March 19, 2013

Let's Play...Why's My Bookbag or E-Reader Equivalent So Heavy?

Excerpt from a Jack Gilbert poem, sans line breaks:
Often I took care of the baby while she did housework. Changing him and making him laugh. I would say Pittsburgh softly each time before throwing him up. Whisper Pittsburgh with my mouth against the tiny ear and throw him higher. Pittsburgh and happiness high up. The only way to leave even the smallest trace. So that all his life her son would feel gladness unaccountably when anyone spoke of the ruined city of steel in America. Each time almost remembering something maybe important that got lost.

Chabon's "Telegraph Avenue":
The record playing in the background of the dream apartment was a classic collaboration between Maceo Parker and Curtis Mayfield, the soundtrack from a well-known blaxploitation movie called Top Hat and Elbows. He listened to the beautiful music, fat beats, sunshine horns and shadow bass, and talked nonsense to his mom as she would always be. Thank goodness, thought his present-day self, I am having this wonderful dream.

*

Archy had walked out of the situation, which was a weak-ass way of choosing Plan B, for no good reason at all except some pathetic residual loyalty to the man who had done nothing but squirt some key proteins into his mother’s belly. And because, why not finally admit it, a man like Archy was never likely to go for a plan like Plan A. Come on. He was no better than Luther Stallings, and the theoretical loyalty to his father on display yesterday consisted of nothing more than that. Like so many kinds of masculine loyalty, it was really only a manifestation of cowardice.

*

...you could settle the kid right down by putting on the most Out shit you had on tap, the deepest kind of Sun Ra jazz-as-cosmic-background-radiation. Long as it was playing, little Julius would stop looking like he was about to be audited by the IRS and just sit there, watching the music like a cat watching ghosts.

*

It was a wild guess, a string of them, charms of rumor and gossip hung from a chain of audacity. Half-remembered talk in the kitchens of his earliest childhood, mingled with the acrid hiss of a hot comb and the chink of ice in glasses of Flavor Aid.

*

Along with the backyard coops of heirloom laying hens, the collectively owned pizzerias, the venerable Volvos that had rolled off the line at Torslanda before ABBA first went gold, the racks of Dynaco tube amplifiers, the BPA-free glass baby bottles, and the ramshackle wonderland known as the Adventure Playground, one minor component in the patchwork of levees erected by the citizens of Berkeley, California, in their ongoing battle to defend their polder against the capitalist flood tides of consumerist uniformity, was a telephone hanging on the wall of the Jaffe family’s kitchen, a model 554 with a rotary dial, smiley-face yellow, its handset connected to its plastic shell by a snaking twenty-five-foot helix of yellow cord, kinked by old and unsolvable knots.
Taylor Marshall's "The Eternal City":
Christ’s establishment of Rome as the perpetual Apostolic See is not intended as a legalistic mechanism to limit salvation throughout the earth. Moreover, it is certainly not meant to restrict grace. Rather, Rome was established as the perpetual Apostolic See so that full communion might be achieved among Christians.

*

The Christ that defeats Daniel’s Rome is not a soft and effeminate sage. Rather, He is the conquering King of Kings and Lord of Lords. The spiritual imperialism of Christ was fully appreciated by our Christian forefathers. We, however, have forgotten the ancient feats of strength demonstrated by the monastics of old. For example, the penance of the Desert Fathers would have brought a sense of wonder even to the Roman Stoic Cato. We have forgotten the triumphant Roman martyrs, such as Saint Lawrence who would have kindled awe in the bravest Roman pagan warriors, such as Mucius Scaevolus. As the baptized have forgotten the noble army of martyrs that once fertilized the Eternal City with faith, so also have they lost esteem for Rome’s spiritual dignity.

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