Split This Rock + Jewish Poetry

Thank you to Split This Rock for sharing “Fires on Highway 192″ in their Poem of the Week feature.

Split This Rock is hosting contributors from The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry. If you live near DC, be sure to catch us reading at Sunday Kind of Love this Sunday July 20 from 5-7pm at Busboys & Poets 14th & V St. location. Kim Roberts, Yvette Neisser Moreno, and Rachel Malis will also be reading.

Fires on Highway 192
by Deborah Ager

After Neruda’s “Disasters”

In Florida, it was raining ash because the fire
demanded it. I had to point my car landward
and hope the smoke would part, but it was a grey sea
absorbing my body. Cabbage Palms were annihilated.
Even the Indian River steamed. Black stalks stank.
The condominiums spit smoke into twilight.
Still, a cattle egret landed, preening, in a pasture
filled with embers – the cattle dead or removed.
And I was hungry; there was nothing to eat.
And I was thirsty and raised the river to my mouth.
And I was alone, and there was only that one egret
searching for a cow. The wind was a whisper on my tongue.
Ash on ash. Slumber shallow. I was a frown
in an unfamiliar city after sundown. Vultures circled
like assassins. I made a bed out of the road. I made a pillow
of misery and slept and had no story I wanted to confess.

From The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry (Bloomsbury, 2013)

Shann Palmer

In Memoriam: Shann Palmer

Dear Friends and Family of Shann, I first came to know Shann Palmer via Twitter. Over the years, I've heard people say Twitter is a dumb platform and claim it's silly to "mention what you had for lunch" on the internet. Those of us who used Twitter realized there was more to it than sharing our daily meals. If you used Twitter right, you could create or find a … [Read More...]

“If I Am Only for Myself, What Am I?”

This blog post originally appeared on The Best American Poetry blog. Hillel wrote: If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And, if not now, when? The Hillel I reference is Hillel the Elder. He was the leader of the Jewish Supreme Court in the Land of Israel in the early part of the 1st Century CE. Gathering material for … [Read More...]


Poets Drinking Carrot Juice: An Interview with Joshua Weiner

Earlier this week, I mentioned that Jerry Seinfeld’s series called “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” inspired my coffee interview series with poets. Each episode shows Jerry Seinfeld driving a notable car to pick up a comedian. He drives them to a coffee shop, and they drink their coffee and chat. Today's post includes an interview with Josh Weiner, who is one of … [Read More...]

Poets in Coffee Shops Drinking Hot Tea

Today, on the Best American Poetry blog, I interview the poet Kim Roberts. Months ago, I stumbled upon “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.” In each episode, Jerry Seinfeld drives a notable car to pick up a comedian. He drives them to a coffee shop, and they drink their coffee and talk. In the episode with David Letterman, Jerry Seinfeld drives a 1995 Volvo station … [Read More...]


Best American Poetry Blog

This week, I am blogging over at the Best American Poetry blog to talk about The Bloomsbury Anthology of Contemporary Jewish American Poetry, which I edited with Matthew Silverman. I wrote that I am "blogging this week," but I wrote the first post while at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (ACA) in New Smyrna Beach, FL. Thank you, ACA! You helped. I won't be selling … [Read More...]