Spiritual Exercises

by Kevin Brown

I have ignored my spiritual
health, neglected the holy ghost
jumping jacks and deep Catholic

knee bends, performed Lutheran
lunges only to get out
of the church, and I am barely able
to manage three Presbyterian

push-ups, though I know I am meant
to do more. So it is no surprise
my soul sags
more than the belly of a middle-aged,

third-world dictator
in a Speedo. Every morning, I sleep
late, not running the race
before me, sit in the stands

with a slurpee, wonder why
everyone on the track is working
so hard.


Kevin Brown is an Associate Professor at Lee University and an MFA student at Murray State University. His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in The New York Quarterly, REAL: Regarding Arts and Letters, Connecticut Review, South Carolina Review, Stickman Review, Atlanta Review, and Palimpsest, among other journals. He has also published essays in The Chronicle of Higher Education,Academe, InsideHigherEd.com, The Teaching Professor, andEclectica. He has one book of poetry, Exit Lines (Plain View Press, 2009), a forthcoming chapbook, Abecedarium (Finishing Line Press), and a forthcoming book of scholarship, They Love to Tell the Stories: Five Contemporary Novelists Take on the Gospels.