An Archangel, A Journey, A Sacred River, The Folk Process and A Spiritual!

The Immortal Jukebox

Or, to put it another way:

Four takes on, ‘Michael Row The Boat Ashore’

‘… They were tones, loud, long and deep, breathing the prayer and complaint of souls boiling over with the bitterest anguish.’ (Frederick Douglas)

‘And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as there never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, everyone shall be found written in the book.

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to eternal life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.’.
(Book of Daniel Chapter 12 King James Version)

‘Jordan River is deep and wide, hallelujah.
Meet my mother on the other side, hallelujah
Jordan River is chilly and cold…

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A Good Man Is Hard To Find, Jefferson’s Very Small Batch Bourbon, And Grits.

Empires, Cannibals, and Magic Fish Bones

It’s late, cold and I’m drinking Jefferson’s Kentucky Bourbon Very Small Batch.  Much spice and vanilla on the nose with citrus notes everywhere–green apples and rum in there as well.  Taste?  Very clean, refreshing, slightly sour with red-hot candy, anise, a bit of lemon, bit of grass, and cookie dough.

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A roll of nectar in the mouth, head tilts back, eyes close and the mind wanders to the past.  In this case, Flannery O’Connor’s insightful diagnosis of memory in her classic short story A Good Man Is Hard To Find.  Over the years, I’ve read and re-read this story, assigned it in various classes, and discussed with students its many aspects of the absurd, grotesque and violent.  The story also contemplates our relationship to memories and what might happen when the past shapes the present.  The following scene occurs halfway through the tale, and marks a turning point…

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Cat Power

CARROT QUINN

We were together the summer I listened to Cat Power and Dolly Parton. I was so sad that summer, so full of generalized anxiety and an unshakeable feeling that something horrible was about to happen- I still can’t listen to Jolene or a certain Cat Power album without wanting to cry. I had a little attic room, with a window that looked out at the garden. I slept in a twin bed. Sometimes in the morning I’d find small gifts on the porch that you’d left in the night- a mix CD, a picture you’d drawn. I’d bike to your house, which was narrow and dark, and we’d make vegan sushi and homemade peanut butter cups. I’d always show up late.

You called me your Young Lover, and in a lot of ways it was true- you knew what you wanted, and I didn’t. You knew who you were, and…

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Megamouth shark washes up in Philippines and is only the 60th we’ve ever seen.

Shark Devocean

On the morning of the 28th of January in Barangay Marigondon, Philippines, local residents discovered a mysterious shark washed up on their coastline caught in fishing nets. After contacting local authorities, it was confirmed to be the ever elusive megamouth shark, Megachasma pelagios. This is, by my records, only the 60th confirmed documentation of this enigmatic shark. Whilst detailed information on this species is still lacking, some biological information is known about this shark:  check out my 12 brain fondling facts here

But what have we learnt about this shark since its last sighting back in July of 2014.

[EDIT]: The original upload of the photo was by Rosalina Sariola of Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (as credited under the photo and hyperlinked). Please see their Facebook page for more videos and photos of the event. All other pictures used are credited to the photographer and also hyperlinked to…

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The Myth of the Real Deal

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

Well, if you can't impress me, you're never going to make it!Well, if you can’t impress me, you’ll never make it!

A guest post from Jennifer Berney:

When I entered my MFA program in 2003, I hoped I might be a literary success in the making. Though I had only written a handful of short stories, I imagined that a two-year writing program would provide me with the structure I needed to complete a book-length manuscript, and after that I’d have it made. I’d find an agent and land a publishing contract. I might not make the bestseller list right away, but I’d have a steady, respectable career. At the time, this seemed like a reasonable dream.

Surely I was the kind of student that Ryan Boudinot writes about in his recent essay in The Stranger, “Things I Can Say About MFA Programs Now That I No Longer Teach in One,” in which he groups his former students into…

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She’s Not My Mother

Goodnight Already

bigstock-sperm-going-for-the-egg-38755240The fertility clinic waiting room was not what I expected. I had imagined leather couches, warm lighting, and potted plants—the kind of décor that might suggest to clients that the thousands of dollars they were spending was being directed, at least in part, to their own care and comfort.

Instead, I opened the door to find two rows of uncomfortable chairs, outdated wall paper, and fake plants that frayed at the edges. The reception desk was empty, but Kellie and I weren’t alone. A woman in a long dress and bonnet stood watching her two boys play in the corner while her husband, dressed like his sons in a collared shirt, pants, and suspenders, sat reading a magazine with one leg crossed over the other. I recognized them as Mennonites; I’d seen other Mennonite families before, not at the downtown library or at the local drug store, but always, remarkably…

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