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Exchange of Values

Exchange of Values
acrylic on board 48'X96'

"Structure of Color Perception"

"Structure of Color Perception"
48'X96' acrylic on board

Friday, March 21, 2014

The artist by my Mentor, Rabbi Mordechai Rosembaum

Once there was a simple man, a crazy man, a strange man, a fool.  Some said that he was a religious man, others said that he despised religion.  Some said that he loved god, others said that he was a-theist.  It was rumored that he had once studied to be a priest, but others said that he was a worldly man and much given to the temptations of the flesh.  This same crazy seeker wandered through the streets on Sunday mornings holding high a lantern and looking for the church of his imaginings and for a god suited to his own strangeness.  Maybe he was searching for a church which might be served and guided by married women priests who were called forth by Divine Sophia as revealed to the whole people of God?  Perhaps he sought a truly universal church divested of all it’s material possessions and worldly power and whose only authority comes by way of it’s suffering service to the poor?  Or did he hope to discover a church willing to martyr her own existence in pursuit of living in the spirit of sacrificial grace and universal equality through a freely chosen life of gospel inspired community?  Maybe the fool imagined a stateless church, a powerless church, a church without rights, values, moral codes, flags, constitutions, ethics, integrity, wealth, color guards, or guns.  A church-less church, a god-less church whose un-god cannot be found or lost, controlled, administered, spoken for, or (mis) quoted.  A god without gender or sexual orientation.  A shameful god.  A weak and worth-less god.  The kind of god that is useless for founding nations, establishing institutions, preserving empires, blessing business ventures, leading armies, or destroying one’s enemies.  The kind of god that you could beat the shit out of and murder without worrying about any payback.  A strange and crazy god.

And so the foolish seeker went from building to building, spire to spire, week after week.  He sat alone in the back and kept his lantern under his coat and his mission to himself.  And when others sang, he sang with them; and when others prayed, he prayed with them; and when others listened he listened with them, and when others wept he wept with them; and when others laughed he laughed with them, and when others closed their eyes, he closed his eyes; and when others said “amen” he said “amen.”  And every time the offering basket was passed to him he kept nothing back but surrendered all that he possessed.

There now, and look, I’m almost late for tonight’s Lenten mass.  Much obliged and all possible blessings.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

I was surprised that my friend Peter had posted one of my old poems on facebook along with this new amazing drawing of his.  I had not only forgotten this poem but I didn’t even have a copy of it!  Other than my friend DanO/M who put one my poems in his book I don’t think I have ever gotten (sort of) “published” before, even in a FB post! (college chapbooks don’t really count, they are sort of obligated to include you). Very much obliged y’all.

Saturday In Hell 

Let’s stop pretending that more words
Can change anything now
Even if we had faith once
Most wait their entire life
Wrapped up tight inside their tombs
For someone to command them
Come forth

It’s not the harrowing words
Themselves (if words have ‘selves’)
More like the hydraulics of
A great reservoir of power
Breaching the dike because
What gets funneled though spigots
Can not contain the force of flow
Against all our calculations
The numbers lied

Ashes and dust are more than the
Reckoning of bodily fluids
Signing the history of fire
Our own dried tears testify
No combination of
Incantations or sing-spells
Will roll the stones away
Nor lure us staggering into the light
Still bound in bloody rags

Here is Peter’s drawing.  I am thinking about maybe taking a crack at making a sculpture from it.  I’m not a sculptor, and I haven’t really had any training and I don’t know if I have any talent for it, but I don’t let that keep me from writing poetry or painting, so why not?  Anyway, here is one of my other sort of Lenten poems as well called "Pieta." 


The authorities in Rome have
Erected a barrier of bullet-proof glass
Around Michelangelo’s Pieta
Still today some become so enraged
At this dead and pierced through little Jew
They try to smash him with hammers and bullets
Even as he lay in his mother’s arms
He can never be be dead enough
To please his enemies, and
Many of his friends

Obliged and blessings.