Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Annunciation - Thomas Merton

The Annunciation

Ashes of paper, ashes of a world
Wandering, when fire is done:
We argue with the drops of rain!

Until one comes Who walks unseen
Even in elements we have destroyed.
Deeper than any nerve
He enters flesh and bone.
Planting His truth, He puts our substance on.
Air, earth, and rain
Rework the frame that fire has ruined.
What was dead is waiting for His Flame.
Sparks of His Spirit spend their seeds, and hide
To grow like irises, born before summertime.
These blue thinas bud in Israel.

The girl prays by the bare wall
Between the lamp and the chair.
(Framed with an angel in our galleries
She has a richer painted room, sometimes a crown.
Yet seven pillars of obscurity
Build her to Wisdom's house, and Ark, and Tower.
She is the Secret of another Testament
She owns their manna in her jar.(

Fifteen years old -
The flowers printed on her dress
Cease moving in the middle of her prayer
When God, Who sends the messenger,
Meets His messenger in her Heart.
Her answer, between breath and breath,
Wrings from her innocence our Sacrament!
In her white body God becomes our Bread.

It is her tenderness
Heats the dead world like David on his bed.
Times that were too soon criminal
And never wanted to be normal
Evade the beast that has pursued
You, me and Adam out of Eden's wood.
Suddenly we find ourselves assembled
Cured and recollected under several green trees.

Her prudence wrestled with the Dove
To hide us in His Cloud of steel and silver:
These are the mysteries of her Son.
And here my heart, a purchased outlaw,
Prayers in her possession
Until her Jesus makes my heart
Smile like a flower in her blameless hand.

Cud'n 'Chop's Uncle Al's Favorite Pangalactic Gargleblaster Gin Fizz Recipe

Take the juice from one bottle of Ol' Janx Spirit
Pour into a chilled highball with one measure of water from the seas of Santraginus V
Melt two ounces of Arcturan Mega-gin in a cocktail shaker filled with ice
Add a dash of lemon or lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon of superfine sugar and egg white
Shake vigorously by setting on a chesterfield sofa in a space-time eddy
Strain into the highball
Allow four liters of Fallian marsh gas to bubble through
Over the back of a silver spoon float a measure of Qualactin Hypermint extract
Drop in the tooth of an Algolian Suntiger
Stir until the Suntiger tooth dissolves
Top off with soda water

Garnish with olives, a maraschino cherry, slice of citrus fruit, cucumber (whole), and mint. Equally good for the treatment of morning terror and early morning yells of horror.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

"Cry a little and convert."

Pope Francis gives a paternal warning to oft-neglected "absent but central figures":
"And I feel that I cannot conclude without saying a word to the absent ones today, to those absent but central figures: the men and women of the mafia. Please, change your life, convert, stop, cease to do evil! We are praying for you. Convert, I ask it on my knees; it is for your own good. This life you are living now, it won't bring you pleasure, it won't give you joy, it won't bring you happiness. The power, the money, that you possess now from so many dirty jobs, from so many mafia crimes, is blood money, it is power soaked in blood, and you cannot take it with you to the next life. Convert, there is still time, so that you don't end up in hell. That is what awaits you if you continue on this path. You had a father and a mother: think of them. Cry a little and convert."

 Nice pope, huh?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014


Hey guys. Just wanted to share a few things with you.

First, thanks. I've been doing good. You may remember that when I left you things weren't exactly looking up.

Flan dumped me. Then she didn't want to get back together (she stopped answering my texts), my blog was shut down, I had to move in with my sponsor, tried to quit smoking, was depressed, gained weight, my face broke out, I was nauseous, constipated, my feet swelled, gums bled, sinuses clogged, I got heartburn, was cranky, and gassy. And just as I was poised to write about ghosts, this shows up on my Facebook feed:


Well Bunky, let me tell you: I snapped. The last thing I remember  is how suddenly the viscosity of my blood reached Three Stooges proportions, and then blacking out.

When I woke, I was in Montana, caked in Doritos crumbs and IHOP receipts like papier-mâché. That's gotta mean something.

Don't ask me how. Neither I, nor the locals (who have taken to calling me "the grokel yokel") have been able to figure out how I turned up here. Someone said they heard unusual howling the night before I was found half-naked and equally lucid on the steps of the Lutheran church. My hunch is it had something to do with booze and ghosts. I've been roughing it out here ever since.

As in, I'm homeless. Which, while not all it's cracked up to be, has actually stirred a kind of haggard self-confidence in me. I feel like a man, all swaggerly and adventurous and inappropriately certain about stuff. 

So there's that. And I like it.

My head's not right. I can't stand the loneliness. 

I mean I'm doing great.


Speaking of male pattern badassery: Damien Fisher, husband of Simcha Fisher, whose blog sometimes hosts a mysterious movie reviewer with an officious nom de plume, is posting his weekly column on a personal blog, Over the Edge. 

The Jerk? . . . nope. My cousin.
Check it:
Just the other day I saw the end of the world. It was on the Drudge Report, so you know it’s true. Scientists have devised a way to give rats a sixth sense. 
Are you scared yet? You should be. These scientists implanted some kind of … thing into the rats that allowed them to feel infrared light. They say it will some day help people, but we know that will not happen. People have five senses; sight, hearing, touch, taste, and purple. Now rats have one more than us. This is a disaster. Do you think the rats will stop at six? They’re rats. They’re like Nietzschean supermen with fur. They’re probably halfway to seven sense right now with plans for eight and nine. They won’t stop. Ever. Until we’re all dead. This is just like the time they built Skynet. 
It gets worse. The infrared sensor picker-uppers they put in the rats also gives them a form of telepathy. Yeah, mind reading rats. Basically, we’ve just handed rats the biggest evolutionary advantage since opposable thumbs. Why not finish the job and give them the ray guns the Pentagon is hiding in that warehouse along with the Ark of the Covenant? 
We’re doomed. 
Lookit, I know for a fact rats hold people in contempt. They are clever, devious creatures with ambition. Just last year, my son brought home his classroom pets over the Christmas break. Guess what? They were rats. Every time you walked into the room they would jump up onto the sides of the cage and just hang there, watching you until you gave them a peanut. I don’t know if they were using some kind of mind control on me or not, but I gave those rats a lot of peanuts. 
And that was without any implanted sensors, imagine if those classroom rats had the telepathy and such, I probably would have been making them sandwiches and handing them beer. Actually, I may have done that too. I don’t really remembered. There was a lot of beer in the house around Christmas.
I like to think of this as Good News, in the same way that drug addicts are the Good News.

Speaking of, have you heard of The Growlers? They're moody fun.

Speaking of less ramshackle, but still moody fun, The Black Lips released their new album today.

That's all for now, folks. I'll be back soon-ish maybe.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Caryll Houselander On Lenten Resolutions

A mass of good resolutions, I think, are apt to end up in disappointment and to make one depressed. Also direct fault-uprooting: it makes one concentrate too much on self and that can be so depressing. The only resolution I have ever found works is: "Whenever I want to think of myself, I will think of God."
Now, this does not mean, "I will make a long meditation on God," but just some short sharp answer, so to speak, to my thought of self, in God.  For example: 
"I am lonely, misunderstood, etc." The loneliness of Christ at his trial; the misunderstanding even of his closest friends.
"I have made a fool of myself." 
Christ mocked — he felt it;  he put the mocking first in foretelling his Passion — 'The Son of Man shall be mocked, etc.' — made a fool of, before all whom he loved.
"I can't go on, unhelped." 
Christ couldn't. He couldn't carry the cross without help; he was grateful for human sympathy — Mary Magdalene — his words on that occasion — other examples as they suggest themselves — just pictures that flash through the mind. This practice becomes a habit and it is the habit which has saved me from despair! ... 
Different people have different approaches to Christ. He has become all things — infant, child, man — so that we all can approach him in the way easiest for us. The best is to use that way to our heart's content, and not to trouble about any other.

From The Letters Of Caryll Houselander: Her Spiritual Legacy.