Articles tagged "Ritual"


Scale and Stairs

If you climbed up the back stairs to the church a piano stood like a sad black animal in a corner of the nave. The child reflected in the black sheen of the piano opened the cover and cautiously began…...

Mrs. Saniya’s Holiday

NOTE: In this portrait of a seamstress (a khiyaata) and her labors of love over the sewing machine, the holiday referred to in the title is the èEid al-Fitr, the three-day feast marking the end…...

The Rooster’s Egg: A Fable of Ancient Thebes

It is hard not to read this story as a lesson about the arbitrary nature of power and attendant reversals of fortune. Some historical background: Akhenaten, originally Amenhotep IV (1353-1335 B.C.), was…...

When Clothes Were Small

NOTE: This poem is taken from a debut collection published in 2005, entitled Yesterday I Lost A Button. All of the poems in the book revolved around clothes-their personalities, their memories, and their…...

Campo Santo

Translator's Note: Campo Santo, from which this chapter is taken, is a collection of prose pieces and essays never before published in book form, though most have appeared in journals. "Campo Santo"…...

Meralda

Just as the sun rises every day, giving its light to the earth, so day after day, year in, year out, we Roma travel on, without knowing where we are headed but following the road that lies before us. A…...

The Chaldean Ruins

Ascetic he emerges from its belly to the grave. His days are not entered on the calendar and he does not gather the things that are scattered. Earthquakes do not shake him nor wink at death without him.…...

from The Asylum Seeker

One evening, after weeks of something like forty jars of vitamins and dozens of liters of strawberry juice, the Bird asks: "Would you mind if I got married?" In that marrying, Beck sees his enemy's…...

Two Poems

The Oracles of the Virgin Music is the art which is most nigh to tears and memory.--Oscar Wilde Buried inside us were the sounds of the words our parents managed to utter in the moment of intercourse before…...