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The Ones Called Temple Guardians, Part IV

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The twice-stolen buddha was protected meagerly by a tasseled muslin cloth as its cart loudly rattled across the dirt. Kamoon fancied that the forest itself was smirking at the peculiar scene–this vehicle of the Dharma seemed to have a faulty wheel. Kamoon slapped at a giant moth that brushed across his cheek. “Are you sure this is a smart idea, just hauling it out in the open like a bundle of...

The Ones Called Temple Guardians, Part III

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In the dead of night, a little girl sat cross-legged at the center of a circle of dogs. There wasn’t a noise or flash of movement that could break the spell of their attention. The monks at this temple had rarely ever seen the thirteen mutts congregated in such a way, besides when they all received rice and meat at the lonely hour of alms. The girl’s instructions were veiled in silence-the...

The Ones Called Temple Guardians, Part II

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High up in the Lanna mountains, the cool air dances like a fairy through the emerald shadows. The trees sway silently and become enveloped in its spell. Animals, humans, plants, rocks-all the mountain creatures across the sloping golden valleys and green peaks alike are subjects in the dominion of air. Every feature of beauty if authored by its ghostly hand. In the wind, the local tribes say...

The Ones Called Temple Guardians, Part I

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“They often say our villages are intersections of the seen and the unseen, inhabited by men and spirits alike. Between these two worlds there are boundaries only a few can pass over freely, and so there are guardians who watch over them day and night. They exist in the world of the seen, but they are not of the race of man. Their eyes gleam like fireflies in the twilight. Their eyes reach beyond...

Two Bibliovores Review the Year’s Obsessions

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John Brisker and I are standing in a small, one-room library. The room is filled with all the books the two of us have read in 2017, along with a beautiful coffee barista standing in the corner next to an espresso machine whose curling steam makes her look like a genie. An array of fragile chinoiserie lines the walls. I feel struck by a sense of vertigo and grab Brisker by the shoulder. “Is...

Magic, Prayer & Logic: The Psychic Life of Ross Gigliotti

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Like the man himself, it’s hard not to like Ross Gigliotti’s house. It’s a cozy home, glowing with warmth and personality.  Rustic paintings absorb the gaze. The rooms smell lightly of old books and fresh incense, and from the kitchen the squawks of an exotic bird ring out into the hallway. Leading me on a little tour through the memorabilia of his life, Ross lingers in different places, giving...

Take A Knee, Make A Stand: From Abdul-Rauf to Kaepernick

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“People don’t realize what’s really going on in this country. There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, (things) people aren’t being held accountable for. And that’s something that needs to change. That’s something that this country stands for: freedom, liberty and justice for all.”  Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf was coming off the season of his...

Ten MLK Quotes From “The Radical King”

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We have done Dr. Martin Luther King a great disservice. By pigeonholing him as a nonviolent civil rights activist of the ’60s, we rob ourselves of the ultimate message which underpinned his ministry. Justice is not some tool to be used when politically expedient, nor does it belong to some and not to others. It is a universal right of all humanity. But in a process which Dr. Cornel West...

The Portland Book Review’s Take on Chimera

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Outside of Amazon, this is the first official review of Chimera. It’s always fascinating for a writer to see his work critiqued by an impartial observer. With no context and no connection to the book’s creator, the reviewer can only judge the book on its own merits and nothing else. The author and reviewer are strangers to one another, and only the book speaks between them. I like...

The Nightmare Didn’t Start With President Trump

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“I propose to take our countrymen’s claims of American exceptionalism seriously, which is to say I propose subjecting our country to an exceptional moral standard.” ~Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between The World and Me   My country is spiraling into toxic oblivion, and for most of the year I’ve had little to say. While my contemporaries have busied themselves with bitter rants, memes and re-tweets...

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