Height of Beauty

Secret obsessions, private mad endeavors, finally, unintentionally, revealed are so fragile they break the beholder’s heart. Which beckons the ask: why is heartbreak so beautiful? From “Letters from Max,” by Sarah Ruhl and Max Ritvo.

You Know, Zen

I finally got it, got Zen, thanks to Matsuo Basho, Haiku master of and for all time. Zen is the eternal captured in the moment. The simple conveyed by the complex. It is the power by which haiku, that uninterruptible conscientious brief burst of words, implies all forms, all poems. Basho was a wonderer and […]

World on a Page

What I love, so much, about Anne Carson is how much world she packs onto a paper page. Below is page 2.5 from “Autobiography of Red” an orbit-altering read.

Lover Created, Because, Destroyed

panini pleiades press

Such an honor to see my review of Luis Panini’s book The Destruction of the Lover published in Tupelo Quarterly. My review seeks to articulate Lawrence Schimel’s translation of Panini’s original Spanish text, a translation that forms part of the Pleiades Press Series in Translation. Tupelo is a journal I’ve admired for so long. One […]

Last Drops

Sometimes, a lot of the times, when I read Sharon Olds it is a small, non-central phrase that does me in. Seldom is it the grand finale. Often, it is a line tucked into the middle, like a “last drop of something,” that makes me come back to it, come back to the poem, in […]

Whistle While You Wait

The Poetry Foundation’s site come in mighty handy while waiting in line. Example on this is brief, perfect poem above. Other photo in this post is the internal patio of the Poetry Foundation’s Chicago headquarters, which I recently had the chance to visit. More on that later. Later like when I am waiting again in […]

Voudoun // Desire as Divine

Voudoun is a religion of volume, voluminous rites under voluminous skies. It is a cosmology whereby hungry, horny god is appeased by the action of hungry, horny human hand. Through the physicality of man, both heaven and earth may be healed.  In Voudoun, the loa, or spirits, materialize via corporeal possession of the Voudouist, or […]

Islam & Disciplined Prayer

What would happen if every human on earth prayed at five am just once a month? Once a week? How about once a day? What would happen if that single morning prayer was just one of five daily prayers, five daily moments devoted to humility, silence, grace?  The Five Pillar of Islam are faith, prayer, […]

Judaism & the Academics of Faith

Judaism Faith Study

Judaism is a faith built on faith. The Messiah is coming, eternally and beautifully coming. In the meantime, there is Yahweh and the holy books: the Talmud and the Torah.  The Talmud, which literally means “work,” is a compilation of over six hundred years of rabbinic teachings, musings and legalese. It can be considered as […]

Jainism: Tolerance as Faith

Jainism, religion and spirituality

Jainism may be a minority religion in India, but the vast proportions of the Indus Valley render the minor into the massive when scaled to world standards. Four to five million people practice this ancient faith, whose oldest spiritual masters go back to the time of Earth’s physical creation and whose most recent master, Mahavira, […]

Intimate Wonder

Places of wonder abound. Or do they. This is something I wonder about. Does wonder have more to do with mood/temperament of observer or with design/purpose of place. By the way, I am leaving the question marks out on purpose. In order to convey the certainty of my lack of certainty. These are not rhetorical […]

The Most Miserable

Pictured above is the best book report I’ve ever read, about the actual best book I have ever read. Yes. I think. Coetzee’s “Disgrace” will have to make a more thorough appearance on here soon. Time is ripe for a reread. But, back to this current post, which is about Claudia Rankine’s “Don’t Let Me […]

Hinduism & All-Encompassing Religiosity*

Hinduism is a faith before time, before history. There is no death of prophet, no brutal exodus, no enlightened Bodhi tree shade to mark its spark. Brahma, one of its least popular gods despite belonging to the “Trimurti,” or trifecta of Hindu gods conformed also by Vishnu and Shiva, could technically mark a form of […]

Poems Heavy as Poached Game

Scenes from Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Sharon Olds’ first book of poems “Satan Says.” In the background, Paola Pivi’s solo exhibit at the Miami Beach Bass Museum.

Eating (and Drinking) One’s Way to Heaven

Western religions tend to keep faith separate from the ins and outs of the everyday. Church is for Sundays, specifically from 10:00 am to 11:30 am. Amen. And those quotidian ins and outs, when taken literally, are simply not matters of decency, certainly not ones in which to involve the Almighty. As a result, one […]

Confucianism’s Progressive Respect*

Confucianism

Confucianism is not a philosophy, not a social system, not a Way, but a religion at whose center is an all-powerful, loving God who engendered an order-seeking universe. This godly force is symbolized by the character Tien, which is often translated as “Heaven.”  Confucius sought to translate the law of God into the law of […]

WWJD

Christianity Religion

This post is the second part of a ten part exploration of what I consider to be the most valuable teachings from some of the world’s most followed religions. Last week, I wrote some words about Buddhist acceptance, which live here. Today it’s Christianity’s turn. As occurs in Buddhism, Christianity takes its moniker from its […]