Wednesday, November 26, 2008

My Grandmother:::Valzhyna Mort

my grandmother
doesn't know pain
she believes that
famine is nutrition
poverty is wealth
thirst is water

her body like a grapevine winding around a walking stick
her hair bees' wings
she swallows the sun-speckles of pills
and calls the internet the telephone to america

her heart has turned into a rose the only thing you can do
is smell it
pressing yourself to her chest
there's nothing else you can do with it
only a rose

her arms like stork's legs
red sticks
and i am on my knees
howling like a wolf
at the white moon of your skull
i'm telling you it's not pain
just the embrace of a very strong god
one with an unshaven cheek that scratches when he kisses you

Poetry::: Valzhyna Mort

maybe you too sometimes fantasize
that god resembles your most difficult teacher
the one who never gave the highest mark
one day he invites your parents to school
and who knows what he is telling them there
perhaps that any further effort is now futile
because you're never going to graduate from life
with honors
maybe something different
something completely and utterly different
but when this talk is done
your parents never come back
maybe they're ashamed now
a boy from the neighborhood tells you they're dead
he says look even the Beatles die
never mind your parents
besides who knew them except you
all their songs were written by other people

but you refuse to believe him can't get any sleep
you cry at home
you cry among people you know and people you don't
on the street
because they've left and are ashamed
to return to you again

Saturday, August 16, 2008

:::New Books For Me:::

Check it out!
What I want!

:::My Life's Quote:::

True Joy is to take people places they wouldn't go, so that they might go places I wouldn't go.

::Mark Strom::

Monday, June 2, 2008

Rainer Maria Rilke... MY HERO!!!

The Raising of Lazarus

Evidently, this was needed. Because people need
to be screamed at with proof.
Still, he imagined Martha and Mary
standing beside him. They would
believe he could do it. But no one believed,
every one of them said: Lord,
you come too late.
And he went with them to do what is not done
to nature, in its sleep.
In anger. His eyes half closed,
he asked them the way to the grave. He wept.
A few thought they noticed his tears,
and out of sheer curiosity hurried behind.
Even to walk the road there seemed monstrous
to him, an enactment, a test!
A high fever erupted inside him, contempt
for their insistence on what they called
their Death, their Being Alive.
And loathing flooded his body
when he hoarsely cried: Move the stone.
By now he must stink, someone suggested
(he’d already lain there four days)—but he
stood it, erect, filled with that gesture
which rose through him, ponderously
raising his hand (a hand never lifted
itself so slowly, or more)
to its full height, shining
an instant in air...then clenching
in on itself, abruptly, like a claw, aghast
at the thought all the dead might return
from that tomb, where the enormous cocoon of
the corpse was beginning to stir.
But finally, only the one decrepit figure appeared
at the entrance—and they saw
how their vague and inaccurate
life made room for him once more.

Friday, May 30, 2008

What a quote...

If it could be proved that Christ is not the truth, the resurrection, and life, then I would rather have Christ. by Dostoyevsky

The Supermarket

I went to the new Vons the other day
You know the one off Ocean Blvd, right next to Chronic Taco
I ran into a bald, chubby guy named Buddha
I thought that was a funny name

He was in and out of there pretty quickly
He even used the new self check out device at the front
All that he bought were two loaves and a fish

My Hispanic friend Jesus that works in the meat department
Thought that he was pretty odd
I honestly don't know what to think
I bought potato wedges, which took forever
And were very hard
They have a nice organic section

I am God

Poetry always looks better in my head
Its when I release it to society that I....
Well, that I am left disappointed
This is not my work,
Damn it!

I am King
I am God

So nobody ever sees my poetry
It is really good though
You will just have to trust me
Or maybe just bash in my skull
And see for yourself
I don't mind

Friday, May 9, 2008

More Rilke... On Love

It is also good to love: because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. That is why young people, who are beginners in everything, are not yet capable of love: it is something they must learn. With their whole being, with all their forces, gathered around their solitary, anxious, upward-beating heart, they must learn to love. But learning-time is always a long, secluded time ahead and far on into life, is - ; solitude, a heightened and deepened kind of aloneness for the person who loves. Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person (for what would a union be of two people who are unclarified, unfinished, and still incoherent - ?), it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world, to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to vast distances. Only in this sense, as the task of working on themselves ("to hearken and to hammer day and night"), may young people use the love that is given to them. Merging and surrendering and every kind of communion is not for them (who must still, for a long, long time, save and gather themselves); it is the ultimate, is perhaps that for which human lives are as yet barely large enough.

But this is what young people are so often and so disastrously wrong in doing they (who by their very nature are impatient) fling themselves at each other when love takes hold of them, they scatter themselves, just as they are, in all their messiness, disorder, bewilderment. . . . : And what can happen then?

Rilke ( A Slice of Wisdom)

Don't write love poems; avoid those forms that are too facile and ordinary: they are the hardest to work with, and it takes great, fully ripened power to create something individual where good, even glorious, traditions exist in abundance. So rescue yourself from these general themes and write about what your everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty - describe all these with heartfelt, silent, humble sincerity and, when you express yourself, use the Things around you, the images from your dreams, and the objects that you remember. If your everyday life seems poor, don't blame it; blame yourself; admit to yourself that you are not enough of a poet to call forth its riches; because for the creator there is not poverty and no poor, indifferent place. And even if you found yourself in some prison, whose walls let in none of the world's sounds - wouldn't you still have your childhood, that jewel beyond all price, that treasure house of memories? Turn your attentions to it. Try to raise up the sunken feelings of this enormous past; your personality will grow stronger, your solitude will expand and become a place where you can live in the twilight, where the noise of other people passes by, far in the distance. - And if out of this turning-within, out of this immersion in your own world, poems come, then you will not think of asking anyone whether they are good or not.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Bernice Sims "Cotton Picking Time"

Good Ol' Southern art

A Wider Scope...Anne Porter


Nobody in the hospital
Could tell the age
Of the old woman who
Was called Susanna

I knew she spoke some English
And that she was an immigrant
Out of a little country
Trampled by armies

Because she had no visitors
I would stop by to see her
But she was always sleeping

All I could do
Was to get out her comb
And carefully untangle
The tangles in her hair

One day I was beside her
When she woke up
Opening small dark eyes
Of a surprising clearness

She looked at me and said
You want to know the truth?
I answered Yes

She said it's something that
My mother told me

There's not a single inch
Of our whole body
That the Lord does not love

She then went back to sleep.

Friday, March 28, 2008

The Book for April is....

Into the Wild by Jack Krakauer
Pick it up Now!!!

What would possess a gifted young man recently graduated from college to literally walk away from his life? Noted outdoor writer and mountaineer Jon Krakauer tackles that question in his reporting on Chris McCandless, whose emaciated body was found in an abandoned bus in the Alaskan wilderness in 1992.

The date for our next meeting is April 28th from 7-9pm.
Meeting place: Aroma Di Roma, 5327 E. 2nd Street, Long Beach, CA 90803

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

who in the hell is Tom Jones? You gotta love a cat fight!

by Charles Bukowski

I was shacked with a
24 year old girl from
New York City for
two weeks about
the time of the garbage
strike out there, and
one night my 34 year
old woman arrived and
she said, “I want to see
my rival.” she did
and then she said, “o,
you’re a cute little thing!”
next I knew there was a
screech of wildcats—
such screaming and scratch-
ing, wounded animal moans,
blood and piss . . .

I was drunk and in my
shorts. I tried to
separate them and fell,
wrenched my knee. then
they were through the screen
door and down the walk
and out in the street.

squadcars full of cops
arrived. a police heli-
copter circled overhead.

I stood in the bathroom
and grinned in the mirror.
it’s not often at the age
of 55 that such splendid
things occur.
better than the Watts

the 34 year old
came back in. she had
pissed all over her-
self and her clothing
was torn and she was
followed by 2 cops who
wanted to know why.

pulling up my shorts
I tried to explain.

Monday, March 17, 2008


A Reflection on Romans 14:1 to 12

Upon first glance, we might wonder whether Paul doesn’t sound like a modern liberal in this passage with his commands about accepting diversity and not passing judgment.

However, while tolerance has become the buzz word today for accepting differences and not judging, the Christian ethic goes much further than this - it is an ethic of welcome. “Welcome the one whose faith is weak”.

I can tolerate someone whom I do not love, but a community committed to Christ opens its arms in welcome, embracing a diversity of ethnicities, classes, opinions and practices and breaking down those barriers that divide.

M. Ward and Zooey Deschanel

Album comes out tomorrow...
Buy it if you know what's good for you!!!

"Into the Wild"

If you have not seen it yet, it is a must!!! "To live is to share" Isn't that the truth? If only we could live that out a little more.

Mr. Ram 2008 (The Little Mermaid)

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


by Wendell Berry

The woods is shining this morning.
Red, gold and green, the leaves
lie on the ground, or fall,
or hang full of light in the air still.
Perfect in its rise and in its fall, it takes
the place it has been coming to forever.
It has not hastened here, or lagged.
See how surely it has sought itself,
its roots passing lordly through the earth.
See how without confusion it is
all that it is, and how flawless
its grace is. Running or walking, the way
is the same. Be still. Be still.
“He moves your bones, and the way is clear.”

Lars and the Real Girl out on DVD April 15th

I thought that Lars and the Real Girl was one of the top films of 2007. I hope to have a movie party when it comes out... Yeah!!!

Friday, February 29, 2008

"The True Joy In Life" (On a special leap day)

This is the true joy in life, being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one. Being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work, the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.

George Bernard Shaw

the trash men

by Charles Bukowski

here they come
these guys
grey truck
radio playing

they are in a hurry

it’s quite exciting:
shirt open
bellies hanging out

they run out the trash bins
roll them out to the fork lift
and then the truck grinds it upward
with far too much sound . . .

they had to fill out application forms
to get these jobs
they are paying for homes and
drive late model cars

they get drunk on Saturday night

now in the Los Angeles sunshine
they run back and forth with their trash bins

all that trash goes somewhere

and they shout to each other

then they are all up in the truck
driving west toward the sea

none of them know
that I am alive

Thursday, February 28, 2008


by Billy Collins

The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read, never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.

Long ago you kissed the names of the nine muses goodbye
and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag,
and even now as you memorize the order of the planets,

something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps,
the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.

Whatever it is you are struggling to remember,
it is not poised on the tip of your tongue
or even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.

It has floated away down a dark mythological river
whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall

on your own way to oblivion where you will join those
who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.

No wonder you rise in the middle of the night
to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted
out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.

"A Living Mystery"

To be a witness
 does not consist 
in engaging in propaganda,
 nor even in stirring people up,
 but in being a living mystery.
It means to live 
in such a way 
that one’s life 
would not make sense if God did not exist.

Emmanuel CĂ©lestin Cardinal Suhard

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rainer Maria Rilke

"As though eternity stretched before them..."

In this there is no measuring with time. A year doesn’t matter; ten years are nothing. To be an artist means not to compute or count; it means to ripen as the tree, which does not force its sap, but stands unshaken in the storms of spring with no fear that summer might not follow. It will come regardless. But it comes only to those who live as though eternity stretched before them, carefree, silent and endless. I learn it daily, learn it with many pains, for which I am grateful: Patience is all!

Glen Hansard: Fingerprints(Rumor or Reality)

There is a rumor of a Glen Hansard Belmont Shore visit around the Oscars this Sunday. So today I went into Fingerprints to get to the bottom of this. The blond lady behind the counter told me that it was still up in the air.
There you have it maybe, maybe not. That's all for now!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Gerard Manley Hopkins

"God's Grandeur"

The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
It will flame out, like shining from shook foil;
It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil
Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod?
Generations have trod, have trod, have trod;
And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil;
And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs—
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

Wendell Berry: Our story/ God's story

The significance - and ultimately the quality - of the work we do is determined by our understanding of the story in which we are taking part. If we think of ourselves as merely biological creatures, whose story is determined by genetics or environment or history or economics or technology, then, however pleasant or painful the part we play, it cannot matter much. Its significance is that of mere self-concern. "It is a tale / Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, / Signifying nothing," as Macbeth says when he has "supp'd full with horrors" and is "weary of the sun."

If, on the other hand, we believe that we are living souls, God's dust and God's breath, acting our parts among other creatures all made of the same dust and breath as ourselves; and if we understand that we are free, within the obvious limits of mortal human life, to do evil or good to ourselves and to the other creatures - then all our acts have a supreme significance.

"Saying Grace"

You say grace before meals.
All right.
But I say grace before the play and the opera,
And grace before the concert and the pantomime,
And grace before I open a book,
And grace before sketching, painting,
Swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing;
And grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

by G.K. Chesterton

How would Jesus throw a party?

Luke 14.11-14
11For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."12He said also to the man who had invited him, "When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just."

What does this mean for us in Long Beach as we think about throwing city parties? These words are just as challenging today then it was in the first century. I think the words "fear" and "trust" are the major issues that we need to begin to deal with.

Jesus says hang out with the losers of society, that's how to party! May this be who we are in this world in the weeks to come.

Combine this passage with

Luke 6.27-36

27"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.

32 "If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.

Does anyone hear echoes of Paul in Romans 12 (What it means to be human,worship as living sacrifices)?

This is the church. This is what it means to be human, and I strongly suggest that there is no excuses for anything otherwise.

I hope we can begin to wrestle with this stuff. I know it rubs me wrong. :)

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Funniest Film of All Time!!!!!!!

Love Tails of Morrocco

Lighthouse Christian Book Store: Here we come...

Million Dollar shirt/bumper sticker idea:

Prayer-oritize Your Life!

Any Buyers???

For the
Judeo-Christian-Muslim-New Age market...

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Can't wait to read! All God's Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence by Fox Butterfield

This is really two books in one, though they are tied together seamlessly. On the one hand, the book is a fascinating and detailed true crime study of Willie Bosket, New York State's most notorious criminal and considered to be their most violent and dangerous prison inmate. On the other hand it's a study of the origins of violence in America.

Amazingly, the author was able to trace Willie Bosket's ancestry back to his slave ancestors, and in so doing trace the escalating evolution of violence and criminality in each succeeding generation of the Bosket family. The book begins in pre-Revolutionary times with a study of white violence in the region of North Carolina where Willie's ancestors were enslaved. The author persuasively argues that the primary origin of black violence is the tradition of white violence that was transferred to them from their former slave owners.

Monday, February 18, 2008

One Heart by Franz Wright

It is late afternoon and I have just returned from
the longer version of my walk nobody knows
about. For the first time in nearly a month, and
everything changed. It is the end of March, once
more I have lived. This morning a young woman
described what it’s like shooting coke with a baby
in your arms. The astonishing windy and altering light
and clouds and water were, at certain moments,
You. There is only one heart in my body, have mercy on me.

Thank You for letting me live for a little as one of the
sane; thank You for letting me know what this is
like. Thank You for letting me look at your frightening
blue sky without fear, and your terrible world without
terror, and your loveless psychotic and hopelessly
with this love

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Psalm of the week: Bias... maybe?

Psalm 133

Behold, how good and pleasant it is
when brothers dwell in unity!
It is like the precious oil on the head,
running down on the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
running down on the collar of his robes!
It is like the dew of Hermon,
which falls on the mountains of Zion!
For there the LORD has commanded the blessing,
life forevermore.

I can't stop listening to this album...

The Snake The Cross The Crown

Album title:
Cotton Teeth

Good wisdom...

Rainer Maria Rilke is considered one of the greatest 20th century poets. His stuff on solitude is life changing. It doesn't get much better than Rilke. Blah, blah, blah.

Come yall, trust me for once.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Tough Questions (Lesson 1): What is heaven?

Every once in awhile someone will come up to me off the street and ask me, "hey St. Joseph, what is heaven?" And usually I'll fumble around will my words, "Ugh, Ugh" and try to think of something theological like. It just doesn't ever come out right though. It always seems sooo abstract for their pea brained minds.
Well I have to be purely frank with you all, those days are over.

I think heaven is like relaxing with my lady in matching Terry Cloth jumpsuits. You know me and her alone, tarrying around our pad hand in hand, madly in love!!!
She looks into my eyes and I look back in hers. I might give her a wink for the hell of it, I mean... for the heaven of it, and just pretend that I know something she doesn't. When in all reality I know nothing except that moment, that one special moment of me, her, and Terry in heaven. Just think about it. Meditate on it and slip into heaven.

Monday, February 11, 2008

A unique Jewish documentary:PRAYING WITH LIOR

"If there is a God, Lior is definitely closer to God than anyone else I know."
-- Yoni Liebling, Lior's brother

An engrossing, wrenching and tender documentary film, PRAYING WITH LIOR introduces Lior Liebling, also called "the little rebbe." Lior has Down syndrome, and has spent his entire life praying with utter abandon. Is he a "spiritual genius" as many around him say? Or simply the vessel that contains everyone’s unfulfilled wishes and expectations? Lior – whose name means "my light" — lost his mother at age six, and her words and spirit hover over the film. While everyone agrees Lior is closer to God, he’s also a burden, a best friend, an inspiration, and an embarrassment, depending on which family member is speaking. As Lior approaches Bar Mitzvah, the Jewish coming-of-age ceremony different characters provides a window into life spent "praying with Lior." The movie poses difficult questions such as what is "disability" and who really talks to God? Told with intimacy and humor, PRAYING WITH LIOR is a family story, a triumph story, a grief story, a divinely-inspired story.

Finally shall come the Poet...

After the seas are all cross’d,(as they seem already cross’d,)
After the great captains and engineers have accomplish’d their work,
After the noble inventors—after the scientists, the chemist, the geologist,
Finally shall come the Poet, worthy that name;
The true Son of God shall come, singing his songs.

Then, not your deeds only, O voyagers, O scientists and inventors, shall be justified,
All these hearts, as of fretted children, shall be sooth’d,
All affection shall be fully responded to—the secret shall be told;
All these separations and gaps shall be taken up, and hook’d and link’d
The whole Earth—this cold, impassive, voiceless Earth, shall be completely justified;

Trinitas divine shall be gloriously accomplish’d and compacted by the the Son of God,
(He shall indeed pass the straits and conquer the mountains,
He shall double the Cape of Good Hope to some purpose;)

Nature and Man shall be disjoin’d and diffused no more,
The true Son of God shall absolutely fuse them.
Walt Whitman

Thursday, February 7, 2008

A Delightful Read...

Reframing Paul: Conversations in Grace & Community

By Mark Strom

Top Three Reasons why you need to see the new Rambo movie!

#1 Hot missionary girl #2 More Violence than ever! #3 Lots of ManoCamouflage
"Exhibit A" (Rambo's Body Double)

Some Thursday thoughts for ewe...

I have been on this kick as of late on pondering the question of what does it mean to be fully human? Maybe this is where I always need to be, but anyways that is where I am now.
As I look at Jesus and Paul the theme of power and status is woven through the texts. So my question for the week is this: As the people of God, what should our approach be when we encounter the issue of power and status?

Look first at Jesus: Paul says in Philippians 2 that Jesus lived with all status and power in heaven and he made himself nothing taking the form of a servant, being found in human form and became obedient to death on a cross. We see it lived out in John 13 Jesus shows what it means to be in the reflection of God by taking a towel and a basin and begins washing his disciples feet, though they are against the entire notion of Jesus doing so. We also see it in the life of Paul. Here is a guy in Philippians 3 who is the Hebrew of Hebrews, a lawyer of lawyers and he says "all my status and power is worthless for the sake of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." In the Graeco/Roman period, to be human was to have status, to have power, to have knowledge, and to have wealth and property, It is interesting two thousand years later it is still about status and power. Paul confronts the status and power of his time and says in 1 Corinthians 4 when speaking to them we are fools, you are wise, we are weak you are strong, you have honor, but we are low, we are persecuted but we will endure, when we are reviled by you, but we will bless you. Paul is saying there is a new way to be human and it does not look like what the dominate culture thinks it looks like. It is the reality that there is strength in weakness, there is wisdom in foolishness, there is riches in being poor, there is joy in suffering, there is pleasure in giving, there is daily dying and rising, dying and rising, dying and rising, because we know and understand that there is life through death. Think about how beautiful that really is. It is one gigantic paradox that exist in, and we are able by the grace of God to live it out. Think about how many people that you know that live for status and power, yet for some reason or another God lets us see a bigger picture of what our lives are able to look like outside of status of power. As children of God we want to get it, we want to live it, but like the the disciples James and John we want to sit on the right and the left of Jesus. In the end we are so drawn to the status, the power, the fame, the glory, and the American dream. It is deep inside us, we fight it, we massage it, we hate it we welcome it. So where do we go from here? It is interesting that Jesus says to us give in secret and pray in secret, don't trumpet hows great you are but allow your lives to point to me. Remember I shaped you out of the dust, I gave you the gifts that you find your identity in. I am Lord and you are not. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul speaks of the final trumpet that will sound, not for us and our glory though we will have new bodies and be like him, not for the new earth that will have new glory, but the trumpet is for the arrival of our Jesus who makes his way back to earth to be with his people once again and forever. Let us be thankful for his grace and let us be sober of our calling as servants and slaves to the most high God. My hope is that our hearts, minds, and lives may continue to mirror the face of Jesus, the perfect example of what it means to be fully human:)