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Transmigration Madrigal

By Lisa Russ Spaar Poetry

What’s death? Horizon kept moving by time & denial? Hank of water hung in air where love once stood, naked among stones? His hand there. By which I mean here? Ink-steeped wolf, boar, fox bristles lineate feet, mons, breast, heart in conjuring vista: the fist itching opens. A graveyard, too, a cosmos of parts; platitude…

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A Conversation with Charles Wright

By Lisa Russ Spaar Interview

Charles Wright is the author of nearly thirty collections of poetry, most recently Sestets, Bye-and-Bye, and Caribou (all from Farrar, Straus and Giroux), as well as two books of criticism and a collection of translations of the Italian poet Eugenio Montale. Born in 1935 in Pickwick Dam, Tennessee, Wright attended Davidson College and the Iowa…

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The Anxiety Offices

By Lisa Russ Spaar Poetry

1. Vespers I wake from my insomnia into this vanishing, gaze & its lust, the world blue too. I do not grieve, but am infected by your absence, amber canto corseted by black ash. When I remember to pray, it is an old conversation: compromise, silence— opalescence conscripted by these closing silks, starlings with their…

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Sojourning on the Highway of Soul

By Lisa Russ Spaar Book Review

Rifraff By Stephen Cushman (Lousiana State University Press, 2011) A Walk in Victoria’s Secret By Kate Daniels (Lousiana State University Press, 2011) Bone Fires: New & Selected By Mark Jarman (Sarbande Books, 2011) Every Riven Things By Christian Wiman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010)   CENTRAL TO MOST SPIRITUAL, personal, or religious beliefs—whether one of…

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Furta Sacra

By Lisa Russ Spaar Poetry

I believe in holy theft. Pelvis bone of Saint What’s-His-Name hoisted above famished fields for rain. Knuckle of the Mother for luck. Splinter of manger. Shards, their haloed ephemera. To hold a relic is to change it, under glass, with ropes, a ring of stones. Lord knows to protect love costs a tender violence. Head…

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Temple Gaudete

By Lisa Russ Spaar Poetry

      Deus homo factus est       Natura mirante.   Is love the start of a journey back? If so, back where, & make it holy. Saint Cerulean Warbler, blue blur, heart on the lam, courses arterial branches, combing up & down, embolic, while inside I punch down & fold a floe of dough to make…

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Temple Tomb

By Lisa Russ Spaar Poetry

In this marrow season, trunks tarnished, paused, I am garden. Am before. Asleep. Then the changes: placental, myrrhed. Wet hem when you appeared. What did your body ever have to do with me? In my astonished mouth, enskulled molars guessed, though as yet I did not know you. You sprung. You now intransitive, tense with…

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