Temporary, or: Forever

An American sentence:

His child’s “help” building their sukkah was useless but filled him with purpose.

What’s an ‘American Sentence’?

Allen Ginsberg, inventor of the American Sentence, felt that the haiku didn’t work as well in English. Ginsberg decided to remove the line structure of the haiku, maintaining the requirement of 17 syllables total. He felt that removing the line count freed the American Sentence up for the idiosyncrasies of English phonemes.

The requirements:

  1. Composed in one line;
  2. Syllabic, 17 syllables;
  3. Condensed, written with no unnecessary words or articles;
  4. Complete sentence or sentences;
  5. Includes a turn or enlightenment.


The Jewish autumn festival of Sukkot is upon us. Some people know this holiday as ‘The Festival of Booths’ or ‘The Feast of Tabernacles’.

Anyway, I completed constructing and decorating our ritual hut (i.e. ‘sukkah’) on Monday before the festival began at sunset, and my seven-year-old daughter insisted that she wanted to help. To be frank, her participation was… not helpful, but it was incredibly meaningful because of her excitement and interest.

She’s old enough now that she could actually get involved in the physical construction of our sukkah – and she did participate with great enthusiasm, which makes this annual hassle totally worth it for me!

Let’s write poetry together!

When it comes to partnership, some humans can make their lives alone – it’s possible. But creatively, it’s more like painting: you can’t just use the same colours in every painting. It’s just not an option. You can’t take the same photograph every time and live with art forms with no differences.

Ben Harper (b. 1969)

Would you like to create poetry with me and have a completed poem of yours featured here at the Skeptic’s Kaddish? I am very excited to have launched the ‘Poetry Partners’ initiative and am looking forward to meeting and creating with you… Check it out!

40 thoughts on “Temporary, or: Forever”

    1. ❤ Colleen ❤ ~ by definition, a sukkah is always outside. And, by definition, one should be able to see the stars in the night sky through the holes in the ceiling 🙂

  1. I wondered if you built a sukkah. Our older child is visiting. They have a new job, and now they get off for Jewish holidays. It’s nice your daughter wanted to help.

    1. ❤ Merril ❤ ~ yeah, I build one every year, and the primary reason is that I want my daughter to have one. She's sweet, and it's very nice that she wanted to help, despite her not actually being helpful 😉

      What kind of job in the USA gives your child off for the Jewish holidays!?

      1. Your daughter will probably have very fond memories of helping you build the sukkah.

        It’s a new job. They were kind of burned out in social work. This is an organization that helps and promotes LBGTQ+ equity in Jewish life.

        1. Bonzer job, I’m an Aussie Transman,I must check to see whether there is such a thing here. I’ve worked from the ground up in several churches and in an unofficial organization in the Catholic Church. There is a group here named Dayenu for LGBTIQ… Jews. Though I don’t know which Synagogues are friendly. We currently attend a Community friendly Uniting Church,but you still need to check the Web to find them.
          So how is it in Israel,generally, for Rainbow Jews?
          Sorry for butting in.

          1. Depends where, Andrew – Tel Aviv is famous around the world as a gay vacation destination spot – it’s been consistently rated one of the most LGBTQ friendly places in the whole world.

            On the other hand, Israeli society is, by and large, very traditional and/or religious. Unfortunately, Arab society is very unaccepting of rainbow humans, to the point of real violence, and ultra-Orthodox Jewish society also rejects them, even forcing them out of their homes and communities.

            But there are some openly gay Members of Knesset, even in the Likud (which is right-wing).

            It’s a wide range of attitudes here.

          2. Though I vainly expected better, it seems about the same as here. So sad after all this time.
            I have just been appointed a Presbytery Lay Preacher but I’ve got to make sure whether Community People are welcomed there before accepting an invitation.

  2. My parents told me I’d never get anywhere with poetry and I guess they were right

    I bet your kid will have a different outcome in life

    Amazing how parenting is important but disregarded in America

    1. ❤ Delia ❤ ~ I'm sorry your parents discouraged you. To be fair, most poets never "get anywhere" – it's not a profession that most of us actually make a living at! 😉

      Why do you think parenting is disregarded in the USA in particular? I'd never thought about that, TBH…

      Much love,

  3. the way I read it David I am not sure whether you had decided whether your daughter was a pain in the proverbial or whether it was a pleasure all the same -?

    1. She’s a sweet, well-intentioned child, but her help only slowed me down (when she gets older, I’m sure she’ll be able to really help). But her company and interest was a pleasure 🙂

  4. I am familiar with the expression “Feast of Tabernacles”

    🤸‍♂️not helpful, but it was incredibly meaningful because of her excitement and interest.🤸‍♂️

    Sweet, wishing you a season of overwhelming joy and an abundant harvest.

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