Saturday, December 30, 2006

holy, holy, holy

There's something fresh going on in my (sad, frail) Christian heart, and it looks like it's part of a collective sweep. I was reading the intro to "The Dust Off Their Feet" a retelling of Acts by Brian McLaren (I love it!), and picking up those buzz concepts: relevance, truth presented to appeal to the entire person (including sensory -- art, music) ... When opponents name this (movement?), we'll see all it's components in a nutshell, with a conclusion, probably, about selling out (selling out what?) to appeal to the worldly, or everyone jumping on a bandwagon.
The funny thing, though, is that I unknowingly climbed on the bandwagon a few years ago when I started longing for Real Truth in a (feeble, frantic) quest for holiness. I want the non-negotiables in Scripture that transcend, and translate to all cultures.
I'm too afraid to get close enough to a holy God to put words in His mouth right now. To say, "This is how God wants you to dress. This is the music God wants you to listen to ..." Look like this, say this, do that. I will say, "Don't get drunk. Don't steal. Be modest. Love, love, help, serve ..."
So, this truth-quest is the search for "relevance?" I'm already sure it's relevant, and not so much wondering "What's in it for me?" I wanted meaning, for me. Pondering all this, I'm both joyed and terrified that God's not compressed into Exactly What I Thought He Was, that He's untamed, that He's allowed to have mysteries, is in control of everything (sovereign), is author of my life and the world's life, and it's all good. Release and surrender. Relief. (Which is why I love a Reformed church for the chance to just lift the hands of my heart and say: "It's all You. Your blood has washed away my sin, Jesus, thank you.") Ponder God = truth/meaning = awe = joy/fear.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Acts Now

A friend the other day commented on how men, in general, seem to be abdicating leadership when it comes to women, family, etc. Maybe guys see women's independence as a convenient excuse to fade into a more comfortable background, I don't know. (Really, I don't know what guy enjoys confrontation on an emotional plane where women stand, a lot of times, hand-on-holster.)
But a thought occurred to me, in relation, concerning Christian singleness. I wonder if we're waiting for the Magic Spouse in order to find real support and fellowship. And blaming guys (or girls) because we're ... missing a mysterious spiritual component. What is it? Is it support? Maybe not. We're comfortable, except for this one lack of security: someone to care, know me, offer insight, support. Otherwise, I'm comfortable. So, all I'm really waiting for is Magic Spouse.
Which came out snarkier than I intended. It's just that, it's not all about comfort, right? Think about Truth and how, if you really meditate on it, Meaning soaks through your mental membranes. Then comes awe = joy + fear. Not comfortable. Almost unbearable, but God's joy = strength. And you want more, more, more ...
Desiring God, I experience joy (thank you, John Piper, for putting it into words), and I chase Him via the "Way" (thank you, Lao Tzu and your brother-mystics for suggesting a "best way"). The Way, as I mean it, of "forget me, love God and others." Which is absurdly un-safe, in a world whose most-every fiber shouts: "forget you." (Or worse.)
I want to -- intentionally -- give God my little loaves/fishes of obedience and -- expectantly -- watch Him multiply it. Which = joy. And I need brothers/sisters to 1. want that too, 2. team-up and get to know me, bear burdens, share insights.
Embarassing, obvious simplicities. But I haven't experienced this much. And not for a long time. And in the meantime, I've been eaten alive by discouragement. While I've smiled and eaten potluck.
"Join a team! Join a ministry. Become a missionary, and head to China." Those are great ideas, for real. But I have a mission field already, and a Christian organization doesn't guarantee heartfelt brother/sisters.
I don't want a para-military prayer group, a curriculum-spurred Bible study, matching T-shirts, communal living, just serious, lets-get-busy, here-we-go heartfelt teaming-up to care and serve.
"Join a care group! Meet with an older woman!" I will. This is just a Wed. afternoon blog-servation -- and prayer request. Less a want ad than the little ads Catholics sometimes take out in the back of newspapers: cryptic "thank you's" to God.
I want to live Acts now, even single. I absolutely cannot wait.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Let your Swallow loose, to eat the swarming termites of my mind.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Freak of Gravity

I visited a great Methodist ministry this past week, prompting me to ponder how service harmonizes with my now, Reformed-ward longings: "It's all for God, by God. (Praise God!)" Where does that leave me?
If salvation, on our part, (faith), is a "non-work" -- "I accept/submit to/want/need/am engulfed by Your grace" -- maybe our service is really a series of "non-works." (Don't blame BJU's faculty for this idea. I think it was more Taoism-inspired: wu wei, "doing" by not doing ...)
Not so much living Christ via these verbs: "Storm! Besiege, infiltrate, persist, break down, demolish!" But these: "Gravitate, enjoy, share, explain, love, help, serve, whisper, wait, wait, listen, walk-beside, hold, weep, willing and want." Kind of sounds mamby-pamby, but all that with a definite intent, expectancy, firm truth-grip and Godward-ness.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Engine Light

Blink. Volkswagen on
the blink. Keep me safe, little
light, and keep me poor.

Friday, November 17, 2006

All Quiet

Now that everyone has forgotten my blog (except for Nicholas), I will begin to write again. My shoes climp clomp across the old stage, dust angels levitate in the solitary light.
All quiet.
A tentative: "At first I was afraid, I was petrified ..."
No muffled twitters.
"I felt I could never live without you, by my side ..." (Continue full-fledged singing of 70s liberation anthem, complete with dancing!) I think blogging's like the difference of singing in your car and getting out, and singing on the sidewalk in front of your house. A neighbor might be listening, but he's more likely to be watching The Office or Dr. Phil. But still, there's that 1% chance that someone, somewhere, is paying attention.

Friday, October 27, 2006


fearless passion is theater.
fearful passion is poetry. (or ferocity.)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Evora Tangeline

Mi abuela was a pistolera. A hired gun. Unheard of, for her day, when the only acceptable professions for women were wife, school teacher or saloon can-can dancer. They had not yet won liberation enough to be stage-coach drivers, cowhands or bartenders.
Mi abuela, though, was not seeking fame or glory, though both haunted her through her short, tragic life. Haunted her with shame.
She grew up the only child of a blind farmer, maimed at the Alamo. Maimed by the Alamo, a bit of exploding brick struck his handsome visiage. Now marred, mi abuela's mother left him, and left mi abuela to shoot the jack rabbits who sought solace from the scorching sun in the grasses twisted hard as wicker. The droughts were terrible, as was the shooting. Her father wiped away the tears he knew, without seeing, streaked his child's silent face. It was appropriate, he said, to kill to eat. To kill for independence, even. She was not convinced.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sad Haiku Say So Much


you were shallow dirt.
dandilion-wand me blew
where I don't know where.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Enclosed is a Random Thought

I like to capitalize otherwise unassuming words and make them into Concepts. Today, walking up to the library, revelling in my Pedestrianism, it occurred to me that at least three generations of my family have been Enclosed. Well, maybe not the generation right before me who've mostly been moms, teachers, postmen and misc., but my 75-year-old dad was, for years and years, a manager-type in a state office (Enclosed in an office) and my grandma/pa worked in a mill. Which, for all its bustle, is still ... Enclosed. Before that (I could not predict what I was getting into, when I first opened that book of Wendell Berry essays ...) they were all out in the fields.
So, was newspaper reporting Enclosed? Half immersion in a conceptual world, and half "normal" interaction in a social, and if you count actually walking around and seeing stuff happen, in a physical way. Hm. Is being a barrista Enclosed? Mostly, no, though I work in a basement.

Friday, September 01, 2006

My Locust Mind

Yes, I do have the brain of a locust, but I'm actually referring to the miracle that I've actually read this summer. My brain's gobbling up words, locust-like. (It usually leaves a snail-trail across a new book every two to three months.)
I'm going to list them, for your amazement and my own:
This Book Will Save Your Life
The Life of Pi
Ten Big Ones, Janet Evanovich
The Enormous Room, ee cummings
Sailing Alone Around the Room, Billy Collins
Stargirl, Jerry Spinelli
On the Road, Jack Kerouac
Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, E. Fitzgerald
Falling Up, Shel Silverstein
Scarlet Feather, Maeve Binchy
The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger
The Irresistable Revolution, Shane Claiborne
Everyone Worth Knowing, Lauren Weisberger
Adverbs, Daniel Handler
Driving Mr. Albert, Michael Paterniti

Sunday, August 06, 2006

On the Road

It's my annual visit-the-nephews tour of NJ/Pa. And, since I just finished On the Road by Jack K., I'll write a stream-of-consciousness travelogue.
I-95 rolls blue! But my eyes rise to the orange side of a U-Haul falling away beside. Someone's peeled off a letter, and "self moving" is "elf moving."
Now, a pickup sports magnetic catfish and a bumper sticker for a diner that serves a "trash plate." It swallows me at Exit 14, East Bessemer City, 11:48 a.m. The Fray bewails, "Over My Head," on the radio.
A mud-flapless truck chucks a tiny, five-pointed star into my windshield, 12:03. Shoot.
A billboard: "After 10,000 tries, there was light," with a portrait of Thomas Edison. The radio: "No one can take away your right to fight, and to never surrender."
I think of: selling my car to become a hard-core pedestrian, guys, rolling the coffee shuttle on a hand truck, guys, how to capture my co-workers in words, men, the details that really "tell," God and grace, why I always forget my cell-phone charger, guys, what I -should- have said.
This song! "Ooo, drivin' my life away ..." Country's great for road trips bcs the songs tell stories, but the Open Road genre is dangerous for a woman steeling to give up cars. A Volvo wagon's bumper sticker: "Military solutions are problems."
2:54: Live's "Lightning Crashes." Must sing along. Loudly. Following a flatbed of compressed-wood 4X4s, Virginia plates, into Vance Co. (Home of Kerr Lake.)
4:37, Richmond. The elevated highways to this pale spread are disconnected from earth. A pale haze. 104 degrees. Electric dynamos. Phillip Morris' corporate HQ with its huge, cigarette-silloutte sign emblazoned with brand names. Staind on the radio. All paleness and powerlines except for a sudden, antique, red-brick church, and a beatnik billboard for "Departing Bike Works."
Pretty Harley to my left. The pickup's driver to my right glances over, in interest. Bumper sticker in the window by his ear, "Watch for motorcycles, Virginia!"
Descent into Washington, 6:07 p.m. Traffic stops. On the shoulder, one black rubber galosh. Then, a whole McDonald's cheeseburger, nestled on its wrapper, three feet from my car door.
Israel's turmoil updated on NPR. The big rectangle of a white Ford Explorer, Maryland plates, 284M505.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Enormous Room

ee cummings' memoir about his imprisonment in a French prison during WWI for suspected espionage. (He and a friend were volunteer ambulance drivers.)

This is what happens when poets write books! Poets, the most painterly writers. Mr. Pound's Impressionist "petals on a wet, black bough." Billy Collins' fine, dark brush, "The moth has flown from its line and moves like a hinge in the air above our bed."

He SAW the details, in the scruffy cell-mates, to paint them, excrutiatingly, as the most wrenching creature known to man: Man. Which is the most ... True. And True is exactly what knocks us on our butts, artistically. And that's what he really wanted to do -- France misplaced these lifes and forgot them.

What a writer! A portrait-painter. It's a phalanx of paradoxes: bright, bitter, satirical, beautiful. A story about justice, the value of a life, etc. But to me, personally, it's also about Art. (Which I'm always trying to define, just like the Tao. "Which I think is ..." Shhh, Earth inturrupts. "No, really, I think it's ..." Fingers of wind against my lips.)

I'm so fascinated by the HUGE FEELING involved in creating. Like, what is it? I will venture an audacious suspicion that ee cummings ... loved Life. That he searched Life's face (like a lover! Oh, the drama!), for these intimate details, in the faces of Fritz, Haree, Bill the Hollander, B., the Cook, etc. A deep Appreciation (of these flea-bitten, greasy-soup-swilling "Delectable Mountains"). Passion! Being consumed. Outrage. Love.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Doesn't Rhyme, but May Resonate

I wonder if I'm due
to suffer this way
until I find the words
to capture it
more exactly, piercingly,
than anyone ever
So, I'll wait and wait
and write
and write.

Friday, July 14, 2006

I Was Stalked by Superman

By Lois Lane

I've been on the downside of a plummeting Eiffle-Tower elevator. My grip has slipped from steel siding, sending me spinning down from a skyscraper. I've been held captive, countless times, by mad genius Lex Luthor. But I've never felt terror, as a woman, as I have as the victim of a stalker.
I'm a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist, conditioned not to feel fear, so it's a bitter pill to write this. But if my story can help someone else, I'll tell it.
In all those tight spots, the Paris plummet, the skyscraper skydive, the Lex captivities, Superman was there. Good thing. But also a bad thing.
His bold, erstwhile glances at me after a rescue, as I bobbed about in the crowd, pen and pad in hand, soon turned sinister. I could almost feel his piercing vision, oogling my very heart, organs.
"It'll never work, Superman," I told him, brusquely, several times.
Just that smile, in return. That haunting, haunting smile. He'd be back. Always. Trailing me through the skies, watching through the walls, even circling the Earth at beyond-sonic speed to get his way.
I toyed with the idea it was all my fault. I'm a hard-charging, beautiful, charasmatic player on the journalistic world stage. Then, there was that fling of a marriage, Niagra Falls. Blame it on the borealis, the soundtrack, the occassional kiss.
But when I say, "It'll never work, Superman," it means, "it'll never work."
And then it happened.
Only through therapy can I talk about it, to help free myself from the pain.
Last Tuesday, while on the roof of the Daily Planet for a casual smoke, Superman abducted me, high into the skies.
"Wha? Wha?" I stammered, but it was too late. During a tense conversation, he'd elevated us both into the air. The setting sun flickered on his grin as we buzzed my lakeside home. He knew where I lived. He even glanced toward the kitchen, where I, my new boyfriend, and small son cook nutritious meals together.
High above the planet, he told me he heard voices.
I am Lois Lane, but I no longer mistakenly feel like I can handle this by myself.
Support groups. Super-proof locks on doors and windows. A restraining order. Patrols by Metropolis cops. A thin shard of Kryptonite concealed in my boot.
Get help, Superman. You need it as much as I do. I say it because I really do care, even though, as far as "we" go, "It'd never work. It just wouldn't work."

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Art For the Hilareous Joy of It

Pirates of the Carribean! I'm back to the arguement (art-gument) that Art is simply power.
With the Godfather, the fierce love of family/ legacy/ power v. right was a dark, mental ferment throughout. A given. And I yearned along with the little guy in Rocky. (A masterpiece). But ... have you ever looked at a barnacle, the pilings under a dock, roiling water, and felt this dark, gothic, mysterious pleasure? Yes. The ickiness of the sea! The overwhelming, frightening, awesome ickiness of the sea. I felt it deeply yesterday afternoon at the manitee (oops! matinee), and that's why I loved this movie. (A squid beard!!). And I will defend it to the end, wisps of hair escaping my tri-cornered cap, smouldering eyes fixed, saber ready.

Then, there's Dragonforce. In a nutshell: heavy metal about ... surviving/overcoming in a land ruled by dragons. I have no idea how serious they are about the dragons, but the music is very, very serious. I'm no speed metal afficionado, by any stretch, but whatever else, this is absolutely art.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

I Hang it, Withering, On the Porch Light

South Carolina
pin oaks drop mistletoe in
July thunderstorms

My disposition,
a hopeful flag, though poisonous,
of green stuff woven

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Importance of Being Ernest (Hemingway)


An Adaptation by Evora Tangeline
(With Aplogies to E. Hemingway and O. Wilde)
(And special thanks to M. Labar, who did grad work on Gertrude Stein.)

LADY BRACKNELL: She is a woman of ample proportions, the ultimate in a dowager of literary society. Lady Bracknell never lacks for words, and she makes every word count, savoring each one down to the last syllable. She dresses in frumpy black shirts and gowns.


SCENE: The scene is a steamy Mexican terrace. It is a bright, cheery porch.

MISS PRISM: I was told you expected me in the vestry, dear Canon. I have been waiting for you there for an hour and three quarters.

LADY BRACKNELL: (sitting on a sofa, surrounded by paintings by Picasso). Prism!

MISS PRISM: (bowing her head in shame). Lady Bracknell!

LADY BRACKNELL: Come here Prism! (Prism approaches her in a humble manner.) Prism! Where is the baby? The baby in your charge. In the perambulator, the perambulator with the wheels that go round and round. The wheels that go round and round in the perambulator in which sat the baby, the baby in the perambulator.

MISS PRISM: (falteringly). I admit with shame that I do not know. I only wish I did. In a moment of mental abstraction, I deposited the manuscript in the bassinet and placed the baby in the handbag.

CHASUBLE. What do you think this means, Lady Bracknell?

LADY BRACKNELL: I dare not even suspect, Dr. Chasuble. A monster puzzle, a heavy choking, a neglected Tuesday.

CECILY: (glancing toward a sudden sound). Uncle Jack seems strangely agitated.

CHASUBLE: Can't hold his emotions.

LADY BRACKNELL: A sound. (The clicking of castinets are heard overhead again. Everybody looks upwards.) Elephant beaten with candy and little pops and chews all bolts and reckless reckless rats, this is this. (The noises stop.)

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


New basement flat. She
has two floors? One gray Siamese
in seven windows.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Importance of Being Ernest (Hemingway)

(With apologies to E. Hemingway and Oscar Wilde.)


SCENE: The scene is the sitting room of Algy's flat in Tijuana. The room is tastefully and somewhat artistically furnished. Two elephant guns form an archway UR, leads to the outer hall ... Rugs, several good paintings and the usual bric-a-brac, including a few trophies, leopards' heads, complete the setting.

AT RISE OF CURTAIN: Just before the curtain rises, grunting and the sound of punches into a bag are heard. When the curtain rises, LANE is arranging afternoon tea on the table C. After a few moments, the boxing stops and Algy saunters in.

ALGY (crossing LC) Punch me, Lane.
LANE (not pausing) It's not polite.
ALGY (shrugging) Did you cut the Cuban cigars for Lady Bracknell?
ALGY Did you drink eight quarts of my Tequila Wednesday?
LANE A pint, too.
ALGY The help always drink my hooch.
LANE Bachelors have it good.
ALGY Marriage is bad.
LANE I was married once.
ALGY I don't care.
LANE Me neither.

(Castenets click off L, afternoon light casts entire stage in red glow, a flamenco dancer trills his R's.)

(Lane enters UR and passes upstage of entrance.)
LANE (announcing) Mr. Ernest Worthing
ALGY Hello, Ernest.
JACK Hello.
ALGY Where have you been?
JACK Africa.
ALGY Well. Oh, why?
JACK Hunting.
ALGY What?
JACK Oh, tigers, tigers!
ALGY Are there any tigers in Tijuana?
JACK None that I can shoot. Why the whiskey, cigars? Is company coming?
ALGY Aunt Augusta and Gwendoline.
Jack Good.

(Lions roar in distance off L.)

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fragile and Precious Things ...

... need special handling. My Own Mattress aback a Ford pickup through downtown, River and Broad streets, ... naked as Lady Godiva!
Waking up on the sofa in a strange room, headlights bob through new curtains like willow th' wisps. To follow them out would be folly. We signed a year's lease.
The creak of unseen feet. A stranger lives upstairs.
But she has glorious tattoos and a hippie skirt, custody of an old roommate's elderly cat, a garden gnome and an electric organ (we can hear through the floor). She also offered pity for all the Stuff she saw through a window, jammed into the front room. "Yea." Sigh. Hey -- at least it's inside. We're moving it around like one of those sliding-tile games. (But with two empty squares, where our beds are.)
Off we go in search of dusty purple paint for the bathroom. Bachelorettes with a poster of the Raconteurs in the living room.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Extra! Extra!

Newsflashes! (With apologies to The Onion.)

Local man shaves head, gets tattoo, becomes big teddy bear. (Before photo: distruntled middle-aged man, comb-over, polo shirt. After: goofy grin.)

Local woman believes this the best Pop-Tart she's ever eaten. (Photo: a Pop-Tart.)

Taxi-driving baritone has just the sound U2 missing in "One." ("I know Bono will overhear me one day, singing my amazing harmony," said Patrick Walsh, 45, alone in his cab.)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Monsters with Beaks

Do art-people and blogs mix? I'm tempted (dangerously) to prance about in my emotional knickers here (a tendency for most art-types?) I hope this morning session before the crackling fire (gas logs at the Atlanta Bread Company) will be just a nice, "Something I learned."

Big emotion! Passion! Conviction! I think it can werewolf us (me), in a moment, into a monster. The good news: I have something to say! And if I feel strongly, maybe I can present it compellingly. The bad news: monsters are scary.
So ... is it war? (Proverbs: Don't learn the Angry Way.) Ironically, The Art of War is about efficiency (simplicity), effectiveness (doing it well), not about ... racing around willy-willy, battle hatchet waving.
Is it frustration? Maybe. I want to say what I mean! Clearly (from my mind) and compellingly (from my heart). I'd like to -be- more true (and less afraid of what you'll think).
Is it impatience? With myself, with others ... but God says: live it, then say it and mean it. -He- changes hearts. He is changing my heart.
Outside: patience. Kindness. Inside: the Monster.
So ... I want God to leach away the frustration, impatience and/or war. I want the "monster's" beak to hold an olive branch. (I Googled "monsters with beaks" and found only pterodactyls, giant squid and griffins, so I'm going with the latter. Though I think moths have tiny beaks, so maybe Moth-Ra would have a giant beak and also qualify.)
Couldn't Big Emotion! Passion! Conviction! Be ... majestic?
Alice (in Wonderland) was quite cool with her hulking griffin. "What fun!"

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Shades for Spring

Welcome to Evangeline's Mary Kay Website

I have many new colors and textures for Spring. Opal No. 32 to coat your lids like the smear of a moth's wing. Black Cherry for lips, which say to each other, "Fool. He still will not crave you." A spectrum of Sable, Steely, Slate and Charcoal liner for lashes and lips.

New this year: Ivory No. 100 to dust the moist cobwebs Age weaves in the corners of eyes, mouth. Cobs, the unseen spiders. Legs pricking the harpsichord's brittle gavotte, composed for youths, long dead. Now, channel their spark!

Thirty shades of pink for lips, to brighten the height (and heartbreak) of beauty, "to die," even as it to perfection grows.

Bronze, Indigo and Violet make you the envy of faded beauty.

Sage No. 45 rims eyes, "green and dying," though you sing in your chains like the sea.

Come to my party!
7 p.m., June 2, 305 North Poppy Ct.

Or visit me before school, Mr. Craven's homeroom, Room 201, or in the hallway. I am the girl who looks like Poe.

Edwin Arlington Robinson
Gothic Archies
Chimeras, Scylla and Nymphs
Mary Kay International
Tales of Tangeline

Saturday, April 15, 2006


We went to see the scouts! On Wednesday night, from between my raised, weightless feet, News 7 reported there'd be 25 scouts at Wren High to watch an outfielder named Jason, the nation's third best.
Irrisistible whimsy.
We skirted Mom at the gate, slipped through the chain links, past a portable pig roaster and a tailgate full of dads. We wouldn't be there long.
The moon sharpened into focus. Cool April crawled up under T-shirts. Teens made bee-lines to no discernable destinations, and mom-talk roiled from the depths of lawn chairs -- but all eyes were on the ball. And their louder Voice called out: "Jason!"
Twenty-five scouts. My roommate and I panned faces. We saw them! But didn't know them. (Duh!)
A khaki-clad clique grinned by the fence. Maybe just Wren's business dads, home from Greenville or Atlanta in time for the game. What about that woman, especially attentive, with the pink-sunglasses tiara?
A lean man, not three feet away, coiled in repose, brim down around his eyes. He watched, too. Waited for the signal -- Potential! Possibility! -- of something rare in the guy winging baseballs in from the outfield.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Ah ha! But there's really nothing here about creamed eggs. It was just a trick.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

I tentatively step forth into the great void that is the Internet. Millions upon millions upon millions all happening upon this post because they've happlessly googled: "creamed eggs."