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Poem: Lamentation

  Lamentation   By Patrick T. Reardon   Let Israel now say, let Aaron now say, give thanks, mercy endures, mystery forever his majesty.   Bulleted chaste gazelle, backyard cement, clot-blood hosed onto yellow winter grass.   I called upon, put confidence in.   Mountain defiled. Morning-dark body.   Compassed me about, compassed me about, compassed me about, compassed me about like bees, the fire of thorns, raw flame and wild.   Robes rent. Cup unpassed, drained.   My strength and song not die, gates of righteousness, stone builders refused, day…

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Poem: Blessed, a poem for a pandemic

  Blessed, a poem for a pandemic   By Patrick T. Reardon     Blessed are the dead and the dying. Blessed, the mourn-filled good-byes to loves behind glass, behind walls.   Blessed, neighborhoods of pain, grief communities, lightning-struck homes, annunciations of the Angel of Death.   Blessed are the respiratory technicians, nurses, doctors, lab pathologists. Blessed, the women and men who clean hospital floors.   Blessed are the unhealthy, the aimless, lost souls,…

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Book review: “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair, adapted and illustrated by Kristina Gehrmann, translated by Ivanka Hahnenberger

  Kristina Gehrmann’s graphic novel version of Upton Sinclair’s 1906 novel The Jungle is suitably gritty and oppressive, but probably not ugly enough. I’m not sure it would be possible for this kind of illustrative work to capture the visceral angst of Lithuanian immigrant Jurgis Rudkus and his extended family, new to Chicago, new to the Stockyards,…

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