the cut

The cutting of one’s skin, the dividing of human flesh, can happen in several ways:

There is the quick jab, like a needle or the slip of a knife while chopping vegetables, virtually painless in the moment, yet growing in discomfort as the medicine is applied or salt seeps into the wound. Pain level – minimal, a no when you ask a stranger on a date.

There is then the larger cut with a duller instrument, like concrete on the knee after a bike crash or the newly trimmed nails of a cat, painful in the moment, painful in the cleaning, leaving an ugly scar to commemorate the event. Pain level – medium, your best friend moves away for a new job.

There is the slower, deliberate, self-inflicted cut, made with the dull hunting knife your grandfather gave you for Christmas, dragged knowingly down the vein in your wrist, needing excuses of dish washing accidents to cover the gash all can see. Pain level – intense, when your child wants you out of their life at 16.

that’s what little protests are made of

take a knee don’t
black an eye don’t
close your eyes to
hate and lies and

hold your head high
hold your fist high
hold your breath you
son of a bitch

we hold these truths to be self-evident: not all are created equal; not all are endowed with unalienable rights; life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are allowed, but you must not be ungrateful.

be grateful you
degenerate punks
you rich, entitled,
arrogant shits

anti-white (oops)

I have a nightmare, deeply rooted in the american dream, that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: “we hold these truths to be self-evident: not all are created equal.”

not all are created equal
not all are graced with freedom
not all are given a voice
not all. not all. not all.

transience tagged

Written for Rattle‘s September 2017 Ekphrastic Challenge.
Art can be viewed here:

slowly climbing these few steps at the end of each day
takes all the energy that remains

go left
     between the seats
          14A is her favorite
          not too close to front or rear – hidden, like life

blanket, spread.
knees, tucked.
breathing, slows.
remembering, begins.

the dream

today was like every other – push the cart – gather the riches – lean, heavily, as the feet begin to drag a bit – street by street – door by door – ignore the insults – avoid eye contact – keep walking

the dream

when I was young, like Lana’s song, the stares came for different reasons – I soaked them in like epsom salts, easing the aches no one could see – I smiled like a model, thin and beautiful, worthy of everything – everywhere to go, everyone to see, everything to do, all I could be – then there was life.

transience embraced
     nothing remains beyond
          neither time, nor place
          it’s time to embark – find another place, another life

bag, loaded.
coat, buttoned.
hat, gloves,
her few possessions gathered

she departs.

behind her leaving only an eponymous tag.

the holy and the hindered (A Dialogue in Quotes: 5)

An Exchange of Quotes between St. Silouan the Athonite and Donald Trump

for more on this project, click here

We suffer because we have no humility and we do not love our brother. From love of our brother comes the love of God. People do not learn humility, and because of their pride cannot receive the grace of the Holy Spirit, and therefore the whole world suffers.

I don’t like losers.

The soul that has come to know God fully no longer desires anything else, nor does it attach itself to anything on the earth; and if you put before it a kingdom, it would not desire it, for the love of God gives such sweetness and joy to the soul that even the life of a king can no longer give it any sweetness.

Sometimes you need conflict in order to come up with a solution. Through weakness, oftentimes, you can’t make the right sort of settlement, so I’m aggressive, but I also get things done, and in the end, everybody likes me.

What joy is ours that the Lord not only forgives our sins ,but allows the soul to know Him, so soon as she humbles herself. The poorest wretch can humble himself and know God in the Holy Spirit. There is no need of money or possessions in order to know God, only humility. The Lord gives Himself freely, for His mercy’s sake alone. I did not know this before but now every day and every hour every minute, I see clearly the mercy of God. The Lord gives peace even in sleep, but without God there is no peace in the soul.

I have the right temperament. I have the right leadership. I’ve built an incredible company. I went to a great school. I came out…I wrote the number one selling business book of all time…

If the Lord has left us ignorant of the ordering of many things in this world, then it means it is not necessary for us to know: we cannot compass all creation with our minds. But the Creator Himself of heaven and earth and every created thing gives us to know Him in the Holy Spirit.

We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and, most importantly, we are protected by God.

Induce your heart to love your enemies, and the Lord, seeing your good will, shall help you in all things, and will Himself show you experience. But whoever thinks evil of his enemies does not have love for God and has not known God.

I will fight for you with every breath in my body – and I will never, ever let you down.

I pray Thee, O Merciful Lord, for all the peoples of the world, that they may come to know Thee by the Holy Spirit.

The point is that you can’t be too greedy.

We must always remember that the Lord sees us wrestling with the Enemy, and so we must never be afraid. Even should all hell fall upon us, we must be brave.

I was a great student. I was good at everything.

Understand two thoughts, and fear them. One says, “You are a saint,” the other, “You won’t be saved.” Both of these thoughts are from the enemy, and there is no truth in them. But think this way: I am a great sinner, but the Lord is merciful. He loves people very much, and He will forgive my sins.

All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.

The Saints in Heaven through the Holy Spirit behold the glory of God and the beauty of the Lord’s Countenance. But in this same Holy Spirit they see our lives too, and our deeds. They know our sorrows and hear our burning prayers. When they were living on earth they learned of the love of God from the Holy Spirit; and he who knows love on earth takes it with him into eternal life in the kingdom of Heaven, where love grows and becomes perfect. And if love makes one unable to forget a brother here, how much more must the Saints remember and pray for us!

When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice. The Bible tells us, “How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity.”

I ask you to try something. If someone grieves you, or dishonors you, or takes something of yours, then pray like this: “Lord, we are all your creatures. Pity your servants, and turn them to repentance,” and then you will perceptibly bear grace in your soul.

I have an attention span that’s as long as it has to be.

It is impossible to keep spiritual peace if we do not take care of the mind, that is if we do not drive out thoughts that are displeasing to God and, on the contrary, keep thoughts which are pleasing to God. It is necessary to look into the heart with mind and see what is done there. Is it peaceful or not? If not, then find out in what you have sinned.

Do not let anyone tell you it cannot be done. No challenge can match the heart and fight and spirit of America. We will not fail.

You must teach yourself how to eat less, but with discernment, insofar as your work allows. The measure of temperance should be such that after lunch you want to pray.

I’m a bit of a P.T. Barnum. I make stars out of everyone.

Keep thy mind in hell and despair not.

You learn their honesty, you learn their competitiveness. You learn a lot about a person. It’s not that they have to sink the putt and there’s a great deal of talent involved – but you do learn about how competitive a person is on the golf course, and frankly, how honest.