Wednesday, November 26, 2008
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
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
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
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
Monday, September 8, 2008
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Monday, June 2, 2008
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
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
Its when I release it to society that I....
Well, that I am left disappointed
This is not my work,
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
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Friday, May 9, 2008
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?
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Sunday, April 6, 2008
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.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Friday, March 28, 2008
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
Monday, March 17, 2008
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.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Friday, February 29, 2008
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
Thursday, February 28, 2008
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 Célestin Cardinal Suhard
Friday, February 22, 2008
"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!
There you have it maybe, maybe not. That's all for now!!!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
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.
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.
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
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
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
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
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 133Behold, 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,
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
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
"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.
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.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
"Exhibit A" (Rambo's Body Double)
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.