Saturday, September 17, 2016

Jack Scott writes

[Part VI]

It’s easier
than he ever thought it’d be.
No deadline here, no quota,
he is his own employer,
though not his boss, his driver,
no one over him,
none under.
He answers to no one,
but paints his questions,
and in painting,
answers them,
balancing each equation
in his own way
His work will never end -
he knows it.
You don’t have to swim an ocean
shore to shore,
only stay afloat,
while avoiding sharks.
There will come a time
when he’ll be out of paint and canvas,
his brushes will be stiff or bald -
no matter.
What’s in his eye is in his mind
and that is in his hand
forever -
paint on,
you’re all you’ll ever need.

Some mangers are too crowded,
no room at any inn
and no way to get out
past those in line behind you,
extras for the sequel.
Reservations are for those
who think they know
what’s going to happen
and plan ahead.
In the East, a lodestar
was for three,
compelling them to make a journey
timed to seem no accident
to the eyes and minds
of those who later read the book
and watched the movie after.
But they made just one mistake:
arriving thirty odd years early.
They were meant by god
to rescue,
not adore him.

Stopping is addiction,
as much as going on.
When not smoking gets you high
looking at what’s in that glass,
celibately staring at her ass,
how powerful, Interruptus!
How dangerous
to stand in its way!
How long can you keep it up?
How long can you swim,
be up for one more stroke?
If you can’t turn away from it, whatever,
condemned to watch without touching
you’re hooked,
you’re dry, not sober,
without pussy, pussy-whipped.
How can you quit quitting,
give up the giving in?
Are there more steps than minutes in a day,
the ones you must take at a time
in this mirror existence?

1 comment:

  1. The Magi (the Three Wise Men or Three Kings, though Syriac churches often claim there were 12 of them), were distinguished foreigners who visited Jesus soon after his birth, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. According to Matthew, the only gospel to mention them, an unknown number of "wise men from the East" to pay homage to “the king of the Jews." Herodes I of Judea instructed them to find him and then return to Herodes so he could also pay homage, but they returned to “their own country by another path” in order to avoid Herodes. An angel told Joseph to take his family to Egypt immediately, where they stayed until after Herod’s death in 4 BCE; in one tradition he used the gift of the gold to finance the trip.) In their absence, Herod ordered the infanticide of all boys in the Behtlehem area who were two years old or younger. In the 5th century, Macrobius Ambrosius Theodosius reported that when the Roman emperor Imperator Caesar Diiī Filius Augustus learned of this action by his client Herodes, and the murder of his son, he said, “It is better to be Herod's pig, than his son." (However, historian Titus Flavius Josephus never mentioned the episode, though he reported that Herodes murdered three of his sons, his mother-in-law, and his second wife.) The next mention of the massacre was in the “Protoevangelium of James” (ca. 150 AD), which said that Mary hid Jesus in an ox-stall, while a mountain split open to receive John the Baptist and his mother, who were guarded by an angel. The Magi belonged to a Zoroastrian priestly caste of astrologers. An Iranian legend detailed the rise of a star that would predict the birth of a ruler. A 6th-century Greek manuscript from Alexandria, translated into Latin as “Excerpta Latina Barbari,” identified them, and an Irish document (also in Greek but translated into Latin as “Collectanea et Flores” provided additional details about them. According to Catholics, they were Melchior, a Persian scholar/king, Balthazar, a Babylonian or Arabian scholar/king (the kings of Saba in southern Yemen were Jewish) [later Ethiopia became his land of origin], and Caspar (Gaspar, Jaspar, Jaspas, Gathaspa) , an Indian scholar/king, whose identity may have evolved from the Gudapharasa (Gondophares) of the “Acts of Thomas” who became the first Indo-Parthian king after gaining independence from the Arsacids; he founded and named Kandahar after himself. According to some Syrian Christians, they were Larvandad, Gushnasaph, and Hormisdas; according to Ethiopian Christians, they were Hor, Karsudan, and Basanater; according to Armenians, they were Kagpha, Badadakharida, and Badadilma. In some traditions Thomas baptized them on his way to India, and St. Helena (Flavia Iulia Helena Augusta, the consort of emperor Marcus Flavius Valerius Constantius Herculius Augustus (“Constantius Chlorus”) and mother of emperor Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus Augustus (St. Constantine I the Great) discovered their remains on her pilgrimage to Jerusalem and took them back to Constantinopolis (they were transferred to Milano in 344, from whence they were taken in 1164 by Holy Roman emperor Friedrich I “Barbarossa” to Cologne and buried in the Shrine of the Three Kings. But in the 13th century Marco Polo claimed they were buried in Saveh (south of Tehran) and that their “bodies are still entire, with hair and beard remaining.” The Naimans and Keraites of Cemtral Asia claimed descent from the Magi; Sorghaghtani, the niece of the Keraite ruler Toghrul, married Genghis Khan’s youngest son Tolui and became the mother of both Möngke Khan and Kublai Khan, who thus inherited that supposed heritage; king Hetoum I of Cilician Armenia’s older brother Sempad the Constable visited the Mongol court in Karakorum in the 13th century and claimed that Tangut (Western Xia) was the homeland of the Magi.


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