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Archives for March 2011

The Feast of Saint Mary Flannery

Today is the birthday of Flannery O’Connor. Our friend Garrison Keillor included a nice bit about her in today’s Writer’s Almanac, which also featured an entertaining poem on Big Macs and lenten dissent — which Flannery would probably have frowned upon, or turned into a more wondrous gothic horror story in which the priest gets put in a wood chipper:

Lenten Dissent
by Cherie Lashway

There once was a logger, named Paddy O’Connell,
Who at lunch during Lent, found himself at McDonalds,

And had just settled down to his Big Mac and fries,
When along came his priest, much to both their surprise.

The priest said to Paddy, “Just what are you eating?
In this season of Lent, I sure hope you’re not cheating.”

Paddy said to the Father, “I’ll tell you no lies.
I’m enjoying a Big Mac, along with some fries.”

The priest said to Paddy, “I see no repentance.
Because of this sin, you will have to do penance.

“By Friday or sooner, I say that you should,
For our fireplace, deliver a cord of chopped wood.”

Now our timberman, Paddy, an overworked man,
Did think to himself, “I don’t think that I can.”

But early on Friday, our priest, he heard shoveling,
And looked out the window at Paddy not groveling.

And saw with confusion, dismay and disgust,
That the wood bin was now almost filled with saw dust.

He called down below, barely hiding his ire:
“Hey Paddy, your penance was wood for the fire!”

To which Paddy said, rising up from his work,
While wiping his brow and concealing a smirk:

“I’ve brought you a cord, like you said that I should,
But if burger be meat, well then sawdust be wood!”

Our fathers wear such everlasting crowns…

More purging…

Sometimes a simile seems to fit too well…

Here is he whom St. Thomas refers to as The Philosopher expounding on how the soul comes to form universals through sense perceptions…

“Just as in battle, when a rout happens, if one stops, another stops, then another, until it comes to a starting point.”- Aristotle, Posterior Analytics (II19.100a12-13).

Potter Loses Percy Contest

In a stunning upset, “The Substitute,” a number 1 seed in The 2010 Walker Percy Fiction Contest, failed to advance beyond the semifinal round.

The Fine Delight Interviews Bernardo Aparicio García

Our friend Bernardo talks about Dappled Things:

I think many people today are frustrated with much of the literature being produced, either because it flattens and brutalizes human nature through reductionism, or because it fails to explore our spiritual dimension with seriousness and honesty. We try to fill that gap, and it’s something that readers and writers who hear about us appreciate. More

Calling All TV Writers…


Mr. Webb called dibs on the story of the poor bloke who calculated that when it came to drinking and driving a Busch or two in the hand was worth a bird in the can, or something like that…

Now, if there are any budding TV writers out there (ahem! ahem!), have I got a story idea for you – well, actually Steve Sailer does.

So, if you’re itching to get into TV writing you writers out there, (and Mark my words, you know who you are!) don’t be a doubting Thomas – but look into thy funny bone, and write!

Triangulating “Marching to the City”

Bob Dylan’s Tell Tale Signs is an extraordinary album of outtakes and oddities. I could wear out my keyboard telling you why the album is so amazing, but I probably couldn’t explain it any better than this guy. (Mr. Finnegan and our friend Mr. Burrell both gave it good reviews, too.) Anyway, this song is one of many mindblowing tracks from the album. There are a couple of things worth pointing out about the song. 1. The refrain is taken from an old negro spiritual; 2. Some of the lyrics appear in two other Dylan songs released on Time Out of Mind. So, apparently, Dylan made this song and for some reason didn’t quite like it or set it aside and forgot about it, but took pieces of it and made them into two other quite different songs. I like all three songs, but most of all I like taking them as a set, the fascination of seeing Dylan’s process laid bare, and the surprise of this diamond falling like a crumb from his table. And Tell Tale Signs collects a bunch of other diamond-crumbs as well.

Well I’m sitting in church
In an old wooden chair
I knew nobody
Would look for me there
Sorrow and pity
Rule the earth and the skies
Looking for nothing in
Anyone’s eyes

Once I had a pretty girl
Did me wrong
Now I’m marching to the city
And the road ain’t long

Snowflakes are falling
Around my head
Lord have mercy
It feels heavy like lead
I been hit too hard
Seen too much
Nothing can heal me now
But your touch

Once I had a pretty girl
She done me wrong
Now I’m marching to the city
And the road ain’t long

Got a mind of its own
The more people around
The more you feel alone
I’m chained to the earth
Like a silent slave
Trying to break free
Out of death’s dark cave

Once I had a pretty girl
Done me wrong
Now I’m marching to the city
And the road ain’t long

Boys in the street
Beginning to play
Girls like birds
Flying away

I’m carrying the roses
That were given to me
And I’m thinking about paradise
Wondering what it might be

Once I had a pretty girl
She done me wrong
Now I’m marching to the city
And the road ain’t long

Go over to London
Maybe gay Paree
Follow the river
You get to the sea

I was hoping we could drink from
Life’s clear streams
I was hoping we could dream
Life’s pleasant dreams

Once I had a pretty girl
But she done me wrong
Now I’m marching to the city
And the road ain’t long

Well the weak get weaker
And the strong stay strong
The train keeps rolling
All night long
She looked at me
With an irresistable glance
With a smile
That could make all the planets dance

Once I had a pretty girl
She did me wrong
Now I’m marching to the city
And the road ain’t long

My house is on fire
Burning to the skies
I thought the rain clouds
But the clouds passed by
When I’m gone
You’ll remember my name
I’m gonna win my way
To wealth and fame

Once I had a pretty girl
But she did me wrong
Now I’m marching to the city
And the road ain’t long

It’s hard out there for a father.

“…Observe a land of stated permanence.”

Over the cliffs you go!