Your Fancy Monogrammed Staff – A poem for Parsha Korach

It's fun to get your name printed on things.
June 22, 2023
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Speak to the children of Israel and take from them a staff for each father’s house from all the chieftains … and inscribe each man’s name on his staff.
–Numbers 17:17

When I’m not writing poems
or preparing food and eating food

or telling my son about the thing
he needs to do that he forgot to do

or hoping other people will sing along
or thinking of hilarious things to say out loud

or worrying about inconsistent line lengths in my poems
I’m taking direction from the people of the world

who need their things graphically designed.
So it speaks to me that each of the chieftains

got their staffs personalized.
It’s like when we get business cards

or our name on the office door
or even a water bottle with our logo on it.

It’s one of the perks of the job.
It says we have arrived and this is worth

spending money to print our name on things.
It’s like we’ve been given a physical tenure.

Use your swag wisely, oh chieftains of Israel.
The people are looking to you and saying

let’s do what he says, his name’s on the stick.
You’ll avoid future indictments if you

take this responsibility seriously.
Play your cards right and, someday,

blossoms may sprout. It happened to Aaron.
It could happen to you.

God Wrestler: a poem for every Torah Portion by Rick LupertLos Angeles poet Rick Lupert created the Poetry Super Highway (an online publication and resource for poets), and hosted the Cobalt Cafe weekly poetry reading for almost 21 years. He’s authored 27 collections of poetry, including “God Wrestler: A Poem for Every Torah Portion“, “I’m a Jew, Are You” (Jewish themed poems) and “Feeding Holy Cats” (Poetry written while a staff member on the first Birthright Israel trip), and most recently “The Low Country Shvitz” (Poems written in Georgia and the Carolinas – Ain’t Got No Press, May 2023) and edited the anthologies “Ekphrastia Gone Wild”, “A Poet’s Haggadah”, and “The Night Goes on All Night.” He writes the daily web comic “Cat and Banana” with fellow Los Angeles poet Brendan Constantine. He’s widely published and reads his poetry wherever they let him.

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