Mortaljive: The Rest is Silence

There is no still point in all the Universe, and that is the rock upon which I stand

Friday, April 30, 2010

The Opinuary Column



The seemingly contradictory Opinions "Oklahoma would never enact a law that would require doctors to lie to their patients" and "Oklahoma would never contradict its intention to deny medical information to its female citizens by mandating that those same female citizens must, by law, view an ultrasound of their fertilized ovum before having a legal medical procedure performed" have died from an overdose of Christianism. The Opinions were believed to be four and five years of age, respectively.

The Opinions were preceded in death by the cliche The largest hole in Arizona is the Grand Canyon as it turned out the largest hole in the state is in its collective soul. As many of those in the know will attest, Arizona and Oklahoma (when combined) create a monster known as HOMAZONA!

A combined memorial service for the late Opinions will be held under duress at a later date. Anyone with information about the memorial will be required to not divulge that information to anyone who might need directions. Those who seek directions will be made to look at a map which depicts them dying in a horrible traffic accident, their bodies being consumed in an enormous ball of fire while their faces reveal the last desperate wails of abject desolation. Google Maps should have an app for that by summer.

In lieu of donations the family of the deceased Opinions suggest you stay away from Oklahoma. And Arizona, too--don't go to Arizona. Come to think of it, Utah and its Latter Day Shuck & Jive sucks just as much if not more than HOMAZONA, and not just because of Glenn Beck, so avoid traveling to Utah as well. And consider giving Texas a miss too. In fact, you might stay away from any state that values fear and anger over compassion and reason, or any locale that can't seem to understand that women don't require sub-contractors when it comes to their sovereign bodies. Vote with your dollars, and tell 'em Jesus loves them but in all honesty doesn't really like them.

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The Opinuary Column appears most Fridays at Jesus' General.

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Arizona Parties Like it's 1962!



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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Woody Guthrie Sends a Reminder to All



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Monday, April 26, 2010

Answer and Call










The first three images were taken by mjs, while working with plants and whatnot in his backyard. The last image came from NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI).

The Universe is a very creative mystery!

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Blues for an Old Dog

we got an old dog
saved from the road
put up the found signs
nobody called

he was a golden bear
in search of honey
we gave him love
he spent all our money

we named him phil
but he didn't care
just feed him and walk him
this old golden bear

his back legs gave out
the vet had a plan
give them a credit card
one day he'll dance

damn, it was true
damn, it was true
they can do many things
oh, lord so many things
damn it was true

phil got his legs back
that was a gas
took him out to the park
where he lay in the grass

so for a time
phil lived like a king
when he wanted service
he'd bark and he'd sing

but now those legs
are getting entwined
his elbows akimbo
can't walk no straight line

he cries in the darkness
we give him a pill
he barks in the margins
this old dog named phil

damn, it was true
damn, it was true
they can do many things
oh, lord so many things
damn it was true

phil walked this morning
just like a crab
just needs some help up
and something to grab

if you live long enough
if you live right
you'll search in the darkness
for one ray of light

if you have ever loved
if you know how
live in forever
love in the now

phil will walk again
in somebody's dream
might be his own
eternal scheme

but that don't matter
don't matter at all
live in forever
love in the now
live in forever
love in the now
live in forever
it's okay, baby
love in the now



Note: Phil is still with us, but everyday tasks are getting a little harder, including holding his bodily fluids. He still has a strong appetite and his eyes are clear: for now, his days remain his own, to do with what he will.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Portable Gospel Chorus*

i went to my work today
my ass was draggin' when i go
i went to my work today
my ass was draggin' when i go
i drove into the driveway
and then i let it go

i found me a moment of truth
where the eagle soars
i found me a moment of truth
where the eagle soars
when you fly up in the mountain
no one can stop you anymore

come listen and be free:
to the
portable gospel chorus
portable gospel chorus
listen and be free
mmm, indeed

no one can damn up a river
without a mighty blow
no one can damn up a river
without that mighty blow
no one can take the water
and tell it not to flow

Oh, yeah!
Oh, yeah, yeah...
Oh, yeah
no one can take the water
and tell it not to flow

got me an old kind of problem
it gets older every day
got me an old kind of problem
it gets older every day
something bad must've happened
and what a price to pay

come listen and be free:
to the
portable gospel chorus
portable gospel chorus
listen and be free
mmm, indeed

i went to my work today
my ass was draggin' when i go
i went to my work today
my ass was draggin' when i go
i drove into the driveway
and then i let it go

i found me a moment of truth
where the eagle soars
i found me a moment of truth
where the eagle soars
when you fly up in the mountain
no one can stop you anymore

come listen and be free:
to the
portable gospel chorus
portable gospel chorus
listen and be free
mmm, indeed

no one can damn up a river
without a mighty blow
no one can damn up a river
without that mighty blow
no one can take the water
and tell it not to flow

Oh, yeah!
Oh, yeah, yeah...
Oh, yeah
no one can take the water
and tell it not to flow

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This song was inspired by Mr. Jon Stewart and His Portable Gospel Choir.

Via Digby.

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The Opinuary Column



The Opinion "Better late than never" has died, none too early for most but long after the fact for a good many others. It leaves behind everything that wasn't in front of it. Preceded in death by the Opinion "Time is on my side" (which turned out to be not the case) it is now in the magnificent and truly buff arms of the Lord. He's a big guy to begin with, but my goodness, not to belabor the point, but those arms of His are epic, even if He can no longer reach into our world and move the players around like He used to. Sigh.

There will be a Celebration of Life held some time after the burial. Long after. Late, even. In the meantime the family asks that you might just consider showing up at your appointments on time, and try not to destroy whatever is left in the Great Now that is keeping you alive. Oxygen and water that wont kill you come to mind. Food, too. Like it or not, late may just be all that we have, even if it's not much better than not at all. Or words to that effect.

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The Opinuary Column runs most Fridays at Jesus' General.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Say Your Name Forever



it's been said that the devil wouldn't bow to man
his love for god was too great
he just couldn't do it
though there was nothing to it
but god banished him, never to return

they say that the devil is sustained in hell
by the memory of his beloved saying "be gone"

i say your name forever
i say your name forever
i am lost and there's no way out
i am so badly broken
but not my love
never my love
i say your name forever

they say the broken heart is coming
everyone must die
but deep inside is the memory
of the endless lover
of the endless life
of the one who sees you
and never says goodbye

when you go out walking
and the streets are filled with life
hold the hearts of all you pass
if only for a minute
hold this in endless night

i say your name forever
i say your name forever
i am lost and there's no way out
i am so badly broken
but not my love
never my love
i say your name forever

the moon will shed its shadow
the sun will burn in time
we are lovers in the passion play
we are bound to laugh and cry
by and by
by and by

i say your name forever
i say your name forever
i am lost and there's no way out
i am so badly broken
but not my love
never my love
i say your name forever

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Saturday, April 17, 2010



nathan was complaining
about the piano player
nathan thinks that fingers
should wear skates

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Friday, April 16, 2010

The Opinuary Column



The Opinion "Jesus of Nazareth had an average sized schvonce" has died after 2,000 years of Christian speculation (on this very topic) while vacationing in Vatican City. It is survived by the related Opinions "Jesus of Nazareth had a nice tuchas but nothing to bow down to" and "Jesus had the thighs of a rutting antelope, and in His prime was more than ready to mount every rabbi's daughter that would look sideways at Him. Seriously."

When asked about this latest revelation, Pope Smell-My-Finger declined to comment, but in all fairness did exhibit (later that swoon-inducing, magical afternoon) a fair amount of leering and grunting while mounting a passing cherub in the Holy Rectumory. One Vatican official spoke on the condition that he remain anonymous, with the additional provision that this reporter characterize pedophilia as an "out-patient clerical procedure." Bishop Boy Fucker (not his real name) allowed that "...it was a real morale booster to see that the Son of God had, and presumably still has a rocket in his pocket. Used to be it was the Greek gods whose loins were bulging...now we can say with a good deal of certainty that Jesus was hung like a Clydesdale," adding "...we clerics have been experiencing an extra thrill when inviting Jesus to fill us with His love. Talk about your cup running over!"

In lieu of flowers the family of the late Opinion have suggested you take a number like everybody else, and with any luck Jesus will draw your name in the Who Wants to Have Sex With Jesus Lottery held most Wednesdays, just after the community bingo game.

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The Opinuary Column apologizes to all men who have average sized penises that don't begin at their navels and rise to the level of their sternum. You don't get to be God, and you certainly don't get to prance around with His genitals either. So just watch it.

A tip of the Holy Dick to Crooks and Liars.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Manager Approaches



did you have a complaint?
were you not entirely satisfied?
was there something wrong with the
dead animal you were eating?

chewing the meat you become god
chewing the meat, god is chewing you
chewing god is debatable

perhaps you would like symmetry?
it might ease you into the nightmare
of rot with the grace of charity
keep things in order, you know

i can't help but think that windows are theater
and we are trying to sit in the glass

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Image taken last fall in Northwest Portland, Oregon

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Let's Drink a Bottle of Love



i lost my innocence at a hundred and three
i had held it for a whole century
i lost my innocence and now i am free
everything in its time

i lost my shadow at a hundred and four
on a cloudy day it went right out the door
i lost my shadow at a hundred and four
i'm just waiting for the sun to shine

(chorus)
good things take their own sweet time
good things have done it since time out of mind
grapes are best when they ripe on the vine
let's drink a bottle of love

i lost my house when i was a hundred and five
it's oh so hard just to stay alive
i lost my house and most of my pride
had them both a very long time

i lost my friend at a hundred and six
she held my hand and my heart was fixed
she emptied out my last bag of tricks
man she had a wonderful smile

(chorus)
good things take their own sweet time
good things have done it since time out of mind
grapes are best when they ripe on the vine
let's drink a bottle of love

i lost my life at a hundred and seven
don't care much to go up to heaven
i don't know just who i'm kiddin'
i'll wave to you when i pass by

(bridge)

i lost my innocence at a hundred and three
i had held it for a whole century
i lost my innocence and now i am free
everything in its time

i lost my shadow at a hundred and four
on a cloudy day it went right out the door
i lost my shadow at a hundred and four
i'm just waiting for the sun to shine

(acapella)
good things take their own sweet time
good things have done it since time out of mind
grapes are best when they ripe on the vine
let's drink a bottle of love

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I wrote these lyrics this morning (4/10/10)--I was listening to "Side by Side" yesterday--I think the music is still in my head...



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Friday, April 09, 2010

The Opinuary Column



The Opinion "This is the way the world ends--Not with a bang but a whimper" has died in a hail of bullets fired from a helicopter gunship.

(now, children, hold your hands and dance
we listen to the music and when it stops
we step into our graves)

bang, bang
bang, bang

after we are shot we are shot some more
the explosive sounds drown out laughter on the ship
glory of god, the killer in the sky

when we die in the street we hold dust in our hearts
waiting to be run over, waiting to be deleted
like a blinking dot on a screen

delete, delete
delete, delete

we are the stuffed men
we are the bags of humanity
eating bad news from a bucket
picking out the splintered bones
and sopping up the grease with towels

(little tin soldiers fall in love
everything fits in the small of your hands
but bit by bit fate derides the magic
none can see them, but none can hide)

we are killing the children
like a genius, we kill most of them
when they grow older
so as to not be caught
some we kill when young
some devoured, some discarded

(is this tolerable, asked the fairy queen
do you like being a phantom?
we'll fly together in the meadow
sprinkling light from shimmering stars)

we are the stuffed men
the human machines of commerce
too few to catch, too many to fight
every dollar crushes every scream
every day a new winner

our products are made to kill!
our bullets blessed
our missiles true
come on down and see for yourself!
come down to the street and die!

(have you left the nursery?
have you severed a life for profit?
come children, come and play
come to live another day)

hard are the days of thunder and blood
deep are the nights of cold despair
blinding is the light of god
you are dead beyond repair

(here we go gathering nuts in may
nuts in may, nuts in may
here we go gathering nuts in may
and then are seen no more)

the people have forgotten horror
and sneer at the reminders
lives made hard by god and men
lives made into bones and dust

children do not attend lectures
except when forced
they only go to funerals when somebody takes them
put them in the back of the van
and bullets will find them
hooray for our side

(do we live in a bad story?
do we live in a bad dream?
are you a good witch or a bad witch?)

in the end the children did nothing
they walked the road with heads down
daring not to look to either side
whole cities vanished in the weeds
whole hearts turned into fractions
above them the spinning blades
above them the righteous guns

bang, bang
bang, bang

a whimper and a bang


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Sunday, April 04, 2010

John Prine: Hello In There



good or bad
kind or sad
live long enough
and you will vanish

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Friday, April 02, 2010

Jesus in the Diamond Mine



what was the message
how was it lost
we bought all the weapons
never mind the cost

what was the promise
and how do we know
everybody's nervous
but it's on with the show

diamonds don't make it to heaven
laughter don't make it to hell
we got lost at the border
and fell in the well
in the well of water
we fell...all fall down

pretty sure i'm an outlaw
pretty sure you are one too
we'll ride to our freedom
we'll ride to our doom
boom, boom

you know that you're just fine
you know that you're god
your fear and your sorrow
your trembling rod
go boom-boom

diamonds don't make it to heaven
laughter don't make it to hell
we got lost at the border
and fell in the well
in the well of water
we fell...all fall down

jesus is off on location
starring in a difficult show
lights and camera and warnings
when they yell "cut" you know
you just know

love your enemies
turn that cheek for more
what you do to the least of them
you don't do anymore

diamonds don't make it to heaven
laughter don't make it to hell
we got lost at the border
and fell in the well
in the well of water
we fell...all fall down

falling down

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The Opinuary Column



The Opinion "Rabbits and Jesus will be taking Easter Sunday off so they can go play the back nine in heaven" has died. Rabbits don't play golf, in heaven or anywhere else for that matter. They don't have opposable thumbs. Couldn't grip a golf club in a million years, for crissakes. You'll probably see ducks driving cars before you'll see rabbits teeing up a golf ball. It's just that plain a fact.

In lieu of flowers the family of the deceased Opinion ask that you paint an egg or contemplate your own innate mystery, or just play frisbee in a verdant park or whatever it is that you do. May your peeps be moist and your jelly beans tasty.

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The Opinuary Column appears most Fridays (having died most Tuesdays) at Jesus' General.

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