Artwork © Ira Joel Haber


Living as a twenty four year old in a thirty two woman’s body

14 weathers
In one day
I have lapped this park
So many times I dare not count
I watch a man walk past
And in his backpack is a
Roll of turf
Is he making a tiny garden
Or have the barbeques taken their toll?
I wonder about you
Your skin
And your trauma
There’s a tendency
To recoil in the face of suffering
But somehow I find myself
Drawn like a magnet to you

I speak about my heritage
My poetic heritage
And the rain comes down softly
Sounds like static
When I see me
Through her eyes
I stumble into self love
Not a common revelation

You mumble at night in your sleep
“I’m sorry”
And scratch your back so much
So much that it looks
Like there’s been an exorcism in the morning
Like you’re trying to count
All the spaces in your body
We speak about my dad
Like he’s already dead
I count the herb pots
On your shelf
Listen to the air
Rise from the demi-john
And feel like moving house

Life is short
Though I keep this from my children
Maggie Smith says
And it get it
I get it Maggie
I’ve smoked since I was fourteen
Out of habit of social anxiety
I always thought
I would give up when I’m 30
I’ll give up when I’m 40
I’ll give up when I’m 50
Who would want their children
To know
They’ve been ruining their body
For half their life

This is what I mean about trauma
I fight with myself
To avoid buying another
Packet of tobacco
And lap the park once more
On the way to the wee shop

My hair stays greasy this week
But falls out
It seems like in clumps
All of that hair
Down the one plug hole
How does the world survive?
How do we survive with all
The shit that’s thrown down our necks?


Claire Halavage is an English teacher living in Paisley and originally from Coatbridge (Scotland). She is interested in how the mundane becomes poetic and the poetic mundane. Her number one stress signal is beauty. She has been writing poetry for years and has recently begun attempting to get something out into the world.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer, photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows both in the USA and Europe and he has had nine one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 300 online and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Creative Artists Public Service Grant (CAPS) two Pollock-Krasner grants, two Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grants and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. in 2017 & 2018 he received the Brooklyn Arts Council SU-CASA artist-in-residence grant.