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Posts Tagged ‘Richard Chess’

Everything I Know

By Richard ChessNovember 9, 2017

Everything I know fits inside my body, but where does my body end? Is it as deep and wide as the lake in which I swim? Is it as thin as an electric guitar’s high E string? The lead guitarist solos; my body bends, ascends, and descends with the notes. He’s playing a Gibson SG,…

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To Be Born Again

By Richard ChessOctober 9, 2017

The day after Yom Kippur 5778  When I finish being born for the fourth time, I will live in a house by the sea. The windows facing the ocean will hold the ocean, as much as glass can hold. The phone will vibrate with messages of peace. There will still be a trashcan: everything that…

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Questions for the One Who Waits

By Richard ChessSeptember 25, 2017

I wait only for you. –Psalm 27, translated by Norman Fischer Psalm 27 is read by Jews from the beginning of the Jewish month of Elul through the Jewish High Holidays: Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year; and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It is a psalm about how fearlessness and fearfulness come and…

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The Sweetness These Days

By Richard ChessAugust 23, 2017

On the phone, he says, Your mother throws me over her shoulder and carries me across the parking lot to the club house, the dining room. (She rolls his walker to a corner of the dining room where it won’t obstruct the servers and other residents who have come tonight for dinner.) His sense of…

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Who Is This Aliveness I Am?

By Richard ChessJuly 31, 2017

I am alive. I am alive. I am alive.     Who is this aliveness I am? What is this aliveness I am? How is this aliveness I am? * We sing, we chant. Our leader, Rabbi Jeff Roth. The words: a teaching from Rabbi Menachem Nachum of Chernobyl, a student of the Ba’al Shem…

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How To Intuit a Book Title

By Richard ChessJuly 6, 2017

How do poets and writers choose their book titles? I didn’t have a good answer to the question, “Why did you choose the title Love Nailed to the Doorpost?” posed at a recent reading, though I knew that sooner or later that someone would ask. I did have a superficial answer, but I hadn’t thought…

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Reading Love Nailed to the Doorpost

By Peggy RosenthalJune 19, 2017

If you want to be submerged in the depths of Jewish spirituality, this is the book to read: Love Nailed to the Doorpost, by Richard Chess. No, not “read”: at least not “read” in the way you would read an email or a newspaper or a novel. The poems and prose-poems collected in this book…

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On the 50th Anniversary of the Six-Day War

By Richard ChessJune 5, 2017

What I didn’t know in June of 1967 was that this month and year for Jews around the world was the moment of great triumph, the moment of saying to Hitler and his legions, you lose, you lose, you lose. Pride moved like a fever throughout Kingston Estates Swim Club, from the Jewish mother with…

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Passover and Government Presence

By Richard ChessMay 1, 2017

“In what ways do you experience the presence of government—city, county, state, federal—in your life, your daily life, your professional life?” That’s how we began, with that question. Asking questions, that’s the practice, isn’t it, that leads to liberation? And that’s why we were there that night, wasn’t it, to recount an experience of liberation…

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Dancing with Words During National Poetry Month

By Richard ChessApril 10, 2017

Here’s your assignment. Choose a poem you’ve written (it could be any piece of writing, really, an email message, a shopping list, a complaint to a cable service provider, a toast for a wedding—you get the idea. If it’s a poem, chose only a few lines. If it’s another piece of writing, choose a portion…

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