Archive for the ‘Worship’ Category


January 10, 2012 2 comments

by Colleen Abel

There is nothing beautiful about bodies,
their moaning, their blood. Now those, there:
the ringed planet, the moon’s sunken mouths,
that is a different story. Someday, you’ll come
to know the equation’s precision, the circle’s arc,
the perfection of immutable numbers.
Someday, you’ll turn your eyes away
from the place you’ve laid me, martyr
of the closed mouth, from where you’ve skinned
me to ribbons with a thousand shards of oyster shell,
urged on by some kind of god. You have tried.
You will never unpearl me.

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Colleen Abel’s poems have appeared in The Southern Review, West Branch, Notre Dame Review, Salamander, Southern California Review, The Bellevue Literary Review, and many others, as well as in The Book of Irish American Poetry: from the Eighteenth Century to the Present. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she is also a former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has received fellowships from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the KHN Center for the Arts, and holds an MFA from the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

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Confession of Faith

January 9, 2012 4 comments

by Julie E. Bloemeke

He began catechism whispering
Jesus in my ear, his hands already
needing the sacrament of my breasts,
his mouth a host in mine. After
awhile, he was on his knees praying
please to the sweet trinity between
my thighs. After penance,
confession, drinking the wine
of me, I opened the chapel
doors. Mother of God
he said, though Mary was
nowhere to be found, only
the first, now second, coming.

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Julie E. Bloemeke’s work has appeared in Pebble Lake Review, Ouroboros Review, and Mason’s Road as well as in the anthology: Lavanderia: A Mixed Load of Women, Wash, and Word. Her work is forthcoming in Obama-Mentum, The List Anthology and The Southern Poetry Anthology of Georgia Poets.  She was a finalist in the 2001 Arts & Letters poetry competition and was awarded first place in the Spring 2010 Atlanta Writer’s Club poetry contest.

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January 6, 2012 Comments off

by Catherine Ednie

Sleep slithered up out of a hole in the floor. His horns were rubber and his tails were silver. Leaving damp spots on the carpet, he moved from here to there, making motion with his belly. When he got there, he turned his form into a balcony. He felt quiet and central as a balcony, so he rested. His mental spaces alternated with iron spirals, making a structural stability and a barrier to distraction. She came over to kneel at his railing. Sleepwalking. Her senses were lax and hair unfurled around her neck. She came to kneel in the presence of the fog.

“Remember oh most gracious fog that never was it known that anyone who fled to your protection, implored your help, or sought your intercession, was left unaided.”

Fog came close out of curiosity, but then resumed his implacable distance. No one had ever spoken to him that way before. Balcony felt her praying elbows in his neck and wanted to dissolve. When the pressure became too intense, he did. She fell down and down into the upper flower bed where the workmen had already trampled the peonies. “Ah, my peonies, you are dusty,” she said. She shared their dust by rubbing it into the skin of her breasts. “I kiss you, my dirt, my underground alertness,” she said.

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Catherine Ednie (louder) works as a systems analyst in the New York metropolitan area. Her work appears in In Pieces: An Anthology of Fragmentary Literature (Impassio Press), and in various locations online.

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Sitting With

January 5, 2012 2 comments

by Dorothee Lang

Sitting With by Dorothee Lang -- museum-goers sitting in front of Buddha statues
Click on image to see a larger version


Dorothee Lang is a writer, web freelancer and traveler, and the editor of BluePrintReview. She lives in Germany, keeps a sky diary, and always was fascinated by languages, roads and the world, themes that reflect in her own work. For more about her, visit her at

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You As White Wall

January 4, 2012 1 comment

by Rose Hunter

(when I try to understand what
I’m tracking my hands along
no entry or exit to the stucco
& although the this-then-that
is semipermeable)

(& there is paint roller in that, like
the one dropped from your roof, or
how before you are all mouth
and spirit bear roar)

the rest is render what to think
of you what to make of you

(no go white wall go
stay white wall, come)

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Rose Hunter (website) has been published in such places as PANK, >kill author, The Nervous Breakdown, anderbo, Juked, and previously in qarrtsiluni. Her book of poetry, to the river, was published in 2010 by Artistically Declined Press. She lives in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

She recently came to the end of her obsessive-compulsive attempt to write one hundred “You As” poems. There are about sixty.

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About The Box On The Front Step

January 3, 2012 2 comments

by Rina Terry

When it was delivered is as much
a conundrum as the leaves falling
in July with the cantaloupe patch
still flowering and weaving its tendrils
through the swamp lavender. She

came unexpectedly and tripped over
the box. We were so busy sanitizing
and bandaging her knees and elbows
it went forgotten for days until
the strange tapping and bulging

began. Now she is wishing for
a drawbridge and moat, one
with odd creatures all jaw and teeth,
and the remainder a whipping tail
with spikes and bulbous warts,

and calling me at all hours of the night,
except when the moon is full
and there is so much light, the box
casts its shadow across the entire
neighborhood. It doesn’t belong to
anyone else and why this invasive

curiosity who can tell. If I choose
to leave it there, an ordinary,
bulging, rhythmic cardboard box,
until the trumpets sound, what
is it to mortals, or to angels even
but she has become obsessed
with what is none of her business,

reported it to the authorities, home-
land security and the bomb squad
have taken up residence, at a safe
distance away in the landscaping
stones that make it more difficult
to do the perpetual weeding. Now
she is peering from behind the
blinds and making obscene gestures

and I’ve grown excessively fond
of the box and prefer mystery over
the selective literalism of those who
lead their lives according to one holy
book or another. I’ve installed a sign
on my front lawn:


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Rina Terry is an ordained United Methodist Minister who spent most of her clergy career as a prison chaplain at a state, adult male facility. She is passionate about jazz and restorative justice. She now lives, works and writes in Cape May, New Jersey.

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wrestling with god

December 28, 2011 2 comments

by John Medeiros

like christ just before the first easter
i sweat as he sits on top of me.
receive his weight
like something that longs
to be gilded…one-
mississippi, two-
mississippi, moist
breath against hungry ear.
i cannot let this end.
this deification is
pure unadulterated worship.

my moment
of conversion.

to see his body ripple
inches from my diluted
imagination, his
torso stomach groin
pass by my adoring eyes
and press down
on me,
offering his host.
he instantly crucifies
me, hands against
wrists, knees shoulder-
pinned. we pant
and everything

his eyes reject
mine, do not let me
look where i want to look,
his soul, instead, on reserve.
our chests rise,
collapse in unison. my breath
picks up over here, his lips
part over there, a whisper, lost:
you are enjoying this too much.

we never reach the third count.

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John Medeiros (website) is a writer living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His work has appeared in several books and journals, including Sport Literate, Water~Stone Review, Gulf Coast, Talking Stick, Willow Springs, Other Words: A Writer’s Reader, Gents, Badboys and Barbarians, Evergreen Chronicles, Second Run, Hot Metal Press, Big Toe Review, Swell and Christopher Street. Upcoming work will be featured in Second Run and Text Wrestling, a college textbook for reading comprehension courses. He is the curator of Queer Voices: A GLBT Reading Series, a reading series for queer writers sponsored by Intermedia Arts and Hamline University.

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The Sacred

December 27, 2011 Comments off

by Monica Raymond

The body is bless-ed as the sacred, the
sacrum fulcrum, yoga
pose of the rocking boat, where balanced
on the abdomen, flying arms
somehow reach the ankles, a sacredness
also of tentacles, frost
seaweed shingles which overhang caves.
Inside a vortex
of water among jellyfish sweeps in
a twister, a trunk,
lunges and sucks among those inmost
passages, dark rock

of the heart. The sacred language of
the body is
this thickness, white as water from a
hose, the pressure
making clearness a color, dense as spume,
the pouring, layers and layers
on blacktop after the fire’s
out. Temporary, a wading
till the grate swallows it, the firemen
tired, a bit
officious, roll up canvas and fasten
chutes, ladders, extenders with brass gadgets. Most

loveable when least heroic, like the Zen priests, shedding
their black
vestments, shaved boyheads emerging, the meditators after, brushing
the lint off their cushions.

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Monica Raymond is a poet and playwright, sometime essayist and photographer, general artist/teacher type, currently based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her play A to Z won the 2011 Ruby Lloyd Apsey Award for plays about race/ethnicity. She has now had work in 15 issues in a row of qarrtsiluni, which means that her work has passed muster with 15 different editorial teams—an unprecedented achievement.

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Homecoming Sunday

December 22, 2011 Comments off

by Regina Walton

Children arch their backs against the pews,
Men catalogue pocket change.
Gold earrings catch the light,
Sparkle off the walls,

Distracting the minister as he greets
An elderly woman with lacquered curls.
Her hand caught in his, she notices
How his nose resembles a modest beak.

The organ swoops down on the opening hymn.
His shoes pinch down the aisle.
Smoothing his stole, turning to face
His flock, the minister

Ruffles out his neck
And spreads his tail feathers—
Brown-gray, shimmering with purple—
Spanning the Communion table.

Later some will say
He fanned them like a peacock, others
Compare it to the dignified disclosure
Of a wild turkey.

After the service they watch him
Wing over the low hills,
Wistful and relieved.

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Regina Walton is an Episcopal priest and a doctoral candidate in religion and literature at Boston University. Her poetry is forthcoming from Soundings East and Poetry East, and has appeared in Hanging Loose.

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Seeds and Stars

December 20, 2011 Comments off

by William Kelley Woolfitt

Charles de Foucauld, 1906: Tamanrasset, Hoggar, Algeria

My friends charm wells,
gather dates, store faith
in seed-speck, tiny bulb,
tuber eye, farm
the parched, unarable.
Scab-lipped, slur-bearers,

they keep secret,
their true name,
forcing me to say
“Haratin”—dark, dirty, foul.
They gnaw gluey camel,

stringy horse—even bowel,
even hoof, Dassine insists.
They till precious dung, peddle
scrawny vegetables, unwashed,
to Tuareg buyers who point,
back away, dare not touch.

Offspring of freed slaves,
they could go anywhere,
but stay—as do I.
Nights here spur me
to praise the God
of desert skies,

starred with the blinking
eyes of my dead ones,
sheltered by God’s
sickle-shaped wings,
living on without toil,
or ache.

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William Kelley Woolfitt (website) is the author of short stories, poems, and essays that have appeared or are forthcoming in Shenandoah, Cincinnati Review, Ninth Letter, Los Angeles Review, and elsewhere.  Poems from his completed book-length sequence, Words for Flesh: a Spiritual Autobiography of Charles de Foucauld, have been published in Christianity and Literature, Salamander, Rhino, Pilgrimage, and Nimrod. He has worked as a summer camp counselor, bookseller, ballpark peanuts vendor, and teacher of computer literacy to senior citizens.  He goes walking on the Appalachian Trail or at his grandparents’ farm (near Kasson, West Virginia) whenever he can.

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