and skin? Is women’s poetry political, or is it apolitical? Is it gurlesque, grotesque, or something else?

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