Sunday, December 16, 2018


whetstone sisyphus thrusts
for gods to sharpen and smooth
mountain sages tongues

holy heyoka

I am
infinite jest, garrulous with silence.
My heart is a wound
from battering through prison walls
called rib cages
guarding red herrings
called hearts.

// Gary McGee

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


the top of the earth the gamblers spin
a dreidle is loaded for eastern light

the game from birth burns blood and oil
bellies get bloated their haste to indict

grasping at mirth the chaser crawls
toward ash, and so did the rest of her might

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

required is a shibboleth

if you had no hands and could not see
what kind of artist would you be?

and if you lost your voice entirely
how would you reply the necessity

but obey her with your dying breath

when your faves hang out and talk education in Jacobs, A. (2018)

I have suggested that the cultural health of Europe, including the cultural health of its component parts, is incompatible with extreme forms of both nationalism and internationalism. But the cause of that disease, which destroys the very soil in which culture has its roots, is not so much extreme ideas, and the fanaticism which they stimulate, as the relentless pressure of modern industrialism, setting the problems which the extreme ideas attempt to solve. Not least of the effects of industrialism is that we become mechanized in mind, and consequently attempt to provide solutions in terms of engineering, for problems which are essentially problems of life.
—T. S. Eliot, 1944

To all of us, I believe, in the middle of the twentieth century, the Roman Empire is like a mirror in which we see reflected the brutal, vulgar, powerful yet despairing image of our technological civilization, an imperium which now covers the entire globe, for all nations, capitalist, socialist, and communist, are united in their worship of mass, technique and temporal power. What fascinates and terrifies us about the Roman Empire is not that it finally went smash but that . . . it managed to last for four centuries without creativity, warmth or hope.
—W. H. Auden, 1952


 Jacques Maritain, age fifty-six, philosopher and theologian, is in Paris, embroiled in a heated dispute with his fellow Catholic Paul Claudel over Maritain’s support for the leftist rebels in the Spanish Civil War.

Thomas Stearns Eliot, age fifty, poet and editor, is in London. He continues his work for the publisher Faber & Faber; he signs up to serve as an air-raid warden in Kensington, where he has a flat.

Clive Staples Lewis, age forty, Fellow of Magadlen College, Oxford, is in Stratford-upon-Avon to give two lectures on Shakespeare, though the second is canceled after the news comes that Germany has invaded Poland.

Wystan Hugh Auden, age thirty-two, poet, having left his native England for New York earlier in the year, is in a trashy dive bar, Dizzy’s Club, in Manhattan.

Simone Weil, age thirty, thinker, is ill with pleurisy—she is often ill—and taking a kind of rest cure, with her parents, in the mountains near Nice.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

speak for your servant

Leaning on you for understanding
I fell out the window of mine
And was it that I fell so ill
That I lost your voice?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

It was the word avant la lettre...

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

the grand forgery

For Mandela's centenary, a Penn prof writes that for South Africans,

His struggle was our struggle, his imprisonment was our imprisonment, his freedom was our freedom, his equality was our equality, his justice was our justice. He did it in the name of us all.
And it makes me think that all the things I ask in Jesus' name turn on all that He did in the name of us all.  A grand forgery that restores my true name, being, humanity.


My days in South Africa are drawing to a close. In 13 days I leave this beloved country. I dread returning to the pace and pressure of not Philly, but Penn. Fieldwork – wherein my sole professional and academic responsibility is to be fully present to and immersed in human interaction, to transcend cultural partitions, to observe deeply and finely, and to inscribe the full humanity of myself and others... Well, this has been rehumanizing and restorative.

Just wandering through.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

green pasture eyes don't lie

She looked frail. She looked scared. She did not look like she does now. 

 Those looks were deceiving. A boat that has been battered by a storm, sails torn, taking on water, yet still afloat and refusing to sink looks weak and frail. But the reality is that were it not strong, well made, and resilient it would have sunk a long time ago. She is stronger than the eye can see or the mind can understand.

 Of the four principle virtues -- courage, generosity, kindness and resilience, one can make a strong case that the most important is resilience. It is the virtue that makes it possible for one to lean into the wind hard enough to continue to demonstrate the other three.

 // Steve Edwards

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

who is this priest of the muses?

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Sythia knew the sun delighted in her


with sun salutations
she springs awake to day
stands to greet someone
with palms outstretched
she bows and beams

was brown and bare in sleep
now cloaked with eastern light
the desert lotus lily
of the shadow valley light
has returned to rain

yesterday distending underground
light bursts forth from sticks and stone
the doorman sees his crown
in tomorrow

and Sythia wonders how
she ever questioned would
Monsieur stay if she left
in vigil if she slept

for sake of love
be buried
a seed
a rose
seeing the light in her
He, a rose
forgot her not

She, recomposed in love
blooms but soon
will be leaving

will be falling
a sleep


this one is for Sythia
who had him at yellow
forsythia is an "You're Asian!" shrub that arrests my afterwinter gaze

next up in #fakeeytymologies #realnews #flowershavepowerstoo, "Hello, Boris!" ??

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

home for the weekend

the leaving behind was hard...

hard prunings   dead weight
toxic faucets   freezing pipes

kitchen privileges   family tables

i went to nyc this past weekend to be a daughter, a sister, an auntie, a mother.

...but the reaping/inheritance are overwhelmingly safe and rich. matthew 19.29

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

wait, of glory

easy i'm choked
by the portent
the fright

cede to the surgeon
cross the beam
in my eye

carry your burden
like an oxen
carries flies

take up his yoke
it is laden
with light

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

heavenly gates

pointed finger

the Penetrated


He said I'll
give you shelter

in my side
splayed wide

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

of making many books

just another Philly mummer
daily getting dumber

King Thamus, to Theuth, on literacy:

"This discovery of yours will create forgetfulness in the learners' souls, because they will not use their memories; they will trust to the external written characters and not remember of themselves. The specific which you have discovered is an aid not to memory, but to reminiscence, and you give your disciples not truth, but only the semblance of truth; they will be hearers of many things and will have learned nothing; they will appear to be omniscient and will generally know nothing; they will be tiresome company, having the show of wisdom without the reality."

// Socrates, Phaedrus

Thursday, February 8, 2018

languid days, so dull

but hey, look on the night side
the flask is half full