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Being Present-National Poetry Month

It is easy to forget that where you are is where you need to be. The past two weeks were the first large edit of my new novel in verse. Printed sections. Pieces moved around and moved again. Words cut. Poems combined. A story uncovered.

Novels in verse had a moment. They had a moment when they were the moment, the feeling, the breathing, the burning that everyone wanted. That moment passed. Their internal scrapes, grooves, molding of how I feel my writing, still remain.

There are many reasons that this novel in verse will likely never be published. The fact that it is a novel in verse is only one of them. Still, for me, in this moment, it was the only way structure the feeling and connection post Oct. 7. Breath in. Hold. Breath out. Grow tired. Ache. Burn.

April is National Poetry Month. With this poem I confirm my presence in the exact place I need to be. This poem is the first poem in the novel. It is the most universal. It is the reason I choose to live the rest of the story through the characters' voices. This poem shudders and strains, but also smiles, in each poem that follows.


Think of your suitcase

As a variable

The way to remember


The trip


Will be.


Each piece inside is


Information needed for

The tasks

That were

Will be.


Each time you use the data

Logic is

Each rule


Or will be.


Mom packed a lot of suitcases.

Jewish people packed a lot of suitcases.

Some slowly.

Some quickly.

Some with intention.

Others amid confusion.


The contents may have changed.

But the variables

The labels

Stay the same.


That is our superpower.



For more information on National Poetry Month


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