aliyah (a primer)

Deeply honored to have aliyah (a primer) appear in Issue 56.1 of Denver Quarterly. Thank you, Lucien and fellow editors! To see these verses in print inspires awe and gratitude, as they are the first to appear in my novel… which I just finished… and which is slated for defense come early May. Halevai, CBA

catch light

Mallory tells me last night that on Shabbos I mentioned I ought to email you–“in passing” was the phrase she used. An odd choice of words, it suddenly seems. Oddly intuitive. We exchanged words merely three weeks ago. I had just finished Roth’s Mercy of a Rude Stream. Thanks for that (both sarcastic and sincere). You said it’d be at least another month before we could tell how the treatments were going. I sent you poems in place of the prayers we inherited. The last one about cicadas: “[they] follow everywhere I could never grasp / at dawn they remind me / catch light / catch light / shed.”

Thank you, Paul Lyons, for your wisdom and generosity. Thank you endlessly.




passenger manifest

As any rabbi would, with prayer, fill the gaps between the letters of his master’s name, I fill the gaps in and between my prayers with these words. On behalf of the victims, and with devotion to the city of my upbringing and the city beneath where my grandparents and great-grandparents rest, I offer this poetic genealogy:





Tin House 70, Winter 2016

“It is the belief of all of us here at Tin House that art is our resistance and our voice. Now more than ever we want to hear what story can tell us…We want Chaim ben Avram to talk to us in love poems, somewhere in the backyard of America.”


West Branch 79, Fall 2015


& tzimtzum: the contracture (PDF)

Chiron Review 101, Fall 2015


Links to Post-MFA / Post-Harlem haze

Chaim ben Avram