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State of the Art

By Nancy Bauer

One recent June evening I attended a mesmerizing concert at the home of artist Stephen May, the first “house concert” I’d ever attended. Six other guests came, so with the host and four musicians, we were a gathering of twelve. The intimate group was surrounded by seven glorious May paintings and one pitiful palm tree. The musicians were plainly dressed: no theatrical tricks or garish makeup. . . .

Kazim Ali’s Sublime Ordinary

By Ross Leckie

The sacred, the profane, and the glorious mundane shimmer through Kazim Ali’s poetry. The poems are visionary in the best sense of the word. They see both the translucence and the immanence of the world, a seeing that commingles vision, remembrance, and remembering, as he puts it in “Cover Me.” “Remembrance” is the odd word out here. Unlike vision and remembering, remembrance refers to something specific, a moment of history now commemorated. For Ali vision and remembering seem to step into a ceremony of memory that is elegiac, which can be as personal as a keepsake and as social as human slaughter: the museum, the monument, and the monumental. The visionary is given a body in these poems, through sex, embrace, travel, migration, and even something as simple as walking. . . .

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