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This short story appears in our Summer 2014 issue. The entire issue is available for download in digital format. It came to pass, the young men cut down the trees to feed the campfire and cookstove, to barter for wares or wives, to make arrows and bows, clubs and spears – they built the temples and great bonfires as a gift to the gods; but in later years, they wearied of wandering a desert of their own making, erected houses and frivolous corrals for horses and sheep. And the birds, having no place left to rest or nest, to preen or sing a lullaby to their young, tuned their chords to the same key and leapt from the shores of Canaan into the Mediterranean Sea – forsaking life in Hebron and Schechem, Dothan and Kadesh, prophecies of greener pastures in the land of Ramses. Holding fast to the sunlit waves, they learned to waggle their rapid tails, kept still their fearless wings and rose not from the branches or rooftops but from the floating world – tilting to catch the breeze, eluding the Man-of-War, the Great White. — WILLIAM O’DALY is a poet, translator, fiction writer, and editor. His publications, Read the Rest…

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May 31st, 2016 at 11:31 am

Excerpt from Last Words by Stephen Dunn

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Stephen Dunn is the author of sixteen books, including Different Hours, which won the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Since 1974 he has taught at Richard Stockton College of NJ, where he is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing. He’s also been a Visiting Professor at The University of Washington, NYU, Columbia, and The University of Michigan. He has read his poetry at The Library of Congress, and at many universities and colleges throughout the country.

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This essay appears in our January 2014 Digital Issue. The entire issue is available for download.      When I first stepped on my mat ten years ago, I worried that practicing yoga might lure me away from Judaism. In each class, I couldn’t help noticing the statue of Lakshmi, goddess of abundance, watching over us. As I followed the teacher’s instructions for each pose, I wondered if I was unwittingly becoming a member of another faith and betraying my Jewish heritage.      But participating in my weekly yoga class and learning new asana poses beneath the unseeing gaze of Lakshmi, I felt something awaken in me as I listened more closely to the sound of my breath and the pulse of my heart. With each forward bend, I rooted my feet into the earth and rediscovered gravity as it exerted its pull on my shoulders and arms. With each twist, I turned toward the unknown and opened more space in my hips. With each movement, I became more mindful of the intricate design of my body—the blink of an eyelid, the caress of breath on my upper lip, the muscles, ligaments and bones supporting me in each pose—and could sense a divine Read the Rest…

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The following poem was written by one of our 2014 April Poem-A-Thon participants and appears in our Summer 2014 digital issue. The entire issue is available for download. The blood moon is sailing tonight we are the shadow mother catching the bent light of our own sunrises and sunsets all of them at one ablaze (the very rim of earth on fire).   We are the blood, we are the rising tide, we are the lost boat of lies and prayers, if we are to mourn, it is now, when the moon casts back our heart, when the night itself is red with sorrow. — MARY MONROE was born on a farm in Minnesota and has spent her life as a journalist, writer and editor. Her poems explore love, loss and the sacredness of everyday experience. Her poetry has appeared in the L.A. Times and can be seen in the upcoming issue of FR&ED. She is a student of tai chi, raja yoga and Andean shamanic arts. Mary lives in Eagle Rock, California.

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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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