“Coming Awake in Love”: A Discussion on the Struggle for Holiness and the Writing of Shirt of Flame: My Year with St. Therese of Lisieux

Heather King

How did the book come about? Why St. Thérèse?

A few years ago, I was approached by an editor at Paraclete Press—an editor with whom I had a long-standing relationship—with the idea of writing a book about “walking” with a saint for a year. Not a biography, or a hagiography, but a sort of lived reflection on the saint’s work, thought, prayer, path. So I thought for a bit and chose Thérèse of Lisieux because there is something kind of irresistible about a beautiful young French girl who wanted to be the Bride of Christ so badly that at the age of fourteen she traveled to Rome, knelt at the feet of Pope Leo XIII, and begged for permission to enter the freezing cold, crawlingwith-neurotic-nuns, cloistered convent at Carmel. Who spent the rest of her short life in obscurity but on spiritual fire, going so far at one point as to offer herself as a “Holocaust Victim” to love. [Read more…]

The Good Thief *

Joshua Hren

Bent in the corner-most seat of the final row of the Sorbonne lecture hall Simon felt claustrophobic, fought in his mind with the thickened crowd—to find an exit just in case. This was a harmless salle de conférence, lost in a labyrinth of hallways, small with a few hundred seats that dipped quickly toward the stage, but the stately arcades with their chiseled vines and flowers grew here a sense of majesty. Simon rubbed harshly the tendon of his neck, which was sore from swiveling brushes and pencils, small talk and war talk and the heart of the matter back and forth between the canvas and the prostitute until dawn. [Read more…]

Sonnet of Youth Departing

Anne Babson

Youth warns no one when it leaves the party.
It does not thank the hostess, then air kiss,
Then wave, hailing the hot night’s last taxi.
Youth offers no one a ride home in this
Weather, still humid and still summery,
But the wind threatens to end with a hiss
All the sunshine promises, the hearty
Picnic dates made only that we might miss
Them. The street lamp has gone all sputtery. [Read more…]

The Vigil

Anne Babson

Could I report you stood sentry at dawn,
waiting for the cemetery sun to take
grief and reopen it with morning
glories on vines around you? This bony

Rabbi who had awakened you was sleeping
forever. His mother had devoured her lip
while you dressed His wounds so hurriedly,
absurdly—He could not even feel the [Read more…]

Ghost Pain

E. R. Womelsduff

Knowledge is not power, knowledge is paralysis, is crippling. Knowledge is reaction, is indirect, is change. I threw away my curling iron. I found people with names like Roxie and Ash. I rubbed my hands against the greasy tattoo parlor vinyl so I could see the dirt, so I could touch it, so I could wash it away. I asked the man to mark me, to set down the time in my skin, and he did so without anyone’s consent but mine. I kissed him on the lips and he smelled like disinfectant. I came back time and time again to lift my shirt over my shoulder blades so he could trace with his blue latex finger what he had left on me.

I thought about Jenny. My other, the dead one.

Jenny. [Read more…]

Dark Places

J.M. Wilson

You stare into the azure distances
    That eyes cannot exceed.
    A serious voice bleeds
Through the wall, but you don’t hear what it says.
At night, you fold the paper in your lap
    To solve the crossword; as
    Descending letters pass
Onto the page, you sense a code, perhaps
A whole vocabulary, meant for you
    That you may never speak. [Read more...]

Proof of the Immortality of the Soul, with Reference to Beeswax Soap

Joshua Hren

You could step on the smiley yellow mat at the mouth of Seven Swan’s corner store and get swallowed into the fluorescent belly behold a pack of busy bargain finders waiting for a sign, a sale, a lick at the lottery. Just a few licks, and a display case of lollipops in seven times seventy flavors. Choices. You could buy a bar of lavender or sandalwood or sweet rose beeswax soap for a dollar or so, crack the cardboard wrapping and let the flakes fall out let the perfumed scent lift you praise you heavenly hosts hurry home and let the pumice purify your pores it has been too long you are dirt-caked and hideous and hidden from yourself. [Read more…]

Mary, Queen of Angels 2011

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“Coming Awake in Love”: A Discussion on the Struggle for Holiness and the Writing of Shirt of Flame: My Year with St. Therese of Lisieux – Heather King

Ghost Pain –  E. R. Womelsduff
Red Bird – Kaye Park Hinckley
Anymore – Steven Stafford
The Good Thief – Joshua Hren
A Train in Germany – Dena Hunt

Dark Places – J. M. Wilson
Francisco – David Athey
Good King – David Athey
St. Levan’s Well: A Triolet – Jacob Riyeff
Sonnet of Youth Departing – Anne Babson
The Vigil – Anne Babson
I Was Born Human – Charity Gingerich
This Is My Song – Charity Gingerich
Proof of the Immortality of the Soul, with Reference to Beeswax Soap – Joshua Hren
Starting Seeds – John Milbury-Steen
Blue and Green Passion – Hannah Woldum

Art & Photography
View from the School – Deborah Conlon
Lone Pine – Marrieta Valley – Deborah Conlon
Pretty Boy – Deborah Conlon
Untitled – Deborah Conlon
Relinquished – Naomi Arielle
Last Days of Winter – Deborah Conlon
Untitled – Deborah Conlon
Tea and Oranges – Deborah Conlon