29 July 2011

Coffee Cup Browsing

Oops, indeed.  That Conservative Republican Presbyterian terrorist-wannabe they arrested yesterday has ties to several lefty anti-war groups.  So, if being a "right-wing Christian" causes one to turn to mass murder, then does being a lefty anti-war activist cause one to turn to treason and terrorism?

Soon-to-be GOP presidential candidate, Rick Perry says that abortion is a states' rights issue.  No, governor, it's a human rights issue.  Without the right to life, no other human right matters.

Hollywood has run out of ideas. . .they're making the board game, Battleship into a movie.  Will I go see it?  Aliens?  Check.  Explosions?  Check.  Exploding aliens?  Check.  You betcha!

Best First Sentence of an Essay Evah!  "It is a truth universally acknowledged that it is only a short road that leads from grammatical laxity to cannibalism."

The Curt Jester speculates on the nature of purgatory for Catholic bloggers.  There's a bone-chilling possibility for Yours Truly.  Shudder.

Yes, we do.

This cartoon says just about everything that needs to be said about The Won.

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28 July 2011

Coffee Cup Browsing (Late Edition)

FLASH!  Conservative Republican Presbyterian solider arrested for plotting a terror attack on Ft. Hood.  He had a copy of the Westminster Confession and Ann Coulter's latest book in his trunk.

Is the Norway Nazi a "fundamentalist Christian"?   In his own manifesto he says that he is NOT a practicing Christian.

Lefty theologian uses the Norway massacre as an opportunity to score points against her ideological enemies.  Shameful. . .and predictable.

Oh, if only women and married people could be Buddhist monks!  Wait. . .

Another dogmatic plank in the Church of Global Warming's mythology goes bust.  Anyone still believe that AGW isn't an elitist power-grab?

No. 3 Dem in Congress says that school desegregation was accomplished by executive order.  Um, I believe the Supreme Court ordered that.  History has never been a politicians' best friend.

Someone bit down too hard on Sr. Mary Dominic of the Five Wounds of Christ's communion host, but Melvin loves sister's hosts (unconsecrated, of course).

Cheeky neighbors and their guns

Cute pic of the day

Here's the feline version of me at 2.00pm when I'm in Rome. . .


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What does one do in a poetry workshop? (Updated)

A couple of HancAquam readers have written to ask what does one do in a creative writing workshop. Well, we spend most of our time reading and critiquing student poems. When we aren't doing that, we read and critique published poems. In this summer's workshop, we are focusing on contemporary poetry published in the U.S. and the U.K. We spend one day a week writing in class using exercise I've cobbled together. Here are a few examples:

Epigraph Exercise

Choose one of the quotations below as your epigraph:

“What do you love better: the ruin or its repair?” – Eric Pankey, “Prayer”

“Repetition is the death of art.” – Robin Green

“Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks.” – Plutarch

“Earth, is it not this that you want: to rise/invisibly in us? – Is that not your dream,/to be invisible, one day?” – R.M. Rilke, “Ninth Elegy”
“The woman wants a salad.” --Ange Mlinko, “A Few Leaves of Salted Rocket”

Compose a twelve-line free verse poem that argues against the idea/sentiment presented in the epigraph.

No form of “to be” may be used.

You must include the phrases: “ducks and oranges” and “beats me” in the poem.

Each line MUST be exactly eight syllables.

Junk Drawer Exercise

You are looking for a rubber band.

In your kitchen junk drawer you find the following:

a can opener
a box of staples
a screwdriver
several broken pencils & dried pens
a watch w/o a wrist band
two used tubes of Chapstick
a handful of coins
a bottle of baby aspirin
two Christmas cards from 1983
a plastic spoon
several packets of soy sauce
a couple of crumpled receipts from WalMart
a seed catalog
five keys on New Orleans Saints keyring
a pocket-sized bottle of bug spray

Choose nine of these items and compose a free verse poem consisting of seven couplets.

You need the rubber band to save your life.

Not-guilty Confession Exercise

In a prose poem of no fewer than 75 words, confess to a crime you did not commit. You may not mention your innocence; however, it must be clear that you are innocent.

Give specific details of the crime—details that only the criminal would know.

Include the penalty for the crime and how you intend to deal with it.

You are confessing to your “victim” or the victim's family/friends.

Missing Persons Exercise

Media sources all over the world are reporting that individuals seem to be randomly disappearing.

Not only are these people disappearing physically but memories of them are fading as well.

Choose five of these people and compose a twenty-line elegy for them.

Include enough detail to distinguish them from all the other individuals who have disappeared.

Questions in Heaven Exercise

After a long and happy life as an award-winning poet, you die in your sleep and arrive at the Pearly Gates.

St. Peter greets you with the following request, “You've lived a long and happy life as an award-winning poet. The Angelic Host needs your help. The questionnaire we use for admission into Heaven has become a bit outdated. Would you compose a list of questions for us that tests a soul's grasp of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty?”

St. Peter needs no fewer than eight questions that never mention Truth, Goodness, or Beauty nor do they hint at their true purpose.

The questions may not refer in any way to religious/spiritual concepts or use language that might betray their religious/spiritual nature.

The idea is to ask recently separated souls questions that only indirectly test their humanity.

Antique Store Exercise

While on a road trip to __________ you come across an antique store called Noah's Next Ark.

You stop for a bathroom break and decide to explore the store.

Compose a longish (20+ lines) poem about what you find in the store.

While exploring the store, you discover that you have been killed in an auto accident.

What do the things in the store teach you about the nature of chance?

NB.  My students did not like this last exercise at all.  They said it sounded like the plot of a cheesy movie!

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25 July 2011

Albertus, Aristotle,Thomas, Immanuel in one Poem!

Theories of the Soul

By Karen An-hwei Lee
 A true friend is one soul in two bodies. 
Kant says, transcendental
 idealism. In Aquinas,

we exist apart from bodies
    but only on Thursdays

when his famous ox
    flies by the window

wiser at Cologne
    where Albertus Magnus,

his real name, appoints
    Aquinas to magister studentium,

master of students. Aquinas
    is petrified but says yes [. . .]
Click here for the rest of the poem!

24 July 2011

Coffee Cup Browsing

The number one killer of black Americans?  Planned Parenthood.

Outrage in the Media!!!  Catholic bishops call on media to give less airtime to Catholic heretics/dissidents.  Well, there would be media outrage about this story if it were about Catholic bishops. 

Lesbian couple sues B&B for refusing them a "wedding" reception.  Well, why not?  SSM is really all about persecuting/prosecuting Christian dissent from the LGBT(XYZ) political agenda.  NB.  the B&B owners are "devout Catholics."

Oakland parish rebels against their new pastor and bishop. . .apparently, the previous pastor was something of a Great Progressive Leader who turned the parish into a personality cult.

Archbishop Chaput:  "In the years ahead, we’re going to see more and more attempts by civil authority to interfere in the life of believing communities."

Pray for the people of Norway. . .

A handy history of the political terms "Left" and "Right."  The US Left is trying to tell us that the whacko in Norway is "a right-wing conservative" or "a fundamentalist Christian."  In fact, he's a nationalist, a Nazi. 

Norway's strict gun control laws didn't help matters:  ". . .the killer had the only gun on the island."
Thus demonstrating that when guns are outlawed, only outlaws have guns.

11 y.o.'s answer some questions about science. . .

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