The Cube Abides

Well March is over and so is my time as a guest blogger. Thank you all for reading and commenting. I now return to the caves in my desert.


Holy Mother, Thank You So Much.

Vaultless ambition;

bottomless sloth.

The Secret Apocalyptic Trial of Lickona (Part One)

[I the Cubeland Mystic, a sinner and bondservant of the most High, swears that no mind altering substances were consumed during the transcribing of this vision.]

Lickona’s mullet was the best indicator of his mood. In days past soft mullet curls, lank, oily, sacramental, hung down dripping with hope and promise. In those days, like King David, he stripped to his hemp loincloth to bring in the harvest with his vassals and tenants. He danced before the Lord and his queen, and he would call to her, “Look, I am France!” And she delighted in him and brought forth many children. His lands yielded up their bounty, and new oil and wine flowed from the stone presses, and all was well. In those days, they beat their swords into plowshares, and his children played contentedly beneath the Cedars of his land.

But those days were gone now. Today his mullet was dry, and there was no party in the rear. It was a Psalm 22 mullet—a Good Friday mullet. The extreme tightness of the curls was only surpassed by the unbearable tightness he felt in the “undiscovered country” of his loins. The hot wind blew through his mulletinous curls, and they shook like dead Aspen leaves as he stood on his patio deck surveying his lands. From a distant village the church bells tolled cocktail hour, and the peasants in the downwind valleys forsook their tools. There would be much fornicating in the villages tonight. He prophesied. The hot winds proclaimed the truth of it.

Resolute, he lifted the silver flask from his glass patio table, and took a swig of vodka. Then he put it into his backpack next to the cocktail shaker and ice. Followed by his laptop, Iphigenia, with the gunmetal keyboard. Next his chrome plated Colt 45 automatic, and then a leather purse containing a hundred golden drachma looted from the Siege of Troy. He then lifted his War Axe, Draíocht, high into the air. “Oh Draíocht, reveal to me my true face!” He thundered like a Celtic king. He unsheathed the mighty War Axe from its black leather cocktail shrug to peer at his reflection in the highly polished steel. He straightened his black bow tie, and brushed some cracker crumbs from his tux jacket’s lapel. He admired the dry cleaner’s craftsmanship in removing the bloodstains from the white cummerbund. I look smarter than a New Yorker cover. He thought sheathing Draíocht into its black leather cocktail shrug, and hooked it onto his belt. Once he used it to cleave the helms of a thousand fierce Viking warriors, now he only wore it to cocktail parties, and from it flowed witty banter.

He zipped his backpack, and slipped it over his tuxedo jacket. He reached into his pants pocket, pulling out a single double-ought buckshot shell, and wrote the word “LIBERATION” on it with a red Sharpie. Picking up the Mossberg, he chambered the shell, and clipped the weapon to the backpack. He laid upon his shoulders a pick and shovel like the beam of the cross. Thus begin the journey beyond the zip line and barbed wire to the far reaches of his vast Californistani estate, and the foothills of the mighty Sangre de Cristo mountains.

Fiction Saturday- For Webb

(Remember Agrefena from the dream? Well she’s back!)

First Draft alternate beginning 2

Suddenly there was dim light and soft jazz illuminating the mahogany paneled lounge. Suited men and women sat talking business swirling ice and amber liquor in crystal tumblers. On center table, a blue art glass bowl mounded with snow cooling six vodka glasses.

Thomas looked up from the vodka at a Russian beauty so hot he feared the vodka would ignite as it passed her lips. Pulling a glass from the snow mound he downed it. “Your turn Agrafena.” He said pushing the glass upside down into the mound.

Smiling, she tossed her silky black hair back reached for a glass tilting it just enough so the viscous booze slid oyster-like over her lips—eyes closed—savoring as she swallowed. His eyes stroked the descent of her cleavage down the plunge of her black dress. Quickly the ascent of his glance met with her ice colored eyes as she pushed the empty glass upside down into the mound. “Good vodka.” She sighed in a viscous Russian accent.

“What should we drink to?” Thomas asked smiling. Looking upward she paused, licking her lips and smiling back, “My body. . .” she whispered dipping two fingers into the icy vodka and slipping them into her mouth “. . . let’s drink to my body.”

“My hand will not tremble.” He replied plucking a second glass from the ice. “Your body.” Lifting the glass he drank tossing his head back. Agrafena pulled a glass from the ice, raising it, “My body.” She said pouring the vodka slowly into her mouth. Her face was cool glowing ecstasy as she swallowed, and he fixed on her eyes. She drinks like porno. He thought. Her tongue made a slow orbit around the empty glass’s rim, and she pushed it into the snow. His heart began to race.

“Darling, I have bottle in room, why don’t we have drink up there?” She asked. “I’d love to.” He said choking a bit on the words. Cooly he stood, pulling a thick roll of bills from his pocket, he peeled off a hundred dollar bill laying it on the table. She looked up smiling taking his offered hand. She stood, and they walked across the room to the elevator. As they walked he noticed that every man in the bar was staring at her. This isn’t right . . . he thought, . . .my wife. But as she walked her curvy sway iced his scruple colder than the vodka.

They stepped into the open elevator, and the promise of ascent. The doors closed, and she bent pressing the sixth floor button. She rose turning, and kissed him deeply. His hands moved up her waist . . . “Not yet love, wait for room.” She whispered. The elevator doors opened, and they stepped into the hall in front of her room. She fumbled with the key while he kissed her neck.

Opening the door, she led him into the room his mouth still attached to her neck. She turned and they kissed. He ran his fingers up her bare arms. Her skin danced to his stroke, and he slipped the straps of her dress over her shoulders.
“Mmm, I like. . .” her eyes flashed approval, “. . . but what about drink?”
“Forget it.” He whispered into her ear.
“Darling, third drink makes me naughty girl.” She smiled pushing him away.
“Now go get ice in hall for drinks. Take bucket.”
She handed him the ice bucket and pushed him toward the door. “Go quickly! My need is great for you!”

He grabbed the bucket and stepped into the hall. He ran toward the ice machine at its end. Naughty? I can’t argue with naughty. He thought pushing the ice machine button over and over. “Come on . . . Come on . . . her desire is great!” He said impatiently. The bucket full he ran back to the room. Pausing at the door he composed himself, then stepped in. Agrafena was standing before him in a pool of ice blue light. She had removed her dress and wore only a black push-up bra and thong. In her hands were two empty glasses. “My God!” He gasped in his native Czech, stunned by her erotic symmetry. “What took you?” She said smiling placing the glasses on the table. She took the ice bucket from him, but as she did he seized her waist pulling her against him.

“Slowdown . . .slowdown, We have all night for the pleasure.” Agrafena said pushing him away. “Go in bathroom. Get towel. Take off shirt and tie. I will pour drinks.” Reluctantly releasing the death-grip on her waist he stepped into the bathroom. Looking into the mirror he removed his shirt and tie throwing them on the floor. Good thing I’ve been working out. He thought searching for flaws and the signs of age. Not bad . . . not bad at all. He removed his shoes and socks kicking them under the basin. He carefully arranged the towel over his shoulders concealing his naked torso, and stepped into the room.

Agrafena stood waiting holding a vodka on the rocks in each hand. “Finally love . . .” holding up the two glasses next to her ice colored eyes. She stepped up to Thomas handing him one. “What should we drink to? He asked taking the glass from her. “Your body.” She replied, toasting him while brushing her breasts against his naked torso. She downed her drink with no foreplay this time. Thomas followed and they set their empty glasses on the table. “Bitter . . .” he said “. . . not as good as in the bar.” He felt warm and reckless inside as he pulled her into him. Her skin glowed and was hot against his. He bent to kiss her lips. She stopped him with her hand. “No my love kiss my neck first. It drives me crazy.” She said in perfect Czech. Obeying he kissed her neck pulling her bra strap off her shoulder with his teeth. “Yes love just like that.” She moaned her approval again in Czech.

As he moved to the other shoulder he felt dizzy. He tried to mouth the other strap but could not. He straightened. “Vodka’s going to my head.” He slurred swaying trying to grab her bra strap with his hand. “I can’t . . .ge . . .get it.” Eyeing him coldly she pushed back. “She keeps moving. Must remove bra! I am not drunk, just dizzy. Give me a . . .just give me.” Suddenly, the room filled with fluorescent light as she took a full step away from him. Her expression clinical. “Not back! . . .not back!. . .no! . . . I mus . . . I mus . . . have it!” She smiled pulling her bra strap up over her shoulder. “Closure my darling.” She said in a thick Russian accent, and everything went blacker than her push-up bra.

Thomas opened his eyes. His head was burning pain. The angry fluorescent light hurt his eyes. He could not feel his lower body. His stinging eyes shifting rapidly side-to-side desperately trying to orient himself. He first found his hands. They were cold, wet, and the fingernails were blue. Waves of cold pain hit his consciousness. He was submerged in an ice bath in the tub. He struggled to sit up but could not. Looking down the water and ice were pink, and a large bloody gauze bandage was duct taped to his torso. The sharp ice bit into his skin. An intravenous tube was duct tapped to his arm. Fear and dread overcame him, and he begin to panic. He looked around desperately focusing on the chair. On the seat was a cell phone, a syringe, and a note duct taped to the back. It read.

You are dying my love.
Sorry but business before pleasure.
You are donor match, so some doctor friends and I remove part of your liver.
It will be sold to rich client who needs transplant.
It is too bad, I would have been naughty girl for you . . .but instead I am naughty rich girl!

If you try to get up you will be dead before you walk out of bathroom.
Dial 911 on cell phone. You are in St. Elijah Hotel, sixth floor, first room.
If pain comes stick morphine syringe in tube and press. You won’t feel pain after.

Agrafena signed her name with his blood. Rage and frustration suddenly welled up within him. He fumbled for the cell phone with his numb hands. He tried to think what excuse he could tell his wife. “I didn’t even sleep with her and she took my liver!” NOOOOO! He screamed.

Thomas sat up in bed gasping in a sweat clutching his cell phone. The sun was just piercing the room. That dream again. Always at the end of a project. He thought swinging his feet on to the floor.

Today In Mysticism – Mind Blowing Mystical Lyrics Edition

Invest in a big sound system for the full experience. Tool might be out there for a lot of you, or not your cup of tea. I often listen while walking in the desert. It get’s me psyched up for austerity! It is for your Friday listening pleasure.

UPDATE: Angelico points out that with respect to pain, “Trent Reznor and Johnny Cash say differently.” I say two different reactions to the problem of pain. One positive the other negative. Hurt, does not help me get psyched up for austerity, but powerful nonetheless.

Today In Materialism – Soylent Pink Edition

USDA is buying 7 million pounds of pink slime for school lunch programs.

Officially termed “Lean Beef Trimmings,” the product is a ground-up combination of beef scraps, cow connective tissues and other beef trimmings that are treated with ammonium hydroxide to kill pathogens like salmonella and E. coli. It’s then blended into traditional meat products like ground beef and hamburger patties.

When I come into my village after a long fast out on the desert I often get guff from the villagers. I hear their scorn, “Oh look here comes mystic, lets get off the street because he will say something negative!” OR “Go back to the desert mystic, we don’t want you to kill our buzz!” I can’t blame them, they are probably all juiced up on Zoloft. Human kind cannot bear very much reality. But seriously, how can one be positive when our taxes go to pay for people to buy “Lean Beef Trimmings” for school lunch programs? It is basically gristle mixed with poison, and then mixed into hamburger so you can feed more children for less money. This is the extent of government imagination–feed poison to kids. At their trial I can hear the defense now, “Hey I was just following orders.” With all the other crap going on in the world today, this is like pouring ammonium hydroxide into the wounds.

Oh yeah and this, Ryanair is proposing serving up adult features for in-flight entertainment. Can you imagine your twelve year old son sitting next to some dude watching a porno on a flight from London to Italy? I guess Ryanair can. Maybe you’ll get a Soylent pink burger with your in-flight entertainment, and a happy landing? Perhaps somewhere in Greece.

The River

I love Jonathan Potter’s poem, The River. When he posted himself reading a version of it awhile back, it really struck me. I listened to it several times, and that is when I ordered House Of Words from Amazon.

First line that struck me was “like bearings in fresh oil.” I don’t know why. I just loved the imagery’s tactile viscosity. I would love to stick my hands into an oil pan of bearings and fresh oil. I could go deeper into sacramental imagery, but I don’t feel like it here. I want to move down the river a bit.

The next line, and this is when it got emotional for me, “I need the river like that man needs that drink at the end of a long day.” This lit a fuse in my mind. Perhaps it was the sound of his no nonsense voice as he read, but these words were preaching empathy to me. I know that feeling. I became conscious of it a long time ago, and how drink offers us a respite from life’s troubles. I never did, but many people choose a river of alcohol rather than Jonathan’s river. But Jonathan’s river is much deeper and more powerful than the drink at the end of a long day.

After the drink line, the poem gets supernatural. You feel the power of the river now. You hear the river ghosts whispering directly into your soul. The words from this point forward were mystical and carried me into transcendent space outside of time. I felt the power of the river flow through me. And for a few minutes I knew that someone else on our planet “got it.” I was not alone, and there was Hope.

So many people walk the face of the earth unconscious, and unable to grasp the absolute beauty around them. I was troubled and unconscious the day I listened to Jonathan read his poem. The words woke me up, and reminded me of Christ and that I believe in Him. It reminded me of Beauty and that there is Truth. This Beauty is all around us and art awakens us to it.

Small though you may be keep striving to create your art. You never know the souls you touch or how God will awaken people through your work. I am not sure what Jonathan meant by his words. I suppose the River could be a metaphor for Christ. It was for me. It does not matter if that was Jonathan’s intention, what matters is that he captured transcendence. He captured a little bit of eternity. What a great gift to give, and I am grateful to him for striving to capture it. It is like receiving a small relic of the true cross. So never give up or be discouraged your work is sacred.

Today In Mysticism – Jesus Prayer Edition

Here is a good resource for information about the Jesus Prayer.

Beauty Will Save The World

Mrs. Duffy, During Mass I thought about why Eve ate the apple despite her surroundings. She chose to take her eyes off the Beauty. What do you think?

Spontaneous Micro Story

Lickona looked up from his gunmetal keyboard and surveyed his lands. A herd of Rhode Island Reds thundered across the plains of his vast Californistani estate. The dust so thick that it choked the downwind valleys for as far as the eye could see. Poultry Barron, Egg Ranchero, Land holder. There beneath the zip line beyond the barbed wire sat his old friend Death sunning himself like lightning, and reading Cosmo. His sickle stuck bolt upright out of the holy earth curving the light of the sun. Draped over the sickle like a sail was his death-black robes, the heavens breathed and filled them, billowing, making the earth spin faster. At Death’s right a little table, upon it sat a large pitcher of margaritas, a plate of limes, and a bowl of Tostitos. He poured himself a glass and held it up to Lickona. He took a sip and put it down. He cupped his hands to his mouth, “Thank you for your hospitality. Been working too much lately, and I need a little sun.” He shouted.

Lickona cupped his hands to his mouth. “Yeah, you’re looking a little pale. You’re always welcome. My tequila is your tequila.” He shouted back. Then he drew down the curtains shroud like, ordained, purposeful steely adamant, and blew the cracker dust from his keyboard. He wrapped his rosary around his wrist like a sadhu, and pulled his 45 out of the desk drawer and placed it next to his laptop. In the corner behind him was his Mossberg semi auto locked and loaded. He thumbed his bowie thoughtfully for moment before driving it into the desk. “I will redouble my efforts!” He said to the heavens in deadly earnest. He slowed his heartbeat like a word-sniper, and then set sail like Odysseus upon the wine dark sea to return to his queen. He longed to hold his little ones, and feel their breath on his cheeks. He begin to type, and wild sacramental Beauty flowed from his finger tips like light. And that night he slept the sleep of the just in the arms of his queen.

Today In Mysticism – A Good Day Edition

Lickona Is Too Polite – Donate Before We All Die!

PayPay account. Takes less than 90 seconds. It is only $40K

The whole world is depending on your support.

Help resist before Agent Smith turns you into fertilizer.

Today In Materialism – Prelude To Cattle Car Edition

I hit Snopes on the authors name. I googled it. I kind of thought maybe it was joke like the Larry Doyle “satire”. (It ain’t satire if you believe it Larry.) I am holding out hope this is some kind of joke or satire on medical ethics or something like that, but I am afraid it is not. No one would be more pleased than I if this was all a terrible mistake. I’d love to be the fool in this case.

This little gem from The Telegraph is arguing that killing babies is no different than abortion. Even adoption could pose a risk on the mother’s mental well being and hence it is morally permissible to kill a healthy newborn in such cases. The Telegraph article was kind enough to link to the actual Journal of Medical Ethics article in PDF form. I actually downloaded it and read the whole thing. It is all in there, they are asserting that it is morally permissible to kill your newborn. HHS now this. WWAD? (What Would Alphonse Do?)

Here is the abstract from the Journal of Medical Ethics article:

Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus’ health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.

It goes on to give their justifications for this abomination. You all should read it. It is not that long. They sound a lot like these guys.

I love this line the most from the Telegraph article in defense of the “medical ethicists”.

Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he added: “This “debate” has been an example of “witch ethics” – a group of people know who the witch is and seek to burn her. It is one of the most dangerous human tendencies we have. It leads to lynching and genocide. Rather than argue and engage, there is a drive is to silence and, in the extreme, kill, based on their own moral certainty. That is not the sort of society we should live in.”

They justify murder and are surprised when people get all bent out of shape.

When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.

There Just Might Be Dragons

“There is no movement of Catholics using the medium of cinema to do what Flannery O’Connor did with the short story or what Walker Percy did with the novel,” she said. “And when we do make a movie, we don’t use the medium anywhere near how it should be used.” Barbara Nicolosi

What does Nicolosi mean here by no movement? What is she doing then with ActOne? If she said there is no legal corporation doing what O’Connor or Percy did I would agree. At least nothing immediately comes to mind. However, what the heck is this whole enterprise over here about? Is Korrektiv not a movement?

Yes, in my opinion, it is. This comes to the point of why I agreed to guest blog in the first place. With my schedule it is very difficult, but I want to discuss how hopeful I am for the future. My guest blogging time grows short, but within that time I hope to inspire you all to keep struggling and resisting despite the difficulties of getting your works viewed and appreciated. What attracted me to this site a few years ago was the tag line “bad Catholics, blogging at a time near the end of the world.” I am still not sure what “bad Catholics” means, but I am certain that we are blogging at a time near the end of the world. I am uniquely privileged to see the implosion of our civilization in a microcosm, and simply am able to extrapolate to the broader impacts. I’ve seen the future and it is bleak, boring, and a cage. It is a virtual gulag with comfortable quarters and three squares a day. Hence the earlier Tolkien post, and another planned before I run out of time.

What Korrektiv is doing is providing a community of thought that will sustain Christian civilization as the materialism that “leaders” embraced, continues to occupy and expand into territory that Christians have ceded. Korrektiv is a movement, and even some members have used their skill to do what O’Connor and Percy did with their skills in their time. Some members have written scripts, and have attempted to engage the culture through their works. That is just film, but what about other projects? There is poetry and stories, and I am sure a few of you have some visual art up your sleeve–crafts too.

I liked the OSV article and largely agree with Nicolosi’s comments. However, this type of story grows old and tiresome. What is to be done? As the blog prophet I feel obligated to warn you of the approaching doom. Maybe that is a strong assertion. People enjoy the prophet in film and stories because they see that the prophet is correct fifteen minutes later during the big reveal. In real life, not so much. It’s hard to believe that the world is crumbling down when it crumbles so slowly and with little discernment, especially if one lives on clean streets and has penicillin. But it has been crumbling for decades even a century or two if one cares to look. The shadow has fallen. Tell me I am wrong. Engage me. Argue with me. Please! Prove to me that the materialism we have chosen will not run it course to the bitter end.

But I do know there is hope, and it is in the arts. I am convinced of it. I am convinced that “Beauty will save the world.” Indeed. I am committed to that idea, and know it is true. I live my life within a great Beauty, but I fail more often than not to convey it to all of you. As long as you keep working there is a movement to resist the shadow, and from your work you give hope to others to resist it too. Never give up or get discouraged, no matter how many times you are rejected. If you are a Christian artist the whole world is depending on you right now, so hope, I do, and become all flame.

(Disclaimer: I had no idea what JOB posted nor did we communicate before hand. Just saw it now myself.)

Today In Mysticism – All Flame Edition

Abba Lot went to see Abba Joseph and said to him, “Abba, as far as I can I say my Little Office. I fast a little. I pray. I meditate. I live in peace and as far as I can. I purify my thoughts. What else am I to do?” “What else,” Abba Lot says, “can I do?” Then the old man stood up, stretched his hands towards heaven and his fingers became like ten lamps of fire, and he said to him, “If you will, you can become all flame.”

Great Kuestions

The mystic asks in light of the Doyle post below, when will our U.S.A.’s balkanization commence?


I am not. Check this out by Larry Doyle on Huffington Post Comedy site.

It seemed way over the top, and I was thinking about actually Snopeing this, but dug deeper on HuffPost, and found something like an explanation and claiming satire. I guess he got duffied, and is defiantly asserting his intent. Basically he is explaining the joke rather than apologizing.

This is the explanation here.

(He probably hates Tolkien too.)
(NOTE: Please note the use of our new word in a sentence, “he got duffied”)