Archives for August 2014

Enten/Eller – American Style


Lickona and JOB in  college – who is which depends on the following question: Is it our right or your right?


Mailbox Sestina: Αἰ Μοῖραι



So here’s the edge of summer’s moment cutting deep
Into protracted memories like sharpened blades of grass
You’d again taken for granted, cow-spittle-glazed,
And cutting up the crickets’ measured elegy –
Their legwork of liquid notes evaporate all sound
As land’s early greening trades out its clothes for brown.

The rainy soil’s luster only gains a dulling, tired brown,
The remnant spring in swaths – distant, distinct, deep
In mind, part of what you would clothe out with grass,
With lordly lawn, its tailored fabric, soft and glazed
With the shine of wear, emblazoned for daily elegy
As a farmer weaves his tractor through afternoon’s sound

Of balanced borders. All totaled, summers sound
With sunlight bolts box-stitching hay into barn shadow’s brown.
The country road between is your way out, up, deep
Beyond the quilted blanket-thoughts of fleshy grass.
The day’s departure leaves your traveled eyes tear-glazed.
Your tires chew away at shoulder gravel’s hard elegy

Like a sewing machine unspooling its chattering elegy,
Appalled at its own insistence. Summer seeks a ripe sound
Until autumn’s minor, inflexible, but expectant brown
Begins dragging the apple bough down, down… and pierces deep
The childhood that furs its small feet with fresh-cut grass.
Let Fate travel fast by dusty rural route. A mailbox glazed

With morning hours, here, now, awaits a friendly farewell glazed
With the come-and-go of September’s scissoring elegy.
As crickets compose life’s counterintuitive sound –
Even so, your ceramic mind will glaze with brown.
The packeted letters of June, July, August recall: deep
As sleep was, new as birth is, lasting as the grass

Will be, so you go. Sewn into the sad scent of mown grass,
You roll your dew-threaded window down, bleared and glazed
By your own eyes, fit, shaped, and draped in elegy
Like yesterday’s news, its darkness delivering sound
Judgments with junk mail. You open the latch at dawn and brown
Yawns with reminiscent light, hints from its night-deep

Throat what allotted secrets whisper deep in the grass –
What this glazed morning addresses: prepackaged elegy
Writ in sound hand, tied with baling cord, wrapped in grocery sack brown.

No. Really.


Sideshow Bob Raises a Fundamental Question…



More discussion here.


“Too, I found emotionally-charged debates between writers of reviews and their readers, who would fire off vituperative rebuttals of the ignominious stance the reviewer had taken earlier in the pages of the magazine or journal. These rebuttals fairly smoked with high dudgeon, and I could see that the readers had read Walker Percy’s books as if their very lives depended on it (which, of course, in one important sense, they do). These exchanges took on a real-life, win-or-lose significance for me.”
— from the author’s Foreword to Walker Percy: A Comprehensive Descriptive Bibliography, by Linda Whitney Hobson

Thought on Fargo, the TV series.

God is not mocked. Nor is He bargained with. But the man who loves his neighbor as himself might just walk through the valley of the shadow of death and make it to the other side.

Same Difference (or Lolly Blogging)

There’s a new blog in town ….

Bat out of Hell theme song

JOB est arrivee


Master of Wednesday Night


Over at Wiseblood they’re bringing out yet another book this month, The Master of Wednesday Night by F J Rocca. Here’s the description:

In the tradition of Henry James, Master of Wednesday Night is the story of Eduard Vitolt-Bartholdy, an intransigent old-school European musician, devoted to his art, and Jeffreys Barthel, a brash, young, American pragmatist with a talent for self-promotion. Will youth triumph over wisdom, profession over art, money over music, so-called realpolitik over authentic genius? In probing this question, Master of Wednesday Night moves from the immediate conflict between innocence and experience back through the tragic history of Europe during the first half of the 20th Century. The young Barthel is forced to interrogate his own “success” in light of this moving meditation on the Maestro’s long life, narrated by Viktor Kaminsky, the valet who has known it all.

From excerpts (available here), it sounds to me like Vitolt-Bartholdy is my kind of conductor. Lots of Kodály and Lutoslawski, I’m sure!

What Came in the Mail


The latest Dappled Things.

Hmm … and what have we here … a very fine apostolic meditation ripped from the manuscript of Groundwork! (coming soon — and we’re not kidding this time! honest!  — from Korrektiv Press).


This short film features Uma Thurman as Hera, now trapped in the life of an American housewife. The conceit was done better, for my money, in Garrison Keillor’s short story Zeus the Lutheran, but this version does call to mind Ms. Thurman’s previous work as a goddess…

Aphrodite to Hera. Well now.

The Land of Hurricanes and Happiness

More Evidence that René Girard Really is On to Something …

… is that he’s verified, not by polls offering a consensus or double blind experiments, but by the likes of Billy Joe Shaver. As the original outlaw says in the introduction here, He’s the one who made us all #2 … that’s true! Then you don’t have to compete, you see …

Practice What You Preach Department

faded signposts

We shall still more thoroughly ground the young man, if, on introducing him to poetry, we explain to him that it is an imitative art and agent, analogous to painting. Not only must he be made acquainted with the common saying that poetry is vocal painting, and painting, silent poetry, but he must also teach him that when we see a painting of a lizard, an ape, or the face of Thersites, our pleasure and surprise are occasioned, not by the beauty of the object, but by the likeness of the painting to it. For it is naturally impossible for the ugly to be beautiful, but it is the imitation which is praised, if it reproduce to the life either an ugly or beautiful object. On the contrary, if an ugly object is represented as beautiful, we deny the truthfulness or the consistency of the picture.

How to Study Poetry by Plutarch.



Land Line


Today in Biographical Photo Captions


“From his youth when he contemplated suicide, Alec suffered from bouts of depression that were exacerbated by his success. In 1956, his search for a religious or philosophical system that would counteract them ended with his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church.”
Alec Guinness by Piers Paul Read