Street Preachers (a poem)

spiritual growth – i used to be preoccupied with it

maybe i still am, fixated on flaws

all the ways i fall short of a standard

even saint francis couldn’t meet

on the streets, i’m incited by insights

from preachers who peddle notions

of salvation & give me holy books

i peruse by glow of lava lamps

in the comfort of compounds

where i keep my secrets

& share my miseries

(Photo by Mark Fletcher-Brown on Unsplash)

Shanah Tovah U’metukah

The year 2020 has been a strange year, and so has the Jewish year of 5780.

As the sun sets tonight, we hope and pray for a better year.

What will 5781 bring us? Do we dare to dream of health and happiness?

Or shall we begin to brace ourselves for a long, hard winter?

It is our hope which will sustain us, and we pray for a better year.

5781 brings us hope, and another step closer to coming back together.

Book Review: The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

I’m always reading heavy and serious books like Kafka, the classics, or dystopian science fiction. So I decided recently to read something a little more light-hearted for a change of pace.

The book I picked up was from Rachel’s shelf – The Golem and the Jinni, a 2013 debut novel from Helene Wecker. The novel still has some serious themes, but it wasn’t the type of angsty existentialism I usually dig into.

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Medusa’s Eyes (a poem)

One look into Medusa’s eyes, you turn to stone

as Perseus knows – but the demigod is brave

he must save his princess

there’s no getting in his way

deep in the Underworld, toss a gold coin to

cross the awful river

Medusa slinks + slithers in her temple

‘till he slices off her head

uses it to kill the Kraken –

oh! how the gods play games with us

atop Olympus

one day they’ll pay for this

when they’re gone, forgotten

when we move to monotheism +

Zeus, Poseidon, the rest are studied

instead of worshipped.

(Photo from themarysue.com)

Note: I was inspired to write this poem after watching the movie Clash of the Titans – both the original 1981 version and the remake from 2010.

Shabbat (a poem)

I knew nothing of Shabbat before you

or the prayers we say on Friday nights

as we break off pieces of challah + let the candle

burn all night by the window –

I’m happy you’ve taught me, it’s brought me

a new ritual in this life, the life we share together.

(Photo source: shutterstock.com)

Saying Grace (a poem)

We say grace before meals, give thanks to God

for food in the fridge + what’s set before us

knowing not everyone is as fortunate +

there are some, right here in this city,

who are starving + scraping by –

God, thank you for our daily bread +

nourish those not at our table.

(Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash)

Everyday Saints

I was a mess in college.

Two years before I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I was enrolled at a university in New York with somewhat of a life trajectory, a moral compass, and many good qualities.

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Soldiering On (a poem)

We can soldier through these dark hours if we hold on to faith + meaning –

the government tweeted antisemitism last night, the paranoia set in

we covered the webcam, spoke in whispers

debated if it was intentional

I thought of Viktor Frankl + man’s search for meaning –

humans can exact great suffering on each other,

but they can never take our souls.

(Photo by Diego PH on Unsplash)

Book Review: The Plague by Albert Camus

I have a (slight) problem with going on book-buying binges. When I feel anxious, sometimes I buy a book. I’ve reined in this annoying tendency recently to cut expenses. But when the pandemic hit in early March, I saw an essay about Albert Camus’ novel, The Plague, and knew I immediately had to read it.

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