Archives for March 2016
[Three hosts.] Would he who had possessed the friendship of the King of England, the King of Poland, and the Queen of Sweden, have believed he would lack a refuge and shelter in the world?
-Pascal, Pensees, 177
Did such snow ever blanket Bethlehem?
It falls as final as the time of year
Across the crop or rocks that crown and hem
The outskirts of the village. Winter claims –
Definitive – irrevocable – some
Bizarre prerogative tonight. But rooms
Are filling up – so paying silver states
Its terms against the naked cold, which names
Its own price: in my bed a woman waits –
A Memphis slattern drawing ten percent,
Each random lay she scores for me. Our rates
Have risen since these hungry hoards that bent
Their pilgrim way – tremendous clouds of dust
Announced their mad arrival. Money spent
On taxes ought not strain rapport of guest
And host, ought they? So profits make as much
About the Law as Caesar’s laws can trust
The prophets’ words – though caves would gape at such
A prosperous teat to fete the Lupercal…
A steady wind is reaching out to touch
The embers in my hearth. I smell the stall
Across the dooryard but, by God, I’ll take
The whore (or who and when I want!). The inn
Abides. My board is blessed by holy luck,
Discerning honey from the turpentine.
It’s a downright radical (or reactionary) publication (for the sake of complete transparency, I have a lifetime subscription), but this pre-Vat. II take on the flim-flam of films is, I think, right on. It was, after all, written by a member of the “greatest generation” – how could it be wrong?
“[P]erhaps you like the ‘progressive’ type priest better than the more old-fashioned kind. But don’t you see, even the old doddering padre, the one who’s made to appear as a typical ‘traditionalist’ or ‘conservative’ in the ranks of the Catholic clergy, is a far cry from what I would call a real Catholic priest. Because to all appearances he values his parish mainly in terms of a church building which it has taken him a lifetime collection drive to build. True, he doesn’t only take in money via raffle tickets and church pew collections, but in a kind of Robin Hood way he also pays back an occasional alms to the parish needy. Then, in moments of financial parish crisis, when the mortgagor’s handwriting appears in bold letters on the wall—the old padre seeks to revive his inner faith by an admittedly human, but hardly a very priestly way: he reaches dodderingly for his favorite bottle of scotch!”
I think of Spotlight winning this year’s onanist Oscar and can’t help but think that if the late and venerable Mr. Matt is right, he’s more right than he thinks…
Thank God for J.F. Powers…