Archives for October 2014

Game Over!

Well, it was a good run, but the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic is all washed up. Belly-up. This goose is cooked, people, so stick a fork in it.

We may now commence with our feast in Hell. Very soon now.

I’ve been reading John Zmirak again, and forget about this century … it’s now two millenia of Western Christendom in need of saving. In fact, if you read between the lines of this latest article, you’d be forgoven for going away with the impression that all humanity is in need of redemption.

Strike those weasel words, “all humanity” … what’s really at stake here is the fate of the entire universe.


Rain and Fog and Straw and Man

Morning Fog

Like hushed antiquities ensconced in crates,
Excelsior, and mummy’s cotton gauze,
This roadside farmland holds no common cause
With time or place. A breeze investigates
The dialogue of rain and fog, yet yields
No evidence of crows nor their scarecrow,
But only emptiness in open fields
That proves a second harvest – stubbled straw.

So modern man, a target on the move,
Will enter such a landscape in his mind.
His feet will neither sound nor mark. The mist
Envelopes them, and rain is quick to drive
The point – the past erased or redefined,
Mere straw to scare the crowing nihilist.

Photosource(no relation)


Angelico Nguyen Likes This.


The Walker Percy, Quentin Tarantino Connection

pulp_fiction3500Binx Bolling vs. The Malaise?

“’Breathless’” is not the only remake that Tarantino likes better than the original. He likes L. M. (Kit) Carson and McBride’s screenplay version of ‘The Moviegoer’ better than Walker Percy’s novel, which he found unemotional and dry.”

— from “The Movie Lover,” Larissa MacFarquhar’s New Yorker profile of Tarantino



Sanitized Rowing Machines


God bless the staff of the Y
For doing what makes mothers cry:
Sanitizing the sweat,
Forgiving the debt,
And making things clean ‘fore we die.

Park No Park


Pantoum for the Fifty Percent

tom and viv
The dinner détente dies, the candles fade,
The tension mounts, a cat that climbs the stairs.
Like clowns out of step in a sad parade,
The wind and rain repeat, but no one cares.

The tension mounts. A cat that climbs the stairs
Connotes the awkward moment’s masquerade
The wind and rain repeat. But no one cares
When love grows still and breathes contagious airs.

Cannot the awkward moment’s masquerade
Expend emotion’s capital like tares
Our love still grows? To breathe contagious airs
We hum the minor chords of Scheherazade.

We spent emotion’s capital. Like tares,
The dinner détente dies. The candles fade.
We hum the minor chords of Scheherazade
Like clowns out of step in a sad parade.

The Walker Percy, Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs Connection

As usual Cosmos the in Lost is way out ahead of us on the Walker Percy six-month-old news front. This year mark’s the 25th anniversary of Walker Percy’s Jefferson Lecture. By design or lucky chance, this year’s Jefferson lecturer, Walter Isaacson, happens to have a very interesting Percy connection. Isaacson, the author of the much-acclaimed biography of Steve Jobs, is a friend of Percy’s nephew, and grew up knowing of Percy as “Uncle Walker.” His lecture on the intersection of science and the humanities, references “Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Benjamin Franklin, Steve Jobs, Ada Lovelace, Walker Percy, and Edwin Land and others who fused humanistic thought with scientific discovery.”

Speaking of Hemingway …

What do you call a bullfighter who performs the estocada on himself, rather than the bull?

Korrektiv did this to a church back in July.

Statua Subito

In the Basílica de San Francisco, Mendoza, Argentina.

See also.

My brother the comedian.

Somebody hire the guy, already. (Don’t forget to turn on sound!)

Father Loisy’s Still Life with Book and Pears

loisy pioc

The search for truth is not a trade by which a man can support himself; for a priest it is a supreme peril. – Alfred Loisy

The morning sun is threading through the haze
That hangs above my head. Tobacco’s whiff
Occludes this April’s finer fragrances.
I break my fast on pears and wonder if
The foolish faith within my heart corrects
The proofs of falsehood – my grandest grazie
To God! These fondled pages – each dissects
The saints’ exquisite corpses, prima facie.

And deep in thought, I stab my cigarette
At earthenware from which I ate the fruit.
The sticky ash that crumbs and smears my plate
Evolved from gold ciborium and cruet.
And so these browning table pears don’t rot
But change, project, develop, recreate…

I don’t often drink sazeracs….


But when I do*, I make sure my Ticonderoga is good and sharp.

*21st Amendment, French Quarter, New Orleans, October 2013

The Draconids



And especially were we led to cultivate that discipline developed in respect to divine and heavenly things as being the only one concerned with the study of things which are always what they are…
– Ptolemy, Preface to The Almagest

My daughter’s eyes dissolve in tears that turn
Her irises to violent shades of plum.
There’s not a single star to which she’s born
But romance has its seasons – some that come
With flowers, some to desolate the heart:
For heaven knows what breaks it, either whole or part.

Perhaps she feels her orbit tilts askew,
A teen-aged Pluto – distant, unobtained…
She casts her face against the residue
Of evening light – the setting sun has gained
It’s nadir. Soon the light that sets is lost;
The sky turns dark like velvet smirched with quartzose dust.

I vanquish pedantry’s old urge and bring
My daughter out beyond the pasture wire
Where thirsty cattle crowd around a spring
Of fresh discovery. We look and stare,
Our imaginations fixed as hooves in mud
And ruminate on stars as Guernseys, grain and cud.

Thus, constellations, clusters, nebulae
Offers more than a comet’s passing peace;
Consummate wonder weaves its fabulae
Of squibs from Northern Star to Southern Cross –
And counting up, my daughter can’t recall
An integer so wholly astronomical.

Resisting words, I let night speak – or sing –
For itself, spreading starry charts before
The autumn equinox which waits to spring
October’s Draconids across the door
And sill of space, showering eternity
With falling fire at tears’ escape velocity.

Returning through the fields, my daughter stopped
To watch as deicidal Draco squirms
In polar transit. Once, Athena stripped
The worm of tooth and claw, and now he warms
His artic blood by sloughing skin for flame
(Recurring fall to fall, his scales retain his name).

Beneath this snaking string of pearls, I pray
My daughter finds each star a widow’s mite –
Beyond our reach but held within the play
Of waxing grace, a shepherd satellite
That casts its shadow on the human soul,
And governs gravity with love’s more buoyant pull.

“I have no talent.”


It’s the birthday of novelist Graham Greene (books by this author), born in Berkhamsted, England (1904). He described the citizens of his hometown as “slitty eyed and devious,” and he had an unhappy childhood. He came from a prominent local family, and his father was the headmaster of his school, where Greene was bullied and attempted suicide several times. At the age of 16, he tried running away. His parents sent him to London to be treated by a psychoanalyst, an experience he thoroughly enjoyed. He decided that his biggest problem was boredom, and he began playing Russian roulette.

He went on to Oxford, where he published his first book, a book of poetry called Babbling April (1925). It was a flop. He got a job as a copywriter for The Times of London and spent years working as a journalist. He said, “A petty reason perhaps why novelists more and more try to keep a distance from journalists is that novelists are trying to write the truth and journalists are trying to write fiction.”

Greene was an obsessive traveler. At Oxford, he offered his services to the German government as a propagandist if they would pay his expenses to travel in France. During World War II, he joined MI6, the British Intelligence Service, and was posted to Sierra Leone. He visited Prague during the Communist takeover, Kenya during the Mau Mau Uprising, Haiti under the reign of brutal dictator “Papa Doc” Duvalier, and covered the Vietnam War and the 1967 Arab-Israeli conflict. He wrote 24 novels, many of them set in the places he had visited. He said: “I travel because I have to see the scene. I can’t imagine it.”

His first big success was Stamboul Train (1932), published as Orient Express in America. It is set onboard the Orient Express headed to Istanbul, and follows the fate of the passengers, including a Jewish businessman, an exiled Socialist doctor, a lesbian journalist, a chorus girl, and a murderer. Greene said: “In Stamboul Train for the first and last time in my life I deliberately set out to write a book to please, one which with luck might be made into a film. The devil looks after his own and I succeeded in both aims.”

Greene wrote The Heart of the Matter (1948) about an English colonial policeman stationed in Sierra Leone. He is passed over for a promotion, his marriage is failing, his love affair makes him feel guilty for betraying his Catholicism, and a local diamond smuggler constantly manipulates him. Greene described his main character, Scobie, as “a weak man with good intentions doomed by his big sense of pity.”

The Comedians (1966) was set in Haiti under Papa Doc’s rule, narrated by a hotel owner named Brown. The novel upset Papa Doc so much that he published a pamphlet accusing Greene of being “a liar, a cretin, a stool-pigeon … unbalanced, sadistic, perverted … a perfect ignoramus … lying to his heart’s content … the shame of proud and noble England.”

A Burnt-Out Case (1960) was the story of a depressed architect who traveled to a Congolese leper colony.

Greene said, “I have no talent; it’s just a question of working, of being willing to put in the time.”

From The Writer’s Almanac

It’s also the birthday of Wallace Stevens.