for us at every moment in time & certainly this one

Books and Literature, Culture, Education, Poetry, Religion, The Life of the Mind, War and Politics

to see the moment in time in which we exist
and are present and to be able to context-
ualize it: the river now becomes the next
river by flow alone; a moment missed
recurs as déjà vu : the lips you’ve kissed,
a child’s first word, some fumbling first-time sex—
the lighthoused shoals we’ve shored against the wrecks
of time’s tumults and tides; the curses hissed
at all our disappointments; the absent gods
and flocking angels; the death, the flesh, the blood
baked in the boot-stomped sand—O Lord!
that formed the hand that held the dowsing rod
and made the time-perceiving mind of mud,
give me thus your cause, and gift: the word.

for Vice President Kamala Harris

That’s Fine

Books and Literature, Conspiracy and the Occult, Culture, Education, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry, The Life of the Mind, War and Politics

“The Nazi stuff” is literally one one hun-
dred thousandth of the things my boss collects.
He owns many non-genocidal texts.
He’s not quite sure the good guys really won
a certain war when all is said and done,
but, that aside, he is in all respects
mere amateur of Volkish analects:
mere millions spent on Adolph’s art for fun.
Yes, he honeymooned at Babi Yar,
but only to feel the breath of history;
his iron gates are simply meant to warn
the liberal Jews they oughtn’t go too far:
otherwise, they’re fine, and should stay free.
For this, the Twitter mobs uncork their scorn!

L’Article 49.3

Culture, Economy, Media, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry, The Life of the Mind, War and Politics

I never understood the French desire
to retire as soon as possible and then
live on. I thought I’d work until the end,
each day arising to the orange bankèd fire,
a silken full-length gown—my work attire;
my blistered fingers to their plow: a pen;
a morning hour’s work, a nap, again
a forty-minute afternoon; then hire
an ungrateful ex-colonial Uber driver
to bus my wife and I from our chateaux
into some village’s pretty pristine square
for the entrecôte reward of any striver
and a glass or ten of ’96 Margaux—
for if I did not labor, I’d despair.

Wise Men

Books and Literature, Culture, Media, Plus ça change motherfuckers, Poetry, Religion, Science, The Life of the Mind, War and Politics

In some sense, both sides are right, both sides are wrong,
and, in the bifurcated politics
of urban genderqueers and rural hicks,
of fetal stem cell bans and legal bongs,
of floury tiktok wives and boys in thongs,
in this American moment: nothing sticks;
the self-destruct device’s timer ticks
toward zero hour, and the nearing thundering song
of risen oceans lapping Appalachian
foothills murmur in our dreams, and wake, and speak:
human failing or God’s grim judgment day?
Reason, duty, kindness? Fickle fashion.
Fairness compels: in equal measure seek
to talk too much with nothing at all to say.

We’d

Art, Culture, Education, Poetry, The Life of the Mind, War and Politics

The degree to which Manhattan air is now
unseriously suffused with Mary Jane
is not a crime, but it’s a crying shame.
Has anyone given any thought to how
a father—transatlantic, middlebrow—
with two young tots might tamp this devilish flame,
rhetorically—my dears, all drugs are lame—
when, citywide, vom Kind zur worrying Frau,
each pair of human lips is closed upon
a pipe a piece a joint a glowing vape,
greedily enjoying life too much,
the smell of day-old piss dispatched, and gone
the leaking garbage-scented cityscape,
and left behind this brain-befogging crutch.

Now More than Ever

Books and Literature, Conspiracy and the Occult, Culture, Education, Poetry, Religion, The Life of the Mind

Men my age are horrifically boring. I don’t
care about cars or home renovations or
sports; prefer the old god behind the forest door,
who dreamt the world that was as real before
your young creator rent the sea from shore,
and lit the sun, made worm and dinosaur,
made fish and pelican, made tree and spore;
what pitiable prayers you late-born menfolk pour!
what once was song is now but retch and snore,
the dying gargle of a maze-mad minotaur
whose quarry fled the coop. Well, I set store
by ancient worlds, and sadder men, who tore
their hearts in two for every friend; therefore,
I can’t connect, by which I mean: I won’t.

And You Shall Love

Books and Literature, Culture, Economy, Poetry, Religion, The Life of the Mind

“If you do not drive your neighborhood or region, what form of adult mastery and knowledge are you seeking in its place? If you do not drive your country’s highways and byways, what path do you have to a nonvirtual experience of the America beyond your class and tribe and bubble?” – Ross Douthat

If you do not drive your neighborhood
or region, what form of adult mastery
and knowledge are you seeking in its place?
What dallying god of degenerated pace
shall plaster his defunct phylactery
on your pedestrian brow, and call it good
to bike to CVS? To what worthless
walk in the woods or chittering crowded train
would you avail yourself in prayer to seal
your social order? Yet behind the wheel
of some bland Hyundai running reds on Main
you become yourself a god, mirthless
and grand: infinite; callous; cruel
as a child roused too soon for middle school.

Guessed Essay

Books and Literature, Culture, Education, Poetry, The Life of the Mind

I came to college eager to debate.
I found self-censorship instead. My peers
expanded the taxonomy of queers
and smoked their drugs and gamed and went on dates
and left me all alone and lingering late
in the silent student union, hoping to hear
the tractatus logico of a Cavalier
who sought through argument to thus create
a crucible through which but truth would pass.
But all the libs preferred to go to class.
They did their homework and they read their books.
They couldn’t be bothered to shoot me dirty looks.
Now I sit as silenced as a Superbowl commercial
and pray my God to make me controversial.

This Man’s Art and that Man’s Cope

Art, Books and Literature, Conspiracy and the Occult, Culture, Economy, Education, Media, The Life of the Mind

I only have eyes for my beautiful wife, who has been
corrupted by the greed of centralized
fiat currency; she has unrealized
my gains and cut me off from kith and kin.
Such fungible affections are a sin!
No future fortune ought to be despised,
pre-disgraced in skeptical women’s eyes
when man plus NFT must equal win.
What godlike power in one single gif:
from central bank to senator, each fears
the power of the yeoman farmer finally able
to transubstantiate a hieroglyph
through random numbers and the faith of Twitter peers
into un-money whose value is unstable.

Twilight

Art, Books and Literature, Culture, Media, Poetry, Religion, The Life of the Mind, Uncategorized

Kristen Stewart is developing a gay
ghost-hunting reality show with a friend;
a paranormal romp through mortals’ ends,
the pure aesthetics of the soul’s last passageway
to poltergeist from final mortal day,
unclothed but for this season’s bedsheet trend—
now season after season; death transcends
even Paris’ runway protégées
and turns each twist of scarf and knot of belt
but into susurrus of spooky sound,
a cloth moved without breath, a leather snap
that’s searing like a whip on flesh; the felt-
like softness of an apparition’s hellbound
burrowing in your body like a spinal tap.