Friday, September 25, 2015


    To you, religious women,
    sisters and mothers of
    this people, I wish to
    say, 'thank you ..'

New York
24 ix 2015


Thursday, September 24, 2015

I don't mind die neue sachlichkeit

for a critic

  I don't mind the new
  objectivity. But, my
  god. Look at that.


     Is this, Maître, Wright's unin-
     terrupted, beautiful symphony
     for canvases and viewing them,
     or his ultimate, exuberant via-
     duct of optimism, between the
     chauffered matron, heading north,
     and the new bourgeois, townward
     bound: Henry Adams' Virgin and
     his dynamo? As it mediates, it
     seems unmistakeably a bridge, a
     synapse, an armature of a spark.

     Guggen-here, Guggen-there. Trea-
     sure bracing gushes of its fount,
     and repeat after it, New York.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Nobis sancti spiritus

 The Washington Post has opined that
 Pope Francis has appeased the Castro
 régime in not exploiting his tour of
 Cuba to demand political concessions
 of human rights - at least, that is,
 to the editors' satisfaction. There
 was no suppressing, however, a clear
 general thrust of his call for a rev-
 olution of tenderness, as he departed.

 Concluding one of the most remarkab-
 the spirit ever to be reduced to writ-
 ing, the newspaper snidely remarked,
 But then, it takes more fortitude to
 challenge a dictatorship than a dem-

 We are compelled to wonder how much
 else of people of faith this newspap-
 er would like to demand, on its watch
 of human fortitude. Just whose forti-
 tude would the newspaper place on the
 line, for this thrilling confrontation?
 That of the diplomatically immune agent

 Who needs Marco Rubio, with comprehen-
 sion like this, of the real imperil-
 ments of confrontational fortitude?
 The real human suffering, the real
 human cost, the real test of faith,
 the real revolution demanded, as if
 commanding a great vintage, here and
 now, from a vulnerable vine in mid-
 season? Who is it, who suffers for
 the gratification of stupidity in
 the stewardship of worldly demands?

 How many divisions has he: Stalin.
 He has a mission to comfort the souls
 of the faithful, to encourage through
 them the outcomes so impetuously and
 ignorantly demanded by this newspaper,
 not to subject them to martyrdom as a
 proof of their fortitude. His disdain,
 his objections to injustice are only
 too unwithheld to be missed by people
 subdued by any restraint, save those
 corrupted, by the easy pleasures of
 missions accomplished.

Matas Ignatavicius

Herbert List
  Mexico, 1958

Last cluster
  Virginia, 2005

Alexander Agricola
1445 - 1506
Motet, Nobis Sancti Spiritus
San Francisco Chanticleer
Chanticleer Records, 1993©

Monday, September 21, 2015

Presents ii

A short note as Monday fills our
coffee cup and Autumn settles in.
The New York Times issued yet an-
other report yesterday, on an as-
pect of our war in Afghanistan
of which we must now all profess
amazement: our proxy's pederas-
tic spoils of military conduct.
Who can bear the wait for Con-
gressional proceedings, on such
useful unintended consequences?

In keeping with brevity, amaze-
ment in this context arises as
another vainglorious display of
poor breeding, yet more of the
exultant refusal of self-aware-
ness, which lies so conspicuous-
ly to conceal the facts of force.

Now we read of boys screaming in
the most privileged tents, of be-
ing chained full time to the fur-
niture of their exploitation, who
represent a mortal threat to the
witnessing, protesting knights
who wear our uniform.

                   The wind pours dust on us;
                   there is grit on my teeth,
                   I wake up with aching gums
                   and blood in my mouth. The
                   night is still, the moon 
                   is dark. I lie for a while
                   looking up into blackness,
                   then slide back into the

Of course we could have read the
Iliad, to sort these strands of
force's fabulous tapestry. We
could have read any of our sev-
eral million soldiers' diaries.
We're not alone in preserving
ignorance, as scrupulously as any
fanatic or barbarian we've met.
War is how we reconcile. Nausea
is its advocate.

J.M. Coetzee 
Waiting for the
Secker & Warburg, 1980
Penguin Books, 1982©

i  Andrei Tarkovsky
   Ivan's Childhood