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[Almost nothing happened…]

By Michel Houellebecq Poetry

Almost nothing happened and yet it is impossible to free —ourselves of the vertigo Something has begun to move, powers with which there is —no question of compromise, Like those of opium or Christ, the victims of love are —happy victims first of all And the life circulating in us this morning has just been…

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Jacob’s Ladder

By Javier Acosta Poetry

Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely God is present in this place, and I did not know it!” Shaken, he said, “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the abode of God, and that is the gateway to heaven.”                      …

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To My Son Yacine

By Abdellatif Laâbi Poetry

My beloved son, I received your letter where you spoke to me like an adult told me all about how hard you studied at school and where I saw that your passion for learning chased all the darkness and ugliness away as you delved into the secrets of the big book of life You’re confident…

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Jam Jars

By Tadeusz Dabrowski Poetry

In classical physics, the past is assumed to exist as a definite series of events, but according to quantum physics…only as a spectrum of possibilities.                                         —Stephen Hawking Too often they kept on surfacing suddenly, stifling…

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[I strive to live as if…]

By Tadeusz Dabrowski Poetry

I strive to live as if I were going to die tomorrow. The steady breathing of my sleeping wife, the taste of gherkin, the odor of soil and of dill, of smoke suspended over the fields, the sight of a couple necking on the dunes —that’s too much. They say that every day brings us…

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Merton Recites a Mantra

By Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska Poetry

Resurrection is the layout of keys on which I tap. Quite abstruse, this keyboard of thoughts. But I repeat it so often I almost have them beat. From one layer of the mind to the next to the furthest words leap, strands of idea return again as if a sink has clogged. Still by some…

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Romanian Orthodox Choir

By Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska Poetry

This chasm. Quite simply, the abyss. Gale in a sultry church. Out of the dark the voices of seraphim. A beauty impossible to bear. A theology of opposites: in Christmas hymns this sorrow like a lidless coffin. Humble, the unknown soloist folds his hands and bows his head in gratitude for the applause. Suddenly we’re…

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Merton Listens to the Requiem

By Ewa Elzbieta Nowakowska Poetry

The bow drops. The baton slips from a hand. Can one conduct trees? In the Lacrimosa the violins rush to set up tall trunks in an autumn wood. In the chancel amber leaves flicker. Death descends from the pulpit, a traveling peddler in rented garb. The church cracks open like a jewel case. A vaulting…

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Lamentation to Move Jonathan

By Adélia Prado Poetry

Are diamonds indestructible? My love is more. Is the sea immense? My love is greater, more beautiful unadorned than a field of flowers. Sadder than death, more despondent than a wave beating the cliff, tougher than the rock. My love loves and knows nothing more than that it loves. ⋅ Translated from the Portuguese by…

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Daughter of the Ancient Law

By Adélia Prado Poetry

God does not give me peace. God is my goad. He bites my heel like a snake, makes himself verb, meat, glass shard, stone against which my head bleeds. I cannot rest in this love. I cannot sleep in the light of this eye fixed on me. I want to return to my mother’s womb,…

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