Alicia Ostriker


POEM: 'Naming the Thirst'

By Alicia Ostriker

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POEM: 'Ghazal: The Minimum Wage, 2014'

By Alicia Ostriker

Having dinner before the president’s state of the union address
My beloved produces a rant on the topic of raising the minimum wage

He fumes as he has fumed on more than one occasion
it would be fucking good for the economy, raising the minimum wage

only he does not use this language. We are microwaving the wild rice.
What would reduce income disparity, aid consumption? a higher wage.

We are finishing the Thai spicy beef dish our granddaughter made
when she stayed over with us last weekend, cooking for no wage

but our love. We are eating spinach cooked with onions, coriander,
cardamom and butter. We agree that raising the minimum wage

has been shown by studies to have no effect whatever on unemployment.
We fiercely interrupt each other to announce this, which is the wage

of marriage. Would congress approve a bill requiring companies like Walmart
and Target that employ more than x thousand people at minimum wage

to keep x percent as fulltime employees getting health benefits
along with their minimum starvation wage?

Not a chance, says my husband, not this broken congress, we pour another
glass of Argentinian Malbec, we drop the topic of the minimum wage,

I have a cookie with walnuts in it, the kind my granddaughter adores.
Soon we will see what the president says about the minimum wage.Read More


POEM: 'Zohar'

By Alicia Ostriker

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POEM: 'I Fought the Law and the Law Won (A study in pronouns)'

By Alicia Ostriker

He defied his dad and got beat up
He worked for the gang and got shot
They wished for war and the war came

She sassed her mom and got the ice treatment
We murdered the whales and our mother is furious
They wished for war and the war came

You falsified the data and the drug killed
She bribed the inspector and the building fell
They wished for war and the war came

We spent beyond our means and went broke
We pissed on Muslims and now they hate us
They wished for war and the war came
I wished for peace and the war cameRead More


Bound for Social Contention

By Alicia Ostriker

Bound for Social Contention
‘The past is never dead. It’s not even past.” So said William Faulkner in his “Requiem for a Nun.” If proof of this statement is needed, the history of Israel — where events thousands of years old are still alive and kicking — is a perfect instance. And within this history, Genesis 22, the biblical story of the binding of Isaac by his father, Abraham, is the quintessentially living proof-text. Reverberating through the centuries, interpreted and reinterpreted, an unparalleled emblem of faith, or a distressing darkness, in Jewish identity, the Aqedah (binding) is not simply myth.Read More



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