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Archives for September 2013


Jess Walter

Your name recalls another Jesse—
The outlaw James whose name came down
The falls and tumbled graves of history,
Like Springdale dogs that will not drown.
Your books pile up, basalt-like, columns
Beneath them, reporter’s stratagems
From ink to paper, one eye dark
But one enough to light a spark.
Evince the witness of the breaking
Unbroken ground of needless naught
Within your grasp but dearly bought
Self-loathing but not self-forsaking.
Your soul, dear Jess, is nonetheless
The ruins that I’d have God bless.

Pope Frank About Preferences in the Arts

This interview has been getting some attention, of course, and in some cases completely misunderstood, of course. And maybe this isn’t such a great subject to light upon either, but I particularly enjoyed reading about what he likes most in the Arts. In literature there is Dostoevsky, Hölderlin, Hopkins, Manzoni, in painting he mentions Caravaggio and Chagall, and in opera the list seemed to go on and on.

But I especially liked this:

“We should also talk about the cinema. ‘La Strada,’ by Fellini, is the movie that perhaps I loved the most. I identify with this movie, in which there is an implicit reference to St. Francis. I also believe that I watched all of the Italian movies with Anna Magnani and Aldo Fabrizi when I was between 10 and 12 years old. Another film that I loved is ‘Rome, Open City.’ I owe my film culture especially to my parents who used to take us to the movies quite often.”

Makes me feel just a little less guilty about my indulgence in the movies. But what I liked most was his response to his time spent teaching literature to secondary school students:

Then I also started to get them to write. In the end I decided to send Borges two stories written by my boys. I knew his secretary, who had been my piano teacher. And Borges liked those stories very much. And then he set out to write the introduction to a collection of these writings.”

When the white smoke last appeared, the first question on my mind was “I wonder what he makes of Borges?” (not proud of that, but we all look for what we want to see). And I remember reading that the pope was a fan, but I hadn’t heard that he’d had much contact with blind bard of Buenos Aires. Makes a certain sense, actually, and I was happy to learn of it.

Real Estate of Arcadia – Part III


With man’s capacity for pleasure’s pain
I am part of a rascally race, a goat
Who fetches fair price when brought to market.
So what’s the worth of wilderness and mountain?

But, no – I am not easily convinced
The starker beauty of the ancient myths
Must yield to midnight torches, rakes and scythes
To see the “quality of life” advanced…

No, I’m not so easily persuaded –
Though multitudes begin to trace a path
In firestorm and riot – frenzy’s swath
To cut through nature’s ordered calm, aided

By honed appetite, ambition’s principle,
To engineer avenues, boulevards,
Manage union strengths and strikers’ canards,
And mint their counterfeit cities on a hill.

Why does mankind call forth this blackening storm?
These hard-blowing winds? Destruction, pillage?
The rapacity that reigns? O, to pledge
Again by the strength of Jove’s throwing arm!


please sign

It Takes a Man to Suffer Ignorance and Smile

From my Celebrity News Beat, the details of Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell’s wedding:

One of Stewart and Ozell’s favorite moments was when Ozell’s maid of honor, Jillian LaVinka (with whom Ozell waitressed at Brooklyn’s artisanal pizza staple, Franny’s), got up to do a reading. She had a large Bible in her hand, and the secular-leaning audience let out a heavy sigh. But in the middle of the Bible’s pages, LaVinka had pasted a sheet of selected lyrics from classic rock songs that she proceeded to read, including a bit from Sting’s “Englishman in New York.”

Discuss: What lyrics from “Englishman in New York” would you read at such a wedding? You know, a real urbane audience, none of your Bible-thumpers.

Bird’s Nest in Your Dappled Things

Mr Hren interviews Mr Jobe … and does a crackerjack job of it.

Prisoner Work Release

The Real Estate of Arcadia – Part II

arcadia 3

Rain falls at angles against cliff and crevice,
Eating further into the mountain’s limestone,
Leaving gaping punchbowls – a debt on loan
To drink up accounts of time’s inchmeal voice.

And no soft whispers come from the forest –
Instead, summer and autumn winds sound off
In clashing private battles, cough for cough,
Cancerous at least – emphysemic at best.

We take our stand at death’s own windy doors
Pitching tents for Faun and Dryad’s alliance –
That ancient, hauntingly sweet reliance
On intimacy, mine and these sister-whores’.

Ah, seasons! I am all too prone to love –
Have given up the habit of mysteries…
It all ends this month with last rites and manes
Cashed out on bottom lines over and above

An increasingly urban populace
Who eschew the bloodbath of ritual
To trade in tooth and horn, with bear and bull
Embraced as idylls of the marketplace.

Idea for a Sitcom

Everybody Loves Francis