patrokolos projects

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caleb was on the approach to Shelbyville,
when two large dogs came out and attacked him.
he managed to fend them off,
but not before one of them dealt him a nasty bite on his arm.

jan walker (who was sent from heaven to this year’s vol-state)
was nearby.
she seems to always be right where she is needed.
so she went to check on the, now bleeding, runner
who had stopped at a country store to try and tend his wounds.

she took him to town,
where she cleaned and bandaged his wounds.
then returned him, to continue his trek.

sweat soon loosened the bandages,
and the deep wounds began to bleed again.
so jan retrieved him once more,
and took him to the ER to have them stitched up.

caleb is back on the road….

i think he came here to finish.

I did finish and am okay.
8 days, 14 hours, 5 minutes, 58 seconds

The person who wrote this review “doesn’t know what [they’re] supposed to get” out of my short story in Animal Kingdom #2, but they also say some flattering things about the writing.

You can get a copy of Animal Kingdom #2 here or listen to me read “The Meat Between Us” here and then decide for yourself whether or not the plot threads fit together.

THE STATE ATTEMPT TO ENFORCE CERTAIN FORMS OF LIFE

France argued that the ban on burqas is necessary to promote public safety and protect the rights and freedoms of others—specifically, the right of people to live in an “open society” characterized by “civility” and “social interaction.” The court rejected the first argument. Even assuming the burqa posed a risk in some circumstances, it held, a blanket ban is disproportionate. If the concern were public safety, a more targeted ban would be appropriate—in the context of security checks, for example.


The court agreed with France, though, that the ban could be justified on the basis of promoting an “open society”—at least, an open society in the French manner. Obviously, not all societies see the burqa as problematic. In Europe, only Belgium has a similar ban. But the French people had decided that the burqa violates “the ground rules of social communication” in their country. This decision deserved deference, the court held. Given the margin of appreciation in such matters, the court would honor France’s determination that “the voluntary and systematic concealment of the face is … incompatible with the fundamental requirements of ‘living together’ in French society.”

This level of deference is really quite breathtaking. Essentially, the European Court is saying, a state can ban religious expression in order to maintain what the state sees as its particular norms of “living together.”

[Mark Movsesian at First Things]

FROM A LETTER OF MARTIN LUTHER

Whenever this temptation of melancholy comes to you, beware not to dispute with the devil nor allow yourself to dwell on these lethal thoughts, for so doing is nothing less than giving place to the devil and so falling. Try as hard as you can to despise these thoughts sent by Satan. In this sort of temptation and battle, contempt is the easiest road to victory; laugh your enemy to scorn and ask to whom you are talking. By all means flee solitude, for he lies in wait most for those alone. This devil is conquered by despising and mocking him, not by resisting and arguing. Therefore, Jerome, joke and play games with my wife and others, in which way you will drive out your diabolic thoughts and take courage.

Be strong and cheerful and cast out those monstrous thoughts. Whenever the devil harasses you thus, seek the company of men, or drink more, or joke and talk nonsense, or do some other merry thing. Sometimes we must drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, aye, and even sin a little to spite the devil, so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles. We are conquered if we try too conscientiously not to sin at all. So when the devil says to you, “Do not drink,” answer him, “I will drink, and right freely, just because you tell me not to.” One must always do what Satan forbids. What other cause do you think that I have for drinking so much strong drink, talking so freely and making merry so often, except that I wish to mock and harass the devil who is wont to mock and harass me. Would that I could contrive some great sin to spite the devil, that he might understand that I would not even then acknowledge it and that I was conscious of no sin whatever. We, whom the devil thus seeks to annoy, should remove the whole Decalogue from our hearts and minds.

My mailing address will change starting the first. Please contact me privately if you need it.


Usually man does not show his body, and, when he does, it is either nervously or with an intention to fascinate. He has the impression that the alien gaze which runs over his body is stealing it from him, or else, on the other hand, that the display of his body will deliver the other person up to him, defenseless, and that in this case the other will be reduced to servitude. Shame and immodesty, then, take their place in a dialectic of the self and the other which is that of master and slave: in so far as I have a body, I may be reduced to the status of an object beneath the gaze of another person, and no longer count as a person for him, or else I may become his master and, in my turn, look at him. But this mastery is self-defeating, since, precisely when my value is recognized through the other’s desire, he is no longer the person by whom I wished to be recognized, but a being fascinated, deprived of his freedom, and who therefore no longer counts in my eyes.


[photo by thepeoplehabit]

Usually man does not show his body, and, when he does, it is either nervously or with an intention to fascinate. He has the impression that the alien gaze which runs over his body is stealing it from him, or else, on the other hand, that the display of his body will deliver the other person up to him, defenseless, and that in this case the other will be reduced to servitude. Shame and immodesty, then, take their place in a dialectic of the self and the other which is that of master and slave: in so far as I have a body, I may be reduced to the status of an object beneath the gaze of another person, and no longer count as a person for him, or else I may become his master and, in my turn, look at him. But this mastery is self-defeating, since, precisely when my value is recognized through the other’s desire, he is no longer the person by whom I wished to be recognized, but a being fascinated, deprived of his freedom, and who therefore no longer counts in my eyes.

[photo by thepeoplehabit]

WHAT YOUR MOTHER WROTE ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR

Bobby, You left behind one of your Hoodies. You wore them all winter, for warmer or colder. Dad wore yours all winter this year. Your ghost is very much around. It is softer now, not so many raw edges of grief. Your memory still has the power to bring tears to my eyes, and I miss you every day. You should be 28 today and celebrating. Happy Birthday son.

I tend to care deeply for people who some think are beyond the pale. I teach writing in prisons, and sometimes I’ll look at an inmate who’s drowned her own daughter or something, and I just want to help her: I say, let’s work on that passive voice. When I was playing at being a scholar, for a while, I was a scholar of religion, and I spent my time writing arguments that secular people should be more empathetic toward fundamentalists, even those who conduct or support great atrocities.

I have been in love with several people I would call “hustlers” but who are generally considered to be liars. I recently had a dream that I was with a group of friends in a labyrinthine mansion in which a serial killer was hiding. We searched high and low until one of our search parties found him in a secret, boarded-up room in a corner of the cellar. They brought him up and sat him down in the yard. He was dirty and exhausted, and yet was looking around with a terrifying maniacal grin. What I did in the dream was feel badly for him; I sat down beside him and rubbed his back and told him that things were going to be OK. I smiled at him and directed all the warmth I could muster at him until his smile towards me turned real, and then I helped him get in the van to go to prison. I don’t know what my Thing 6 is, or it wouldn’t be a Thing 6, but I’m pretty sure I have one, and I suspect it has something to do with this.

[The Help Desk]

HOW I FEEL ALMOST ALL THE TIME

My first piece was named “Puck.” I went down to the stationer’s to buy it on tick, and the ginger-haired boy served me, and his face had a rust-colored blush, like a dock leaf in autumn, because he had to go to the small room at the back of the shop and ask his parents if it would be all right to serve me, as our bill had not been paid. On my way home with “Puck,” I met Hessie Sutton and smiled at her, shyly and excitedly, but when she glanced at the parcel under my arm and the music half wrapped, and gave an understanding smile, my face clouded in a fierce frown. How dare she see me and divine my excitement! How dare she! How I hated her!

That afternoon, when I went for my lesson, she heightened my sense of shame. “I saw you.” She pounced as soon as I entered the room. “I saw you,” she said, like a detective giving evidence, “coming home with your new piece of music. I guessed how excited you were!”

"I wasn’t caring at all," I said sullenly.

"Yes, you were," Hessie Sutton insisted. "I saw it in your face! I knew!"

I did not understand why she should appear so triumphant, as if by seizing on a momentary aspect of my behavior she had uncovered a life of deceit in me. Why, she honked with triumph like the soldier who brought back the golden horn from the underworld as proof of the secret activities of the twelve dancing princesses! I did not realize that people’s actions are mysteries that are so seldom solved.

"I knew, I knew!" Hessie Sutton kept saying as I sat down to try out "Puck."

From that day, I no longer enjoyed my music lessons. I was weary of being spied upon. People were saying, observing me closely, “She’s filling out, she’s growing tall, look at her hair, isn’t that Grace’s chin she’s got, and there’s no doubting where her smile comes from!”

You see how derivative I was made out to be? Nothing belonged to me, not even my body, and now with Hessie Sutton and her spying ways I could not call my feelings my own. Why did people have so much need to stake their claim in other people? Were they scared of the bailiffs’ arriving in their own house? I stopped learning music. I was in despair.

[from “Prizes” by Janet Frame]