A Steinian Passover

Objects, rooms, food. Gertrude Stein wasn’t a mother, but today when toys scatter the floor, laundry has exploded in the bedroom, and I keep thinking don’t forget the oranges, the diaper cream, the shank bone (?) while the baby sleeps, I think of Stein sitting in peace, eyes softly closed at 27 rue de Fleurus, composing the sections of Tender Buttons.

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Motherblood

“…but I abide, accepting in so far as I can, that I am taking the only road open to me, the only one I’m allowed to drive on this way until some unforeseen detour alters my course”

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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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