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About Zach Williams

A writer and lawyer who lives on the Hill.

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Author Archive

    Let Us Now Praise Lebron James

    It is difficult to imagine now, but there was a time when he could not be counted on when it mattered. Vividly I remember June 2011, when my Mavericks were made the agent of God’s moral retribution, which he spares us in life but applies in the world of sport. Those Mavericks pre-figured many of […]

    When We Were Young: A Story of America

    Back in the summer of 2004, roughly fifteen months after the United States invaded Iraq, I sat in the United States House of Representatives, high in the balcony on to the right of the lectern for he who stood at it, and listened to Colin Powell speak to a chamber full of congressional interns. It […]

    Art of Survival

    Cold kitchen floor
    Smooth basil leaves
    Dog’s rubber tongue
    Tree’s hardened skin

    Bricks under foot
    Grey chalky clouds
    Paint sculpted on wood
    Her shadow on blue

    Steel’s sharpened edge
    Soft swollen vein
    This very pen
    This scribbled painting…

    Your hair. Your nape.
    My fingers. Your lips.

    All these surfaces
    That I touch
    Fade into stone.

    Another Terrible Week Ends

    Poems, with their frustrations, are apt oblations. See: A failure of sound in line one, And two. And now three. A fitting clang for a clanging land: Half-formed, One-third too much logic, Savagely lucid, like a siren. Going from Jericho to Jerusalem to family dinner, In a beat-up Buick, taillight out. He groans, Pierced in […]

    From the Archives: God, Help Us Be Like the Nuns (Thoughts on Scapegoating)

    Alejandro and Maria Martinelly of Prince William County, Virginia, knew their son’s affliction all too well, and so they hid the car keys from him. The ruse was effective in keeping him from his third conviction – until one night in August 2010. Fresh into his latest bender, young Carlos A. Martinelly-Montano dug the keys […]

    No More Parties with Kanye: A Review of Kanye West’s “Life of Pablo”

    “Name one genius that ain’t crazy.” –Kanye West, “Feedback,” The Life of Pablo No one who is actually crazy calls himself “crazy.” A healthy person admits her illness. A truly mentally ill person never admits his mental illness. A borderline class of person exists who calls himself “crazy” not in earnestness but in flippancy, as […]

    Our Town

    Never a commotion in this town. No crowds of yelling hustlers in the bus line. No controlled professionals, stamping toward the train, Without eyes but for a deadline. A few cars driving to soccer practice, And the college girl with a tattoo on her foot, Gliding toward the coffee shop, admiring The bouquet of sunshine […]

    Philip Seymour Hoffman Was Right: A Belated Memorial

    When you work too much, you don’t experience events of life so much as you pass them by.  The dry cleaning piles up.  I need to take those shirts in; I do when I’m down to my last shirt.  Without realizing it, the only thing in my refrigerator is a carton of curdled half-and-half and […]

    The Irritating, Infantile, Irresistible Mr. West: A Review of Kanye West’s Yeezus

    What in the world happened to Kanye West? He once gave a fresh, whimsical sound to Jay-Z and others, and then, armed with courage and a robust cleverness sufficient to overcome his limited lyrical abilities, he became a novel, thought-provoking voice in a musical genre that had become suffocated by the reflexive fulfillment of its […]

    Mine Eyes Have (and Have Not) Seen the Glory: Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder

    There are reasons not to perform well at your work. If you give a fine sermon that alters the thinking of your parishioner, your parishioner will have that sermon in mind when he listens to your next one. If you complete your projects at work and impress your superiors, you will be given more work. […]

    Mutually Antagonistic Rival Goodness: James Alison on the Purpose of Theology

    Catholic theologian and noted Rene Girard interpreter James Alison on the purpose of theology: One of the most difficult things I find in teaching theology is people’s addiction to goodness.  Theology is principally for people who are not very good.  That’s the whole point of it.  It presupposes that God is talking to people who […]

    The End Is the Beginning Is the End, Part IV: Living Backwards

    To read the previous installment, go here. For part one, here. Silent in the Still Waters of Mystery Here’s an example of the reflexivity of my own self-interested, predetermined fiction-making. Recently, I sauntered into the elevator at the end of a day at the courthouse. Like every elevator, this one has an “emergency” button. After […]