Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Life as Linus van Pelt

I dreamed I saw St. Augustine,
Alive as you or me,
Tearing through these quarters
In the utmost misery,
With a blanket underneath his arm
And a coat of solid gold,
Searching for the very souls
Whom already have been sold.

"Arise, arise," he cried so loud,
In a voice without restraint,
"Come out, ye gifted kings and queens
And hear my sad complaint.
No martyr is among ye now
Whom you can call your own,
So go on your way accordingly
But know you're not alone."

The romantic always hears more than the band is playing, and maybe it's just as well, since Dylan's lyrics are so close to the original melody line by Joan Baez's "Joe Hill" that it's almost the same song, though with an opposite meaning to that of Joe Hill the dead union organizer.
But Dylan's St. Augustine tells you something else, and when heard for the first time, knocks you right off your horse.

St. Augustine, the once- randy Bishop, trying to get it all together precisely at the time Rome fell once and for good. And to what avail now is your repentance, your newfound piety when the Huns have crossed the gates and the See of Rome is no more.

Another Dylan line:

All and all can only fall
With a crushing but meaningless blow...

Or more prosaically:
Fucked again.
A Christiian without epistle or pistol
steamrolled by another more ancient code to life, the code of plants and animals, the code of men and women.
And with men and women it is more structured, borne out of, easily, 20,000 years of living.

So call out, call out for St. Augustine, Bob Dylan, John Updike, to all of us, our souls already sold, blanket on one arm, thumb in mouth,like Linus, and yet still somehow faithful..



Midnight said...

Dear Professor, you truly astound;
I've been thinking of something to say, for about eight hours now, on and off. And now with your recently added Iggy photo, your brilliance still leaves me speechless.

Apparently, I am not alone.
The good news is, if you continue to stump our brains, you can always finally resort to a caption contest.

Sometimes, you are so over your heads. Or maybe it's just mine. And you know that I'm, never afraid of saying something stupid. Or course, I wouldn't have this problem if I was seriously drinking, and stuff. :)

And, I wouldn't be arrogant enough to wear a hard hat, on the rare chance that your meteoric flash would be a near miss.

A hat tip, to you Sir, nevertheless. :)

Midnight said...

I sometimes wonder

If time stands, still

the walking man said...

Ivan...the people are believing the bullshit that things are getting better and the new St. Augustine is being promoted by the media.

Shit! As soon as we pop our heads up to look at who is calling the Huns will come a sailing down the mountain with horse and sword and lop them off.

There are still yet souls not quite purchased but soon enough there will be another round of soul selling going on.

ivan said...




No pun intended, I think the Presiden has soul. And thank God for it. And God bless America.

ivan said...


You will be, I think, pleased to know that Midnight (above) is something of a poettaster (much as I am leery of he word).
In ChuckerCanucks Canadian Conservative blog (CHUCKER CANUCK 2.0), he seems to praise you mightily. Under the political thread "Enough of this nonsense The Royal Family is not doing its job", he quotes your poetry at some length along with some things out of my own blog.
I for one, am flattered. And I think it's kind of cool to have your own poetry now read by what may well be some circles of power in Canada. Hey.

Mona said...

I like the analogy; reference to Linus :) Its almost like an allegory!

Midnight said...


You say that again and I'll have to cut your fuckin' tongue out. :)

I simply occasionally share real poetry, with the unsuspecting public, when I find it. This fun stuff would really be much better if I didn't have to run a Kitten sanctuary, and drink for a living.

ivan said...

Kitten sanctuary.

I especially liked the former leader of the New Democrats in Ontario, Howard "Hamster", descibing Liberal leader Dalton McGuinty as a Norman Bates- style of psycho "kitten eater."

Howard, whose real name is Hampton eventually took back the remark but I almost spritzed beer onto my computer when I first read the quote. Mr. McGuinty does uncannily so much like Anthony Perkins, though I am not altogether sure of his diet.

ivan said...



I've been a little off allegory since I tried to plow my way through Spenser's Faery Queene in college.
Hey, I just realized that that is also the name of the world's oldest steam locomotive, still operating out your way. She is named the Fairy Queen and she still huffs and chuffs.
Sort of like I guy my age in San Francisco, I suppose. :)

Erik Donald France said...

YOu had me from lime one, sucked into Dylan's quips and lyrics.

Iggy Pop's version of Rome's sack:

"Because of curiousity
All the Vandals had to see
the golden throat of ancient Rome
and brought the city to its knees"

ivan said...

Erik Donals France.

Some musicologits have an encyclopaedic mind, much as the legendary Robert Johnson was said to have had an encyclopaedic mind for all bjues riffs, including his own....And Keith Richards too, at one time punched in the mouth by Chuck Berry for stealing lick. I notice by your blogs that you might have an encyclopedic mind as well. Heh. Watch out, Google.
But with you it's more than that.I think you might haves something like synchonicity going for you.

As it happens the leader of our Liberal Party here in Canada is named Michael Ignatieff.
Scion of a Russian aristocratic family that setted in Canada, he is a Harvard- prof- turned- politician. People have called him "Iggy" here, a name he hates but it has stuck. So in politics in Canada we have our own Iggy Pop, But we wonder at times if he has the seminal talent possessed, at least by musician Iggy.. We hope, anyway he has the poltical talent, as Canadian Conservatives seem to be kicking the crap out of our Ignatieff (Iggy) here.
By my own synchronicityi, I suppose, I somehow included political Iggy's pic on top of the current blog....I'm not sure how it happened. Maybe our political Iggy, a bona fide intellectual, has Linus-like qualities.
Or maybe even St. Augustine's?
Surely somebody here in Canada has to call out and save us from the Conservatives. I fear the people are dumb and are going to keep re-electing them.
Go Iggy Ignatieff. You don't rock but at least you can carry a liberal tune,small l.

Middle Ditch said...

Thank you for the explanation about Norman Mailer. He sounds interesting and now I will look out for the books.

ivan said...


Thanks. Norman Mailer was important
in his concept of good vs evil, God vs. Evil.
But Mailer was something of a bad boy too. Some say he wrote for sex.
He had been married (I think) about seven times, always to beautiful women.
Egad. I must write more books!