Monday, December 29, 2014

Tardis the Tortoise Goes to School numbers 1 and 2

Creature 1: I hear Aisha and Molly are gonna start a comic
Bunny: Oh really? What about? Love? Dance? Gender? Food? ETERNAL SALVATION?
Tardis: it better be about me you guys

A: Dude, did you see that the president of Argentina adopted a boy to keep him from turning into a werewolf?
M: Yeah! He was a seventh son.
T: I was an eleventh son. That's why I'm a tortoise
A and M: ...
M: I'm so sorry.
T: Nah it's okay, I really like lettuce

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Eighth night

The last candle-
wick has a
little flame left

Eighth day is
different, there's no
ninth night to

come, we're back
to one, to
oil, to exactly

where we needed
to remember we'd
been looking for

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The future

Once seeing
the future
I want it

Why is
my growth
yet to do?

Mrs. Which,
can you just
close the wrinkle?

Time does not
exist in a
line, there are

older and
younger people
all around us

Saturday, October 25, 2014


Written during the Hurricane Sandy indoor days, Oct. 2012, while studying at Yeshivat Hadar.

        Sounds like you are really
she said. I knew what she meant, but it still took me by surprise. Woke me up a bit. Hadn’t been thinking of my life like that, hadn’t designated these months as a time for personal development, for growth, for "discovering myself," none of that sort of stuff. I guess sometimes a journey takes long enough that you cease to remember that you're on one, that you're traveling across some sort of internal or external ground. It’s like riding the Trans-Siberian Railroad for three days straight. If you look out the windows you see the landscape scrolling past, but with the curtains shut you can forget you’re even moving, forget that there’s a life to live outside of your companions, your bed, the toilet, the aisle, the water dispenser, the instant soup. You’re stationary. In a space instead of traversing a space. The trip becomes everything that has ever existed—until you arrive, when all of a sudden, it’s like the trip never happened. Your journey, once its own lifetime, becomes some hazy recollection of happiness, a dream bookended by disparate realities, a dream severed from reality. As if you’re a Sorry! or Candyland or Chutes & Ladders game piece that landed on a square, slid along a squiggly path, and ended up on another square farther along the board. For a second you slide along, maybe accompanied by some sort of sound effect, but no one really cares about the squiggle after the fact, not really.
        Except for in conversations about one’s "Jewish Journey." Then everyone’s fascinated. It’s suddenly all about the squiggle, about using calculus to tease out the discrete points and angles and velocities that form the curves of your increasing and decreasing levels of frumkeit. What were the seminal events and people that led you to be where you are today? How did you morph, silently, ponderously, to accept ideas and positions you once ridiculed?...

Monday, October 20, 2014

Foul-weather friend

God sees me still and silent
in the doorway. "It's been a while,"
God says. "Feeling a bit distant
from people again?" I nod numbly.
"Come," God says, and I obey,
let myself down to the tiled floor,
rest my back against God's chairleg.
God tousles my hair. I close my eyes.
"You can stay here tonight," God says.
"I'll let you know when it's morning."

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Dirt road

"Come on," he says.
"But the dust," I say,

"It's so beautiful
in the air, it

glows, it sparkles
rainbow in the sunlight."

"Stop kicking it up," he says.
"You've gotta let it settle

if you're ever gonna walk on it."

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Coffee is in the
other building, which is
closer to class, I'll

sit there and finish
my Buddhism reading and
hope it changes me,

as Rav Eitan says,
it's not learning if
it doesn't change you

An acorn spins on
the path like a
compass, one of those

magic ones that don't
point north but rather
to where you should go

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Rosh Chodesh Elul II

Left shul before shofar
So wake me up, wind
Play with my hair
Pull me to awareness

Monday, August 25, 2014

Rosh Chodesh Elul I

I eat pizza
with friends as the sun
descends on a tefillinless day,

talk future
with a new classmate
between sunset and stars,

chuck flour
with grain moths
as my first act of Elul

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Dybbuk Respoken

"I came to watch that I might see a stranger God"

Friday, August 22, 2014

The center and the peripheries

There is a pebble before my cross-leggedness
Its rippled shadowedge darkens toward the other edge of its vertical surface
In looking I hear the whispers stronger than the voices
God is like the negative spaces of a doughnut, in the center and the peripheries
An ant traces its own alphabet in the grainground
It does not have to fall off the face of the earth to reach
transcendence, it can burrow in deeper,
all the way to China

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


This time last year
in a dark noisy room
I leaned to my left
and you leaned right and I said

"This time last year
I was crushing on you
so hard!" And you lit up
and said "Me too!"

and like years piling
upon gone-by years
our arms found rest
upon each other's shoulders

and we swayed one more time
to the same old niggun

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Praying in Pearlman

I pace the
curved avenue
between chair rows

as if on
a long call
with a friend

half-diverted by
a carpet labyrinth

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

49 toward the Omer

God, when you speak to us, speak of vastness. Speak of knowingness, babies' eyes. Speak of yellow flowers. Speak of the smell of rain through trees. Speak of night, of the crooked line between beard and neck. Speak of goodness. Speak of simplicity. Speak of okay. Speak of okay.

48 toward the Omer

I look forward to the trampoline to come, feeling my feet held by you among black fire words before they release me up again like a person throwing a dove from her cupped hands into the air with a soft push for encouragement, trajectory, instruction for the alonetimes

Maybe that's why we're supposed to take our shoes off in holy spaces, so it's easier to notice the caress, the slight bounce. Why wear clothing before you, God? Help me remove this raincoat, these galoshes, I didn't mean them, I'm not sure how they even got there

47 toward the Omer

hod shebmalchut

A year ago today I wrote about singing melody instead of harmony and now I read this poem to a different collection of melodymakers and I notice my process of coming into the group, and, relatedly, into my own, standing on this rock with a friend friend

I walk away from the campfire and for once am okay with the beauty of the song continuing on without me. Am I continuing on without the beauty of the song? Thirty minutes later, a mandolin, a guitar, two voices, a stack of music, carpeted floor, peace.

46 toward the Omer

netzach shebmalchut

I hold in beyonddimensions where points are planes, moments eternities. Let's hold hands now. It's noted. Shabbat as niggun: Sound changes enduringly. Shabbat as spinning paper: Drops of color swirl, remain. God says you gave it I took it there are no takebacks. Perfect, I say.

45 toward the Omer

tiferet shebmalchut

Rolling a bookshelf down Beacon Street. Dress, bandana, running shoes. Pavement irregularities. Two men assist at tough spots. The week encircles. The moment rises up, all else falls away. I push with a foot when the dolly runs upon edges. There is nothing but this.

44 toward the Omer

gevurah shebmalchut

There is something enticing about being one who stands selfcontained, solid from the inside with malleable edges but nothing really changes, a woody core with leaves on her fingertips and places for people to nest in her hair, the wind buffets but she smiles

(h/t The Silken Tent by Robert Frost)

43 toward the Omer

chesed shebmalchut

Multireligious Service of Thanksgiving. The day before graduation. A whimsy, those streamers on poles, primary colors whirling pinwheelwise ahead of the distinguished huddled presences of divinity, unfurling anticipations, joyful souls clothed in black with accents of velvet and sleeves perfect for hiding telephones

I take the stairs two at a time in my ushergarb, poke my head in. It is time, I tell the faculty. Endearing, their chatterful coalescence into linestanding, bumblingly oblivious to the solemnity below, these magnificent doctors, these kind grinning kings and kingesses

Friday, May 30, 2014

42 toward the Omer

malchut shebysod

One minute til nightfall and I've put off writing this all day, though I've written other things, emails and lesson ideas and one list of Things To Do This Summer, but the counting of the days is more inexorable even than prayer

Monday, May 26, 2014

41 toward the Omer

ysod shebysod

Home. The place that predates tefillin. Up too late. Quiet outside of my music, my keyboard-tapping, my nosebreath. Old fears of night when nothing moves. Compulsive touching of doors until they hang just so. The taste of triangled spanakopita, refrigerator-cool, tender.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

40 toward the Omer

Maybe I could have a journal that I would only write in on Shabbat and I would only ever open it on Shabbat and I would never let myself make money off of anything in it, assuming that I could

In this long time of inexorable impending revelationstrike I do feel like I'm desertwandering, except that implies not knowing where I'm going, and I do, both that and that even as I walk toward I might be walking away, away

When do thoughts of community and habit and fear and reluctance and promises and even beauty equate to a mountain that I hold over my own head? I'll try to be selfkind until my next Megillahdik acceptancemoment, it always comes

Saturday, May 24, 2014

39 toward the Omer

netzach sheb'y'sod

Dad wakes me at 2:45am. Dark. Bathroom, then screen door opens and closes, defined sound in the silence. Watch the step down, they say. I walk my way over stones and through the gate, lie by the pool.

The West Virginia sky is starred with all of the stars. Five sets of eyes gazing up for an hour. The dog sleeps amid blankets. Infrequent streaks, long periods of being. A good time to practice nowness, I think.

Other thoughts gently come. God as a nondirective counselor. I'm not sure what to do, I say. God says, It sounds like you're feeling aimless. Nah, I say, it's more like too many aims, and none quite deep enough.

*Note: the time was 1:45am. Given my policy of not editing after the day of writing has passed during the Omer, I am not changing the original, at least for now.

Friday, May 23, 2014

38 toward the Omer

Tiferet shebiysod

I could write a poem about the beauty to be found in the foundations of one's existence and how much I miss math and creating but I'm too busy playing with my brother's hair so peace out y'all

Thursday, May 22, 2014

37 toward the Omer

I sit down (well I'm already sitting, I'm on a plane) to write a poem about doubt and realize that many things feel more attractive right now, like saying the prayer for traveling or taking a nap

Moscow, two thousand and nine. Pasha's apartment. Sitting cross-legged on the carpet before the travel laptop I've forgotten to turn off. A moment upon which nothing and everything depends. The indicator light glows steady. I stare motionless.

If I'm not with You who am I if I am with You who are they if I am with them who are You if I don't know can I be with you if not now when

Once we reach altitude we hit turbulence and the man to my right and I turn to each other and I say We're good even though there is nothing to anchor my words but my own certainty

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

36 toward the Omer

Late afternoon. A bat ben bat Levi and a ben bat ben bat Cohen daven mincha in turn between the two baby grands in Practice Room 312. Rotating watch over what is nowhere everywhere and always.

She wraps the phylactery straps back into their resting positions as he sinks into a preemptive farseeing wistfulness she notes There will be music outside of the Temple too right he says It's not the same

Beautiful pain, wrenching hope, waiting against wait for the day in Jerusalem where his gifts will spill out of his hands before the stones of the outer wall. Tsimtsum music. Hidden sun allows clouds to glitter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

35 toward the Omer

malchut shebhod

I wonder if I could raise the outer layer of my skin just a bit so I was conscious of its enclosing attribute whether I would feel like I was being held all the time

My newfound soulblanket gives me a tissue for my besnotted nose and I rest in this place where it is safe to cry and the safety is beautiful enough that it leads to more crying

Evan sits at my kitchen table and laundry sits on my bed and books on Catholic liturgy sit in their library-given plastic carrying bags and my tiredness sits as prickles all over my upper arms

Two faces in the recital hall back row a strange surprise with all the matter of factness of I'm your friend that's what friends do and I realize oh that's what it's like I'd forgotten

You people the handlinked farandolae dancing around the rooted trees but on the side of life not of nothingness and actually you're the rooted trees and I'm a dancing thing in the center needing that

Monday, May 19, 2014

34 toward the Omer

Yesod shebHod

Sidewalk, friend, twilight, bushes, coolness, breath, night. Two lines that cross always have that point at which they meet, I say. Is that a poem yet? you ask. It is now, I say now.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

33 toward the Omer #2

The person behind the counter at the coffee shop liked my sequins and I liked their hair colors and skirtedness and neither of us contras though we're both the type. We'll get tea.

This dance floor--spinning skirts passing held glances moving bodies splendidly determined and undetermined in distribution--humble acquiescence when you let go to become again one firefly lost to me among the soullights--

a glorious ember sauntering away through the air in amiable aimlessness that however aimless is undeniably awayness--it's not winking out, I tell myself half-convincingly, it's just winking for a very long time

33 toward the Omer

Hod shebHod

Splendor within humility or humility within splendor? There is no need to choose, it's one word after all, our layers constantly internalize and externalize anyway, charged sentiment particles giving off and absorbing energy

32 toward the Omer

Netzach shebHod
endurance, ambition within humility, splendor

We drift from street to street as music floats among the neighborhood hills, a patchy aural mist in place of rain that does not come. The week waits before and after now.

Revival appears as snow peas out of a Ziploc baggie, bursts of dance, a stone path made for this one seated conversation, the first chord of a Hendrix song plucked into being

This drummer gets it, he really does, sound pulled out of moment, inherence just waiting to be cupped between hands, nurtured, brought to human awarenesses, sunflecks ever appearing on the ever-shifting waves

Cupcake tin

God washes out the cupcake tin, water collecting in separate pools, tilted out, collected again, tilted out

Friday, May 16, 2014

31 toward the Omer

In what might be our last hug (how can it be our last hug) I let go before you do because I continue to be scared about showing too much affection

although there is no reason to hide it anymore because this was our last hug (how can it be our last hug). It sinks in that I let go first

which means that you would have been good with a longer hug and I could have gone for it instead of worrying and it would have been beautiful as one last moment

(how can it one last moment) instead of what it was which was me worrying about sinking into it into us for too long although there was beauty there. God says you gave it. I took it. There are no takebacks.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

30 toward the Omer

All you've gotta do is write thirty words, Molly, thirty words between the papers, thirty words and then it's time to switch laundry loads, thirty words and don't forget davening

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

29 toward the Omer

Feeling doubly removed from Buddhism, adamantly attached to attachment. There is yet beauty, I self-remind, in watching "your" balloon float away into nothing. Empty hand, connection yet. Baby steps.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

28 toward the Omer

Mary Daly teaches us that rapism, being cosmic in proportion, must be met with “Great Refusal” rather than refusal on a case by case, population by population basis.

Monday, May 12, 2014

27 toward the Omer

God is like Grandma's charm bracelet stringing us all together even as we alternate clinking and dangling separately like swinging chairs on that lovely amusement park ride

Or maybe God is like Grandma herself with the bracelet the world and it's a good thing God never sleeps and puts Her world on the nighttable

Sunday, May 11, 2014

26 toward the Omer

Hod shebNetzach
humility within endurance

Paper on theological method. What would it mean for the world to have significance beyond our conceptions of what it means for something to have significance?

25 toward the Omer

Walking across Central Park I see trees whose pink petals cover the grass below them as if they'd dropped handfuls of jewels through their hands
reminding me of last week when I was looking at trees thinking of the need for the flowers to fall before the leaves come in

and how this could relate to that first glorious rush and then the more settled type of love that comes afterward, or so they say
as I've never quite gotten there myself I don't think, and I realize that that's probably not how flowers and leaves actually work but still

Periods might also be like that, another cycle of necessary steps, though the image of standing gracefully in menses is less picturesque than these trees.

One of my old folks' home friends tells me "Nothing is forever. And if it gets better, that's even better." Another died three weeks ago.

Walking back across Central Park by the big lake after the rainfall I come across a part of the path half-covered with puddles lit pink
from the pink-flowered trees hanging over the path and there is moment and radiance and awe. The puddles stretch at least a hundred meters ahead

and I have to stop and I am overcome and I whisper to God, Are you going to speak to me? and stand there listening
before realizing that I don't know how the message might come so now I am left paying attention to everything as I continue walking home

The puddles lose their eternitylook as I pass them. Life's moments are mundane but seeing it all laid out before you--what beauty there is.

My Keds keep me balanced on the curb and my arm curves over the lakefence railing. Tree reflections in muddy water are like sepia photographs.

Friday, May 9, 2014

24 toward the Omer

tiferet shebnetzach

Haven't been showing enough endurance when it comes to schoolwork but maybe my endurance task for today was getting to New York by bus

Thank you for being one of today's beautypoints, Mahmood, laugh lines in the rearview mirror, teaching me my numbers again, ashrun, thalatheen, arbaeen, chamseen

I hope next week you can make it to jumah instead of waiting at the airport for passengers. Seems you're with God anyway

and of course the reverse is true too but praying can make truth glow brighter, like dancing a slow waltz around the living room

after twenty-four years of marriage. Speaking of, God, I'm writing a paper on your caring about non-humans--can we find some time to talk?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

23 toward the Omer

You know those people who when you make them smile it just makes life happy and like there is meaning to your existence?

22 toward the Omer

If I am not for you who will be if I am only for you what am I if not now when
If he is for me are you for me if I am for her am I for you if not now when
If you are for me not zim who are you if you are for her not me who will be for me
If she is for you not me who are you if he is for zim who should I be for for you
or for me or for him or zim or her who will I be in being for whom if not now when

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

21 toward the Omer

Malchut shebtiferet

Beauty sleep is not resting long enough that you wake up with a better looking face but rather resting long enough
that you wake up with a face better able to look at what it's waking up to and see its beauty

There is nobility in that meeting of body and soul and day, a stately molasses dance, a delicious sunlit morning courtship

Sunday, May 4, 2014

20 toward the Omer

What an elephant in the room you must feel to be, God, nobody acknowledging you when you raise your hand
except for the teacher who says "I know you know God but let's give someone else a turn to answer"

leaving you asit on your fingers, eagerness melting into anxiety as the rest of us rack our brains in vain

19 toward the Omer

I found the leaving of Shabbat difficult tonight but as I stepped down steps my skirt did that thing
where knees and wind make it undulate sin curve style and I thought "Though I need to figure out
a better description than that my nineteen poem could start ' skirt in the wind. / I thought of you'"
and then for what I remember felt like the first time in my life nobody came immediately to mind

Saturday, May 3, 2014

18 toward the Omer #2

Mom sent me a picture of a double rainbow over our house and I thought, rainbows upon rainbows
"What more is a rainbow than colors out of reach" my Pandora radio sings ("Swept Away (Sentimental Version)")

18 toward the Omer

Souls are just these little droplets of water that need a bit of dirt to come into here
Sometimes the drops combine with other drops to become larger water drops at least for a little while

Wasn't it something as a little kid to watch the drops of water coming down the car window?
Their paths would vary a little bit every time a new water drop trailed down an old rivulet

We kept a water dispenser over a bucket at the Siberian elementary school and the drops made music
I made a recording of the music of the dropwaters. It's on my computer somewhere. God also remembers

Friday, May 2, 2014

17 toward the Omer

Tiferet shebTiferet

There is a certain balance between the two of us here on this stoop and the universe,
some sort of mutual acknowledgment and attentiveness mixed with deference, difference, a recognition of our nonoverlapping magisteria

How is it that appreciation only comes through the experience of being separate? Or through distance's anticipation,
which itself speaks the distance into being? God, are you most here when I have no you-sense?

Correlation not causation, it's a parabola, there are two points where the curve meets the x axis

Thursday, May 1, 2014

16 toward the Omer

Gevurah shebTiferet

Trailing my hand in the water leaves eddies. Karen says "beauty in disturbance." I move forward.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

15 toward the Omer

The Reverend: mild, cheery, big of stomach. We dance close tonight, small circles. He says
"I talk to God all the time." I look overshoulder and think and then forget.

Monday, April 28, 2014

14 toward the Omer

One more day to redeem this week of counting and actually have some discipline
though maybe this year the second week's less about work and more about awe

Has my guilt over not accomplishing enough been a distraction from what is happening?
Certainly guilt over being distracted by guilt is not conducive to much of anything.

Reframing is in order. Today, I remind, is the day of malkhut within gevurah.
I am ruler of interpretations! Just don't say I'm a meaning maker. The meaning

has always been here, this moment, this doorstep, the night air soft and smiling

13 toward the Omer

I can't really tell if the loneliness from last week is actually gone
or if it's just that it's gotten buried under all these leavened carbohydrates

What listening isn't happening anymore now that I'm listening to my music again?
Though that makes it sound like I had been listening, which I wasn't

I tried a few times but always ended up singing over the whatever
Listening to myself is a good place to start, I say to myself

You know, black holes are places of great energy output, at the edges

Sunday, April 27, 2014

12 toward the Omer

There are times when I want to go back and fix things
but the very notion of going back speaks to the space between

How can I tell you that I didn't doubt for one minute
that you'd be back and it wasn't that you were never there?

God says you gave it I took it there are no takebacks

11 toward the Omer

Library dreams. Stir awake, turn head. My love disappears between bookshelves.
Refocus. Tamira has taken up residence in the next chair over.

Swing around, legs over armrest. We watch a squirrel recover food.
Are you all right? she says. Your toes are red, she says.

They're warm, she says. Mental note for shidduch resume: warm feet.
Come here, she says. Obligingly lean forward. Hand upon my forehead.

You're warm, she says. You've got a fever, dear, she says.
I say Whenever I think I might have a fever and

ask someone if I have a fever I never actually have
a fever It's funny It makes me feel special when I

actually have a fever It's like relationships and I go silent.
I say I'm going to write today's Omer poem about this.

Dedicate it to me, my friend says. I say I will.

Friday, April 25, 2014

10 toward the Omer

On the way back from minyan toward car on the
tree-lined street flanked by friends I say it's the flowers
against the sky, not the flowers, it's the flowers against
the sky that's the beauty, it's flowers light colors dark
background, flowers on sky, I've been thinking about it for
days, oh just look, Will, the flowers against the sky

Thursday, April 24, 2014

9 toward the Omer

In loving memory of my grandmother, Sylvia Greenfield Moses,
may her memory always be for and of blessing

"Today while the blossoms still cling to the vines
I'll taste your strawberries and drink your sweet wine
A million tomorrows shall all pass away ere I
forget all the joy that is mine today...." Quiet

falls, really it was there while we were singing,
that must be why your eyes are now closed,
I zip away my mandolin, we put on coats,
we leave with you asleep, I always look back

two or three times to get one last glimpse
in case it is that, though I don't know
why I privilege sight in such a way, sound
stays longer, I can still hear you say "marvelous"

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

8 toward the Omer

Chesed shebiGvurah

The beginning of discipline week. Rainy. Tired faces.
Everyone seems to be doing "okay." (We know
what that really means. Each person says it
with the same pause, the same reflective quality.)

Little glints of lovingkindness as I head onward,
my backpack still trailing crumbs of affliction bread:
Duncan and Hannah slide into my cafe booth;
Two relief-filled hugs take place in the courtyard,

executed coatless, with love and tight hold swaying;
I inquire about a new friend's ring, discover
it is bearing the ninety-nine names of Allah;
that dude there's also wearing pink All Stars--

though the rainbow patterns on our pairs differ,
we are clearly shoe buddies, kinfolk, irrefutably bonded

7 toward the Omer

My friends hold hands as they ask
what it is that I'm looking for

One of them holds my hand also
and even as I speak of lonely

it's really not that true, not tonight

6 toward the Omer

I pray Hallel while a woman walks
the labyrinth of stone behind me

There is joy in her contemplation
and praise in my murmured songs

Solitude is a hard necessary thing
that softens with sound and wonder

Trees look bigger from upside down

Sunday, April 20, 2014

5 toward the Omer

Sometimes I have all these
thoughts and they are really
something to share with you

And then there are only
five minutes until it's time
to turn my computer off

And I've just found out
that I have no oven
to cook my frittata in

Thank goodness that I already
have all the ingredients that
I need for scrambled eggs

Saturday, April 19, 2014

4 toward the Omer

You are my nourishment
today, this song, your
harmony, making us for
once two voices twined

Manna is much lighter
than people are so
I don't have to
ask you if it
hurt when you fell,
you know, from heaven

Isn't it nice when
God knocks on your
door and instead of
running off when you
don't answer in time

turns the handle anyway
crosses the room sits
down on your bed
at a safe distance
and asks what's wrong

Sometimes Shabbat only starts
feeling like Shabbat right
at the very end

Friday, April 18, 2014

3 toward the Omer #2

I ask God
for some manna

God replies that
I got some

yesterday But I
need more, God,

it's disappeared already,
give me those

words again walk
me there show

me one more
time I always

lose it I
forget so darn

quickly these days

3 toward the Omer

I ask God
for some manna

Turns out that
it's been coming

down for quite
a while now,

actually. I reach
back to white

petals, light through
windows, that hail

pelting us so
absurdly as we

scurried back home
just yesterday morning

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

2 toward the Omer

The start
starts after
the start

1 toward the Omer

(hesed shebhesed: benevolence that is in love)











Friday, April 11, 2014


I thought it would be
another forty-nine days,
give or take, not like I was
counting or anything

but here you are,
here I am, here we
are you're so refreshingly
here and I don't think I'm even
blushing at all

it's calm here,
don't you think?
all the noise has gone away
just the two of us and this
wind, this torrent that whips my hair
and seems to blow you right into me

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Proverbs 8 - Ecclesiastes 1

I stand at the entrance
to the roof she cries to me
a gust of molecules pushes my
molecules tucked behind
my molecules with more
molecules the sun is
setting it will rise again
tomorrow and she
will still be here
crying Your name, I have
your name, you are counted

Friday, March 21, 2014


To call this this a taste of World Divine
prevents it lasting past the sight of stars
except in half-translucent jagged shards
of harmony and heart and wax-tinged wine

that fade as going on means letting go
of breath to breathe another time instead
until one day the memory is dead
of what we maybe once desired so

or so it seems til interlacing fingers
speak to life a piece of this that lingers

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Meta (Potentially)

According to my grandpa, proper sonnets
have one stanza more than mine have had.
I look online and find that—oh, gosh darn it—
he is right, of course. I'm in the bad.

Now comes the choice to change my form or not.
In just another couple lines we'll see
if I decide to drink that dusty draught
of rhyming scheme that rhymes along til "g."

What might each poem actually hold
if I allowed it fully to unfold?

Monday, March 3, 2014


On our walk to class I ask you
if I'd left without my coat

You say yes and I realize
it's not actually that
cold out and I'm fine
in this sweater

You hug me
before we get into
different elevators

going to the same place
There are music stands
poking out of the snow and I

pull one out but it is bulky
so I put it back and leave the rest

Friday, February 21, 2014


My teacher says that when you break a cup
it's best to think of it as having been
a broken thing before you picked it up.
Illusory, the wholeness it was in.

Beneath the metal's sheen was always rust;
the dream was dead the moment it was born.
The stars were never more than colored dust,
my feelings for you never more than torn.

It hits me as I see that you are calling:
you see rose where I see petals falling

Monday, February 10, 2014

Indecision Cycle: poem 1

what I do know
is that that sh
irt sitting on top of
those other shirts
needs to be just sl
ightly farther
to the left and
just slightly farther
back toward the--
back of the closet

it feels so much
righter there

especially after I
pat it three times
with the tips
of two fingers

four times

actually five

Thursday, February 6, 2014


If I were not me I'd be sleeping now
but me I am and so awake I stay.
My slowing thoughts bespeak the undertow
that pulls to bed and then another day,

but I drift aimless high above its reach;
my mind befuzzed does not react to sense,
and I'm more like to swim right back to beach
than give my soul and body recompense.

And so the tide I know I should pursue
recedes without me every night anew.

Thursday, January 30, 2014


us as semirandom planedots
in softly scattered existence
is not enough I want to turn
tail scurry back under the
security of covers where
tandem ribcage risefalls
are a meditation on that
we are together definitely
together finitely together de-
finitely together together together

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Cleaning #4

I fold the Shabbos
tablecloth in half
the embroidered side
interior along with
the crumbs of today

fold it in half again
lay it over the back
of a kitchen chair think
What if I could fold
you as well

into the topside
of this tablecloth
take you home
unfold you next
Shabbos in my

own kitchen

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Cleaning #3

I am careful
about which books
I let touch

each other Partly
out of respect partly
out of fear of crossed

boundaries They won't keep
to themselves, you see,
unless I make sure of it

They'd share secrets at night
be different in the morning

Mixed, you know, and unsure
what religion to raise the kids