Wiseblood Books

The Infinite Jest

Peter Ascik

It sinks in, with the musk of morning,
through the pores.
And mingles with last night’s sweat,
and stains the sheets,
and stains the floor,
and stains the walls,
and stains the air, and you awake
husky and gasping. [Read more...]

A Circle of Cypresses

John Farrell

An hour after the accident, Elise looked out from the terrace and regained the loose thread of thought she’d entertained before they killed the man on the motorcycle.

It was the duck. They were on their way back from Florence where they bought a ceramic duck for his mother, even though Herman couldn’t stand his mother and thought the whole idea of a gift was stupid.

Now there was a man lying dead in the ambulance below and their Volkswagen sprawled on its side in the vineyard beyond the curve. No one had yet come to tow it away. Instead, a journalist took his time, walking around and around it, talking into a micro-tape recorder and snapping pictures with a small digital camera. [Read more...]

A Tribute to Fr. Richard John Neuhaus (1936-2009)

Mary Angelita Ruiz

Richard John Neuhaus sang “Come Thou Fount of Ev’ry Blessing,” that stalwart American hymn, as though it were a rollicking drinking song, the rhythm swinging like a full tankard in a fist. His voice was rumbling and huge and pleasantly out of tune and his eyes lit up as he sang:

COME thou fount-of EV’RY ble-ssing
Tune my HEEAART to singthygrace!
STREAMS of mer-cy NE-VER cea-sing
Call for SOOONGS of loudestpraise!

It was a favorite hymn of the Community of Christ in the City, the little ecumenical community in Manhattan that was Father’s home for over thirty years, and my home for almost three while I worked for his journal, First Things. [Read more...]

Publishing for Papists: Marketing the Literary Vocation

Eleanor Bourg Donlon

Poets, as a class, are business men. Shakespeare describes the poet’s eye as rolling in a fine frenzy from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven, and giving to airy nothing a local habitation and a name, but in practice you will find that one corner of that eye is generally glued on the royalty returns. –P. G. Wodehouse

Everybody–and his Aunt Nellie–has a novel stashed in a desk somewhere. Most of them are pretty dreadful, some are rather good, and a few are moderately brilliant. Nearly all of them will never be published and those that are will not necessarily include the good or the brilliant. [Read more...]

Publishing for Papists: Marketing the Literary Vocation

Eleanor Bourg Nicholson

Poets, as a class, are business men. Shakespeare describes the poet’s eye as rolling in a fine frenzy from heaven to earth, from earth to heaven, and giving to airy nothing a local habitation and a name, but in practice you will find that one corner of that eye is generally glued on the royalty returns. –P. G. Wodehouse

Everybody–and his Aunt Nellie–has a novel stashed in a desk somewhere. Most of them are pretty dreadful, some are rather good, and a few are moderately brilliant. Nearly all of them will never be published and those that are will not necessarily include the good or the brilliant. [Read more...]

Aftermath

Fiorella de Maria

He could still hear the sound of her screams. It had been the day the long nightmare had begun, but he had not known it as he strapped her into the pushchair and took her out for a walk. It was a warm spring day and he had not bothered to fight with her to get her mittens on–there was really no need for them now–and they had walked towards the seafront because little Liljana liked looking out to sea at the distant boats and the little white tips of the waves when the wind ruffled the surface of the water. It had been mercifully quiet, too early in the year for the tourists who would soon invade the beach like giant, beer-scented lobsters, and too early in the day for the children to start pouring out of their classrooms. [Read more...]

Widow’s Walk

Fiorella de Maria

Last night I dreamt I was with you again,
Walking under the dripping chestnut trees,
Singing an old song you taught me long ago.
“Long ago.” How foolish now, when time is nothing
More than the ticking of a clock in some forgotten corner.
It can only be a moment since we laughed and cried,
I never remember which — and you cradled my face.
I feel the touch of your fingers tracing invisible paths
Into my hair, feel the pressure of an unexpected kiss. [Read more...]

the EPA drained

Susan St. Martin

the 
epa
drained the mill pond
hoping to restore
the land 
scape
to precolonial conditions

which of course
is all
woodlands and swamps [Read more...]

Scattered Thundershowers this Afternoon

Robert MacArthur

The forecast didn’t call for principalities and powers.
In toppling heaps of alabaster balanced overhead
They hung, silently swelling, for apprehensive hours,
Filled full with holy water and rejuvenating dread.
Somebody called down judgment on the living and the dead
In faceless white serenity, the lurid hues washed out
Below, ice-prism halos above each thunderhead.
Let us set up a candlemas for when the power goes out. [Read more...]

The Cheshire Cat

Robert MacArthur

The glint you glimpse may be the twilight sun
Between the shadow trees, or on the lawn
All unproportioned, where the wild winds run
Grotesquely. Or it may be me, all gone.
Beneath wide hedges, wider nothings yawn,
And nothing’s more nothing than I. I fear
Nothing. Nothing to see here, ma’am. Move on.
You see me smiling, but I am not here. [Read more...]

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