If you’ve ever tried to chant like a Buddhist, in a group, tried to open your knotted little Western larnyx to the great power-drone of love at the bottom of the universe, you may well have found yourself – as I did, last week – in a certain amount of discomfort. The chant repeats around you, looping and deepening and piling on significance like a vintage heavy metal riff, and something small and negative happens to your throat: it seizes up, it won’t transmit. It hurts. Oh, narrow aperture of man, you think to yourself. Oh, pusilla anima. And then you relax, and you listen quietly to the chanting – to the other, sustaining voices, which have not stopped.
The last Pilgrim of 2015, like the darkening year itself, is full of hardness and hope, of fists banged on walls and walls coming down, and where one voice halts and drops away another picks up. Laurel Lambert looks through the cracks; Steve Murray gets settled; Gizzmo enters the medieval literary genre of the visio – the prophetic vision received in a dream. We welcome to our pages Sean Croft, Carol McKinnon, Stephanie Landry, Frank O’Hare, Al Action, and Nellie, and we rejoice in the return of Paul Estes.