Brand-New, Freshly-Published Audio Poem

‘Word Problem’

The title is reminiscent of Math class in which we and you and you and me and you and I and a train was coming in this direction from that direction carrying this many people or that many oranges and there were apples going in the other direction in a car on the highway that paralleled the train tracks and when would they meet and crash if there was a place where that could happen or would they pass each other and the apples and oranges be safe?

You know the drill, right? It’s a word problem! Only in this case the word problem is … well, you’ll have to listen to find out! Do it here (at Muse Press’s Bent Ear — Thank you, Lonnard! 🙂 )


Endangered language resources, by the way — for the interested:

Endangered Language Alliance, N.Y.C. (New York City):

Language Conservancy:


The Real Ice-Land

Buried BerriesIcicle TreeGroovy GrassSeemingly Stormy SkyOne night after circus study in Fanta-Se (known to most of the rest of the world as ‘Santa Fe,’ or ‘The City Different’), a friend told me it was only going to get colder, with the currently falling rain beginning to freeze around dawn, and this was going to be my best chance to start heading back east to arrive in time for Channukah as my mom wanted. I had another goal, and that was to attend the ‘Upside-Down Photo Booth’ event at the Sky Candy aerial arts school in Austin. So … I began the journey and as my friend later informed me a weatherman said about that weekend, ‘the temperature fell off a cliff.’ It was at least ten degrees colder than anyone expected, almost immediately. Leaving Albuquerque heading east around midnight, as soon as I got out of the city there was snow … I thought it would end soon, and be fine. Instead, the next four hours were some of the most terrifying of my life, with a very serious accident happening right in front of me — a bright blue, brand new pickup truck hauling something-or-other was in the right lane, the left lane, right and then off the highway completely, saved from turning over more than just onto its side by the whatever-it-was it was hauling. I’d never seen a jack-knifing save somebody’s life before! Luckily, state troopers were stationed regularly with flashing lights so I could report the accident about two minutes later, and then I continued on my way … finally getting to stop in Santa Rosa, the woman who checked me into the hotel said it’s the windchill that makes it so no matter how high you put the heat and defroster on, your windshield can’t be cleared well enough to see through, and a man from Alaska said he’d never seen the weather and visibility so bad up there, with black ice everywhere. It was funny to me and affirming because I’d just been thinking how much this snowfall with ice on the ground was like a TV show I’d seen about ice truckers in Alaska, only this was worse! To know for sure it turned out I was right was a great feeling. The next day the weather was still barely passable and I only made it as far as Yukon, Oklahoma, where someone told me Amarillo, Texas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and Tulsa, Oklahoma were the three cities that got the most ice in all of the U.S. Coming into Oklahoma I had seen some billboard stating “Oklahoma. So much to discover,” or something along those lines and I laughed thinking “Yeah, right.” Oh, was I WRONG! I’d heard practically all my life of the beauty of the northeast in the fall, and I knew lots of people went up there to drive around just to see the foliage, and maybe take pictures of it, too … even as far away as Israel I’d heard of the beauty of Vermont, but Oklahoma had never been mentioned to me as any kind of special place to go and the more I drove through it, I wondered why and felt I had been cheated and misled, literally. It was too cold and I was not prepared well enough to take pictures of and document every beautiful thing I saw, but I did take pictures of what I call ‘icicle trees’ glinting in the sunlight, and understood for the first time that many holiday decorations are not made up at all, and actually do come from real-life natural phenomena, although I imagine those were originally seen and turned into home-adorning objects in Europe rather than any place in the ‘New World.’ Not only were the sights enlightening, but also the sounds … when the wind blows through the branches of my new-found icicle tree wonders, there isn’t the sound of rustling leaves but a tinkling, the kind you hear in music … now I know where it comes from as I’ve experienced it myself. It was a life-changing drive, as it turns out, and my reward for going through that danger is now I know an incredible place I’ll be happy to go back to again when I’m better prepared with warmer boots, a thicker longer coat, and anything else I need to withstand the tumbling temperatures so I can show the people who can’t be with me what it is that’s so magical about winter in this barely-spoken-about treasure of north Texas and Oklahoma, U.S. of A.! **  Ashira Malka 18th December, 2013, Rockville, Maryland ☺

Peace and Persistence


I’ll be presenting poems of peace and persistence, written during the time my hometown was being bomb-targeted and I took to art so as not to get uselessly caught up in opinions of people who know all somehow without having had a bit of experience in the area … poems of artistic response to war, including what was published this fall by Poetica (, something responding to the world-wide crisis of language attrition (learn more here:, and beyond that I must always leave a little room for some spontaneity …. Please feel free to join me at the Takoma Park Community Center at seven-thirty p.m. on the nineteenth of December, 2013, and after the readings (I won’t be the only one.), we can chat. 7500 Maple Avenue, Takoma Park, MD, 20912. Thank you.

Art Show

My art show entitled ‘Nothing to Say, Something to Show’ is now up at Beanetics Coffee Roasters in Annandale.  It’s comprised entirely of acrylic markered paintings on canvasses round and rectangular, square and diamond-shaped, with thin frames and thick ones that need not be hung but can rather stand on their own on any flat, safe surface.

Music Makes Silence

If in order for something to exist it must move, as atoms are made up of rotating parts and even smaller are these funny energetic and constantly moving threads, then that movement of course creates vibration even if by human hearing we deem these vibrations to be inaudible and therefore non-existent.  My point here of course is that since music is literally what makes the world whether it’s going round, standing still or bursting as it one day might, music is in everything including that which we call silence.  Music makes colour.  Music makes the visual arts possible.  Music makes everything that is.  I hope, then, that you (my dear audience) will not mind if I share a so-called non-musical (as if there were any such thing) piece of art or two.  Thank you so much!  🙂

My Musical Musings

I don’t consider myself to be a musician, but that doesn’t mean I’m not one.  I find the difference between inner and outer — say, thought and action, actuality, and/ or actualization to be interesting.  J-Lo thinks of herself as an athlete.  That’s how and what she was raised to be.  Does she sing?  Sure.  So do I.  Do I share that most of the time about myself?  No.  Am I an entertainer?  Well … performer, yes.  I do that naturally, as it comes.  If I’m only entertaining at any point ever, please kill me.  (Not my body, though, please.  Leave that be ….)  I hope to educate, just not in a classroom all the time.  Too boring for me, as I never did like school in the first place.  All that too-much sitting.  Yuck.  I prefer to stand but not still, prefer to move and make use of the corpus I inhabit.  I have incarnated, come into this corpus (body) for a reason, and I don’t believe that reason was, is, or ever will be to ignore it for the sole sake of my mind.  My body is my home, the only one I’ve ever really known.  My mind surrounds that body, keeps it safe and directs it where it needs to go.  My heart burns and yearns for the chance to bring body and mind together, always asking for:  “No fighting, please!”  It’s hard for the body and mind to always get along, though.  Then there is that gut that sometimes turns in circles, gets tied up in knots of not knowing, wanting to get back to the root.  To be tied to the future and the past all at once means middling, meddling, managing to be right now, right here, wherever the here of the moment happens to be.  Join me?