Sunday, May 18, 2008

Blear, Tall Couch

The couch was in the middle of the room and I walked between the back rest and the bottom of a yellow painting on the wall. The couch was not as nice as it was last night. The couch is draped on the rug. Leonora Carrington circled the area, creeping, and she bumped into it. The felt-wrapped mouse, fattened with catnip trapped inside, entered through the iron gate of my jaws. The couch is gone forever. Its spirit passed through the body of the cat in the window across the street. I sat on the arm of the couch looking for the entrance to the baker's pit. The couch was mounted on a stone pillar rising from stone steps. The couch strides along the rug, passing over the Wastebasket Enemy Combatant. It's a bleeding yew, stooped and tender. The couch whistled, hidden from view by an old stone wall facing Greenview Avenue. I rubbed my cheek against its fat knees. The couch was a little glass of sparrows preoccupied with their cadences and swatted from the sky. The couch could not answer to its own name.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Lula (1988-2006)

My cousin Lula divided her time between Sharon's apartment and a blanket in a bureau cabinet that used to contain sweaters. Lula kept close surveillance on her sister, Stubby, at the windowsill, in case a pigeon tried to fly into Stubby's mouth -- or to catch Stubby conspiring with the rhubarb, robin feathers, salmon, and yogurt flowers that peeked from cracks in the pavement below. Her favorite television show was anything by Lama Yeshe, and her favorite CD was Lama Zopa reciting the "Sutra for Entering the City of Vaishali." She taught Stubby how to guard their bowls on the kitchen floor so that Condoleezza Rice wouldn't steal their food or water. She fought the unseemly unrolling of the yoga mat and the jumpy frenzy of Sun Salutations. But Savasana is noiseless and benign -- they close their eyes and no one can pick you up or look at you -- and she always sat sideways in corpse-pose next to Sharon, purring and petted. May Lula have happiness and the causes of happiness, and be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

List XXI: Remember Kent State (May 4, 1970)

Jeffrey Miller was shot in the head 270 feet from the National Guard in an access road leading into the Prentice Hall parking lot. In 1979, the State of Ohio gave Miller's family $15,000 for his death.

Allison Krause was shot through the arm and chest 330 feet from the National Guard as she tried to duck behind a car in the Prentice Hall parking lot. In 1979, the State of Ohio gave Krause's family $15,000 for her death.

William Schroeder was shot in the back 390 feet from the National Guard. In 1979, the State of Ohio gave Schroeder's family $15,000 for his death.

Sandra Scheuer was shot in the neck 390 feet from the National Guard in the Prentice Hall parking lot, as she was on her way to submit a paper for her Speech class. In 1979, the State of Ohio gave Scheuer's family $15,000 for her death.

In September 1970, President Nixon's Commission on Campus Unrest concluded that the "indiscriminate firing" by National Guardsmen was "unnecessary, unwarranted and inexcusable." The Commission declared: "Police and National Guardsmen who needlessly shoot or assault students are criminals. All who applaud these criminal acts share in their evil."

Friday, May 02, 2008

The Vatican vs. Gertrude Stein (Part XIV)

THE VATICAN: The phenomenon of homosexuality, complex as it is, and with its many consequences for society and ecclesiastic life, is a proper focus for the Church's pastoral care. Explicit treatment of the problem was given in this Congregation's "Declaration on Certain Questions Concerning Sexual Ethics." That document stressed the duty of trying to understand the homosexual condition and noted that culpability for homosexual acts should only be judged with prudence. In the discussion which followed the publication of the Declaration, however, an overly benign interpretation was given to the homosexual condition itself, some going so far as to call it neutral, or even good. It is not. Nevertheless, increasing numbers of people today, even within the Church, are bringing enormous pressure to bear on the Church to accept the homosexual condition as though it were not disordered and to condone homosexual activity.

GERTRUDE STEIN: There is no pope.