Sunday, July 31, 2011


In the "kingdom" the eternal and the infinite are not time and space made endless ( they are endless already) but are the now and the here made real, an actual present and an actual presence. Time vanishes in Jesus' "Before Abraham, I am" (John 5:8); space vanishes when we are told, in an aphorism previously referred to, that the kingdom is entos hymon (Luke 17:21), which may mean among you or in you, but in either case means here, not there.

Thursday, July 28, 2011


You are always wearing the same clothes. When I see you out the window you are wearing the same clothes. I am standing at the window not wearing any clothes. I am smoking a cigarette and trying to change your clothes. I am trying to obscure the sight of you by blowing smoke around your body.

I whisper to myself, "The smoke is coming Frank. I am not the smoke. The smoke is something else. But it is coming to change your clothes, Frank. You will wear new clothes."

Frank, you are the veteran of some war that never happened in a foreign country. It was war between you and your former wife when you found her in the bedroom and never went back. You were looking for a new shirt to put on maybe. Maybe there were sweatpants for you in the drawer. Maybe you were looking for some money and then you were going to ride the bus out to the mall and buy new shorts. But you've never gone back Frank, and I say Yes to that. You just keep smoking more cigarettes in front of your house. And I say okay good, don't look back, just look forward. Good. But when you look forward all you see is me standing at the window smoking a cigarette without any clothes on.

So Frank I swear to God, if you try to obscure my body with your smoke, if you try to change my clothes, I will put down this cigarette and walk down the stairs of my apartment. I will cross the street and stand up close to your face and I will point at your face and say "The smoke is coming for you, Frank. I am not the smoke. The smoke is something else. But the smoke is coming for you."

Sunday, July 17, 2011


"A symbol torn away from the transcendent experience that generated it is a morbid thing. It has died as surely as the body dies once the heart is torn out. The world we build from cadaverous symbols is the world of the dead--Blake's Ulro. The symbols are still with us; they must be as long as there is human culture--language, art, thought, all are crafted symbols. But dead symbols are counterfeits, in the same way a well-embalmed corpse counterfeits a live body. And just as a corpse becomes more grotesque the more it is painted to imitate life, so a defunct symbol only grows ghastlier the more desperately we labor to disguise its death with the pretense of life."

-Theodore Roszak, "Uncaging Skylarks: The Meaning of Transcendent Symbols"

Friday, July 15, 2011


Fredo Coreleone with the world like an older brother but in the form of a Catholic priest. Holding his head locked in hail mary. Licking the dust off of doorknobs, seeing if it was a new way to make them turn. Fredo Coreleone fancying himself a new generation of locksmith. But all the new books he read spoke nothing of doorknobs anywhere. Instead only passage for pilgrims who were not him. Into halls with windows and a dome cupped over a gathering of fire lanterns, just touching the vaulted arcs. It was a makeshift temple claiming sanctuary, making a home for all the prayers without homes. In the end a prayer is a thing lit and let lifted into the sky. But always just beyond more dust and a few more licks. Fredo Coreleone saying hail marys and casting his line into the water, waiting for Christ to call from the shore. Just one word from the old man so Fredo could cast his net of bones over the timbered hull and pull up bounty. A sack of gold and a crucifix shaped into a key. Something to unlock an underwater door marked by a ring of floating lanterns on fire.