Mirror of Zen Blog



I told John today, perhaps for the first time, that as we grew up together over these last five decades (but really in the first two decades), I always envied his natural good looks, his easeful sense of style, and his naturally beautiful dance, his surfer’s sense of rolling on a rhythm. When we were younger, I envied his absolute ease with the female set, something which took me years to feel comfortable with. But he moved so easily in it, and was always surrounded by intelligent, beautiful, somewhat dangerous (to his fragile sanity!) women. Arts-types, needing themselves to be in some drama of their own all the time. And John as their captive audience, his own life a series of its own fully challenging dramatis personae.

It’s nice to see that he still has it. After all these years. He could easily still be George Clooney’s body-double for some scenes, that’s for sure.

And now he is a celebrated poet whose critical eye is much sought-after by colleagues, fellow writers. He is also a beloved instructor in creative writing, who even processes elements of some student’s writing in his dreams, that’s how deeply he dives into these chickies trying to peck out into their expressive freedom.

But he’d still be good with hanging out on the Boardwalk back on the Jersey Shore where we spent so many pointless hours waiting for some plan or pursuit to congeal into view. He could still move there. Doubt very much he’d be interested. But he’d be capable. He’d surf right through it, sonofabitch!

Holy Kirill is Only Colonel Kurtz


“Exterminate the beasts” from the sclerotic lips of a holy Patriarch, the head of a worldwide communion. Blech on it all! I was recently invited to contribute an essay to a prominent journal of inter-religious studies in the German-speaking lands. It was a great honor to receive such an invitation, from a prominent Catholic professor of interreligious dialogue. The deadline was one week ago, I think. You see, I shined on the whole project after initially agreeing, when I reflected on what I would express there and realized that the entire point would be to take away all of this false religion. That’s what any essay I would write would want to say, whether I like it or not – – end religion, and you have world peace. Stop this blind veneration of mere Iron Age texts representing a morality which would be hideous in today’s context, and here we see it applied by the good patriarch himself.

You can’t talk from a clean software to something woefully outdated and poisonous and, here we see, barbaric in the extreme. It boggles the mind that such figures could command even a half spoonful of veneration, much less respect. And yet, in polite religious circles where in I was asked to contribute an essay, such a figure is this is merely problematic. You can’t speak frankly about how he is able to get away with all of this crap and still be called religious. The entire underlying software is never fully interrogated, to its rotten, moldy, dead core.

An icon’s transformation, from this…

“Flagellation of Christ” (Ukraine)

…to this…

…is not out of order for describing our times.

This aged old man, full of poisonous nationalism and pompous authority, gives moral power to the barbaric madness and pure malevolence of Russia’s nihilistic slouching forward to be born.