Wally Swist – Four Poems

What is peripheral is
              often not even what is considered,
                            but what passes just beyond
                                          our vision may momentarily

flutter there and be so enchanting
              that it offers a revelation as to
                            why butterflies are emblematic
                                          of the evanescent. 

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Judith Skillman – Five Paintings

Without our star, how would we inhabit bodies of rich sensory perception with which to perceive, even partially, the faint and intermittent signals lumped together under the term “beauty”? From the darkness of our ordinary, often dreary and difficult lives, these signals—if we pause long enough from “information—can become art. These glimpses into the organic whole may even glimmer.

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Julie Rosenzweig – The Mirror

Fine-grained urbanism doesn’t hijack your attention; it invites you in. You don’t view it, you live it – calling to mind Walter Benjamin’s famous dictum about architecture being an art whose reception “is consummated […] in a state of distraction.” We often think of beauty as something to be contemplated at a remove. Like life, though, beauty can be something that simply happens while you’re busy making other plans.

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The Lame Angel – Catulle Mendès (1885) Translated by Patricia Worth

I wish you could see what I see. A vast blue port sparkles in the afternoon sun that shines its bright band across the water. The dazzle makes me look left of it toward the bays and inlets and forested hills on the opposite shore. Below my balcony a cliff held together by lush shrubby trees drops steeply away to the esplanade, quiet on this cool May day.

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