Friday, January 15, 2016

Anglicans divide along hemispherical lines

And what else, you were
about to ask, is new? A
gathering at Canterbury
has yielded to market
realities, in the dwind-
ling communion of Angli-
cans, north of Jiddah
and Jakarta. A vibrant
competition for souls
in the nether regions
has inspired a schis-
matic suspension of a
fraternal minority, to
lend credibility to a
promisingly aggressive
evangelism. And hasn't
this just the pitch of
messianic authoritarian-
ism at its scrupulously 
grisly best?

"Divide and conquer" has 
never looked more ironic,
enacting its own metaphor,
as alluringly tectonic. 
A sect, instigated by di-
vorce and disseminated
by expulsion, has shown
it can make any peace it
wants, with opportunism;
is there anything like
schism, to sharpen recti-
tude where it's needed? 
Good luck to them, whit-
tling the cross of com-
passion, for praise as

William Orpen
T.E. Lawrence

Thursday, January 14, 2016


I wonder if a childhood
of younger brothering 
can be cited for a weak-
ness I have for the com-
pany of smarter friends.
I don't know how they
tolerate it, but I sus-
pect that I do by calm-
ly assuming I will grow
some capability eventu-
ally. Never mind, that
actuarily, the talent
meter begins noticeab-
ly to swerve toward the
ranks behind one; the
custom of waiting for
one's anointment has
been established.

Still, now and again
a cinder can find its
way to the eye, and a
morning's spent in
blinking. Of course,
this happens only in
one's swirl. Eliot
and Woolf come with
sirens, masks.

Now I'm glad there
are no fortresses,
no redoubts of un-
surprised reflexes.
One can use a gift. 


                           new gods are
                           making deals

                           all the time

Denis Bold
  Orpheus Looks Back
Inverness, 2015©

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Indispensable New York

 Hermes, dear Hermes, Maia's little son,
 I pray to you, the god of thieves and    knaves,
 because I shiver till my teeth resound,
 Please give Hipponax what he deeply    craves!

 Give him a mantle and a shirt to wear.
 And sandals and a pair of furry shoes,
 Sixty gold pieces would not come amiss,
 And any other comfort that I choose!

Hipponax of Ephesus
6th Century BC
Dorothy Burr Thompson
The Greek Poets
  Homer to the Present
Peter Constantine, Rachel Hadas,
  Edmund Keeley & Karen van Dyck
Norton, 2010©

Charles S. Raleigh

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Clear and clean

This evening, there will be an op-
portunity to listen to the first
President of the United States, ev-
er to seek election on the basis
of securing actual rights which did
not exist until he fought for them
and won them.

Self-quotation is abhorrent, pom-
pous, and rhetorically feeble. But
I cite the opening statement of a
posting I offered in 2012, for the
timeliness of the notice, and dis-
piritingly, for the certainty of
the longevity of its validity. We
are not seeming to desire leaders
like this, and so it would be re-
miss not to remember the claims of
the alternative --

                   At the same time, it is striking, that
              he is implacably opposed by one Party
              which vows to destroy each of these
              rights, and that their policies still
              draw mesmerised attention. Who is anim-
              ated in this land, every day on get-
              ting out of bed, by the prospect of
              destroying someone's life as a matter
              of political satisfaction?

I don't know the answer to that
question, but I know who their
heroes are. I know, too, they've
vowed to disavow a sound modus
vivendi he has structured, lead-
ing a consensus of the world, in
relations with a powerful Gulf
state. I know, they've vowed to
disavow a humane interaction with
a state we've done everything pos-
sible to crush, in our own neigh-
bourhood. I know they loathe the
calm he projects for its stature.
I know they are proud of it all,
and I know they need to harm.

I am listening to this President
exactly his character of official
conduct in my country, one fine
day. My parents saw it, I do not
know whose children will.

ii  Keith Vaughan

Monday, January 11, 2016

Seasonal mettle

Friends and I have been trading
thoughts on culinary metallurgy,
as a result of someone's report
of acquiring his first, classic
"heavy-bottomed cast iron pan."
This weighty subject is exactly
the sort of thing that's likely
to sway our speculations in win-
ter especially, given the redis-
covery we tend to make of rooms
and what can be done in them to
resemble an active life. I keep
a rowing machine, as a hedge a-
gainst domestic misadventure, 
but like my friends, I take an
interest in the damage that can
be done in the kitchen.

That confession about cast iron 
threw us all for a loop, seduc-
ing us into a discussion of the
properties of metals, more than
of technique. But it's all much
in line with conjectures about 
compression ratios in engines,
that sustain the allure of cars
outside their carbon footprint.
Moreover, there's something un-
deniably gratifying about being
incorrigible in one's play. And
in proving everything all over
again, pleasantly inconclusive.

Winter, we like to say, doesn't
have to last forever; but while
it's here we know its metabolic
impact shapes the appetite with
tastes that correspond with be-
ing snug. The volatile conduct
of copper and aluminum belongs,
gastronomically, to the instan-
taneous more than to the steep-
ing transformations of ingredi-
ents we savour in this season.

What immortal luck it seems, to
latch on to a cast iron pot, at
the very hour a braise suggests
itself. As one of these friends
remarked almost in passing, it
could even lead to the revival
of butter, cream, and Calvados.

i, iii  Guillaume Babouin