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Archive for April, 2010

On Refusing to Change My Name
@Sharon Niederman, 2010

We are a generation of name-changers
Susan became Shoshana
Barbara took Miriyam
Marlene is Mirabai and
Dorothy Sita

Sharon is enough to carry
Two syllables, holy and erotic,
Have confounded and grounded me
Always, like my Pisces,
Swimming in opposite directions
Anchored by earthbound Taurus Rising

Mother, blindly prescient,
Almost named me Shane
How different would life have been
If she could
I doubt she read the book
Maybe she saw the movie

But Sharon I remain, named
For two great-grandfathers
Samuel, merchant of pears and apples
Mordecai,  tailor of Ludlow St.
Neither did I know, but I do remember

Do not call me Chaya,
That secret name you do not know
And I do not answer
There are not enough new names
For all my vows, my paths, my loves.

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The Loneliness of the Long Distance Jew

With all the hope in my heart, and so many excellent reasons in mind, I moved to a small town in northeastern New Mexico about a year-and-a-half ago. Traveling the state on writing assignments these past two decades, I’ve  always felt at home in the small town setting. I came to believe that lacking the experience of actually  living in a small town in New Mexico constituted a major gap in my education. (more…)

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Two Weekend Poems

Tony Rubio

Tony Rubio, Tony Rubio
We meet at the side of the road
You say nothing about yourself
Until I ask
Wrench in hand
You admit to
Living in Wagon Mound
Teaching fifth grade in Vegas

Tony Rubio, Tony Rubio
Your hair is almost red, like your name
We will not likely see you again
But at this moment, you are the kindest person we know
And your presence is our good fortune
Somehow, we are deserving of your attention
Your strength, your time,
The interruption of your Saturday
As you travel north on I-25
To the hardware store? McDonald’s? The Spur?

Tony Rubio, Tony Rubio,

God bless you, Tony Rubio

You stopped to help.

@Sharon Niederman 2010 (more…)

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Ever since I found out that in 1934, the diva of the Algonquin Round Table married her second husband, Alan Campbell, for the first time at the El Portal Hotel in Raton, (then known as the Seeberg European Hotel) I have become obsessed with this out-of-the-way tidbit of literary trivia. (more…)

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