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Image issue 113 cover

Issue 113

The front cover features work by Hanae Utamura, whose art processes engage with conservation, toxicity, and the secret lives of deep-sea minerals. Also inside: An interview with architect John Marx, who argues for buildings of “emotional abundance.” Selections from the Made in Contact project, in which a group of Israeli artists explore the Talmudic concept of “mutual responsibility.” Work by Anne Mourier, whose assemblage translates feminine archetypes into surprising media like lace, glass, and embroidery. Essays on pregnancy, birth, motherhood, and infertility by Lesley Jenike, Sarah Orner, and Rhody Mastin. Ted Prescott and Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin on midcentury philosopher Susanne Langer, who was long overlooked by academics but who always had special resonances for artists. Andrew DeYoung on the films of Paul Schrader, his fellow cradle Calvinist. Cornelia Powers on Sally Rooney as the C.S. Lewis of our time. New fiction by Sarah Stone, Pamela Painter, and Aaron Hamburger. Poems by Micah Bateman, Claudia Keelan, Scott Cairns, Sara Lupita Olivares, Jacqueline Osherow, Rose DeMaris, and others. Get Image delivered:

Epistle to the Ostensible Church

That we are all adopted, appallingly / co-opted into Christ’s holiness is
a simple given, and a certainty. / So relax.

What You See Is You: Rowan Williams and the Art that Surrenders

The microcosmic richness of human identity is a reflection of the God who not only made us but sees us, knows us, and speaks to us. Our being addressed by the divine is an infinite well for human possibility.

He Steals Sometimes

Can a four-year-old understand stealing?

Moving On

What does an artist give up for art?

The Anarchy of Love

A story gets away from its author.

White Spaces

When fiction leaves questions unanswered


“Parable, / which is to say / not an allegory. An opportunity / for displacement.”

From Internal Combustion

“The old / cars had iron, the new, light aluminum / alloy, chromium, even plastic. / My father-in-law with Alzheimer’s walking / along Highway 6 to flag a semi.”

Sarah’s Blessings (Or, Is There Such a Thing as Inappropriate Laughter?)

She was pretty sure she was too crazy to be a mother, and when the yearnings showed up, every few years, they now passed quickly.

What Might Be Most

Perhaps all these / years God has denied me / the little grace / I hoped for in preparation / for the larger / one

image of lilies

Springtime Romance

On the decay of flowers. “I love the way they teach me to love / the things I can’t get close enough to.”

I Know Where I’m Going

Jonah was on the lookout for enemies everywhere, just like his late father, whose vigilance ultimately proved prophetic if futile.

In the Studio

I think now is an interesting time, when the dialogue between religion and science can advance our understanding of the world like a mirror.

Tonight, if the Fog Does Not Rise

I need / a blessing and I am not blessed.

The Missing Mother

I maintain that we need more of her: the vessel, the container, the harbor.

Star-Standard Night

Micah Bateman channels T.S. Eliot, slantwise. “In the room the women come and go / Talking of Leo DiCaprio.”


The insides of our mothers’ bodies are the only places that are most certainly past. From then on, from there on, every room is just an echo of that first, red room.

Red Crop Milk

Just imagine how it must be for the maker, the mind / behind creation who weaves it all together in an expansive act of love

I Trust My Soul to Grace: Paul Schrader’s Religious Imagination

Like a person caught in quicksand, the Schrader male antihero struggles toward salvation only to be driven deeper into the thing that’s swallowing him whole.

Via Negativa

“Truth and justice are two points so fine that our instruments are too blunt to touch them exactly” —Pascal

hyperpersonal dramatic monologue as holly herndon

I recorded the pet ouroboros / ate / bookended / möbius stripped / just had an all-around
naked voiced weekend.


In the myth, Adam, the man, labors above / warm red earth, voracious earth that takes / the life it gives into itself, as soon replenishes… / What have we done, or what through us was done?

“Done on This Side”

Caesar, highest, / seated where Caesar sits, the granite drape / of his vermilion cape, and there beneath it / Caesar’s bare breast

A Philosopher for Artists: Adrienne Dengerink Chaplin and Theodore L. Prescott on Susanne Langer

“Philosophy of art should start in the studio and not in the museum or the concert hall or library” (Susanne Langer)

One Another’s Guarantors: Made in Contact and the Art of Mutual Responsibility

Most of the artworks erased the human presence, or if it appears, it is only a fragment. There is a deep sense of absence and loneliness.… Although the figure is absent, there is still a living breath or a hand offering the possibility of healing.


to place the logic of the visible at the service of the invisible / Odilon Redon writes of painting a vase of flowers”

An Architecture of Abundance: A Conversation with John Marx

Architects in the Bay Area talk about concepts and ideas. I talk about poetry. I look at a design project and ask, how can I make something emotionally meaningful?

Antigo Silt

Preacher-lady donned her slender catch of cloth / & ushered folk in. She said a few words, had us linger / with loneliness awhile.

English Library, Yali School

The ancients,” she says, “thought rivers began in heaven.” / Don’t they? But I’m too amazed to listen. / “We have the same words,” I say. “In our ancient Bible / all the rivers run to the sea. But ours return.

image of person looking out a window

After Disenchantment: C.S. Lewis, Sally Rooney, 
and the Perennial Hunger

Many have lamented that we don’t have a Lewis to help us think through these questions (or a Chesterton or a Tolkien to help him), but in my estimation Sally Rooney comes pretty close.

Medieval Nun Faked Death to Pursue “the Way of Carnal Lust”

She now wanders at large to the notorious peril to her soul.

Self-Portrait as Someone Else

Is a spoon still a spoon, ——————————bent by two hands to look more ——————————————————————–—like a moon? Some nights, I take a walk down to the cul-de-sac, lay myself on the gravel, ————–—play a different kind of dead. It sounds like a fiddle. The boy calls me sylvan, ——————————eagle-boned & I know what he means. He…

After reading our daughter’s poem

Yesterday our children, playing / in a tree, watched as the tiniest bird / fell from above them, / where it belonged, / to land below them, / where it did not.

The Breaking

Even though Aylon painted it in 1978, there were still oil drops around the outside of the frame. The painting appeared to drip.

Surely Goodness

I felt hungry every / day and reveled in it. No sin could stain me the more I abstained.


Someday, in heaven, you insist / apologetically, we won’t have / these bodies

Polyhydramnios (Or, the Second-Best Option)

In no world was there enough medication, technology, or manpower to keep everyone alive.

Year of Mockingbirds

the lord / has mocked / has envied and spied / has burlesqued and lined / with fine material / this moss

Might I Go on Like This Forever

Nothing terrible lurks outside our great and meady hall. The night is not / a warning. The flood is not a lesson.

American Skeptic in Tralee

The rag-trimmed tree confounds me, / Leafy with crosses and beads: / Not a merry December fir; grim in June to see.

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