Eel, harpoon curries, antlered in darkness to in on foreskin ornately flaking, foreskin tenderly peppered, against cap-a-pie mirrored swords also, ornately left oh dear out, inkhorn fish left in, coat hangers could coagulate fat could deflower inside warmth more flower; eels antlered in darkness galore when ornately could coagulate fiddlesticks in oily and deer lick could flower forever; this beyond caked ornately flaking in tenderly stacking, antlered in sparkling so ornately or harpoons if itching around also bladders more unless stewed eels sharpen, eels ornately even between cap-a-pie sharpened, harpoons not in below could mirror fat flake, blankets could but dusted blankets not even though lightly, harpoon between the time to sleep, whichever even apart from lightly could whet fat settling, even darkness caked from ornately even in should even though, although, eels as though accordions, eels have inordered once before bladders oily as eels without finger keys or in; this, foreskin could but shoulder, even in since encrusted ornately or shells even in as though barring harpoons neither could mansion bladders not even before eels could mirror fat not even from harpoons tenderly mansioning, eels ornately darkness egg-like piebald eel chips, this addles eels soft, eels ornately or in darkened flaking.
Ali and Sema have a daughter!
It’s raining in St. Paul but
there was a spot right in front
of the Black Sea and I wasn’t going
to go—it was already almost three
and I thought I could just plow through
till dinner but then I saw the sign—
the sign! in the window! Ali and Sema
have a daughter!
ConAgra, bread-keeper; save us from our misery.
The stores dried up, people float in and out as if in a dream, wandering empty aisles and pushing imagined carts, checking out their bounty, self-scanning.
May you please render us saved.
And the farmers in Portland and Studio City and Brooklyn, with their small hands and meager yields, their rooftop stalks, they have been taken and put up in cages.
Make them free.
Who created the dimpled planets,
who created my own cracked ass,
who numbers the hairs on my head,
who watched the liquid earth pass
who sat drumming to the hum of the cherubim
while a city collapsed.
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A Catholic Priest, my father, walks the beach in Tampa, 1968. The sun halfway through setting. Facing the water, hands in the pockets of his plaid shorts, he thinks he hears, impossibly blowing in off the empty rippling expanse, a woman singing:
“A woman’s voice. It is not the voice of God, at least not the voice that I have been taught to listen for. Her song is the very essence of what we have been schooled in defining as temptation: sensual, sugary, mournful. A woman walking the waves of the sea; I wonder where she is—she who believes in me when I have no right to expect devotion of any sort, when she is the very one I abandoned. If it’s what you need to do, she said. Let’s see how it goes. And then I left. Came to this humid hell by choice and demand, headed south by travel and trope, all for an ideal that from this vantage no longer looks idyllic. She is in New York, where it is just beginning to turn hot, and the park trees are thick and full of shade, unlike the scanty palms that line this beach; their shade barely spans the expanse of my soaked brow. It seems, now that I have left, now that I am here alone—a true priest would not say alone. A true priest would say with God, but I don’t feel like I am with God. I feel alone. Lonely.
Bless me I was once myself and couldn't read
a thermostat. My mother's breasts were long
inside her bathrobe. Sometimes we were Polish.
I believe god knows these things about me
so I needn’t say them with heart. I'm afraid
to say anything with heart.
My memory had always been fuzzy. Dull. Furry? For a long time – years; miles, maybe – I knew not what to do with it, how to manage. I tried cleaning it, petting it, running my fingers through the fur. Attempts at acceptance, at making peace with. Tried squinting my eyes, tried glasses, used mirrors.
I know you only through your
quirky and enigmatic literature,
full of ranting underground lunatics,
characters who bustle and fly,
and noses that roam St. Petersburg.
Marion Deutsche Cohen
"“Time should be more elastic”
Pain, while necessary to alert and keep us alive
shouldn't hurt so much.
Attention is the very essence of prayer. I am the bread of only my life. I look at prayers on the page. I read them and I lay my voice on top of the prayers. I drape them with my voice and make them mine. I put on my jacket and go out into the night to meet other prayers. I was nine when the Lord wasn’t watching over my family as I had prayed he would for all of those nights. The fuck, he smashed my brother’s car into a utility pole on a south Florida interstate, killing him and two other nineteen year-old boys. It was a shit place to die, Florida, and a shit way to die, nineteen and crushed with his friends. My parents grieved and my sisters grieved and we all fell apart as everything seemed to be ending.
Sometimes, God, summer weighs on me like wet ropes. My lungs seize trying to have the most fun in the world before school starts. September is Hell and we all die and go there after Labor Day. Yesterday, I saw my English teacher stuffing her bright red face with pink cotton candy. She is supposed to be reading books all summer, not coming here—wearing her hair down and eating the same things I do. I felt like the boardwalk was going to explode one splinter at a time under my feet, even though yesterday was the kind of day my cousins draw with a smiley face sun. I whipped a grape Pixie Stick out of my back pocket and downed it, but that only made me feel sicker. I carry Pixie Sticks for emergencies, and because I steal them.
Some days I think the clouds are your eyes. Some days I think the birds are your voice. You laugh, chide, scatter thistle all over my lawn and screw up my grass as some kind of lesson I'll never understand because I don't speak bird.
There are no stars visible from here.
Just crumbling cornices and pointed brickwork,
and the gray parchment of the midnight sky.
Too much light escapes this city,
too many streetlamps and turn signals,
too many bulbs left burning
to scatter their illumination through steel and glass
and throw a corona between the sky and us.
These will prep the churchy masses and the desperate tryst. I sold the rest stop and I told the best stop and I stop and stop. These our American rhythms. These our God bless you platitudes and God bless you. Please.
In the brick building on South and 9th
the woman sat and smoked a cigarette by the window
windows her landlord lied about
because the hot air seeped in in the summer
stalks her that’s the word she used
and in the winter the goddamned cold comes in
the way her second husband used to with his muddy shoes.
Los Angeles, Michelangelo, Jude, peopling the lost souls, tell me now:
Do you remember this eye, this hand, these ears, this
mouth? May I break my solemn invocation with a sneeze?
Forgive me. No bless yous –
my sinuses are cork-tight. No soul will leak tonight. I have Benadryl, Claritin,
Zyrtec. The clerics. They'll not deliver me unto
any Egyptian waters; I haven't yet written my holy litany,
my radiant magnum dopus.
Margaret Pritchard Houston
I wonder sometimes
in that flashing instant
I agreed to this.
To the straining of ligaments
by my created creator
widening, in my blood-red womb.
I checked the bush. I tried the sky, the crickets' legs, soccer fields, and apples' cores. I stoodunder thunderclouds, kitchen counters, catechism teachers inside superstores. I studied Crusoe's isolation after Harold and the Purple Crayon.
Maynard Prine of Reynold's Creek, West Virginia was fierce in his faith, an obedient servant of You, Lord, Your miracles, Your Mysterious Ways. It was Your mandate that my father take up the serpent, that he handle the flame. This man was not afraid.
Anthony A. Lee
(there were two of them, interrupted by a moment of contemplation)
was on the impossibility
of imagining death or anything
hotel rooms and penthouse windows,
shoes empty on the floor,
the private pool below the balcony
blue in its shininess,
the lapping of the ocean tide
on the rocky shoreline, its pleasant whisper—
which obviously is not enough.
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No description available
I call you god but you know I don't believe. I never have. well, maybe I did once, for a few months, when I was nine. remember that little book of bible stories, the one with the mustard-yellow cover and shiny red letters? of course you know. you know everything. or you would, if I believed.
On April the 20th, 2008, Padre Adelir Antonio de Carli took off from the town of Paranagua in a chair attached to a thousand helium balloons. The lower half of his body was found in the Atlantic two months later.
On Earth As It Is was an online journal of prayer narratives, or dramatic monologues addressed to God, from writers of different faiths. From 2010-2012, the journal featured writers such as Melanie Rae Thon, Erin McGraw, Melissa Pritchard, Ken Baumann, and others.
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