Booza is a short, creative nonfiction piece that reflects on a situation I found myself in on my first trip to Palestine, in the Occupied West Bank. I knew that I wanted to write about it for some time, but I wasn’t exactly sure how or what to say. When I started detailing the experience—we happened to be leaving an ice cream shop—the relation between the uniquely stretchy ice cream and the experience just jumped out at me.
One of the most interesting things to happen since this piece was published was in hearing stories from family about their own (much worse!) experiences. It’s interesting to think how I may have never heard these stories if I hadn’t written my own.
Booza is an essay that reflects on the impact of our experiences—those that push and stretch us—even in ways we may not want. Read Boozahere at Consequence Forum.
As part of their Valentine’s Special Issue, Blue River Review has published a fun little poem of mine, be (my forever valentine). A departure from many of my typical pieces, this poem is a light-hearted reflection of the all-encompassing nature of my own relationship with my partner & also happens to shout-out to some of my favorite things (Cheetos & daytime talk shows). Read be (my forever valentine) & all of the incredibly thoughtful pieces on Valentine’s Day at Blue River Review here.
The amazingly supportive and beautifully creative people at Prometheus Dreaming decided to breathe life into my spoken word poem, “Was it Something I Said,” and the result is truly earth-shattering. Featured as part of their monthly Thus Spake Prometheus (I knew all that college-age Nietzsche reading would come full circle one day) feature, the piece will be available during the entire month of February (2022) on their homepage and on their YouTube channel here.
Thank you to Prometheus Dreaming Editor, David van den Berg and voice actor Kerri Quinn for helping to bring this important piece into the world.
Lady L̶i̶b̶e̶r̶t̶y̶ is a poem that reflects on the irony of the United States utilizing female figures as some of its greatest emblems symbolically, while at the same time eroding women’s rights in practice, particularly looking at the most recent Texas abortion ban. This piece also reflects on the hypocrisy of public figures remarking on the lack of women’s rights in Afghanistan, all while pushing a patriarchal agenda at home. This piece is published in Inflections Magazine’s 2021 Fall Quarter under Feminism and can be found here.
Published in the Fall 2021 Issue of Mason Street, “Pat Tillman, the American Hero” was written as a reflection on the documentary The Tillman Story and juxtaposes the attention and questions surrounding Tillman’s life and death with the disinterest about an Afghan man, who also tragically died alongside him. In the documentary, they refer simply to this man as “that Afghan fellow,” which really struck a chord for me. I found this to be a reflection of a greater societal failing, in which we do not see non-Westerners as fully realized people, with lives, families and meaningful stories in their own right. The full piece can be accessed at Mason Street here.
This piece is (unfortunately) based on a true story I saw on my local news a few years ago about a small boy who was accidentally left in his preschool van, while his mother (who was homeless) was at work in the early morning hours. This tragedy stuck with me because I could not get past how it was ultimately driven by hunger and poverty, and left this mother powerless in her efforts to do the best thing for her son.
This poem is published in the Fall 2021 Issue of The BeZine, which is centered on the theme of Social Justice and Hunger.
Sandcastles in Gaza (or What We Destroyed) is a poem reflecting on the involvement of the United States in the most-recent attack on Gaza. This poem is dedicated to journalist and mother Reema Saad (30), who, along with her young children, was killed in the bombings of residential Gaza just days before the Eid al-Fitr holiday celebrations. News reports announcing her death featured a picture of her and her toddlers enjoying the beach and noted how she was pregnant with her third child at the time. This picture and her story inspired this piece, which reflects on the simple joys that we as Americans often take for granted, despite our country’s own involvement in perpetuating such horrors.
Pleased to announce my recent poem, “Settlement_Letter_Template_v2,” has been published in Friends Journal‘s September 2021 issue on Policing & Mass Incarceration. This piece was inspired by Breonna Taylor’s murder & reflects on the persistent pattern of extrajudicial police killings and the fact that despite there being more public attention on these tragedies, there is an apparent unwillingness of police forces to look within to engage in real, preventative solutions. You can read the full piece here.
You may (or may not) have heard about the death of a young boy, who was shot while riding in the back seat of his father’s car. This poem is dedicated to him and the thousands of others who unfortunately aren’t privileged enough to merit our will for policy change and recognition of human rights for all. For more information about Mohammad, the Israeli Human Rights Organization B’Tselem has posted here and Defense for Children International-Palestine has posted here.