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‘… on the sand, / Half sunk, a shattered flattered visage lies …’

At the very end of Lent 2012, the six members of the Korrektiv Kollektiv received, as a gift from Matthew Lickona, cartoon portraits from the pen of the wonderful Daniel Mitsui. What Mitsui memorialized in those small and startling figures, with unobtrusive allusiveness and an unsettling but corrective touch of the grotesque that exemplified the Korrektiv ethos of the classic period, was a golden age: a flowering, a ripening, the sun at zenith.

But flowers fade; ripeness turns to rot; light declines toward a slow, final failure; and shadows lengthen and coalesce unto the great shade, Night, who is herself the shadow of Death.

You couldn’t have noticed all that fading, rotting, and declining, though, since none of it showed on the surface — until November 1. On that day — All Saints’ Day (bitter irony!) —  a mistake was made.

Now, at the beginning of Advent 2012, Mr Lickona has once again hired Daniel Mitsui — not to memorialize glory this time, but folly.

Fittingly so: Our Faith teaches that wrongs can be not merely prevented, not merely undone, but actually redeemed. And this is true.

For example: Though my addition to this blog’s roster may be a loss for you, the reader (not to mention the dragging-down it entails for Jonathans Potter and Webb, Mr Finnegan, Mr Lickona, Mr JOB, and Ms Expat), I get a brilliant Mitsui portrait:

Enigmatic, spooky, funny, and a good likeness to boot, though enough obscured to provide a useful degree of plausible deniability. I could hardly be happier with it. If only it had not come at such awful cost to you, dear friends.

Thank you for the picture, Mr Mitsui. Thank you for the present, Mr Lickona.

Thank you (in advance) for forbearing to sting, scorpion.


  1. It’s cute, Angelico, the way you pretend the scorpion isn’t you.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      I told you ’bout the rattus and me, man,
      You know that we’re as close as can be, man.
      Well, here’s another clue for you, then:
      The rattus was Quin.

  2. p.s. Love the holes tag. Corpus Meum tagline?

  3. See, Kollektivists bury their heads in the sand like this

  4. Best one yet.

  5. Windows to the soul, stylishly framed, betray no fear, instead a hidden smile.

    • Angelico Nguyen, Esq., OP says

      Are those eyes fearless? When we’re in a pickle,
      The angels counsel us to have no fear.
      Are those eyes smiling? So they would appear.
      (A wriggling desert-snake nest tends to tickle.)

  6. I done been shown up!

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