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The following poem appears in our Fall 2012 Print Issue 21, and was awarded first prize in Tiferet’s 2012 Writing Contest. The entire issue is available in Kindle format. — When the shuttle arrives at the old wooden door, when her overpacked luggage bulges with too many shoes, with gringa lotions and books she won’t have time to open, when the teenage boy grins after hauling the world
up four flights of terra cotta steps and she reaches her room with views of Calle Canal and rooftops like pottery clinging to early winter warmth, it won’t be the earthy scent of red geraniums outside her window or last night’s wood smoke and kerosene that fills her lungs, but the freshly washed white shirt of the baggage boy neat as his perfect teeth, the scent — part lather, part lavender — that announces every stranger here. She won’t call it innocence, though it comes close. Closer is the lack of artifice, the way she tries to lose her skin by slipping into cotton, the comfort of towels laundered in sunshine, and if this country is not hers, if some resent her pale flesh, still the maids remember her each year and bring Read the Rest…

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April 27th, 2016 at 12:55 pm

Excerpt from That Old Tuscan Magic by Linda Lappin

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This essay appears in our Autumn 2013 Print Issue 23. Also featured in this issue is a short story by Robert Kostuck, poetry by Jane Hirshfield, Emily Vogel, Linda Radice, and more! The entire issue is available for download in digital format.      Duccio is a heavy-set man in his sixties, with a ruddy face, a peppery stubble of beard, intense blue eyes, one of which strays to the right. He is always bundled in several layers of sweaters, because he is sensitive to cold, and is never seen without his brown corduroy pork-pie hat, indoors and out. He and Giovanna live in the house next to mine. Our front doors are connected by a loggia leading to a steep flight of stairs down to a cobbled courtyard where our wood is stacked and where cars may park. Duccio spends the greater part of the day sitting on the loggia outside his kitchen door, like a sentinel, with a calico cat perched on each armrest, one on his shoulder, and another in his lap. When he is not napping, he is reading his favorite comic book, Paperino, the Italian version of Donald Duck. Coming in or out of the house on Read the Rest…

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April 21st, 2016 at 11:44 am

Excerpt from Iconography by Mark Jarman

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This poem appears in our February 2016 digital issue. The entire issue is available for download. St. Francis painted on carved wood with two white birds as epaulets is draped with beads from Istanbul. Forgive our debtors and our debts. Bronze Buddha keeps his lotus pose beside a tin from Chimayo holding an ounce of sacred earth. May light go with us where we go. Hung on the wall a Green Man peers, a mask of fronds in stone relief, above the Virgin’s retablo. We believe, Lord. Help our unbelief. — MARK JARMAN’S most recent collection of poetry is Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems. He is Centennial Professor of English at Vanderbilt University. He recently completed his term as elector for the American Poets’ Corner of St. John the Divine in New York City.

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This essay appeared in our 2010 Print Issue 13. The entire issue is available for download in Kindle format.        It begins in the beginning, when, after you have been pulled from the darkness of the blood-water, you understand with your tongue, and with your fingers.        And then, one day, you see: there is a line dividing the dark from the light, there is morning and there is night, and there is a horizon, dividing the sky from the seas.        And then, in time, you emerge again, as dry land splits the ocean, and, like the earth, you stand, while the waves rage, break, and fall at your feet.        And if you live well, you begin to flourish and flower, extending cool shade to your friends, and offering them sweet fruits.        And, if you live well, you make your way in the world, and around the world. You begin to shine like the heavens, revolving around the earth, as your well-ordered soul reflects the sky on a still and lucid night.        And if you live right, the heavenly order in your soul, unchanging, will sag, for God is also not in heaven, and you will Read the Rest…

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This poem was published in our Fall 2015 print issue and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Single copies of the issue are available for purchase. Listen to an interview with Robert Carnevale. We say light, steady, driving. We do not say deep, do not say dead, we do not say the rain is down. And all the while, whatever we say, the rain is not even here. Where the rain is there is no here.  That is just one of our schemes. But once you are here, rain is here with you; once there, you are there with the rain. We are of the same place as the rain, we hear it, and it is true.  Sometimes we even see it – if not so plainly as Hiroshige. Speak for me too, rain, and I will listen. — ROBERT CARNEVALE was born in Italy and grew up in Paterson, NJ.  He worked in several capacities on the Voices and Visions film series on American poets and was Assistant Coordinator of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Poetry Program for six years.  He teaches in the graduate school at Drew University and in the college at Kean University. Aside from Tiferet, his Read the Rest…

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March 28th, 2016 at 10:56 am

Excerpt from Stifled by Talia Carner

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This short story appeared in our Winter 2011 Issue 17. The entire issue is available for download in Kindle format.       I had been playing hop-scotch for an hour with Deena, a sixteen-year-old Orthodox girl who lived across the street from my grandmother’s Tel-Aviv home. Deena shook her calf-length skirt to cool her stockinged legs and tried in vain to blow into the top of her neck-to-wrist blouse. A year younger than she, I drank water from the faucet in the yard and splashed water on my exposed midriff above my short shorts.       My friend cupped water near her mouth, and asked, “Will you come to my wedding?”       “You’re getting married?” I assumed she meant light years away. “Seriously?”       She shrugged, her eyes downcast. “Tuesday.”       From the entrance to the wedding hall, I could see hundreds of bearded men in the Hassidi garb of black hats and long, belted coats. An usher blocked my way and directed me to the women’s hall, where the ceiling was lower and the harsh fluorescent lights made the panels on the wall look like Formica. Holding glasses of orange and grape juice, women in long modest dresses and head covers eyed my white-and-red mini suit Read the Rest…

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This poem appears in our 2010 print issue 13. The entire issue is available in Kindle format. For Moira Egan you talk about the /margin of silence/: this twilight hour: how it puts holes in the body: where the lungs and the diaphragm live: you say /this is the real Witching Hour/: voiceless: wrapped blind in a shroud: with the light boring through you: no, no—this is how you feel: as though you have taken a vow: and this moment when the sun is already past the shoulder of the earth: when night is rushing: this margin: when the animal shifts are beginning and ending: here where departure and entry are done in soundless respect: you sit taking in the quietude: the music of pause: here it would be so easy to plummet into prayer: sheet flapping in the wind: you say /in this hour I was a mere ghost/: /I did not wander outside my shell/: /I sat in the margin of silence/: /refusing to follow/: /refusing to leave/ — J.P. Dancing Bear is editor for the American Poetry Journal and Dream Horse Press. Bear also hosts the weekly hour-long poetry show, Out of Our Minds, on public station, KKUP and available Read the Rest…

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This interview appeared in our Fall 2013 Print Issue 23. It is available for download in digital format and in Kindle format. How do you see the Spirit of God, the Divine Spirit, or the Holy Spirit perhaps, at work within the world? The enigma of who we are leads to spiritual adventure, to keep seeking forward, beyond where we thought we were going. After graduating from high school in Paris with a baccalauréat in math and physics, I found myself in medical school at seventeen. After two years I crashed, it was like giving up my soul. I went through a deep depression and nearly died. Which is what saved me. It was a deeply transforming spiritual experience (in a way which I had not been able to achieve by going on pilgrimage to Chartres at fourteen), and put me on my path. That is when I knew that who I really am never dies and is connected to something bigger and stronger than I ever knew, unconditional love, the Mystery. The human being is an animal who differs from the other animals by the fact that he knows he is such; although one can ask if animals have Read the Rest…

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The following book excerpt appeared in our Fall 2010 Print issue 13. The entire issue is available in Kindle format.              One day at Twenty-Nine Palms, while Master was revising his Bhagavad Gita commentaries, he asked Dorothy Taylor to read sections of it to a group of monks who had come from Mt. Washington. During her reading, Miss Taylor came to a passage that described the state of oneness with God. Once the devotee attains this divine state, Master had said, he realizes that the Ocean of Spirit alone is real. God took on the appearance of the little ego and then, after some time, withdrew that wave into Himself again. In effect, the dream-child wakes up in cosmic consciousness to find himself God once more.              However, Master went on to explain, the enlightened being, after attaining that consciousness, never says, “I am God,” for he sees it was the vast Ocean which became his little wave of ego. The wave, in other words, when referring to its little self, would never claim to be the Ocean.              At this juncture Debi, who was Read the Rest…

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February 24th, 2016 at 10:26 am

Excerpt from The Rooms by Therése Halscheid

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The following poem appears in our Fall 2011 Print Issue 17. The entire issue is available in Kindle format. A road led to the water that ribboned the mountain. And not wanting to disturb a brook’s rushing thoughts I walked the rest of the way, softly 
into other moments I wanted
 to see and hear. Beyond the rickety bridge and bamboo gate, the world turned clear and the long distance to get there
 was gone and ahead the green 
land glistened. Then, in the sunlight, in the sunlight, there— were small rooms, open, of three sides only, each facing the elements of ground and sky,
 each with a bed, candle or lamp, with a bowl
 for cool water but that was all. One room perched in the crook of a tree, 
another just over the water, while others were set in hollows or upon a bright spread of grass, as if the old earth had made them,
 this place. How could it be otherwise; how could it not be— that later, our own bodies would open
 with stars entering, and night, and the wind. — THERÉSE HALSCHEID’S previous poetry collections include Powertalk, Without Home, Uncommon Geography, which won a finalist award Read the Rest…

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