Wednesday, December 15, 2010

there is man and there is woman and



i have come to believe that gender is a layered thing
in every child of God.

It is a load-baring block in the wall,
but it is not a kind or a label or the wall itself.

masculine notes. feminine crescendos.
these things matter,
but in a world of education for all
and unity for love equal to function,
there is a wife who leads the family in her firm choices.
there is a man who shows tenderness for the quiet sheep.
there is a woman who seeks first the counsel of her husband.
and there is a husband who has never known why he feels.

and this is not an abomination.

this is the varied faces of God lived out in a union,
in the complexity of this human experiment.

and this I believe:
one day, the fractured identity of mankind will be made perfect,

but I do not believe the current mingling is without it's timely perfection,

and I do not believe that redemption will produce
a cold man who leads and makes no mistakes
and a sweet woman who quietly waits for instruction.

our Lord is not so boring. and not so poor an author.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

God bless us


to the exclusion of lesser borders,
we have been given favor
because our Constitution was formed in His truth,
He gave unto us a ripe and virgin land
barely spoiled by the animal-men here before,
a stain easily under-rug swept to make way for providence.


"A man can be a Christian or a patriot, but he can't legally be a Christian and a patriot - except in the usual way: one of the two with the mouth, the other with the heart. The spirit of Christianity proclaims the brotherhood of the race and the meaning of that strong word has not been left to guesswork, but made tremendously definite - the Christian must forgive his brother man all crimes he can imagine and commit, and all insults he can conceive and utter - forgive these injuries how many times? Seventy times seven - another way of saying there shall be no limit to this forgiveness. That is the spirit and the law of Christianity. Well - Patriotism has its laws. And it is also a perfectly definite one; there are not vagueness's about it. It commands that the brother over the border shall be sharply watched and brought to book every time he does us a hurt or offends us with an insult. Word it as softly as you please; the spirit of patriotism is the spirit of dog and wolf. The moment there is a misunderstanding about a boundary line, or a hamper of fish, or some other squalid matter, see patriotism rise, and hear it split the universe with its war-whoop. The spirit of patriotism being in its nature jealous and selfish is just in man's line, it comes natural to him - he can live up to all its requirements to the letter; but the spirit of Christianity is not in its entirety possible to him.

The prayers concealed in what I have been saying is, not that patriotism should cease, and not that the talk about universal brotherhood should cease, but that the incongrous firm be dissolved and each limb of it be required to transact business by itself, for the future."

-Mark Twain's Notebook

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

a spider web is stronger than a stone



these few things
they are related one to another:

pornography is an abuse of intimacy through removed observation.
defiling the sacred through exaggeration and inflation.
and from it, comes mutant expectation and fantasy.
what then, is the Notebook? Atonement? Love Actually? Titanic?

We, all of us, want to feel valued and loved
not for what we do, but for who we are.
But such a 'who' is elusive, because of course,
we are what we do.
I have never loved a stone for who it is.

modern masculinity is vacuous.
it highlights the strength and not the character.
and from it comes a kind of death.
it teaches the man to compete, rise, tower,
isolate and dominate,
all the while his right-man self is weighing the cost
in the shadow of silence
in the shadow of almighty humor
and the razor lies of comparison
and for it, a man's self is retarded as without water in the sun
until it is first uncovered by a girl.

but oh, oh, to uncover yourself
commingled with the drunkenness
of a woman.
the chemistry, attraction, and desire for a woman
is like a shaky mirror held before you
on a roller coaster freefall. you see something of yourself,
but for the gasping collapse of lungs
you may mistake that shaky falling face
for your true self. because apart from her eyes locked to yours, and asking you pointed questions for the first time, you've never been considered. studied. and so studied yourself.
she asks so that she might understand and own.
a brother asks so that he might delight and share.
that quoted, 'you too?! I thought I was the only one.'
this is why male friendship is a cornerstone
of the man complete.
and the liberation of a man to love his wife completely.

unrequited love is beautiful
because the pain makes you feel important, betrayed by the order of things,
and the love remains unsung eternal. and therefore perfect. unburdened by the decay
of infatuation.

remove desire, and we die.
this is why contentment is not true peace. it is death.
be content to sip your coffee and read a book for a weekend.
and a day, no, a week will pass, and you will kill the moth
in the window just to watch it die.
this is why old age so often becomes sadness:
when we become irrelevant, no longer depended on,
when our life is reflection not ignition, we can feel the wicking death
creep up our pant leg.
and why heaven must be something different than we think.

If the sin of Adam bestowed death unto the world,
and before the leopard lay with the lamb,
then why does the spider have venom,
why does the lion have claws and the eagle talons,
why would the Maker sew a shark for peace when it was so
meticulously pieced for death,
why is the decay of canyons the mark of their beauty?
perhaps his gift was the death of man alone.

and if heaven is eternal life in heavenly body,
it must carry with it some disappointment.
because eternal youth for the saved
would rob me of my memory of my grandmother,
her perfect crooked hands and white hair, the softness
of her face is only as it can be with the badges of time,
i do not know Betty Jo at 20 years old.
and the vivacity of youth and quick movements are not what I miss,
the slow simple gentle hands, those I miss.
but even so, how selfish of me.

a man has in him two possible foundations:
'I am worthy.'
'I am unworthy.'
and these two things will dominate his social posture.
they will fuel him in the thrusting of a new exchange.
when he is in a room of people, he will feel either
'I am energized to explore these new people and they are energized to explore me'
or he will feel
'I am a vacuum of non-contribution, and everyone else is aware of this.'
and the one cannot understand the other.










Music is science



In science we have been reading only the notes to a poem; in Christianity we find the poem itself. - CSL

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I wrote this to a friend, or something like it



every wooden man
has a galley full of slaves
rowing to the shores of their
future freedom
but not before their present bondage.

and here I spill out the sides

from the wicked man's perch
he hears
the negro spirituals condemning
him with their guttural harmony
flavored by the gasp of a woman
dead in child birth.

I am a wooden man
looking at Canaan on the horizon
propelled by my shackled brothers
and hatred of my port and bow
but a believer in their freedom
the death of my way of living
and the resurrection of other dead.

Monday, November 22, 2010

don't tell me what to do, tell me who to be

i have been living under the law.

the law is good and perfect
and the measure of
impossibility
by which we discover the impossibility
of human godship, that nature we carry like oxen,

the original sin: belief that man is his own destiny,
the author and perfecter of his living,
and not the written page or the pen
or the tree that was cut and stripped to paper

and therefore, it is the roadmap to the truth: we are created.

but what is the gospel?
is it a human exchange: an impossible law for a possible one?
if so, we believe the lie the first was built to expose.
that we can. do. it. ourselves.

no. not a new law.

(like a simple shaking free from the impossible law of
crazy jews in the desert)
(like a choosing instead a new law that is easier
to obey, to earn your spot in a heaven that probably
doesn't exist as you think it does)

I do not want to trade impossibility for impossibility and call it 'life'.
I want to call it death as it was first called.

this is our current history, our zombie song:

"don’t teach me about politics and government
just tell me who to vote for
don’t teach me about truth and beauty
just label my music

don’t teach me how to live like a free man
just give me a new law

(pre-chorus)
i don’t wanna know if the answers aren’t easy
so just bring it down from the mountain to me

i want a new law

don’t teach me about moderation and liberty
i prefer a shot of grape juice

don’t teach me about loving my enemies

don’t teach me how to listen to the Spirit
just give me a new law"

doesn't truth come in packages
delivered in puzzles
taught to you your whole life in pieces
so that when it finally rings true, it is assembled
from the familiar bones you've carried.

it is the gospel of grace,
the spirit written on your heart
that obeys the law

it has been said,
the man trying to be original never is,
the man telling the truth is almost always original
the man trying to make a good impression never does,
the man being himself and taking interest in another makes a good impression.

jed, stop pretending that you are living by the gospel
by shackling on a list of self-accomplishment by obedience,
by loving out of obedience
instead of loving out of who you are and who they are and who you are together

no one feels loved when they discover they are being loved by reason of looking lonely, sad, isolated, poor, or meek.
a man feels loved when who he is
is delighted in by another being who they are.

just remember your first love
and seek to know nothing but what Paul sought to seek to know nothing but

do not love the deeds of Christ
but Him
and His deeds will flow from right purpose through my fingers
and indeed I will not say it was me.

a mosaic suddenly makes a face.

i will certainly edit this in the coming days, as I find more clay fractures in the sand and place them rearrange them to fit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

what thoughts you have entertained you have done



Jesus teaches liquid thoughts
that can be molded to mean almost anything:
is rendering to Caesar what is Caesar's an invitation to
accept established government
or a sarcasm, as clearly in a world made by God, what is really Caesar's?
Is turning the other cheek an unmitigated command
or to be turned only when it doesn't jeopardize national security or
the sanctity of the sovereign state, or our duty to protect our family
on our safe school-district street?
Is the narrow path narrow
or open to those with good conscience and good excuses
don't we all have good excuses? a childhood broken
an absent mother
a chemical disposition to rage, then too stern a punishment, a feeling of betrayal,
and a response,
the pendulum of experience, nature, and a fragile analysis of personal justice?

and as for the broader path, where exactly does it lead?
Because Hell is Gehenna and
Gehenna is actually a place, the valley of Hinnom,
outside of Jerusalem, where children were burned.
Is that where we go? An ancient Detroit?

or the sins celebrated in church: sexual addiction, pornography,
homosexuality, those easily vilified because they are secret.
and the sins never discussed: comfort, greed, creation abuse, gossip,
family worship, national worship, idolatry, church growth as a
building not a body,
salvation without discipleship, those never vilified because they are public and co-sponsored.
and for this, I have trouble trusting
all but my subjective reason
and the Spirit's movement over my soul when I read
..of course, the Spirit's movements over my soul are subjective
but they sound objective when they ring truest to my subjective reason,

and so we get an email chain from our parents
that condemns the hunger of Islam, the bloodfeeding Koran passages,
a book I have never read, and shouldn't because i was born
into the truth
and the Christian scriptures that predict a very real deception
and an anti-christ
and a season of unrest
and violence
and a worldly kingdom ruled by Jesus

and my subjective does not want to believe that those scriptures become objective
in history
because my spirituality lives outside of space
somewhere in my fatalism to believe in a Watchmaker who loves me.
it does not want to believe because every generation since Peter has been
certain that those scriptures were for their own time
and so,
my mind is quick to spot patterns,

and I jump to disbelief.

and I am not a conservative, because i don't know what to conserve
I am unconvinced that older values are valuable
outside of a commitment to quest
for the truth.
which values to keep? purity? I've tested and believe it. mostly.
national allegiance? still testing.
national pride? for some few noble things. thanks for that one Zinn.

about my desire for intimacy
an understanding of sexuality
and hunger, purpose, forward movement
the Buddha's quest to quiet it
and Christ's desire to complete it
and my sojourner path to something that honors the Truth of Christ

and perhaps a lonely life befriended to the truth
surrounded by people.

how arrogant.

all this to say it keeps me young. wide eyed. and not tired.







Saturday, October 2, 2010

a short thunder clap of current rivers

1. great films are a targeted lure that pull out of life a thousand fragments of experience
into understanding
and great poems, or prose,
or Meryl's face and pause,

2. San Diego is aswarm with culture. like no place I've lived and noticed.

3. I have a sense of guilt for my community. that i have too many A+'s and not enough D's. then I wonder if charity friendship is friendship at all, as opposed to friendship built on shared delight, interest, and journey. then I wonder what love looks like. seflessness. is it active dips into someone's life in a time of need, or a long term discipleship, or a long term tolerance of insanity in the hopes that steadfast love would... it's a... well...

4. I take people to Africa and show them things, without understanding them myself. Africa or the things or the people I'm taking. how humbling. and then we have the white house expecting us to be the experts. maybe, because we care, we are the experts. because experts care about things. and no one else really cares. really. and the things that need experts. but the experts.

5. Do people ever work out to be simply fit. only fit. in shape. capable. strong. without the quilted-in desire to be attractive. or better than.

6. A commitment to truth above a commitment to tradition or what I've been taught produces a renewed sense of adventure in scripture, understanding G-d, theology, the Christianity of Paul, Jesus, Aquinas, and America, Gibran, Emerson, Lewis, Merton.

7. Jack of many trades master of one. I have intentions. But what does it mean to be a master? Public recognition? The recognition of those inner thrones of proximity and intimacy that I respect?

8. Does anyone actually believe in Christ as the evangelicals teach here in America? Actually live like plain-read-American-understood scripture? Does anyone actually believe that the bible is God's word? His one and truest revelation to our species? If we did, would we not feverishly read it?? does anyone actually believe that those who do not profess Christ in their hearts will spend eternity in hell? Everlasting fire. Eternal damnation for 70 years of selfish understandable mistakes? If they did, would we not crawl across burning coals every day for just one to be saved? ...or are we so selfish that we do believe, and still do so little. what if what if what if what if what if what if...

9. What does it mean to be holy? to be righteous? what does that look like? and does it include humor?

10. i think alot about questions. fewer answers.

11. i think i like visiting more than being visited. but barely.

12. i find myself to be beautiful and ugly at the same time. what a wonderful tension. it has more power over me than i realize.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Maybe the world breaks on purpose

'

""A long time ago, things got broken here. People got sad and left. Maybe the world breaks on purpose so we can have work to do."

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

trouble



"Here is a revolutionary practice everyone should try: Take a bill from your wallet, think of all the things you could buy and then calmly set it on fire. Smell the burning paper, pay attention to your emotions and meditate on where money goes when it is destroyed."

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

After Telluride, it was said better than I could. but later I will try.

The moment when, after many years
of hard work and a long voyage
you stand in the centre of your room,
house, half-acre, square mile, island, country,
knowing at last how you got there,
and say, I own this,

is the same moment when the trees unloose
their soft arms from around you,
the birds take back their language,
the cliffs fissure and collapse,
the air moves back from you like a wave
and you can’t breathe.

No, they whisper. You own nothing.
You were a visitor, time after time
climbing the hill, planting the flag, proclaiming.
We never belonged to you.
You never found us.
It was always the other way round.

— Margaret Atwood

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How am I different than the picket fence beside me?



"Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness and pride of power and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear rather than too much. Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power. Christians should give more offense, shock the world far more, than they are doing now. Christians should take a stronger stand in favour of the weak rather than considering first the possible right of the strong." - D. Bonhoeffer

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

how can i savor? what i am now

A Brief for the Defense

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that's what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered caf├ęs and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.
- Jack Gilbert

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.
— From a speech to environmentalists in Missoula, Montana in 1978 and in Colorado, which was published in High Country News in the 1970s or early 1980s under the title “Joy, Shipmates, Joy.”, as quoted in Saving Nature’s Legacy : Protecting and Restoring Biodiversity (1994) by Reed F. Noss

“The small man
Builds cages for everyone
He
Knows.
While the sage,
Who has to duck his head
When the moon is low,
Keeps dropping keys all night long
For the
Beautiful
Rowdy
Prisoners
— Hafiz


the tension, of electric joy at beauty, the scandal of delight
and the contrast of sun-day and midnight,
how can I soak my face in light if I know the sunset comes,
and the murdering moon is reigning on the other side?
because I know the morning is rising on one horizon, coming to mine. it promised.
and dispair is the deepest indictment of day.
and when the darkness comes,
I, as a bearer of the promise, must flame up my torch and light the softer crooked dirt path
to heal the feet of the panicked.
with a promise. and broken feet.

thank you mariana and jerry for exposing me to the above.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

just as I cannot raise the sun



I would like to start with what art is,
but it is easier to say what art is not.
art is not asthetic
art is not recreating what is created,
art is not a photograph, in so much as you do not have a vision too,
but art is something:
a tear in the tarp that being born blocks the sky,
art is found fabric (with its own history) and you sew in your purpose,
the few crumble lessons you've picked up
on the trail to a witch's house
or the father's house
and let the twitches turn the path.
let the boulders block the rushing
white topped water as it makes its way home,
(and lift the soil as you go)
knowing only that home is true
and taking with it some few small truths:
that gravity gives and liquid property gives,
but having no clue to the vastness of
the ocean or even that it may be vast
but only that it is true. so it is with art,
you may not know what you are scratching
with your led into that dead-ironed tree,
but put into it what is true and
lay it on the alter of what is true,
knowing not what is wholly true
but perhaps the feeling of gravity's old bone pull
and liquid's cool shape-shifting window song,

and the soil you carried as you tumbled down
will feed the life of the ocean,
a place you never knew had life at all.

Friday, March 26, 2010

the discarded and inconvenient, the bi-product and un-productive.

drawings of old people.
drawn on trash.
an indictment.

by Danica Russell.

Friday, March 12, 2010

oil paint takes ages to dry



what is a man?
or a Man?
Is it a broad shoulder
long gate and crashing trails
or deep bearded voices that show no delight
or providing for something or someone?

is sewing the community for the feminine light footed ones?

is it facing our vices, our self service customer lust to
climb the ladder to the smoking attic,

sheeping the herd up the hill to be called a shepherd
and paid as a shepherd
more than caring for the flock?

Is it to face our vices?
Is it what 'If' tells me? I think so.

Is it coming to terms with the coming flood that
is now up to your knees and stumbling your forging step
that doesn't paint in the bold colors, someone promised, but
in gray painting water color, light pastels and earth tones,

saying I will not paint for you. Take your brush little boy
and make honest mistakes.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

the eskimos have no word for war

Trying to explain it to them

Leaves one feeling ridiculous and obscene.

Their houses, like white bowls,

Sit on a prairie of ancient snowfalls

Caught beyond thaw or the swift changes

Of night and day.

They listen politely, and stride away.

With spears and sleds and barking dogs

To hunt for food. The women wait

Chewing on skins or singing songs,

Knowing that they have hours to spend,

That the luck of the hunter is often late.

Later, by fires and boiling bones

In streaming kettles, they welcome me,

Far kin, pale brother,

To share what they have in a hungry time

In a difficult land. While I talk on

Of the southern kingdoms, cannon, armies,

Shifting alliances, airplanes, power,

They chew their bones, and smile at one another.

- Mary Oliver


to have no word for a thing that is real

does not mean it is not real

but it shows your order of things

your personal communal order of what is real

between the men you eat with, know,

and share with.

you have no word for war.

perhaps that means you have no communities

within earshot that deeply richly believe different

things, and therefore fear the difference

or desire your river and land and coast

I do not know, but there are things I wish were

still a mystery to me. though..

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

i am a culprit.

I am a culprit of skimming.
scowering books, words, feeds, crowds...
collecting information. storing it
in a vast vault
of
half understo-
thoug-



Tuesday, February 16, 2010

To simplify the truth for children requires a deep understanding of truth. C.S. Lewis understood this.

"Your intelligence, your capacity for hard work, the education you have earned and received, give you unique status, and unique responsibilities. Even your nationality sets you apart. The great majority of you belong to the world’s only remaining superpower. The way you vote, the way you live, the way you protest, the pressure you bring to bear on your government, has an impact way beyond your borders. That is your privilege, and your burden.

If you choose to use your status and influence to raise your voice on behalf of those who have no voice; if you choose to identify not only with the powerful, but with the powerless; if you retain the ability to imagine yourself into the lives of those who do not have your advantages, then it will not only be your proud families who celebrate your existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality you have helped change. We do not need magic to change the world, we carry all the power we need inside ourselves already: we have the power to imagine better."



"Choosing to live in narrow spaces leads to a form of mental agoraphobia, and that brings its own terrors. I think the willfully unimaginative see more monsters. They are often more afraid. What is more, those who choose not to empathise enable real monsters. For without ever committing an act of outright evil ourselves, we collude with it, through our own apathy."



- J.K. Rowling

Monday, February 15, 2010

What if I give an answer to the problem of the world?

OP: Mountains: where the world seems out of reach. But maybe thats where the preacher learns to teach. Twitter can't grow on trees, technology alone is a disease. But maybe hopes of the individual being able to harness this new electronic breeze will allow us to live out what the beauracracy buries. The purity of believing in the importance and power of our own words, our own blogs, our own tweets... but as your friend, honest and open, I think youth gains wisdom, and transforms... but I like the past just as much as the future I think.

justification vs. the reality that 95% of people don't live within a community such as IC... our youth will grow different. I believe that. prophecy brother. only time will tell, and were a thousand conversations from that day. exchange. exchange.

JJ: The electric change coursing through youth, the 1001010101 in our skin, is not an enemy, any more than the written word, the shaping tongue of speech. It is a tool that self and gluttony indulge, and shallow conquering poison... But the change is being woven in, strewn seed on fertile soil of men longing for a different world, and some communities engaging the world the different worlds will see the retreating water before the wave. To call it as it may be, to prophesy, is to open yourself up to fail. But why live if not to see and try and claim and fail or win and change the living to what it has always wanted to be. Exchange is why I long for Chicago streets.

I longwantneed to hear your thoughts, your unpacked ponderings, on the explosion of words I gave you the other day. This philosophical endeavor, the daring suicide of actually positing an answer to the worlds problems, is my suicide calling. Walk with me brother, if not to your own death, to inform mine.

...I do not know what is next. but to take life seriously, that is why we wake.

Monday, February 8, 2010

is it a period or an ellipsis

I was impeded by a problem I never knew I had: my hidden but stubbornly entrenched skepticism about the existence of the spiritual realm. Like most postmodern Westerners, I grew up in a culture permeated with empiricist notions about reality. Philosopher Charles Taylor writes that often we consciously hold one set of values and assumptions but unconsciously live by another. . . . My hidden skepticism provided me with a hundred handy doubts right when I most needed them. Maybe all this disruption could be blamed on menopause after all. Maybe it was strictly a psychological event—the ego overcompensating for an inferiority complex? People delude themselves all the time, don’t they?
- Paula Huston

i find a strong cornerstone lean in the direction of purpose. meaning in living, sovereignty and plan. that reality does not trouble me. I do not fight to believe it. depend on omnipotence and scoff at the feeble manmind. i see no problem with the temporality of man, his belief that his choices echo in eternity, and in believing they do they do, his responsibility to Love, His whisper woo out of the world's machine. i see all of this in comfort and credit my nature.

but i plead forgive me in my unbelief, not my mental ascent, but my living daily unbelief that a shadow just-over-my-shoulder battle of spirit is waging, evil devil hook horned battle for my soul with silver wielding angels, the spirit waging.
i struggle for this. reach for it. and it rots the urgency of my prayer.


Thursday, February 4, 2010

Deliberate time together.


Last night, an impromptu society was created.
to be deliberate
and write together and write
4 of us.

we gave ourselves an assignment. 30 minutes to write about personal revolution. Then we have to read our brainflowspilling to one another. Here is what we wrote:



FIRST:

change
a cup filled not just with quarters
but ideas
the chip-toothed smile and unkempt beard
of the forgotten romanticism found in
the death-breath words of a scot-stained
street corner half-drunk half-prophet
the opposite of your binary bile:
ones and zeroes that murder tangible tangibility
destroy rebuild repeat
the mantra of a society solely concerned with cautionary procession
"cash, coin & modernization" give way to the following
for the past 6 months
I've toyed with the concept of
packing my bags
and moving to mid-nineteenth century
America
digital give way to analog
show me the hand-filled soil of your soul
not some god-dammed "about me" section
[and let me say that I hate that last line
because lately all I've been referring to in my writings is pop-culture]
but give me the hearts found
in
the squeaky floor of a church
collapsing because
there is weight in
love
touch
and wanting to be immersed in the sights smells sounds and textures
involved in the creation of the book
i just saw, smelled, heard and felt
in the used book store
there's revolution in regression
my heart is an acetate
with one or two good plays
before it turns to shit
and side A
is almost over...


SECOND:

4 years now, and i won't go back.
not because I can't.
but because i'm afraid it's true.
that if i saw it for what it really is
i would be just as afraid as she is daily,
wondering "why am i here?"

And today, i can't admit that fear.
well...i could, but I wont.

Because every choice, decision, step I have made
has countered the hysteria that is always sitting safely
between my spleen and my dreams
I work against that fear
on paper.
Ending wars, raising up revolutionaries
(what happens when revolutions get tired of themselves? Hysteria_
and sometimes that's what it feels like.

My voice taught itself to stop equipping
but that doesn't mean it doesn't when no one is listening

And that's the worst part of all.
What happens when we stop listening?
Nothing happens & no one moves.

[most days i wish for Rocking chairs and farmland & solitude what does that make me?]


THIRD:


By the day I stand from crawling novelty, I welcome the suited-salesmen into my crib.

By my dropping voice, I have amassed an empire of plastic, wires, and miniature idols of the future sale: tiny trucks, tiny guns, tiny women in felt clothes.

By my 16th year, I am the pin-up dream, the drooling banquet of consumption hunger in cunning control of the father figure mother told her mortgage holder, an added chain to the already imprisoned aging children thrown into a bag of wrinkles, running river liars, and comfort high-hedge whisperers.

By my waking years
the run-slows-to-walk-stop-and-look at my feet for the first time. I have already bought my weight in blood, the gentle stream slow sloping guided tour to lethal leisure mockingbird murder I gasp at the first light, the hinted ache 'this is not right' and find in my hand a hammer made of flesh and culture jammer and gas and fire and fear and ancient warnings hard to hear and climb the temple stairs to turn over tables and chairs

gas the drapes and light the base and promise promise make a promise to something.


FOURTH:


Song bird sing Aubade
Change searching
you say different
with what army? warning. through
a great unbalance
song bird sing . . .
for what the eyes have seen
divided
a place in displacement
song bird sing
lost looking for place
to get lost
song bird sing
for now the cries.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Me against the machine























The purpose is the marble block
to chip and blow and bend the joints
and waste and waste the flesh in crash
against the stone to change its cash
to bartered bone and worthy points.

the black stone square is old as man
with Babel once and twice and more
to build and burn the forest floor
the black stone square is old as man

from choice and current up stream crawl
we scrape or drill the
blast the base and cut the
stop me before I name the thing
that is in me
that is this society
this alter of eyes
I will claw until my fingers go
and keep it simple as I go.
as I go up the river
to the stream.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More than adventure.



"A child free from the guilt of ownership and the burden of economic competition will grow up with the will to do what needs doing and the capacity for joy in doing it. It is useless work that darkens the heart. The delight of the nursing mother, of the scholar, of the successful hunter, of the good cook, of the skillful maker, of anyone doing needed work and doing it well - this durable joy is perhaps the deepest source of human affection, and of sociality as a whole."

"But as surely as the future becomes the past, the past becomes the future. To deny is not to achieve. The explorer who will not come back or send back his ships to tell his tale is not an explorer, only an adventurer; and his sons are born in exile."

- Ursula K. LeGuin, The Dispossessed

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Leonard Cohen on the state of Christianity



Seth: You have such vivid Christian imagery in many of your songs,
and much of it is contrasted with the selfishness of the "modern"
individual. I was wondering what's your take on the state of
Christianity today?

Leonard Cohen: Dear Seth, I don't really have a 'take on the state
of Christianity.' But when I read your question, this answer came to
mind: As I understand it, into the heart of every Christian, Christ
comes, and Christ goes. When, by his Grace, the landscape of the heart becomes vast and deep and limitless, then Christ makes His abode in that graceful heart, and His Will prevails. The experience is recognized as Peace. In the absence of this experience much activity arises, divisions of every sort. Outside of the organizational enterprise, which some applaud and some mistrust, stands the figure of Jesus, nailed to a human predicament, summoning the heart to comprehend its own suffering by dissolving itself in a radical confession of hospitality.