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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press

Why do bad things happen to good people

By: Eric Sirota

is beside point. It’s more about finding

the right punctuation. It would be no kinder

to saddle her body with the

ellipses - the breathing tube, that well intended

puppeteer. Who would not choose to sleep 

rather than lay awake with a helpful hand

down her throat? Picking her

nose, flicking her uvula, taunting

her restless  conscience. 

But the choice to disconnect 

entirely must be the ultimate

mind fuck. Feel this or stop

being the type of thing that feels? 

Narcissus wishing to become

the flower, the Golem returning 

to mud, the character begging

the author that there be no sequel. 

And here we are, laughing and sharing 

food. All who knew her a family. 

Doesn’t that make her exit

the strangest kind of blessing?


Eric Sirota is a spoken word poet, author, and lawyer living in Ann, Arbor Michigan, by way of Chicago, by way of Evanston. He has been widely featured on Button Poetry, was a 2013 & 2014 Chicago Grand Slam Champion, and was the co-Champion of the Great Plains Poetry Pile-up 2015. Last winter, FreezeRay Press published his chapbook, Holy Days, a collection of persona poems from the vantage point of different holidays. He spent the last four years supervising students who represent borrowers in foreclosure at the University of Illinois College of Law. Recently, he began a job supervising students providing free representation to veterans at Michigan Law School. His attempts to tour have proved difficult due to his terrible sense of direction. You can't miss him. He's the tallest Jew for miles.

"I'd rather not go into too much detail, but I think the interesting thing about this poem is that I actually wrote it at a family member's shiva. Shivas are wonderful in that they're a chance to see and mourn with lots of friends and family. They also basically ensure you don't have to cook a meal for the next forever. But shivas can also get somewhat overwhelming. You feel like you're hosting the biggest party you've ever thrown in the midst of grief, which is hard. So, needing some alone time to process, I snuck away for a few minutes and wrote the first draft of this poem."


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