"Heaven has a road, but no one travels it; Hell has no gate, but men will bore through to get there."

Saturday, May 31, 2008






Sometimes, family is the most complicated thing.
Those you love- and admire- them most of all, have many contradicting qualities and motivations. The great ones provide some over-arching and powerful touchstone that defies any anger we might focus on them aroused by external circumstances.
My grandmother Pearl was such a person...
Inspiring, and indestructible in her absolute belief that she could be good and foster that in others.
She died a couple years back at 97- having lived through almost a century... Kansas farm girl, one of eleven children, Depression survivor, two World Wars, Eisenhower, Kennedy, television and our modern age. She survived my mother by almost twenty years and was my source of strength and yes- wisdom too.
Iconic would be a fitting word, but she would not understand it. She was simple, powerful.
Familiar freinds and foes alike were caught off-guard by their inability to understand and therefore ultimately appreciate her humanity. I was too.
After her funeral, my cousin found a note she had written thirty years before that provided a key to her understanding of herself and of her frailty/humanity for us. It is now a treasured document. She wrote it while going through a bitter divorce that stripped her of a tremendous amount of pride. Her knowledge of that fact makes me proud every time I read it:

January 4, 1974

To Whom It May Concern,

I am guilty of-
Loving my children and my grandchildren too much-
Being too clean in my house and my person-
Loving flowers and gardening too much...
Although I did so enjoy brightening the little corner of my world,
And was told by many passersby and neighbors how they enjoyed it also.
Working too hard and expecting others to do the same, having been taught
'Idleness breeds mischief.'
Wanting to share and enjoy my children and grandchildren's joys and sorrows
With no intention of meddling or hurting.
Loving to give for the sheer joy of it-
My main reason for working outside the home.
Most of all trying to live as God would have me live, of course,
Falling short many times.
Love You-
Mother & Grandmother Pearl

Christopher Street

Take a look online at issue #167 from 1991 of this now gone but once erudite little publication... It's got the first published article by me, Bob Satuloff and Andrew Holleran on the spirit and sexuality of Gerard Manley Hopkins. Not bad for a $3 NYC rag.

Friday, May 30, 2008

ANARCHISM- from Dennis Cooper

"Spirituality and anarchism can be quite friendly. Anarchism is all about the power working through us. That's fundamental to it. When I've spoken about anarchism here, that has always been at core of what I've said. Why and how this blog exists and works the way it does owes almost everything to anarchism, and it's one working model to consider. Resisting institutional forms of power is way down the line of the trajectory of anarchist thought, and writers who latch onto that sound bite, and they often do, are missing the point. People who are intent on constructing broad based systems that consolidate their particular ideas about power like Foucault, for instance, tend to give anarchism a berth in their thinking as though it had a solid, marketable premise a la Marxism or post-structuralism when it defies that kind of codification by its very nature. The fact that it resists that kind of codification is not tantamount to anarchism not doing enough. That resistance is one of the many things it does. Chomsky writes unusually wisely and cogently about anarchism, and I think his entrance is a decent one. But most writing about anarchism by the know-it-all thinkers and explainers is massively reductive and simply manipulates cherry picked ideas from among its ideas in order to sideline a sticky issue and rush to consolidate the power behind their intellectual thrones. I hope all the above doesn't sound angry or attacking because it's not at all. It's just that I've thought about -- and tried to live in the light of -- anarchism for most of my adult life, and I can get passionate when I think it's being mischaracterized, you know? Gosh, at the risk of sounding like a backwoods trapper, I say you'll find your center when you stop listening so reverently to all those know-it-all guys lay out their supposed answers to everything, but I'm an anarchist so of course I'd say that, and you might want to add a grain of salt to that opinion."

Some nice thought from a smart man...

For me, if people could unplug their Blackberries and default on living their lives in a state of perpetual info overload and scatteredness, there might be enough clear-mindedness to actually achieve space to conceive of a great motivational thought, emotionally attaching cause or- the recognition of a Great Leader without the shameful and weak desire to take refuge in less than our baser selves- to actually seek confort from the distracting pettiness of our political, spiritual and social discourse. And so it should be... and- i.e. anarchy = the soil of Freedom



So, apres beaucoups de pensant on my part, the better half of course hopped online and inquired of the Hybrid/Enterprise computer as to the the words being transcendentally evoked in the Battlestar Galactica title sequence. Given that this might be the best show ever on television for numerous reasons, the answer did not disappoint...

The opening theme song for seasons two, three and four includes a famous Hindu mantra- the Gayatri Mantra (Wiki it), taken from the Rig Veda-

"Oh all-protecting Lord,
Please guide our intellects,
So that we may proceed in the right direction toward enlightenment."

Sunday, May 11, 2008

God Love Bill Shatner...



K- first clip is crappy, but it's good and goopy so just Wikipedia it for further info...
William Shatner, Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, the Devil- film consultant Anton Simon La Vey-
I mean- come on? How can that not go down well with some whiskey and good weed?

History That Belongs In The Dustbin-


The Best Columnist In America


Saturday, May 10, 2008




I walk along untrodden paths alone.

He who trails behind another cannot pass ahead of him, and he who cannot do well by himself cannot make good use of others' works.

For he who would without wings
Follow an angel, in vain he casts
Seeds on rock, words on wind, and intellect to God.



The first in a series of missions to rescue obscure 70s porn magazines from their decades of oblivion: 'West' (1973)
In 'West's' simple yet bizarre narrative, an African American hunk who may or may not be selling what looks like vaseline door to door suddenly starts getting it on in a standard porn manner with one of his potential customers, a somewhat hippieish meets teen idolish blond boy until what appears to be the blond's roommate or boyfriend or an intruder spies them and joins in whereupon the porn transforms into a sequence of awkward modern dance style poses that are apparently meant to represent the wild, go for broke three-way that would naturally ensue and ends not with the usual multiple orgasms but rather with an inconclusive if rather heroic pose. Whether the photographer was trying to challenge porn conventions in a period avant-garde manner or was very stoned or was seeking to comment on race relations or something else entirely for which the strangely unsexy title forms a clue, we'll never know, but the curious if somewhat annoying results are a very rare instance of deliberate experimentation within the medium of the gay porn magazine, and that plus the fact that I think the blond is hot made 'West' the first target of my new search and rescue missions.
Posted by Dennis Cooper at 8:53 AM

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Far Sky

From Clements' "Poetry of Michelangelo"-
(inserted here for Jonathan)
The selfless love that unites lover and beloved (who must be 'equal') is the theme of a revealing sonnet, "S'un casto amor," (1532), admirable in it's idealism:

If one pure love, if one supreme devotion,
One fate unite two hearts in harmony,
If grief of one the other's sorrow be,
If by two minds is felt one spirit's motion:
If one eternal soul is made for twain,
Uplifting both, and in one flight to Heaven;
If by one burning shaft two breasts are riven,
Which deep implanted thus for aye remain:
If, self forgotten, each the other love,
With joy, that such sweet intermingling hath,
Each for his own the other's will doth take;
If all twice-told the hundredth part would prove
Of such great love, and bond of might faith-
Shall wrath avail to loose it or to break?

translation- Elizabeth Hall

Romain Rolland hailed this as "one of the most beautiful songs to perfect friendship." This sonnet, with it's insistence on fused lives, wills, and bodies shows how difficult it would have been for Michelangelo ever to find the sort of love he longed for, a love like that which had united Giovanni Cavalcanti and Ficino, who shared only one soul, as De Tolnay reminds us. Michelangelo's intense feelings for the recipient Tommaso Cavalieri gave the younger man, who preferred to accept the more normal life of a husband and father, understandable concern.

The completed fusion of lover and loved one is equally described in another magnificent sonnet, "Veggio co be uostr' ochi" (1530-34), dedicated to Tommaso, which Sheffler claims to be "the most beautiful lyric poem of sixteenth-century Italy."

Through thee I catch a gleam of tender glow,
Which with my blind eyes I had failed to see;
And walking onward, step by step with thee,
The once-oppressing burdens lighter grow.
With thee, my groveling thoughts I heavenward raise.
Borne upward by thy bold, aspiring wing:
I follow where though wilt- a helpless thing.
Cold in the sun and warm in winter days.
My will, my friend, rests only upon thine;
Thy heart must every thought of mine supply;
My mind expression finds in thee alone.
Thus like the moonlight's silver ray I shine.
We only see her beams on the far sky,
When the sun's fiery rays are o'er her thrown.

translation by- Fanny Elizabeth Bunnett


Assimilation, or... Appreciation?

Birger Sandzen



The All-White Elephant in the Room


Saturday, May 3, 2008

But how do you know it's deceased?



Sonnet for Tommaso Cavalieri~

No mortal object did these eyes behold
When first they met the placid light of thine,
And my Soul felt felt her destiny divine...
And hope of endless peace in me grew bold:
Heaven-born, the soul a heavenward course must hold;
Beyond the visible world she soars to seek
What delight the sense in false and weak
Ideal form, the universal mold.
The wise man, I affirm, can find no rest
In that which perishes;
nor will he lend
His heart to aught which doth on time depend.

'Tis sense, unbridled will, and not true love,
That kills the soul; love betters what is best,

Even here below, but more in heaven above.

-M. Buonarotti/Translated by William Wordsworth