Joseph Braun's Dust & Light

"This fifty-two part prayer, also named Life in the Year, describes the task of the detective, the task of the monk, the task of the artist, the task of the surgeon, the seed the flower, the human, such that one might meet faith enough in the power of questioning & engage that which is just, such that one may walk a clear path; such that if one may lay bare the collective joy & pain of existence, we may all perhaps find a manner within creation to hear & somewhere to reclaim ourselves."

I think what Braun hears is love as the “linguistic unifier,” to borrow from Giuseppe Mazzotta. Love breathes between the words; love surrounds and includes them, even as it surrounds and includes us. The distance between dust and light is like that between two sounds. “A blend in sound / of spark and spit,” Braun writes (XXXIX). Here is an alliteration between the divine and the human: both are seeded with the same sound, the same sibilance. This is carried to its denouement via an equation: “Human is to language as God is to / space” (XL). The act-of-being, the act of self-emptying-space, becomes the sound that pulses through the poet, pulses through his questions, and pours across all measure.
— David Mutschlecner
[Joseph Braun] is in touch with things that we should be in touch with—we once were but no longer are. In touch with the heavens. And hells. In a correspondence with them. He lives in them and he brings them to us and us to them.
— Indigo Deany