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Posts tagged "Mark Jarman"

Devotion and Metaphor, Consciousness and Grace: Mark Jarman’s Dailiness

Prayer is a waking activity, a way of giving thanks for consciousness. … When prayer takes the form of devotion, and devotion takes the form of poetry, the connection is through consciousness. Mark Jarman wrote his new essay collection, Dailiness, about “the way poetry celebrates being alive as an act of consciousness.” But does consciousness […]

Hopelessly Devoted: Mark Chapter Nine Verse Two

In light of this past Sunday’s reading, this morning’s devotion is a poem by Mark Jarman, entitled “Transfiguration.” These are the last three parts of the poem.

And there appeared to them Elijah and Moses and they were talking to Jesus.

…They were talking to him about law and how lawgiving should be
Like rainfall, a light rain falling all morning and mixing with dew–
A rain that passes through the spiderweb and penetrates the dirt clod
Without melting it, a persistent, suffusing shower, soaking clothes,
Making sweatshirts heavier, wool stink, and finding every hair’s root on the scalp.
And that is when you hurled judgment into the crowd and watched them
Spook like cattle, reached in and stirred the turmoil faster, scarier.
And they were saying that; to save the best, many must be punished,
Including the best. And no one was exempt, as they explained it,
Not themselves, not him, or anyone he loved, anyone who loved him.

Take anyone and plant a change inside them that they feel
And send them to an authority to assess that feeling. When they are told
That for them alone these waits a suffering in accordance with the laws
Of their condition, from which they may recover or may not,
Then they know the vortex on the mountaintop, the inside of the unspeakable,
The speechlessness before the voices begin talking to them,
Talking to prepare them, arm them and disarm them, until the end.
And if anybody’s looking, they will seem transfigured.

I want to believe that he talked back to them, his radiant companions,
And I want to believe he said too much was being asked and too much promised.
I want to believe that that was why he shone in the eyes of his friends,
The witnesses looking on, because he spoke for them, because he loved them
And was embarrassed to learn how he and they were going to suffer.
I want to believe he resisted at that moment, when he appeared glorified,
Because he could not reconcile the contradictions and suspected
That love had a finite span and was merely the comfort of the lost.
I know he must have acceded to his duty, but I want to believe
He was transfigured by resistance, as he listened, and they talked.

Damascus – Mark Jarman

Headlong in your career, breathing out threatenings
And slaughter against enemies, dictating trouble
68d459a310fb0ecc1aa9b2b7f8021111For anyone advanced ahead of you, gambling
That you can stay ahead of your rep, checking off
The list of those to chop off at the top, and the place
Your name will be inked in, all the while businesslike,
Congenial with associates and flattering
To authorities and enforcers, bloody and obscene
Only in private mutterings and unspoken dreams,
On your way to yet another hanging, stoning, gossip-
Mongering swap meet of assassins, you’re surprised
As much as anyone to be chosen–though it requires
A certain blindness on your part and such a change
You wouldn’t know yourself–a vessel of grace.

Unholy Sonnet 42 – Mark Jarman

Instead, you can walk backwards into life—
Undo your steps and gain ground as you yield,
As long as ground remains beneath your feet.
It’s like one way of wading into surf,
Putting the swell behind you as it breaks.
The other is to take life diving under
With eyes shut tight until it washes over.
Either way, if you don’t want to face
The world mounting towards you, wave on wave,
Or setting up its obstacles perversely,
You can make a virtue of reversal
Or submission. Then, perhaps, you’ll have
That certain feeling of being vaguely shepherded
Or that someone somewhere knows where you are headed.

NOW AVAILABLE! Issue 4 of The Mockingbird: The Work and Play Issue


We’re happy to announce that Issue 4 is now available! Here’s our Table of Contents for the Work and Play Issue. Needless to say there’s lots to be excited for, so if you’re looking for a subscription, now’s the time, because this is also the last time we’ll be selling subscriptions for the price they’re at now ($42).

This is what we’re looking into in this, the Work and Play Issue: We have interviews with best-selling time-researcher (and working mother), Brigid Schulte, as well as the Nigerian theologian of play, Nimi Wariboko. We’re covering a wide variety of topics, from freemium gamers and Fitbit philosophy, to happy jobs and Las Vegas tragedies. There’s an essay on the real meaning of sabbath, and a self-improvement sermon against self-improvement. We also have two new works from the matchless poet Mark Jarman—it’s all too much to name, really. In all of these, though, a common thread remains: one that marks out workweek from weekend, the world of demand from the world of freedom. Along this boundary lie much the world’s troubles, but also its hope, for a little bit of thought, and a lot bit of tomfoolery.



Optimization Nation: Deprogramming the Cult of Productivity by David Zahl

The ConfessionalIssue4Cover

“In a Bookstore,” A Poem by Mark Jarman

Sabbath Time: In a World of Work, an Invitation to Rest by Phillip Cary

For the Record: Games for Non-Gamers by Jamin Warren

The Overwhelm: A Conversation on a Modern Mandate with Brigid Schulte

Happy: America’s Favorite Feeling Goes to Work by Ethan Richardson

For the Record: Nine Comic Books for Your Inner-Child

God So Loved the World of Warcraft: Role-Playing Games and the Labor of Spirituality by Will McDavid

The Logic of Grace Is the Logic of Play: A Q&A with Nimi Wariboko

“Confession,” A Poem by Mark Jarman

Auden, Big Data, and the Accelerated Grimace of Modern America by Evan Brush

For the Record: Eight Must-See ESPN 30 for 30s

De Profundis: Our Past Is Prologue by Michael Nicholson

The End of the Never-Ending Voice, A Sermon by Paul Walker

Transfiguration – Mark Jarman

This man will be our featured poet for Issue 4, with two new, unpublished works.

414R4T6GDeL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_They were talking to him about resurrection, about law,
about the suffering ahead.
They were talking as if to remind him who he was and
who they were. He was not
Like his three friends watching a little way off, not like
the crowd
At the foot of the hill. A gray-green thunderhead massed
from the sea
And God spoke from it and said he was his. They were
About how the body, broken or burned, could live again,
Only the fiery text of the thunderhead could explain it.
And they were talking
About pain and the need for judgement and how he would
make himself
A law of pain, both its spirit and its letter in his own flesh,
and then break it,
That is, transcend it. His clothes flared like magnesium,
as they talked.