Check out the animated show Bat out of Hell on Kickstarter!

Statua Subito

In the Basílica de San Francisco, Mendoza, Argentina.


See also.

Introducing “Sex Box”: Coming to a Stereo V Near You

“Once each couple enters the sex box, our experts discuss their initial observations, ranging from what they think is happening inside the box to whether or not the relationship will survive,” read a statement by WE tv. “Immediately upon exiting the sex box, each couple sits down for a heart-to-heart with the expert panelists to discuss what just happened, how they feel, and how they’re planning to overcome their issues.”

Something very important is happening in that box, but we can’t see it…we’ll just talk about it…because it matters. People doing things…to each other…sex things…sexy time things maybe. Then you can talk about it with Dan Savage, who is a sex expert. I would have performance anxiety, personally.  This might be more my style (if you judge by the comments, it might suit millions of other men. Good luck with that feminists)

Awful, yes. But really,  what’s taken so long. Coming soon, “Death Box”.

FYI, this is not to be confused with Dick in a box

 

‘Presepio’, by Joseph Brodsky (translated by Richard Wilbur)

The wise men; Joseph; the tiny infant; Mary;
The cows; the drovers, each with his dromedary;
The hulking shepherds in their sheepskins — they
Have all become toy figures made of clay.

In the cotton-batting snow that’s strewn with glints,
A fire is blazing. You’d like to touch that tinsel
Star with a finger — or all five of them,
As the infant wished to do in Bethlehem.

All this, in Bethlehem, was of greater size.
Yet the clay, round which the drifted cotton lies,
With tinsel overhead, feels good to be
Enacting what we can no longer see.

Now you are huge compared to them, and high
Beyond their ken. Like a midnight passerby
Who finds the pane of some small hut aglow,
You peer from the cosmos at this little show.

There life goes on, although the centuries
Require that some diminish by degrees,
While others grow, like you. The small folk there
Contend with granular snow and icy air,

And the smallest reaches for the breast, and you
Half-wish to clench your eyes, or step into
A different galaxy, in whose wastes there shine
More lights than there are sands in Palestine.

Wilbur, Richard. Anterooms: New Poems and Translations: 35-36. New York: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010.

Sanctus Martinus de Porres

St Martin de Porres
Fr Thomas McGlynn, OP, 1958, bronze
(Photo: Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog)

Today is the feast of St Martin de Porres — a lay brother of the Order of Preachers whom we remember for his ardent piety, charity, and humility (an exemplar of the Little Way before-the-letter), for miraculous prodigies and healings, for the austerity of his life. Martin’s job in the Dominican community, as I understand it, was to attend to practical tasks like housekeeping, or caring for the sick, so that the friars could focus on preaching, with all the preparatory study and reflection — the impractical, Pieperish tasks — that entailed. So, we remember this Dominican for just about everything that makes for saintliness, short of martyrdom and other than… preaching.

‘Always distinguish’, say the philosophers, rightly. Preaching, in the most distinct sense of the word, itself requires the use of words — the combination and proclamation of words to evangelize. But in a second, less-distinct sense (itself distinct nevertheless from the first!), preaching is a catchall synonym for evangelization — and under that broad definition, the edifying acts and facts of St Martin’s life do indeed preach.

The visual arts, too, may, in the broad sense, preach. It is fitting that a painter, like Fra Angelico, should be a member of the Order of Preachers. It is likewise fitting that St Martin should have been sculpted by his much-younger brother in the Order, Thomas McGlynn, a twentieth-century friar.

I know nothing of Fr Thomas McGlynn, OP, beyond what art historian Fr Ambrose McAllister, OP, preached in a homily that Fr Pius Pietrzyk, Esq.[!], OP has posted at the website of the Dominican Eastern Province. Dealing as it does with art and evangelization, Fr McAllister’s homily on the saint and the sculptor may be of interest to the readership.

But even the best preaching is not, qua preaching, its own end. St Martin’s much-elder brother in the Order, St Thomas Aquinas, famously declared after a late-in-life mystical experience that all his own writings — all those monumental volumes upon volumes in service of the Gospel — were as ‘straw’.

St Martin de Porres, detail
(Photo: Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog)

Celtic Sun God taken for granite…

Must have been wearing contact lenses…

Photosource

Dana Gioia

Our coreligionist Dana Gioia — ex-General Foods executive, ex-NEA chairman, really good essayist/critic, pretty good poet — has a book due out next Tuesday, the 8th of May: Pity the Beautiful. Here’s one of the poems, which, though not one of his very best, takes a feeling I’ve felt while browsing through liturgical art in museums, and gives it an extra twist. I bet at least one or two of you out there can sympathize:

‘The Angel with the Broken Wing’

I am the Angel with the Broken Wing,
The one large statue in this quiet room.
The staff finds me too fierce, and so they shut
Faith’s ardor in this air-conditioned tomb.

The docents praise my elegant design
Above the chatter of the gallery.
Perhaps I am a masterpiece of sorts—
The perfect emblem of futility.

Mendoza carved me for a country church.
(His name’s forgotten now except by me.)
I stood beside a gilded altar where
The hopeless offered God their misery.

I heard their women whispering at my feet—
Prayers for the lost, the dying, and the dead.
Their candles stretched my shadows up the wall,
And I became the hunger that they fed.

I broke my left wing in the Revolution
(Even a saint can savor irony)
When troops were sent to vandalize the chapel.
They hit me once—almost apologetically.

For even the godless feel something in a church,
A twinge of hope, fear? Who knows what it is?
A trembling unaccounted by their laws,
An ancient memory they can’t dismiss.

There are so many things I must tell God!
The howling of the dammed can’t reach so high.
But I stand like a dead thing nailed to a perch,
A crippled saint against a painted sky.

Gioia’s also done a double-triolet, if you can believe that.

His interviews are always worth reading, and the ideas he expresses seem quite kongenial to Korrektiv. He knows a thing or two about trying to arrange marriages between money and art, and about cultivating patronage. He is a member of two groups — believing/practicing Catholics, and cultural Catholics (he’s of Sicilian and Mexican descent), and envisions a Catholic presence in American arts and letters that includes both groups. We might say he is interested not only in Catholic writers, but in Catholicish writers. JOB’s writing on Seamus Heaney has a similar spirit.

Here’s a short and pointed poem to punctuate this rambling post.

‘Unsaid’

So much of what we live goes on inside–
The diaries of grief, the tongue-tied aches
Of unacknowledged love are no less real
For having passed unsaid. What we conceal
Is always more than what we dare confide.
Think of the letters that we write our dead.

Electric Grace

Hacienda chapel, Thomas Aquinas College.

 

Hey, Onion!

 

Can you beat this?

 

HT: Justin D.

Virginia Blvd. Autobody; or, The Muse Responds, Triolet for Triolet

 

She said, “Parthenogenesis!”
And poets gave their words. What guile
Of wit was Parnassus’s bliss?

She said. “Parthenogenesis!”
(For who can give what memesis has?
She dared – with spontaneous smile…)

She said, “Parthenogenesis!”
And poets gave. Their word? What guile!

 (Envoy)

And very soon
The laurel leaf
For he who won,
Yes, very soon.

So keep in tune
With Korrektiv –
So very soon
The laurel leaf….

Happy Feast!