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Here Comes Everybody

Tuesday, June 27th, 2017

“And here comes everybody-
The closet renegades
The weary, hungry soldiers
From the children’s lost crusade
Here comes the restitution
We’d all but given up
This evening we’re content believing
That love will be enough”

  • Joe Henry, “Love is Enough”

 

I can’t say whether James Joyce had, as some people claim, the Catholic Church in mind when he spun the phrase, “Here Comes Everybody,’’ in Finnegan’s Wake. You’d have to ask Joe Henry what he meant when he used it in a song on his luminous CD, Civilians. I know this – it gets to the heart of last weekend’s conference at Notre Dame: “Trying to Say ‘God’: Re-enchanting the Catholic Literary Imagination.” Latino bishops and queer poets, Jesuit astronomers and everyday mystics, recovering alcoholics and college deans, all gathered in auditoriums, classrooms, and hallways, their conversations pulsing with creativity and generosity. Oh, yes – and love, too – the kind that changes lives. What better time and place to out yourself as a wretched Papist in a world that insists you keep such things to yourself.

 

Thanks upon thanks to Jessica Mesman Griffith, Jonathan Ryan, and Ken Garcia for planning and pulling off a first-time, unqualified success of a conference.

 

Some personal highlights:

 

Talking to Brother Guy Conosolmago, Director of the Vatican Observatory, about “big-idea” science fiction and the unaccountable explanatory power of mathematics in a mysterious universe. (more…)

Flesh Becomes Word Live!

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

I’ll be reading from Flesh Becomes Word Wednesday evening, June 25, at 7 pm at the BonBonerie Cafe in the O’Bryonville neighborhood of Cincinnati. I hope to have some of John’s art available, too.

More info from Dos Madres Press.

A poem for May

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

The dog days are now! Listen here.

Why dogs are better than people

Because they are.

Because they are not cats.

Because they have no theories,
and never weary me
with talk of rights, self-
esteem, or some such
metaphysical crap.

Because they like the way things smell
and never pretend they don’t.

Because, for dogs,
everything,
every moment,
even this one,
is their favorite,

and when told
not to bark,

they still do.

A Poem for April

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

Having Crossed the Sea Image

Having Crossed the Sea
(Exodus 15)

I have seen them, dead along the shore,
their bloated faces still ripe with hate.
And there was one I stopped at to kick—
kick him fiercely and hard in the face
the way they kicked my now dead husband
who wept at making bricks without straw—
but I found no joy in what I did.

Yesterday, we had cause to rejoice,
seeing Israel’s enemies crushed
between walls of leveling water
cast on them by our great God’s right hand.
But as we sang praises to heaven
in sight of their still floating corpses,
the cloud column swelled, grew darker, and
the rain fell: softly at first, and then
in great salt drops, so like tears, I wept
to learn one might mourn enemy dead
who were, after all, God’s children, too.

From Flesh Becomes Word, illustration by John Volck