Note from the Editors

 

   SEEING RED 

    ENDU(RED) ADMI(RED)
    DESI(RED) WONDE(RED)
    RUMO(RED) ADO(RED)
    ENAMO(RED) INSPI(RED)
    DISCOVE(RED) SAC(RED)
    HUNGE(RED) WONDE(RED)
    EXPLO(RED) FEATU(RED)
    AUTHO(RED) SEA(RED)
    DA(RED) UNCENSO(RED)
    SOA(RED) ADVENTU(RED)

 

 

    


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Velvet Jesus, Magic Eight Ball

           
for Rev. Kay Jorgensen


A fuzzy plastic Jesus statuette
Dusted with phony velvet—a foot high—
One soft hand raised in blessing—stuns the eye,
Calls forth the would-be pilgrim’s epithet.
Loose robes a shade that's neither pink nor violet;
A mix of kitsch and grandeur to amaze us;
Harlequin holiness that shouldn’t faze us
If we recall a savior is God’s puppet.
But in a window at the figure’s base
A tiny pyramid floats in tinted water
With answers to our questions on each face;
Wisdom arrives when we turn Jesus over,
A bit too glib to truly offer grace:
“Sinner!,” “Repent!,” “I’ll have to ask my father.”


Born in Michigan in 1957, Robert Lavett Smith grew up in northern New Jersey, in a suburb of New York. Since 1987, he has lived in San Francisco, where for the past thirteen years he has worked as a Special Education Paraprofessional for the San Francisco Unified School District. He holds an M.A. in creative writing from the University of New Hampshire, where he studied with Charles Simic and Mekeel McBride. In 1982, he studied with Galway Kinnell, as a member of the Master Class at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. He is the author of four small-press chapbooks, and most recently, of a full-length collection, Everything Moves With A Disfigured Grace (Alsop Review Press, 2006). A collection of his sonnets, Smoke In Cold Weather, will hopefully be published by the Full Court Press this summer.

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