Steam

Gabriel Olearnik

There is a silhouette to the pressure of jeans
thigh and tight cloth. In darkness let me dwell
awhile. The comfortable bloom of night
heavy bedded here the growth of stone
cathedral lint. Arched catbacked ceiling
the snore of old grapes—love—
two bicycle racks, two men and one horse
the Temple. We were poor knights indeed.
Limestone mossed up in the glow of candles.
Grey chlorophyll. And the stale air of cellars. [Read more…]

Chapel of Relics

Matthew Alderman

The glacial white paint comes peeling away
From the monumental doorframe,
Peeling away in great strips like some fabulous
Undiagnosed disease:
And the columns all around are cold and mottled,
Pale and dead and grey.
I stand at the grate,
Looking in through holy prison-bars
Rich with swirling ironwork arabesques
Moorish Palermo turned baroque. [Read more…]

This one’s for you.

Two weeks ago a group of students and alumni from the University of Dallas got together to record an album, gathering in one of the crummy old student apartments that we’ve all loved to hate. They crafted a beautiful and real collection of songs, poems and reflections, some original, some traditional. I loved going to UD for so many reasons. The week in which this album was recorded was an incredible testament to the best parts of that school; a young alumnus had just died very unexpectedly, and alumni from all over the country, even one young alumna teaching as far away as Korea, dropped everything without hesitation to come back to Irving to be with each other, remember their dear friend, and stand by his young widow, Emma.

From the album description: “Anyone who knew Andrew, or had only met him, knew that he lived most of his life in music. In fact, I don’t know of anyone who ever met him without his guitar on. So it was natural, when those of us who first learned of his sudden death and were struck down and sick at heart—, it was natural that we only wanted to hear songs, and only songs that reminded us of him.” Like so many UD students before him, he was also a great lover of poetry and literature, particularly works by Wallace Stevens and James Joyce. All of this is reflected in the tribute his friends have put together. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever heard. There’s no fancy editing, no polishing and perfecting—it’s just exactly what it is, exactly what it is meant to be: a group of friends remembering and honoring one of their own, complete with a few tears, and drinks raised to him. Someone made some short videos of the recording process; here is one of those:

 

Andrew leaves behind his wife, Emma, who was set to graduate this spring, his baby girl, Charlotte, who had her first birthday just after he died, and a second baby girl, due to arrive this fall. You can download and listen to the album for free, or make a donation to help his family, on this page. And, please share it with your friends and families.

andrew1

Telecommunications

Mike Aquilina

Some hundred miles of cable span the skies
and stretch beneath the streets from you to me.
Expensive men and instruments assize
your signal strength and tone and clarity.

But where’s the gauge to count or man to mark
the elements conveyed across the wire
each time you call: the copper takes the spark
and bears your voice, your warmth, your light, your fire.

My Favorite Deadly Sin

Ron McFarland

And eke the verse of famous Poets witt
He does backbite, and spightfull poison spues
From leprous mouth on all, that ever writt.

Spenser, Faerie Queene I.iv.32

In my most envious dream I pretend
not to ride a ravenous wolf in your
homecoming parade, ticker-tape
decorating your victorious shoulders. [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…]