Kalos Press
a literary imprint of Doulos Resources

Art Pepper (Bruce Ray Smith)

The jazz saxophonist Art Pepper, whose addiction to heroin and years in prison are a matter of record, admired but never met his great contemporary, Miles Davis. Davis was, in fact, an ill-spirited, sometimes malicious man, but Pepper wouldn’t hear a word of it. It is not possible, he reasoned, for a bad man to create such sensitive, honest, beautiful things. Pepper’s own recordings,
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Bitter-Sweet (Bruce Ray Smith)

I love George Herbert’s poem, “Bitter-Sweet.” Assigned these eight lines for a college literature class, one expects a conversation about oppositions, paradox, perhaps St. Augustine’s notion of the “Fortunate Fall.” I’ve been a teacher myself; I’ve no objection. But the best thing about this poem is its tone. Intimate. Not presumptuous. Not quite bitter.
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For the Time Being (Bruce Ray Smith)

In his long poem For the Time Being, W. H. Auden presents two possibilities: the dreary littleness of now; the wonder of the shepherds who “have seen the Child.” This time on earth, this “noon,” as Auden calls it, does feel bad to me. Waiting is not, for most of us, a pleasant experience. Our fellow believers, our brothers and sisters in Christ, are given us, in part, to keep us from
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Sylvester Jacobs (Bruce Ray Smith)

My friend Sylvester Jacobs, the photographer, inspires me. He makes me think, makes me laugh, and sometimes, though rarely, exasperates me. He’s irrepressible. At 67, he’s older than I, but possessed of an inexhaustible energy. He exhausts me. He likes doing magic tricks, especially for children. He likes big ideas, new challenges. He likes doing things.His work inspires me. His first book
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Wasps in the Fennel (Bruce Ray Smith)

The fennel plants at our front stoop are a glory and a problem. The tallest of them is an entomological aircraft carrier, its yellow umbels hovered over by menacing insects, mostly wasps—yellow jackets, paper wasps, potter’s wasps, huge and frightening Great Black Wasps, tiny enameled sweat bees and flower flies of every color and pattern, gray leafcutters, mimics—wasps, that is,
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Rereading Winter Light (Bruce Ray Smith)

Recently I’ve been rereading Winter Light, and reliving the painful (and almost unbearably exciting) years during which I wrote it. I wrote in medias res—when I typed a sentence, I didn’t know what would come next. I didn’t know because I didn’t know what God would do next: trusting and knowing are not, as Paul keeps pointing out, the same. I knew one thing: that God had answered me. He was
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Winter Light: another review

We're grateful for this feedback from R. Aubrey Harley Verner, a Deacon at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Eustis, FL:Winter Light by Bruce Ray Smith is a marvelous pocket book based on one man's meditations as to his position with God. It is a condensed yet forceful work that compels the introspective reader to take a deeper measure of himself and his God. Careful attention is given to some of the
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Callings (Bruce Ray Smith)

“She was not an eminent poet,” Czesław Miłosz says of his fellow Pole Anna Kamienska. “But that is just: A good person will not learn the wiles of art.”Needless to say, this is a complex, even sly, assertion. Miłosz is both expansive and uneasy, proud and humbled at once, about his gift, his calling. But he accepts it, his calling to be a poet. He is certain in a simpler
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Bad theology = bad writing

In a recent issue of Image Journal, Tony Woodlief presented an insightful piece about how bad theology works its way out into bad art, especially bad writing ("Bad Christian Art," Tuesday, May 31, 2011).The writer identifies several overworked angles and themes in much of what is passed off as "Christian Fiction," including:Neat resolutionOne-dimensional charactersSentimentalityWoodlief's description
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On Staying Put (Bruce Ray Smith)

My neighbor, Joe Eisenbraun, is an example of what can happen when one takes the notion of the Body of Christ seriously. What can happen, too, when one decides to stay put.Joe’s parents, Dave and Deb, are friends and contemporaries; my wife and I knew Joe when he was—I’m sure he hates this—a baby. It’s a testament to the community of believers here in Old North, our neighborhood
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