Poetry. In his own Confessions, St. Augustine wrote, "The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder." This is the story of his life—is just this: a rite of reconciliation, a penance of prayers that might pull a new order out of the chaos of any ordinary, twenty-first-century Self. The aspiration: a new set of psalms in the voice of a ventriloquist, shouting into the residual wind God used to exhale the whole world. The realization: one small poem or mantra—recited, re-seen, re-made, over and over and over again—can somehow make this a life worth living.
TJ Beitelman is a writer and teacher living in Birmingham, Alabama. He's published a novel, JOHN THE REVELATOR (2013), a collection of short fiction, COMMUNION, and three collections of poetry: THIS IS THE STORY OF HIS LIFE (2018), IN ORDER TO FORM A MORE PERFECT UNION (2012) and AMERICANA (2015), all from Black Lawrence Press. His stories and poems have appeared widely in literary magazines, and he's received fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Cultural Alliance of Greater Birmingham. He taught writing and literature at Virginia Tech, where he earned an MA in English, and at the University of Alabama, where he earned an MFA in creative writing and also edited Black Warrior Review. He currently directs the creative writing program at the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham. Author City: BIRMINGHAM, AL USA