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In Plato's Cave

I am blind and burnt.An old man taught me home’s forgetting, murderous seducer left me lost,took the last path I knew drained past parents piety.I watched him mix them with hemlock saying follow me as his legs went cold.Some strange immortality closed his eyes as he gave my hopes to Hades.More . . . . Continue Reading »


Who says we give away the pearls we own?Think make-believe: think souvenir or prizefor weathering a storm, reaching a stoneledge. Think yielding. It never happens. Eyes that see beyond the sill will recognizedarkness cast by leaves, the loss of Sunday. What do you mean? Old habits: our bodyseeks the . . . . Continue Reading »

About a Garden I Once Knew in a Swamp

I could have listened to her read a phone book,numbers and letters formed in her mouthas if a hibiscus could trumpet each namelike they were enumerated perfectlybetween summer incantations. She was welcoming in that way givingnotes to nomenclature, scores to monotony.Senile alligators gathered . . . . Continue Reading »

Marriage of Genius

In the summer of 1970, Elizabeth Hardwick may have been the best nonfiction prose writer in America, just as Jim Hines was the fastest man alive and Joe Frazier was the heavyweight champion of the world. She was the queen mother of the New York Review of Books, one of its four cofounders and . . . . Continue Reading »

Mirror Work

The peak that paints the lakeIs quick to break. A height becomes a depth,A life a death. An Eiger sinks beneathThe eager cleat As seeking shows us whatWe sought is not. To find a seeker’s pleasureIn self-erasure The mountaineer must wishHerself to mist. —Amit Majmudar Photo by thijser . . . . Continue Reading »


How often when we are lostor in pain, we cry out to God— even if we don’t believe in the one who isboth father & mother— And how often we are met with a wall of silence,and wrongly assume, that is no answer. So we believe God must not exist. Perhaps what we miss is how God says, . . . . Continue Reading »

Rebekah's Ultrasound

Jacob and Esau struggled in the womb right from the start. Rebekah’s ultrasound, quite early on, revealed the embryos: yin and yang, two fat big-headed commas grappled together head to toe;Rebekah only twenty weeks along,they were duking it out in there already. The sonogram was the usual fuzzy . . . . Continue Reading »

Briefly Noted

In The River of the Immaculate Conception, James Matthew Wilson confirms his vocation as a public poet. Commissioned by the Benedict XVI Institute, this poem sequence of seven parts leads us through the lives of St. Juan Diego, St. ­Elizabeth Ann Seton, and Père Marquette, with interludes on . . . . Continue Reading »

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