I wrote a book.

7 years ago, I started writing the poems that would become Anyjar, my first full-length book, which will be out by the fabulous Black Radish Books this fall. I got the email that the book was accepted for publication just a few days after giving birth to my daughter. I was split and sewed and happy. Anyjar was my first book baby: I rocked and shushed and changed and hated and loved that baby. I felt so very full by her existence.

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The Maternal Bone

Sometimes I open The New Yorker. But mostly the issues pile up, loggish and ready to be lit, in the wicker magazine holder (which acts more like a trash can) that sits on the bathroom floor. I subscribe for two reasons: (1) I’m a sucker for mail–especially the papery glossy stuff, and (2) I like to read the two poems featured in most every issue. When my daughter was a newborn, and I truly did not know what to do with myself, I’d sit on the lanai, open an issue of the New Yorker, and read poetry out loud while she screamed.

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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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