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Pears, Unstolen

By Betsy Sholl Poetry

I was stopped on the sidewalk by pears glowing on their tree like antique ornaments with flaking paint, a green metallic shimmer, hinting at yellow, mottled with a few flecks of red. As light flickered over them, they seemed to flutter like candles in the leaves. But no—they were pears, and probably hard, I told…

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Tobacco, Psalms, and Bloodletting

By James Harpur Poetry

I sometimes think back to my youth Remembering the heavy sack of sin on my shoulders And I bent double so it seemed Across the fields, with scarecrows hung on crosses, Along straight roads that led to nowhere, Weighed down in ditches, barns, the hollow trees I slept in; And how I searched like a…

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The Wages of Sin

By David McGlynn Book Review

Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (Viking Press, 2011) Faith by Jennifer Haigh (Harper, 2011) The Color of Night by Madison Smartt Bell (Vintage, 2011) The Sojourn by Andrew Krivak (Bellevue Literary Press, 2011) THE CHRISTIAN NOVELIST,” Flannery O’Connor writes, “is distinguished from his pagan colleagues by recognizing sin as sin. According to his heritage he…

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Art from the Inside

By David Griffith Essay

Chuck Colson I ARRIVE IN TORONTO during gay pride week. The lampposts lining the city streets fly rainbow flags. Inside the Sheraton are still more rainbows, small ones on sticks stuck into the mulched flowerbeds surrounding the ten-foot waterfall cascading into a pool edged with flagstones. Every time I see one, I can’t help wondering…

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Pantoum for Seven Words

By Amy Newman Poetry

Forgive them, for they don’t know what they do. Blood, veins, infinity, the garden, your words in metaphor: the whole story rises dark blue in the trees’ green burdens, drenched with voice. Blood, veins, infinity, the garden, your words all dissolve, like the story itself, to myth in the trees. Green burdens drenched with voice…

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Smokers, Sunday Morning, 1975

By Bobby C. Rogers Poetry

Three or four of them congregated outside the sanctuary of the First Baptist   Church in McKenzie, Tennessee, savoring the last cigarette before service, voices low and knowing, a slight rasp-edge to their laughter. Cigarettes would kill you— I was ten years old and could read what it said right on the pack—but ignoring warnings…

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The Novel as God: The New Atheist Tradition in Fiction

By Nick Ripatrazone Book Review

The New Atheist Novel: Philosophy, Fiction and Polemic after 9/11     by Arthur Bradley and Andrew Tate (New Directions, 2010) The Children Act by Ian McEwan (Nan A. Talese, 2014) Fury by Salman Rushdie (Random House, 2001) The Book Against God by James Wood (Picador, 2004)   HEAVY RHETORIC MIXED WITH biblical exegesis and reductive…

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The Fruit Thereof

By Stephen Cushman Poetry

Hold the phone, it wasn’t an apple, apples have seeds and seed-bearers, check, perfectly fine in vegan Eden, nor does the story name the fruit, botanical paradox, fruit without seed, which even those grapes, supposedly seedless, have at some stage, albeit vestigial, and if the tree delighted her eyes, then Stevens was wrong, beauty in…

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