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Into the Artworld

By Theodore L. Prescott Essay

Seven Days in the Art World by Sarah Thornton (Norton, 2009) Artworld Prestige by Timothy Van Laar and Leonard Diepeveen (Oxford, 2013)   HOW MANY CONTEMPORARY American artists have you never heard of? Apparently a lot, if surveys are to be believed. A 2005 study by the NEA found that the number of artists in…

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I Am Poured Out Like Water

By Win Bassett Poetry

I chanted Lord’s river during Matins. The psalmist had written Lord’s forever. My mistake, of course, but I like my version better. Christ’s body of skinny, flowing, noisy water reminds me of the creek behind our house in Virginia. I felt him, playing as a boy in the woods. My brothers and I built forts, caught crawdads under…

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Deus Ex Machina

By Win Bassett Poetry

The first afternoon in the monastery brings a brother to tell us to live into our gifts. Study that does not lead to prayer is dishonesty, he tells us. Too much studying is why we’re here. The dying monks chant Vespers, and two oxygen machines fill the silence of full breaths between psalm lines. One…

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Prayer

By Anne Shaw Poetry

Bathrooms are the best locale. All that waste and water and getting clean. Or trains. The nearly equal passengers. A phone rings in the kitchen but no one picks it up. Milk goes bad at room temp. You don’t check your email anymore. Could only scrawl a message: “I____you with all my harm.” Each day…

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Sometimes I Am Permitted

By Anne Shaw Poetry

for Connor Stratman   How winter keeps us warm now: the anesthetic snow sifting from its anesthetic sky. A man hocks spit in the alley for each day’s white on white, but we both live on the red line, we are both still waiting on this train. Because my sins are those of digression, or…

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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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Spiritual Fallout

By Nicholas Samaras Poetry

      Cave of the Apocalypse   Whenever it happened, the cavern would illuminate from no source. The air would dry and warm, the hair along my arms slightly rising. There was a living pressure, a vibration in the air, a vibration I couldn’t name or grasp or articulate. The rock ceiling, now cloven into three…

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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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Island as the End of the World

By Nicholas Samaras Poetry

When did my life become the past? When did our new world, the new creation, the fulfillment of everything, become patience? We worship patience now. This island effaces with endurance, our lives that grow into longsuffering. A smile to notice how an island’s stony perimeter is much like the end of the world. How the…

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