Wiseblood Books

Carla and Jaime

Arthur Powers

“Carla and Jaime” is an excerpt from my novel, Shadow Companion. In 1965, in a period of rampant inflation and weak democracy, the Brazilian military seized control of the government. After General Castelo Branco’s death in 1967, the hard-line wing of the military assumed control of the government. In 1968, there was a particularly severe crackdown. [Read more...]

Roads Walked and Barred

David Landrum


I pray for him each morning.
Denied a place where my virginity
could flourish, I became obedient
to a husband who joked on our wedding night 
how I had narrowly escaped 
having my pretty little thing
locked up where no one could enjoy it. [Read more...]

Winter Rain

J.B. Toner
A sad grey dawning, this; a sad grey cloud
  Bemists the morning’s eye with doleful mirk;
And under dreary treetops’ drizzling shroud,
  Bedraggled crows in lonely murders lurk.
The whiskey's all but spent, the wine is lost;
  The beer-fen on the bare cold floorboards molders;
The fridge holds half a jar of apple-sauce;
  The last butt in the brimming ashtray smolders. [Read more...]


Amanda Griswold

He did not get my soul without a fight,
But foaming, seething, reeling in my brain,
I bowed to darkness and emerged in light.

My mind was scorched by shadows grown too bright.
The demon smoldered and I roared in pain.
He did not get my soul without a fight. [Read more...]

Impromptu: Reporting from La Mancha

Joseph O’Brien

For Max Pizarro


God almighty! The puissant progress of it all! Arch-mad with digits,
The 20th century summed up through a fogged pane of sky-blue limits,
Its typeset changes out each Pater Noster for news, front-page and back.

These are outside happenings which remand nothing—for thou art
Naught to me! Yet they require my innermost fealty of stone-to-heart,
Even as the stone grows smaller, harder, more cardiac.
 [Read more...]

Loki Brother to My Blood

Gabriel Olearnik

Suffering reknits creation. In suffering we become the actors in the divine drama, until the beauty of the uncreated is made fully manifest. —Op. cit 32.


There is a traced place around the drag of your eyes

that a traitor the face is. Here, the forehead is like sand

Here, the mouth torn with terse flattery

as if the lips were scarred by threadpoint.

In the badlands of your youth

the wilderness of first loving

walking with you was like dark walnut with a hint of fire

and your smile broke teeth. [Read more...]

Drinking with Lucifer

J.B. Toner

“Well, Mick, what’s this stuff called again—Bushmills?
It’s very good, but I’ve had better yet:
The scarlet ale of Aztec altars wet,
The absinthe of an abdicated will,
The mead of churning spilth from poison mills,
The wine of groaning thralldom’s tortured sweat,
The black milk of despair from souls of jet,
Sweet seas of tears that drown the looming hills.” [Read more...]

Pre-Christian Infusion: Faith. Hope and Charity in The Lord of the Rings

David Rozema

In the Summa Theologica, St. Thomas Aquinas distinguishes the four cardinal moral virtues of fortitude, temperance, wisdom, and justice from the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love (charity). He maintains that the moral virtues of fortitude, temperance, wisdom, and justice are virtues only in “a restricted sense”: they bring only a “natural happiness.” But the very same moral virtues can be a part of a “supernatural happiness” if the practice of them is supported by the theological virtues. So a person may possess the moral virtues of fortitude, temperance, wisdom, and justice without possessing the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity, but that person’s moral virtue will be imperfect. [Read more...]

“The Splendor and the Wackiness”: An Interview with Heather King

Katy Carl

After living on both coasts of the United States, working jobs as diverse as waitress and lawyer, surviving alcoholism, cancer, and divorce, and undergoing a life-altering conversion, Catholic writer Heather King might be said to have seen it all. Her most recent memoir, Redeemed, strives to set down these experiences and more as viewed through the fresh eyes of a new Catholic. In her writing, King expresses a truth that her heroine Flannery O’Connor described: that, though faith may seem to some a “peculiar and arrogant blindness,” it can be an “extension of vision” when the believer engages and records reality with honesty and clarity. Or, as King puts it herself, faith enables us to see in a unique way “the meat and the splendor and the wackiness and the grittiness” of the world and of our experience. [Read more...]

That My Kitchen is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Extinguisher

J.B. Toner
(with apologies to G.M.H.)

Stove-knobs, strange numbers, goblin-glinting dials,
Flame-plates atop, caged conflagration hides,
Broil, bake, baste, burn, bent digit-discs deride—
O how to cook Spaghetti-O’s at whiles? [Read more...]