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The lump in my throat called life

The first sensation is a swell in the space behind the back of my tongue but before my esophagus. What is that space called? High up on the other side of gagging? I call it my crying space. The space tears come from. Ha! You thought crying started scientifically in some space known as ducts, No way, Jose. Crying starts as a lump — there in that undefined on the anatomical map because it’s function ...

I don’t know why I’ve been dreaming ’bout the Echelon Mall

Tacos for 79 cents, mild sauce ask for extra and squeeze Children’s Place, a tunnel with carpet inside crawl through the storefront window My first Walkman wasn’t Sony downstairs at a stereo store in the corner next to Strawbridge’s across from Heroes World before Heroes World moved upstairs One time downstairs I saw a man there the inside of his ear on the outside But that was when it was still cool because it wasn’t cool ...

My heart hurts with how much I love libraries right now

I’ve been suffering the symptoms of drought since I moved to Israel three years ago, but I didn’t know it until I swam again in a sea of books; otherwise known as the English Department Library at Bar Ilan University where I am currently studying Creative Writing. Where my heart is opening faster than my throat can bear. Wider than I thought it could possibly stretch without ripping apart, my heart, my throat. But I ...

Music is a Gift with Legs

I’m a big believer in the magic of books, music, and people falling into your lap when you least expect them to and when you are most ready to appreciate their messages. (For this reason, I’m about to download The Happiness Project since three people in as many days have referenced it to me.) But just because the wisdom fortuitously appears at just the right time doesn’t mean its vessel hasn’t fallen into your lap ...

Blogger challenge: My ideal hours would be …

Sitting on the carpet combing tracks down your long brown hair with a blue-handled brush — Sitting on the carpet across from your wrinkled hands shuffling cards for a game of Gin — Sitting on the carpet with my knees tucked inside my nightgown, mouth cartoon-like forming the words, “Tell ’em Large Marge sent ya.” Little you giggling — Sitting on the carpet by the sliding glass door where the morning sun warms me like ...

Lay flat to dry

I’ve started to play with my label. It’s itching me a little. I tried moving my neck side to side to see if it would readjust comfortably on its own. Didn’t work. So I reached my right hand back over my shoulder. Stretched my collar all the way ’round front to see Mother. Wife. 39. Chief Marketing Officer. Size small. Made in America. 35 % Israeli. 100 % Woman. 21 % Buddhist-to-be. Hand wash warm. Prone to ...

Art of attraction

Art begets art, don’t you think? Of course, we may disagree on the definition of art. But I find the more I notice, the more I notice. The more I write, the more I photograph, the more I dream. The more I read, the more I feel, the more I write. When you open up — even just a little — to noticing and noting, you are actually working your art muscle. What I say ...

This poem comes in pencil only

This guy popped out of nowhere after 30 or so years just when I needed him most. He looks like a dapper old cat, but what you can’t see … what he’s hiding behind his back … is his secret weapon. And exactly what I need right now. A pencil sharpener. It’s hard to explain exactly why I found him where I did (inside a personalized pink plastic container holding personalized pink hair ribbons), but ...

Tell me a secret I don’t already know

Almost as much as I am fascinated by memory and by man’s search for meaning, I am insanely curious about secrets. I’m fascinated by why we keep secrets, and what happens when they’re exposed. But I am also very, very afraid of them. Not just mine. And what may happen if and when they are revealed. But yours. Your secrets scare me, too. I’m deathly afraid of the unknown. Of the uncertainty of what you might someday ...

Return to sender

I let go of Shira yesterday. I called her up on the phone, walked over to her house, met her on the path there, and let her go. She laughed. So did I. It was swell. I had in my hand 18 year old Shira. With love, I gave her back. To 40 year old Shira. Some would call this surreal. Others would call it silly. I call it an extraordinary gift. How did it ...

Pretty lies

If I could play piano as deftly as I do in my dreams If I could sing and you could hear the rich tones I do when my voice echoes in my ear If I could put down words, the true ones that bubble up and swell in my heart This is what I would bring forth into the world. Something like this: [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=igj20M84hbo&w=420&h=315] But I only tap, tap, tap a little Heart & ...

What’s Off-Limits When I Die

Who gets to decide what of yours gets published after you’re gone? Who says that your journals, your letters, your doodles in the margins get to be publicly shared posthumously? I assume the obvious: Your next of kin. Your estate’s executor. But I wonder — those of us who read the words of the dead without their explicit permission (The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, The Diary of Anne Frank, Kafka’s The Trial) — do ...

The Things We Keep

When my husband and I were first married, we were part of a group of people in Tucson, Arizona designing a new cohousing community— our very own little American kibbutz! This is actually how the community was described to us by a colleague, and why our ears perked up when we heard about it. We had never heard the word cohousing before then, but we knew what a kibbutz was (or we thought we did) ...

Since I put your picture in a frame

There’s a photo in one of the albums in one of my cardboard boxes that nobody posing would want me to scan and post anywhere. It’s a #TBT that will never happen, and yet I almost wish I was bold enough to post it anyway because there’s a glorious photobomb inside an awkwardly posed reminder of a difficult time. In the photo, I’m looking particularly young and particularly blonde —  caught in a rare moment of ...

The poetry inside other people’s cardboard boxes

A new hobby is birthing itself, pushing its way out.  Like when I took to exploring New York with my neck cranked back gazing up at building sides looking for signs of  shoe polish advertised 100 years ago. A new research topic. A new obsession. The confessional. Sylvia Plath. Anne Sexton. These are writers I never read. Can you believe it? I’m embarrassed to even admit to it. (Though I already did.) I never read those ladies on ...

Egyptian Eye

The weekend arrives and most of us crave comfort food. Doesn’t matter if we’re so old we force ourselves to gulp down steel cut oats with flax seed meal and craisins. What we really want is challah french toast. Or bacon. Or grits. We want our mom, our dad, our Bubbi over there in the corner, back of their head to us, shoulders hunched over, feet inside slippers, flipping something hot on the stove with ...

An Open Letter to Time: I Know the Truth About You Babe

Dear Time: Your linear passage is ruthless. We notice this early, but don’t grasp it til it’s too late. Your strict adherence to forward motion is maddening, and yet reliable. It is a gift, in fact, For we must flow with you, while we foolishly ache to change you (as if we could). We cling to you, but you move at lightning speed. We can’t hold on. We spend you like there is no end ...
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  • Books |

Book Review: The Ambassador

For all my love of time travel and exploration of whether or not we could or should alter the past, I’m surprised I don’t read more fiction in the category of alternative history. Perhaps I will now, after reading The Ambassador (The Toby Press), a novel by the late Ambassador Yehuda Avner and…
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  • Books |

Almost Book Review: Mary Ruefle’s Madness, Rack, and Honey

It’s an almost book review for two reasons: 1. I haven’t finished the book. Of course, I am certain many reviewers — ones who get paid for their reviews, even — don’t always finish the book they are slated to review. In my case, the early review is reasonable since Madness, Rack, and…
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  • Books |

Book Review: Dear Luke, We Need to Talk

Book Details Title: Dear Luke, We Need to Talk, Darth: And Other Pop Culture Correspondences Author: John Moe Publisher: Three Rivers Press   Review It was in one of my favorite online magazines, Fast CoCreate (a Fast Company publication) that I first heard about John Moe’s anthology of satiric correspondences which fictionally …
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  • Family |
  • Friendship |

I wrote a letter to a friend

I wrote a letter to a friend today and inside that letter — which was not a letter but something like a letter sent by electronic mail — I composed my feelings into something like feelings. And it’s a pattern, my tendency to compose somethings like. It’s not a pattern…
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  • Environment |
  • Kibbutz |

Gem in the Galilee

My dad and my husband have this routine: My dad, an archaeology enthusiast, always keeps his eyes peeled for the undiscovered artifact when he visits Israel. My husband always ribs him, “They’ve already found everything there is to find, Paul.” I take my dad’s side on this one and whenever archaeologists make a big…
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  • Mindfulness |
  • Parenting |

Their stubborness, their bodies

Yesterday wasn’t the first day I was reminded that we accidentally on purpose train our daughters to give up rights to their bodies. Even though the more mindful of us will have conversations with our young ones about ownership of their “private parts,” about “stranger danger”, about saying “No,” there…
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  • Love |
  • Philosophy |
  • War |

Color of

“War is what happens when language fails.” — Margaret Atwood * * * * * This is the color of my voice these days … Almost Silent. Imagine it there in a box of 64 crayons. In my mind’s eye, Almost Silent is wrapped in Ecru But its waxy innards…
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  • Books |
  • Survivalism |
  • War |

Review: How to Survive a Sharknado

Book Details Title: How to Survive a Sharknado (and Other Unnatural Disasters) Author: Andrew Shaffer (with contributions by Fin Shepard & April Wexler) Publisher: Three Rivers Press, July 2014 Review In 1999, when Chronicle Books published the first in what would eventually be the popular Worst-Case Scenario book series, I was…
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  • Poetry |
  • Politics |
  • War |
  • Writing |

Sexy Quiet

What if I made the choice and the choice was Quiet? It’s true sometimes Noise tricks me into believing he is life. What with all the heart racing and the jumping out of bed. Gentle she, Quiet, though sometimes tiresome allows me the freedom to kiss my children goodbye and think…

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