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The Mosque Outside the Mosque: Aerosol Arabic and the One Experience

By George Dardess Essay

The Performance MOHAMMED ALI, a.k.a. Aerosol Arabic, emerges from the darkness onto center stage for his 2014 TED talk at the Vatican (available for streaming at aerosolarabic.com). A burly man, he moves gracefully. He apologizes for the way he’s dressed—not in the snappy outfit of a celebrity lecturer, but in jeans, sneakers, open shirt, and…

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On Lectio Divina, Counterclockwise

By Karen An-Hwei Lee Poetry

Both hands of a clock rotate counterclockwise as I read backwards—you, give, leave, I,  peace. You gave us peace. You left us peace. You left us for a little while until you returned, glorified in an era without aerial shots, prior to montage. A figurative clock I mentioned is anachronistic. You said, Peace I leave…

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The Psalm of Then

By Nicholas Samaras Poetry

Then, the Lord heard me in the wilderness of my soul. Then, the lost place of me became clear. Then, I recognized distraction for what it is. Then, I was freed from the desert of diversion. Then, I was moved to the green oasis within me. Then, the still voice of the Lord was as…

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Sacred Air

By Nicholas Samaras Poetry

Speak to me about the presence of absence. Not everything created can be seen. As the uncreated may be glimpsed from a slant. What we bring is attention— prayer in our hands, spirit in our lungs. Emptiness—but a focus on what borders and frames the space— what the space is filled by. Nothing empty of…

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Second Attempt at Elegy for Anthony Piccione

By Shane Seely Poetry

Last night I climbed once more the narrow ladder of my poems. I took my fine pen and turned paper into ash. What were you turned into? What did you become, after? Once you said that to write a poem is to touch the unseen. If I have touched the unseen, it has not been…

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Peace Like a River

By Robert A. Fink Poetry

I ran down the emergency-room ramp, holding Jon in one arm, pressing the cut with the other, and passed through the sliding glass doors into a narrow corridor lined with Saturday-night gurneys and men and one woman, all slumped or lying down on the black and white checkered tile, all clutching what seemed concussions and…

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The Kiss of Sitting Bull

By Ingrid Hill Essay

THERE WAS about him always, my great-great-grandmother Mathilde had written, a cloud of strange fragrance. She ticked off its elements in a diary entry made in the summer of 1885: sassafras grass, wool, raw leather, and a quick-sublimating sweat dense with some Hunkpapa condiment. In a different entry she added in the scents of the…

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A Good Death

By Margaret Gibson Poetry

May you die as did that good man William Blake who, shortly before, broke into singing; before that, called his wife an angel and drew her, not just her face, but her whole and spiritual body. Closer to it, he said he would forever be near to care for her. After that, and after the…

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Enormous Holdings

By Alice Friman Poetry

All this day: a gift of abstraction. The trees sway with it, murmuring box this up, this fifth day of this fifth month, as if to say, You’ll need it when you’re gaping like a fish for kindness, for this day gave you emptiness and the permission to feed yourself by choosing not to fill…

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Irenology

By Karen An-Hwei Lee Poetry

For the word is living and active …………—Hebrews 4:12 Irene, a girl’s name. Irenology. Studies in peace. How does peace circulate? Open in Ezra and paging to Nehemiah, ——–I contemplate exiles rebuilding temple walls. I thought, is this a form of peace studies? Confess our sins. Our inability to perform ——-a divinely ordained task by…

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