Eve and All the Wrong Men | Aviya Kushner

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"In the bitingly clever yet poignant Eve and All the Wrong Men, Aviya Kushner reimagines the Genesis story with Eve as an empowered woman and Adam as “The First Wrong Man” in a string of wrong men. Every word in these tightly-crafted poems zings as the poet takes the reader on a sensual and spiritual field trip to examine who and what we crave. This is a journey the reader gladly takes for “around the bend/of my happiness/there is more happiness—". With every page turned in Eve and All the Wrong Men, brings delight and more delight."

--Heidi Seaborn

Eve and All the Wrong Men is one of those rare literary offerings: I read it in one wolfish gulp, and then promptly reread it--oh, these poems! It was like going back for another helping of a most divine meal and finding every bite as delicious as those preceding it. In these contemplative, sexy poems, Aviya Kushner shares something real and full of longing and heart with us, and hers is a big heart. Read this book!"

--Christine Sneed



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Aviya Kushner grew up in a Hebrew-speaking home in New York. She is the author of The Grammar of God: A Journey into the Words and Worlds of the Bible (Spiegel & Grau / Penguin Random House), which was a National Jewish Book Award Finalist, a Sami Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature Finalist, and one of Publishers Weekly's Top 10 Religion Stories of 2015. She is The Forward's language columnist and a former poetry columnist for BarnesandNoble.com; she has received a Howard Foundation Fellowship, an Illinois Arts Council grant, and a Memorial Foundation for Jewish Culture Fellowship, and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize in poetry.



Strange to have men
in my building, in my apartment,
in my classroom, in my phone
and in my mailbox—
men in my life
but not in my life,
men in my living room, in the bathroom,
far as the hallway
but not in the bed:
Men of my childhood,
men of the long friendships
I have somehow clawed
onto, and through,
and then there are
the lovely older women
of my building on the lake,
looking out
onto the water,
utterly man-less, there at the end—
and I want oh so desperately
not to become
them, though in their pleasant
satisfaction I see
they have no wish to become me,
decades younger as I am.
And maybe to want
a man—a man in my life, completely—
is to want to become,
and one day that great
desire is over,
and so there are the man-less ladies
in their eighties
saying, I can just be, here I am,
in my fur-trimmed hat, being.