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An All Too Ghostly Ghost Story: Part 2

By Nick OlsonAugust 29, 2017

Continued from yesterday. Four years ago, my wife and I moved into our red brick cottage. The living room and bedroom walls were a bright pink; the kitchen floor was green linoleum; a small yellow ball with a star rolled around, but we had no pet to play with it. It was as if we…

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Poetry Friday: “The Fire Tower”

By Carrie JerrellAugust 18, 2017

This summer is marked by smoke, our town covered in an urgent haze from nearby wildfires. I sympathize with the neighboring communities that are directly impacted. Homes burned, life plans changed, suddenly, and without much warning. In Carrie Jerrell’s narrative poem “The Fire Tower” we first meet a willful girl determined to make the steep,…

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Smelling A Rat

By Suzanne M. WolfeAugust 3, 2017

This post originally appeared on “Good Letters” on October 15, 2014. About a year ago I felt an overpowering urge to say the “Our Father.” I’m still not sure why. I never knew my biological father, so I’ve always been indifferent to this prayer, the only prayer Jesus taught us. In the back of my…

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Thine Is the Transkingdom

By Natalie VestinJune 8, 2017

Jasmine Temple, laboratory technician at New York University Lagone Medical Center, Institute for Systems Genetics, won this year’s agar art contest for her creation “Sunset at the End.” The contest, held every year by the American Society for Microbiology, features images of landscapes, portraits, and conceptual art made by the arrangement of microorganisms grown on…

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On the 50th Anniversary of the Six-Day War

By Richard ChessJune 5, 2017

What I didn’t know in June of 1967 was that this month and year for Jews around the world was the moment of great triumph, the moment of saying to Hitler and his legions, you lose, you lose, you lose. Pride moved like a fever throughout Kingston Estates Swim Club, from the Jewish mother with…

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Poetry Friday: “The Spirit of Promise”

By Daniel DonaghyMay 19, 2017

Memories can make good material for poetry. In “The Spirit of Promise,” Daniel Donaghy is remembering his Catholic childhood in the particular church that he’s now re-visiting. At first the poet’s memories are negative: “my grade-school nuns shaking // their heads at me”; the priest “putting down his Chesterfield / to tell me how many…

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Poetry Friday: “Sewing Box”

By Murray BodoApril 21, 2017

We don’t think enough—or at least I don’t—about how objects can contain memory. But Murray Bodo’s poem “Sewing Box” shows us how: in this box in which memory is literally contained. Each of the four stanzas takes us deeper into the box. At first it’s just “the busy / sewing box I’d organize on visits…

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The Eye Behind the Camera: Kirsten Johnson’s Cameraperson

By Nick OlsonApril 20, 2017

When we first see the close-up of the dead bird on the ground, we wonder why. It’s only a few scenes later that we return to the site of the bird to see two young children, twin brother and sister, asking their mother and grandfather if they can go outside to bury the dead bird.…

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Epiphany in the Memory Unit

By Cameron Dezen HammonFebruary 16, 2017

The priest’s wife handed me her half full can of beer. It was Christmastime, and the beer she was offering was a Texas IPA, sweating seductively on the table between us. I brought the can to my lips and the slightly bitter taste of the half-warm beer filled me with relief. I needed a drink.…

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Poetry Friday: “Bewilder”

By Katharine ColesFebruary 3, 2017

This is a poem about scale, about the awesome power of the Creator, who in turn gave humanity the power to create. And it’s about the power of a created being, and its potential to do good or evil. Here we have a whale sighting, her powerful fluke useable for constructive or destructive acts—“so many…

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