Awake, is all.

Rising without inspiration, revelation, recollection, premonition, venture, horror, or scripture is a gift. I like to wake up empty & dull.

I like waking up with a soul of ice, undripping with dreams sloshed over the sluice of sentience.

You don’t see Jesus prancing around the flight deck when he rose.

I like to awaken blank and bare, without mother or father, past or future, book or speech, laurel or thorn.

° ° °

The orphancy of waking, the umbilical cut from a dying dream.

The poverty of sunrise. Last night evicted yesterday, dropped its shit on the street.

Yesterday is morning breath.

° ° °

The screaming poverty of birth. Every time I write, I’m born again.

Yesterday is afterbirth.

° ° °

The poverty of resurrection: even the grave is empty.


“Trill” are my Twitters. Tweet suites from @slowreads.

Photo “Denver Sluice” copyright Nick Ford. Used by permission.

slow reads > the cassandra pages

Perhaps my Holy Week came earlier in the month, when I was in the cathedral and smaller shrines and churches of Mexico City, astounded by a much more visceral and literal expression of faith and of Christ’s agony: in every one of those churches there is a lifesize, lifelike Christ, beautifully carved and painted, with open eyes that look at you, and wounds that drip with blood: He is Everyman, your son – father – lover – husband  – who was killed, and who now gazes at you with sadness and compassion.

From the cassandra pages.

Good Friday

A slab of cloud hisses on dawn’s gas stove. Across the vale and atop the steeple, an ornate, Latin electric chair glints.

All in white, the candidate knelt before the gallows, awaiting the bishop’s hands. Around her neck, a sterling noose, her godparents’ gift.

The megachurch tore out its cup holders and cushioned seats and installed 1,300 electric chairs. The service was amped that Sunday.

Our parish is low church. When we genuflect before the gibbet, we choke ourselves with just one hand.

“For the word of the firing squad is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the caliber of God.” [SRV]

“If any will come after me, let him deny himself, shoot up his lethal injection, and follow me.” [SRV]


“Trill” are my Twitters. Tweet suites from @slowreads.

Photo copyright Randen L. Pederson. Used by permission.

slow reads: from thus

In song words unfurl and with them meaning unspools like a dropped bobbin, rolling away to echo ping against the floor. And still the single voice holds tenuous but holds. Flicker. Shadows: tenebrae. This is love. This is not love.

From thus.

mole: And Also Much Cattle

I am thinking about my long betrayal of beauty, and wondering if I can ever reach forgiveness. I have spent a lifetime in Tarshish; I have friends and family there; the call has faded to the faint twittering of birds; and as long as I carefully avoid crossing water, I should make it to the end of my days.

From mole.

Nagano now


Bethany’s fall semester ended in late January, and her spring semester begins in early April. She’s been traveling around Japan in the two-month interim, staying in hostels and meeting up with friends.

Now she’s working on an organic farm in Nagano, which a lot of us older Westerners may remember as the home of the 1998 winter Olympics. She’s neither farming nor skiing, though. She’s earning her room and board by doing odd chores and helping her host with her seamstress business. Bethany loves crafts, so it’s a good match that way.

She finally has Internet again, and we caught up with her last night on Skype. She seemed happy. She wears a hat indoors because her hosts keep the thermostat low in the winter. (It’s as if my side had won that eternal domestic argument. When Victoria first walked into my life, I was at my stove in an overcoat. Since then, some changes have been effected.)

Bethany looks forward to returning to her life and school in Tokyo, though. She’s arriving five days earlier than she had originally planned, and she has already booked a hotel room.

You know what she misses, even longs for, even in Tokyo? Couches. Areas on or near campus where one can lounge. I guess it’s not part of the Japanese college mindset. Sophia University has about two sofas, Bethany reports. It’s funny what you find yourself longing for when you go away for a long time.

The seamstress and her husband’s Kindergarten-aged son had a stomach bug recently, so lots of the household’s conversation involved excretion. Bethany helpfully made the child a poster showing how such conversations may transpire in English. It went over well.


A transcript of the portion shown above:

“Did you poop?”

The child doesn’t say anything.

“She peed. She is just being shy.”


And yeah. I’m the guy in the corner with the nose.