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Twenty-Five Years of Fresh Air

By George David Clark Poetry

With no walls or ceiling to block it, the breeze shuffled my hair. I was chained, but to a comfortable chair on a single, electric boxcar that rolled through the world at thirty-five miles an hour. IVs kept me fed and watered and a catheter kept me clean. My jumpsuit, white at sentencing, splotched in…

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Secular Scriptures

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

ANY NEW book about the relationship between the Bible and literature enters a crowded field, one strewn with masterworks by the likes of Robert Alter, Frank Kermode, Northrop Frye, and Gabriel Josipovici. So the bar is set high. Nicholas Boyle’s Sacred and Secular Scriptures: A Catholic Approach to Literature (reviewed in this issue) clears that…

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Bystander

By William Coleman Poetry

I watched him fall and rise upon that hill, heard his call as he released his ghost. I never dreamed civility would damn me. I was like others, a man of honor with a wife who wanted peace of mind by nightfall, children who needed discipline, routine. I could not be a revolutionary, abandon what…

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Fully Human

By Gregory Wolfe Essay

LAST NIGHT I watched—mesmerized, despite its near three-hour length—Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker, a minimalist science fiction epic set in a dreary, bombed-out industrial wasteland. The title does not derive from the contemporary connotation of sexual predator, but goes back to the sort of guide who leads hunters to where game can be found. In fact,…

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Paradox of Flesh: The Art of Chris Ofili

By Charles Pickstone Essay

THE WORK OF British-born artist Chris Ofili, Turner Prize–winner in 1996 and 2003 British representative at the Venice Biennale, poses a particular challenge. Almost every review of his major 2010 retrospective at London’s Tate Britain alluded to the “spirituality” of the work of this former altar boy; the artist himself often gives religious titles to…

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Asperges

By Martha Serpas Poetry

Sudden summer rain, warm on your back _____like asperges slashes, more of a blessing than anything to get dolloped in the eye and laugh away _____the shame of believing in any kind of redemptive wash to get to the glass door before the stroup of sky _____spills, to be the chaplain carrying in the far…

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Elegy for D.S.

By Philip Metres Poetry

Comfort, give comfort to my people, says your God…. —Isaiah 40:1-5 Until the day falls there is nothing I can say, my friend. Until the mountain kneels. He suffered so long in wordless suffering, a pain without wounds. May your brother, who belongs now to remember, be restored to light as wood is by ember.…

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Late Easter, Spring Come Lately

By Brett Foster Poetry

She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. In one of John Donne’s under-read hymns, on his sickness, he claims one place held Paradise and Calvary—Adam’s disgrace, too: over whose tree we choose…

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La Pulchra Nota

By Molly McNett Short Story

  Do not love the world or the things in the world…. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it;…

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