17 September 2008

Poetry and the 700th Post

First, a great poem from today's Writer's Almanac:

"Literature in the 21st Century" by Ronald Wallace

Sometimes I wish I drank coffee
or smoked Marlboros, or maybe cigars—
yes, a hand-rolled Havana cigar
in its thick, manly wrapping,
the flash of the match between
worn matchbook and stained forefinger,
the cup of the palm at the tip,
the intake of air, and the slow and
luxuriant, potent and pleasurable
exhale. Shall we say also a glass
of claret? Or some sherry with its
dark star, the smoke blown into the bowl
of the glass, like fog on portentous
morning, the rich man-smell of gabardine
and wool, of money it its gold clip?

Sometimes I wish I had habits
a man wouldn't kick, faults a good man could
be proud of. I'd be an expatriate from
myself, all ink-pen and paper in a Paris café
where the waiters were elegant and surly,
the women relaxed and extravagant
with their bobbed hair and bonbons, their
perfumed Galoises, their oysters and canapés,
and I'd be writing about war and old losses—
man things-and not where I am, in this
pristine and sensitive vessel, all
fizzy water, reticence, and care, all reduced
fat and purified air, behind my deprived
computer, where I can't manage even
a decaf cap, a mild Tiparillo, a glass of
great-taste-less-filling light beer.

Wonderful, huh? Good stuff.

This is just a quick post to ask for a blog favor. I'll soon be blogging my 700th post, and for that I'd like to answer seven questions, posed by the two or three of you who are still reading this blog. If you've got a question, post it in the comments and I'll answer it in post 700. Any question will do, from my middle name to my favorite candy to my take on The Brothers Karamazov (actually, I've done that last, but you get my drift).

As you were.


  1. skipping over here from Weds fest - ok here goes - where do the names of your daughters come from? (Why did you choose those particular names)

    and congrats on the 700th post milestone

  2. I came over from the Wednesday Festival. I am a Big 12 alumn and enjoy the sports but here is my question: Please explain Huskermania?

  3. I am tempting to ask my favorite James Lipton question: "What is your favorite swear word?" But I should probably create an original one. So...what 3 books have been most important in your life?

    (Feel free to go with the Lipton option if you prefer.)

  4. Aargh. TemptED. Typing too fast.

  5. Your lovely wife17 September, 2008 22:18

    I've got one for you hun. What makes your heart smile these days? Of course I would LOVE to be one of those things, but that's a given (right??).
    Congrads on your 700th post. What a great incite reading this has been for ME into your heart, mind and spirit.

  6. If you weren't a Pastor what could you imagine that your occupation/calling might otherwise be? And congratulations on the 700th post. A faithful reader from Minnesota

  7. I could ask all sorts of things from your old college days. Think "socks" or "on-time for band rehearsal" and we will not go any further.

    On a more serious note, something I was going to ask you about is, how did you decide to go into campus ministry? You have mentioned several times that you are enjoying this assignment. I always had you pegged as one who would want to work with high school youth, so this is a bit older of a crowd than I thought you would enjoy. Thanks to Him, I think you are exactly where you ought to be.

    Another couple of questions: Did you ever think you would find true happiness in Iowa, of all places? After all of the bad things we said about those Iowa football and basketball teams, do you find your allegiance strained a bit?

    Talk with you soon, my friend. Keep up the good work!

  8. neparis - I could add a couple more questions from a few years before you had the "pleasure" of being the roomie, but I'll hold back as well.

    So, a somewhat more serious question: How do you approach your role as developing future leaders of the church (and I'm not talking about the ones with M-Div's)?