Archive for April, 2010


April 27, 2010

It seems that the Greeks had a god for everything.  It is how they explained things to their children and themselves.  Like the Egyptians before them.   Romans too.  Like tipping dominoes, Egypt fell to Greece.  Then Greece, to Rome.  And Rome to her own excess. 

Imperiums always fall, spreading themselves too thin, too far.  And in the case of Alexandros, too fast.  But what made them great survives in plagiarism.  Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, after all.  So the copy-cats tell me.

The pantheon of Greece lives on in text.  I see it everywhere.  Poseidon sprawling on his waves is too delicious to bury in the deep.  The flawed, human characteristics of the gods appeal too much to those who would rather bury Jesus Christ.  O’ how they delight in the gods of old.  The groves and the bacchante.  The raucous revelings of Rome long-buried, aye, under the Vatican.  The Parthenon attests in silent, elevated antiquity — God’s allegory.  Wounded on the acropolis she stands in ruined pagan splendour. 

Oh roaring Coliseum.  Galloping hoards of debauchery.  Where are you now?  I’ll tell you where — sitting on the back pews of every Baptist church, monitoring the preacher’s Sunday sermons.  Making policy at your pre-school, law school, medical school, at all levels of government, the banks, the bars, in think-tanks.  Crouching at industrial choke-points like a bridge-troll.  Manning a desk in every public affairs office like a New York gargoyle on a brownstone. Teaching the Mormons to do the high-step.  Watering down the Eucharist.  Re-writing your Bibles and dictionaries.  Mocking the prudence of Islam and using their babies for target practice.  Same old virus, new body politic.    

Our medical texts are studded with Greek terms that fall like music on the ear.  It is a language within a language that only the initiated know.  They keep it out of modern dictionaries for that purpose.  You can find such terms in older dictionaries though.  Hang on to those.  They are damn-near priceless. 

Other sciences each have their secret language.  Sometimes it swings to the Greek.  Sometimes Latin.  The lawyers have an affinity for French.  Composers use Italian to tell an orchestra when to speed-up, slow-down, get louder, softer, play a note like a stabbing shot.  Each discipline has an inside language. 

On this language, all birds of a feather converge.  Hence, in today’s Mammon-worshipping culture, such a language is viciously guarded.  They don’t want you to know stuff because knowledge is power.  And based on the car your doctor drives, knowledge is also money.

So rising from the wispy downloads of Morpheus, I encounter the lulling bull-shite of his father on the news.  I read it.  I hear it.  The pabulum is everywhere.  From pre-school to grad-school they slip us the same message:  relax into the abyss. 

“Somebody else has the helm and you can trust him,” goes the word.  If you are harried by the day, there are soothing voices for sale who will hypnotize you into a placid, mindless state.  You will be told to concentrate on the void.  “Just notice things and let them go.”  Go with the flow.  “Acknowledge encroaching, unwelcome thoughts and let them go.”  Return to your state of nothingness.  Be a point of vague awareness.  Be nobody.  Be part of the mindless collective.   We are all One.   “Be hollow bamboo,” the swami tells me.  God is a nebula of One.  “You are God.”  We are all God.  Yeah buddy…

Become a scrying tool for any passing spiritual energy.  Be malleable android force so we can harness you for our ends.  Our will, not yours, be done.  And certainly not God’s. 

Like that kid in Mt. Rainier, Maryland, with the Ouija Board.  Remember him?  He went down in history as a case study in The Catholic Review.  One that William Peter Blatty came across during his Georgetown student days.  A case on which he based his novel The Exorcist.  

This is the basic tenet of meditation.   Spiritually, you open yourself up like an oracle.  A sail hanging loose, waiting to catch whatever zephyr.  You are at the mercy of the winds.  Your ship is open to the commandeering.  And your city, like Alexandria, will fall to anything — because she, like Cleopatra, stands for nothing.

When the sailing gets rough, trust your helm to The Captain whose peace surpasses all understanding — that’s what I say.  And I wouldn’t say it if I had not been sitting in swami’s lectures for more than two semestres.  Nor would I say it if I had not test-driven his 50/50-split of enlightenment

O’ Son of the Morning, it ain’ over till it’s over.  By your fruits, do I know you.  And by your lies, do I forgo you.  Road-rubber is everything. 


Highway Star

April 3, 2010

Flanked by a brace

I mounted the steep-grade


Cruising speed, faster in some places

Perfect morning in somebody’s November summer

Took off to the Nile

Now I’m getting close to home

Beauteous sunset views

Foot of the first mountain

Night fell like a curtain

I’m surging into it

Into the night

Climbing, rocketing into the night

Fast-lane glory daddy

First mountain top, I see a glimpse of distant blue lightning

Down into the valley, around a lake, cross a river, maybe two…

I’m getting so close I can taste it

The air

The thick

American Nile

Thumping, rocking, spanking Nile

Ablaze with lightning

The valley of my soul

So down into it I must charge

Ain’  no stoppin’ me now Mister Hwy Star

Just as I was chasing a Mustang up the steep

We crested the mountain

Diverted by jagged, electric-blue

I look to my right — and then down

Down into The Basin

A horrific storm hovered over my splendid Vale

A tempest

Discharges of cobalt streaks

Raw, unbridled

I saw it from the top-down

Lightning flashed

And lit for two seconds

A vortex tearing through the valley

White light flashed again

Tornado churning

Violently claiming tree and man

We were above the clouds

Airplane perspective

But it’s a moonless night

So shed some light

On the ribbon of road as we race over the mountain

It was a strange deliverance into my Valley

Post-something eeriness

Drove past an 18-wheeler that looked like it was dropped from the sky

To swollen creeks and flash-flooding driveways

Home without incident

Garage door won’t open, hmmm…

There’s been a power-cut

Must have been the storm

Dark house, dark rooms, dark dark dark

Find a candle

Mr. Palmer is frantic to go out on the porch

I open the door to a sound

Like a freight train

And spoke a while to a kinsman before

Drifting off

Into the balm

Into the calm