Saint Paul Lives Here (In Minnesota)

Saint Paul Lives Here (In Minnesota)


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Unabashedly local and particular, these poems bring alive the sights, sounds, and people of Minneapolis and Saint Paul--the ""twin cities"" of Minnesota. In addition, they aim to think and feel their way through one of the most painful episodes in the history of the local church, the revelations of cover-up surrounding the sexual abuse of children by priests. The poet's words present one mode of healing in a difficult hour, some nourishment as a community moves forward into a new day.

""Zach Czaia lays this first collection of poems as one would psalms on the altar of the world. Like a tattoo artist, he etches fine ink cuts onto our thinned skin, leaving memories that cannot be erased. Czaia takes us from classroom to church seamlessly in an American voice, in a Catholic voice, tracking both his personal history and pointing us from what we know to what we sanctify. His 'Father X' poems join a genre of indictment against those--named, nameless, and name withheld--who abuse sacred trust, leaving scars on human dignity and on the body of Christ. Have faith in these poems. They have a destination. Follow the bright notes of the trumpet. You will not be disappointed.""
--Rose Marie Berger, poetry editor, Sojourners magazine

""In Saint Paul Lives Here (In Minnesota) Zach Czaia offers readers a collection of marvels and the miraculous. In these poems, St. Paul ponders bicycles, the tongue of Blake's tiger 'drips oil/for our benedictions,' and the ferryman, Charon, reflects on the generations that have passed through his boat. Dante and Beatrice make appearances in a book that celebrates the lush beauty of the Catholic Mass at the same time as it excoriates, as did the prophets, the corruption of religious authorities. Czaia honestly faces the pitiless sexual abuse scandals of the Church in poems that probe the nature and possibility of forgiveness and peace. The poet's Jonah, who wants 'a bigger, badder God,' would be well-pleased with these brave and beautiful poems of faith, anger, sin, and love. As one poem ends, 'May I return tenfold/what he has given me.' You will be blessed tenfold by reading this book.""
--Anya Krugovoy Silver, poet, author of I Watched You Disappear and The 93rd Name of God

""Beautifully made in an impressive wide range of forms, Zach Czaia's poems deliver the complex thoughtful interior of a young man with tough honesty. Emerging from a deep religious faith, they accomplish the difficult task of not being limited by a specific faith. They speak to everyone who grapples with the joys and hurts, ecstasies and betrayals, to be had living as part of a family, school, romance, church, and city. Czaia speaks directly, a companion on the journey: 'I want a baby's heart and skin but not his tears,' shines with tenderness, vulnerability and truth. And again: 'I move from ease to unease/ easily within the hour, many times."" And again, understood from Dante: 'You know you are a little bit different today, but so are they different each day.' The wealth of poets' work that walks side by side with the language and wisdom of the Holy Bible will bring the delight of recognition of the universal and timeless to lovers of poetry as well as those new to it--whoever seeks a clear view of our daily travels.""
--Rosemary Winslow, poet, author of Green Bodies

""Saint Paul Lives Here (In Minnesota) is unusual for a first book in its range of subject matter as well as its emotional range. The book is also ambitious in the best sense of that word; it is not afraid to take on the ways in which the world can betray us. It is timely in its concerns and timeless in its longings for love, for beauty, for forgiveness and, most of all, for grace. Zach Czaia finds that grace through the act of writing poems and in language itself. The poet says about one of the characters in a poem: 'That is the way with words for him now,/they are like that, small means of grace.' Czaia could, of course, have written this about himself. And we, his

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781498232289
Publisher: Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date: 10/20/2015
Pages: 68
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.14(d)

About the Author

Zach Czaia is a poet and high school English teacher working out of Minneapolis, MN. Saint Paul Lives Here (In Minnesota) is his first book of poems.

Table of Contents

Foreword Deborah Keenan vii

Acknowledgments ix

Flesh is Funny 1

Saint Paul Lives Here (In Minnesota) 2

Charon the Boatman Writes a Poem 3

Memories of Father X 4

Why I Won't Publish Father X's Name, Though the Newspapers Do 8

Father X and I Get Lunch 9

What I Am Most Angry About 10

I Don't Want to Die Yet 12

Some Morning 13

John chapter thirteen verse eight 14

Memory From My Year of Substitute Teaching in Minneapolis Public 15

Mr. Karma 16

For An Old Student 17

Wisdom 18

Yes, Blake 19

God the Father: 20

The Blades of Grass in the Garden of Gethsemane Speak to Me 21

Moses: 22

If Dante Were Alive Today 23

Forgiveness 24

When the Priest at Sunday Mass 25

The Bone Thugs-n-Harmony YouTube Your Student Requested 26

Jonah: 28

Peter Remembers the Cleansing of the Temple 29

For My Younger Brother, On the Occasion of His Wedding 30

Another Metaphor Saint Paul Might Have Used for the Body of Christ 32

Friday Night Lights 33

Cadence 34

What Marcus Borg's Video Camera Might Have Seen If He'd Been Filming in Jerusalem in the Days Following the Death of the Jewish Peasant Jesus 36

Sucker 37

Simon Peter's Wife, on the Rabbi Jesus: 38

What is Snow 40

You and Me, Auden, in a Dream Together 41

I Write to Myself From the Future 43

Processional after Chris Abani 44

Magic 46

The People of God 47

Poem for My Father 49

Benque, 2005 50

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