I am about to go to sleep, but I need to say something that has been eating away at me all night. Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon as his “senior counselor and chief West Wing strategist”—which, to my ears, sounds like one of those invented positions for someone who isn’t really qualified for a regular position—looks like the beginning of almost every Holocaust-doomsday scenario the rebbes would paint for us when I was a high school yeshiva student. I always took them seriously, but part of me also resented what came across, given our relative comfort at the time, as fear-mongering. No more. To draw a direct line between Bannon and the Nazis—whether he personally would stop short of a Final Solution or not—is merely to take him at his word. It is terrifying that this man actually has an official role in government. I am scared, and I am angry, and I am, have been, ready to fight for all the people Trump has made vulnerable, but I find myself wanting more and more to know who my, our, the Jews’, allies are in this. It is not a comfortable question to ask.

As the husband of a Muslim woman and the father of a son whose name marks him as foreign even though he was born in the United States, I have been reading with care, gratitude, and a welcome sense of solidarity the posts in my Facebook feed about how important it is not to despair now that Trump has been elected president; and I have been thinking about the role I might play in helping …

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The issues raised when one chooses to make literary art out of trauma are complex and, as have issues surrounding trauma in general, they have been getting more and more attention. Over at the Ploughshares blog, for example, Tracy Strauss has been writing a series well worth reading called Writing Trauma: Notes of Transcendence. Yesterday, at the Western Maryland Independent Literary Conference in Frostburg, MD, I had a chance to offer some remarks on the topic as part of a panel called …

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I am at work on an essay about white privilege that I am tentatively calling “Am I Alive Today Because I Am White?” It’s actually something I started trying to write about a year ago, after Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, Missouri by Darren Wilson, a white police officer and Eric Garner was essentially strangled by Officer Daniel Pantaleo and his colleagues. One of the things I am trying to write about is a troubling (to …

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Upcoming Events It’s been a while since I’ve posted here, but June is coming and I have a lot to tell you about, starting with Ghostbird Press’ 2016 launch party, which will be on June 26th, from 5-7 PM at Fatty’s Cafe in Astoria. I will be celebrating the publication of my new chapbook, For My Son, A Kind of Prayer, along with Roger Sedarat and Kimiko Hahn, whose new chapbooks–Eco-Logic of The Word Lamb and Resplendent Slug respectively—Ghostbird has also just …

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Note: the poems in this video deal with sexual violence. This reading, which took place at the Long Island Writers House on April 17th, was truly powerful. It was a privilege to be the first reader among such fine poets. I hope you’ll take a look at the video and, if you haven’t already, consider buying a copy of Veils, Halos & Shackles for yourself or someone else.

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IV viii in Chechnya, a Russian plane has dropped a bomb on a village the radio says, I just heard, ten billion to Yeltsin from the IMF, just today, just like any South American darling devoted sonofabitch, I know this is no news, nor walls of photographs of children in Bukavu, tents of refugees in Goma, it’s their own fault, before it was communism now they just don’t know how to work the gift of …

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