Note on genre: zuihitsu is a form of prose-poetry that emerged during Japan’s 11th century (Saito). Translated as “following the brush,” zuihitsu collects observations, notes, personal feelings, and quotes in a seemingly random and associative manner, ‘not too close, not too far”, leading to surprising poetic expressions and insights. Or not. When cultures collide there can be collusion.
Atlantic Coast, Florida
Life can only be understood backwards. – Soren Kierkegaard
If you want to know the future, heat up the past. - Chinese saying
My father never spoke of it directly. When I was a young girl, he told me to never confuse a priest with God. And never let a priest tell me I was special, for that would be a lie. Never be alone with a priest and never enter the rectory, ever, for that would be a sin. I was more afraid of my father than I was of any priest, so I followed what my father told me.
So when the new young priest with the big smile enters Sister Margaret’s eighth grade class to ask who would like to “babysit” the rectory phone, no one questions why the priest couldn’t answer the phone himself. All my classmates raise their hands. Everyone likes the handsome young priest with the big smile.
dives for the butterfly
*Published in Presence, issue 62. Voted best in issue.
Mountain Empire, Arizona
I open the door to an apparition. Seated in the small space is a ballerina. Her hair forms a perfect bun atop her head. She too wears a pink leotard with pink tights, the ones that fold open at the feet. Her one foot is completely wrapped in tape. Her hands lightly fold around her exposed foot as if she is caressing an injured bird. Her foot is raw and bruised and her toes are so misshapen as to appear broken. She briefly meets my eye with a look of determined composure, and then proceeds to wrap her foot.
My cheeks flush. I look away as I gather my pointe shoes and gently close the door.
we tie pink satin ribbons
around each ankle
*Published in Presence, issue 63
Maurer School of Law, Indiana
behind the black robe
a white robe. . .
a butterfly wanders through
looking on paper
cut to the bone
Good poetry makes the universe share a secret. –Hafiz
All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident -Arthur Schopenhauer