June 19, 2009

Speaking Her Voice - Alana Joblin Ain

Alana Joblin Ain - poet, creative-writing instructor, freelance writer and all around creative spirit - generously shares with the WCC her amazing talent and voice.

The Slower you Travel, the Further You’ll Get

Sometimes I want to feel solidarity with Silda
but instead I think
this is none of my business
and wish there was a station above the News called “Good News”
and instead of people asking what I do, they’d say “what are you looking for?”

At the gym I am superstitious about what number locker
I will put my lock on
I look into the window of Pole Dancing class
and wonder if I don’t sign up because I’m shy?
or because I’m married?
or because I’m married to a Rabbi?

If I could go back and offer advice to an earlier self,
I’d make it specific like

Don’t drink
while working
in a foreign country
during a war –

Something to account for every occasion.

The slower you travel the further you’ll get, a woman tells me,
for no reason, without turning around
and keeps walking towards something only she knows.


God— it comes back so easily. I meet someone
who grew up in the town
where I once sat

on an old sheet in the park
watching fireworks explode
over Zeppelin tracks

first with my parents, then with the boy
I loved his fine sandpaper
sideburns, lemon and cedar

chips, Italian ices melting on the sheet.
Pink and yellow sky trail of
hazy dust heat­—


A pot falls to the floor
when I am just a baby,
I do not flinch.

My father realizes something—
fluid— trapped in my ears, I could not hear
at all, those first months

learned the world through gesture, shape—
my mother’s ripe lips moving close together,
then apart, into language I could not live without.

Alana Joblin Ain grew up in Philadelphia. Prior to making New York City her home eight years ago, she earned her B.A. at Oberlin College, studying English and Religion, followed by seven months of writing poems in Israel's desert, as part of the Arad Arts Project. Alana earned her MFA in poetry at Hunter College, where she also teaches undergraduate creative writing. Her work has appeared in Quarterly West, Crab Orchard Review, and RealPoetik. She and her husband, Rabbi Daniel Ain, live in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

For more information about Alana or to receive permission to reprint her work in another publication, please contact info@womenscollaborativecircle.org.

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