Ramblings of a New York Law Professor

New York Family Law / Edition 3 by Sara P. Schechter

Ok people,

I can’t say if I’m pro-choice or pro-life,

women’s rights and reproductive health

and don’t wanna risk all of you

getting sensitive on me–

but ladies, one word of advice:

if he’s a deadbeat or a douchebag,

and you don’t want to spend the rest of your life

dealing with him and a kid who’s gonna be heartbroken

and have daddy issues and mommy issues

and separation anxiety and abandonment issues

and tissues and hours of therapy you can’t afford–

No matter how cute he is or how drunk you are,


Thank you. Class dismissed.

Have a safe weekend.

© Alicia Khoo

NaPoWriMo Day 13

*Numerous expletives have been censored for coherence sake


All You Can Eat

7 Train

Clanging chains that tie carriages together on the 7 train to Queens; we meander as stars crossing the dusk in a paralleled drifting, Biggie’s face on graffiti ten feet tall, snowed over. The guy next to me looks like Santa Claus who got robbed whilst asleep. His torn gloves wave as he shows me $4.50 in quarters and dimes.

All you can eat breakfast,
can you imagine?
Unlimited ham, toast, eggs
and coffee.

Oh he loves the coffee. All this fit for a king! For $4.50, somewhere in Forest Hills. He tells me of how the attorney took his inheritance of four million dollars; how his whole family had died after he returned from Vietnam. I pass him a business card, promising pro bono help. Tonight we are faceless, classless, one hoping the rent will be paid tomorrow, the other hoping to find a telephone booth that works; his obituary filled with euphemisms only I will write.

© Alicia Khoo

NaPoWriMo Day 10

“If we had a ke…

“If we had a keen vision and feeling of all ordinary human life, it would be like hearing the grass grow and the squirrel’s heart beat, and we should die of that roar which lies on the other side of silence. As it is, the quickest of us walk about well wadded with stupidity.”

-George Eliot, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life

In Cries of the Heart, Ravi Zacharias tells us about a terrible incident in New York City. The chain of tragic events that had befallen a young woman’s life are heartbreaking. Feeling the silent pain of a whole city, a state senator agonized, ‘How can so much go wrong in one life and nobody be aware of it?’

Neuroses of a New York City Squirrel

I am happy as a squirrel. All day I search for acorns. Bumblebees say hello. Everyone has a pot of gold. Maple syrup, honey bees, what satisfies me: Breaking the winter frost, ice in the air, left over ice-cream, warm chocolate syrup; organic cashew nuts—I live for nuts. I live with a lot of nuts. There are murders on the subway, my cousin got run over by a bicycle. Tell you the truth, I am scared to be too happy. It is my birthday. I am late for therapy. Why do people wish they were dead? My existence clockworks with the seasons, we play in the sun; the earth is sapphire, emerald, dirt. They say it’s round, suspended in a black nothing of diamonds. Some people kill for diamonds (I do not support modern slavery). They say all that glitters is not edible, nor sweet, it’s fiery and burning with pride, majestic, awe-inspiring. The more I know….is this philosophy? Wonder. It is wonder. If I feed my mind, I am no longer excused, no longer naïve. But knowing makes you sad. Grief. Mourning. Loss is a choice, it can be the best or worst thing that ever happened to me. But it’s hard to believe. I chase my dreams, pack my suitcases, wear a fur hat. Or feathers. Even leather! They say alligator burgers taste good. If I had a choice to be human, I probably wouldn’t do it. Or would I? If you had to fight for freedom, what plight is that? You either exist or you don’t (but it’s really complicated for these people!) They exist but some don’t want to, some want others not to, some don’t know how to. Ideals, goals, politics, experience, progress, change, hate, liberty, justice, hurt hurt hurt. They use this paper to buy little freedoms, but can’t buy less hate. And no one is free. Because freedom is foreign. Just like that paper currency is foreign to me. So is my freedom alien to them. If I could give a seminar, I would make a fortune (a lot of that paper I assume). And I would buy….democracy! No, that’s been done. I wouldn’t buy things. Maybe learn a few languages, mate with a few other squirrelitas, raise a family, store acorns, read A LOT. Go for morning runs in Central Park, get shot by random crazy mofos at the Empire State, watch more plays, operas, concerts, refuse to watch commercials, eat better, go rockclimbing, salsa dancing, go live in Brazil for a year, engage in fierce debates if it’s Romney or Obama, take up drums, guitar, the saxophone (pretty sexy). I don’t know, learn ballet. Yes, I am forgetting I am a squirrel. But what can I say, I’m a free bird. And it’s a free country, I’ll be damned if it isn’t. 

© Alicia Khoo

New York City, April 2012 (edited Nov 2012)

First performed in 6th District, Paris, May 2012,

Upstairs at Duroc @ Berkeley Books of Paris

8 Rue Casimir Delavigne  75006