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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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No Counting Sheep without Feeding Them, Too

By Stephen Cushman Poetry

Sleeping pill dependence may prompt referral to laboratory overnights (Polysomnography, would you look good on me, electrodes attached?) and wee-hour waking may be a sign of depression, it says, but what could depress when neither son of Zebedee needed hypnotics, white ones like these approved by the Air Force in support of mission readiness, to…

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Fourth Week, First Contemplation, Second Prelude

By Stephen Cushman Poetry

Your place, not mine. Vessels for water, of course. Maybe one for wine. Bread, smoked fish, honey in an earthen jar. Basins for ablutions. The bed you share with pleasure to ponder. And somewhere for prayer, rug, bench, stool, shelf beneath the shell collection, keepsake chips of Egyptian glass, Silk Road cloth, a dark blue…

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Atheism’s Easier

By Stephen Cushman Poetry

Abstain from staring too long at the sky. Stick to screens, little keyboards; block out birds with private earbuds; never hear the wind breathe harder. Watch TV. Always drive. Try to avoid a night outside in ladled moonlight, glowing broth. Eschew solitude; cut back on silence; call up someone just to gossip; send lots of…

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Syllable Nutshell

By Stephen Cushman Poetry

G is for onset, kickoff, square one, raging beginning of in the beginning out of the starting gate, raw originality in original sense, and if consonantal sine qua non for vanity plates. O is for nucleus, sonorous meat in a syllable sandwich, bellybutton earful, always a vowel, animal imperative enough in itself to tell the…

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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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