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CHRISTMAS 2020

God writing the Bible
As told to Nebbish the first Phoenician

God was sure he had a book in him. He wanted advice, in moments of self doubt he felt like an imposter, and needed reassurance and some help with his selling um spelling  and grammar.  They were very new.

God:                    Hey Nebbish, come sit down awhile.

Nebbish:          Why call me nebbish, you hardly know me. I’ve disappointed you?

God:   Nah no idea even, where the name came from, to me you look like a nebbish, so I call you nebbish. I am the name caller and the decider. You worry too much.

Nebbish sighs, sits on a rock next to God.

God:          That’s it, take the weight of those those….feet, the feet.
Have you heard the one about when the feet smell and the nose runs you’ve got a problem?

God : (Jumps up and does the kids song about karma knees and Toews.)

Nebbish says, “Geez, you’ve got a name for everything. ”

God: Yeah,  I’m sure enough names for a book.
Nebbish: A list of names?
God: Well a list of begats you know like Nabokov.
Nebbish: Might be logical but boring, I would think. Nobody ever read Ada.
God: Oh there is another name. Ada and Eva. The First mothers! But really there have not been THAT many begats yet! And the names they could come with characters, to develop. And of course we’ll need some conflict a narrative arc a climax, a resolution, but not too much closure…always leave it open for a sequel!

God : So Nebbish you’ve been around a glyph or two. Can you take dictation? and l I may need  some help with the details.  I’m not much of a detail person, Ideas, big picture thinking more my thing.
Nebbish: Oh, so now you want illustrations too?
God ( who looks like everybody and is a shape-shifter, all races, all genders, all a\sexual orientation fluidities).) Not right away, but maybe when we could add a bit of colour in another millennium or two. Turns yellow, readjusts his invisibility cloak, brilliant flashes of lightning) ...
Nebbish: (Sheilding hizs eyes) Geez I wish you’d stop doing that.
(retrieves a chunk of tablet and a chisel. Or a scroll and a quill)

Nebbish: Ok, God shoot.
God: ….Once upon a time…
Nebbish: Godda ring to it, but what is time?
God: not sure, but I’m sure it ‘s slipping away as we sit around jawing…
Nebbish: so start againish:

God: Ok. ok. hm…. getting nothing here, I thought inspiration just came into your brain and then you wrote words down.
Nebbish: That’s what you asked me to do.
God: Right so what have we got so far?
Nebbish, Nothing, a void…..
God: so once upon a time is out? What  other way could I start.
Nebbish: ok … how about “”In the beginning?”
God: Sounds good, short and snappy, laughs …

Nebbish…what?
God: I can just imagine the scholars trying to figure that out!
Three words in and we got a puzzle without an answer.
Nebbish: how’s that?
God: Well what came before the beginning?
Nebbish: It’s turtles all the way down.
God: what’s that?
Nebbish: I heard it at a pow wow last weekend. Explanation good as any, we could use a little diversity.
God: We’re what, Three words in, and there’s no diversity! (Turns a shade of brown or black) How about this? (Genitalia changes under invisibility cloak change, thunder) There, now  what we got.Nebbish: So nix on the turtles.
God:  later ……later….not ready to name creatures yet anyway.
So…In the beginning….in the beginning…there was me! How about that?
Nebbish: Sounds a little narcissistic….how about….hm…pauses then
“In the beginning was the word, and the word was God!”
God: Triumphantly. Yeah yeah,  I like it. Glad I thought of that. You getting that down!
Nebbish begins to chisel on the tablet….
GOD: Thunderously. IN THE BEGINNING! THERE WAS THE WORD! AND THE WORD WAS GOD!!!!
God: Does a little skip, steps on his robe, wobbles. Steadies himself, looking around to see if Nebbish or anyone has seen. sotta voice: Gotta be careful, too many of those and I’ll be in a PCH before moonrise. Nobody knows how old I am. Happy enough for senior discounts but the end game is not so pleasant.
Nebbish: What? You’re mumbling. Are you not using your hearing aids?
God: Sighs. What I was saying, what YOU didn’t hear was : Well that’s a full days work.
hmmm yeah 11 words. Let’s say when I’m interviewed.

“Yes, Mr Gzsowki , 12 words a day without fail That’s what I did but only with help of Nebbish my scribe.
Gzowski: It’s a big book, must of taken a while.
God:Yeah first I had to create light. Then the alphabet. And the book, well we had to make it all up it all from nothing.
Gzowski : So it’s fiction?
God: Well I’d call it audience fiction. They live a good story!

…Nebbish (finishes could be a scroll) Well you will need to sell it,
God: The book?
Nebbish:Yeah, that too. But I see a placard waving…no…, sorry wrong millennium… you need, no to soon for billboards and banner ads….
Startled with a thought. Word of mouth!  How about  that, eh? In the beginning was the word! and we sell it by word of mouth!
God: Charlton Heston maybe? Spokesperson.
Nebbish: Maybe in the beginning,” …falls over laughing
in the beginning, get it! No. Not Heston he has a messianic complex and a fetish for guns..
Nebbish: How about disciples? You know you get 12 people, and  they get 12 people more.
God: No guns?
Nebbish: No guns. How about fishers…they could be fishers of men…
God: All right whatever. I’m all wrung out (sounds of rain)_
God is getting tired of this and gets up to leave.,
God: Well, I’m bagged. Same time tomorrow?

Nebbish. Ok. How long do you think this will take?
God:  Who knows? God knows! (laughing)Forever and ever, dancing away.
Nebbish: Yells….Watch out! You Have to be careful!
God: I know how it ends, I’ve seen the movie.
Nebbish, God you’re annoying when you’re manic! I’m meant careful, be careful!  you were about to dance off the turtle’s back!…………

  I wrote this last night, as a note so I wouldn’t forget the bit. This is still very drafty, off the top of my head, without checking my Concordance Bible for my references. There needs to be more character development, and getting the shape shifting more into the foreground. More jokes, always more jokes! I’ve put in another two hours and that’s all I got.

 

 

undated

A forgettable day, except for knocking my coffee flying. Now I can’t turn the below into normal type. Probably need to purge my cache. My kitchen smells like a kitchen bacx in the day; pork chops, potatoes, carrots.  A pear for desert, the exception. Listening to Holger Peterson Jazz show. The blues I write are too sad to sing. I have completed acceptable first two draft ghazals inspired by String Quartets 1 & 2 by R.Murray Schaffer, cognizant of what I’m learning from Ravishing DisuUities and Hungry Listening. I enjoy composing in modern ghazal forms, and have plenty to learn. The rhyme scheme is more comfortable with every outing, and the disunity between couplets is a strength in my work. The rhythm of line and couplet  is proving to be the hardest to learn. I took a week or two between ghazals to collect my uncollected poems  called Spontaneous Combustion, for now. My whereabouts for now, will be largely spawned by my imagination, but the physical me be staying right here, in Gimli, writing in place.

Thursday, Oct 22, 2020

I realize my website fantasy will only ever  border on reality at best. I realize I want to blog for every heading in my banner. So for now, I am double posting my blog, aka my daily flog or fog until I can be sure the “first” blog has settled in under B in the archives. That’s not all, I plan to blog for “Listen, Here,” for sure and then create content unsteady as he goes for MLIP (My Life In Pieces) which will largely be video and audio podcasts, “pain room,”attempting to become an outsider art show, and annotate The complete Jimmy Bang,which now has many more new and blues poems the original 32 punk poems. And what to do with the Mennonite Book of the Dead, aka Dead Mennonites, Boundary Creek, He was the kind of guy and What Men Do.

The Ballad of the Children of the Czar

 
SHORT INTRO
This old thing is my favourite poem by Delmore Schwartz, and in my top 100 favourite poems. This one is copied from the Poetry Foundation site, citation at the bottom.There may be many good pictures of Schwartz but I haven’t found them. These are from https://pcolman.wordpress.com/tag/lou-reed/. A blog by Padraig Colman.Lou Reed took a course from Schwartz in the 1960s and considered they were both poets from Brooklyn. I admire them.

The Ballad of the Children of the Czar

 
1
The children of the Czarhttps://pcolman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/later.jpg?resize=152%2C183
Played with a bouncing ball.
 
In the May morning, in the Czar’s garden,  
Tossing it back and forth.
 
It fell among the flowerbeds   
Or fled to the north gate.
 
A daylight moon hung up
In the Western sky, bald white.
 
Like Papa’s face, said Sister,   
Hurling the white ball forth.
 
 
       2
 
While I ate a baked potato   
Six thousand miles apart,
 
In Brooklyn, in 1916,   
Aged two, irrational.
 
When Franklin D. Roosevelt   
Was an Arrow Collar ad.
 
O Nicholas! Alas! Alas!
My grandfather coughed in your army,
 
Hid in a wine-stinking barrel,   
For three days in Bucharest
 
Then left for America
To become a king himself.
 
 
       3
 
I am my father’s father,
You are your children’s guilt.https://pcolman.files.wordpress.com/2014/07/atlas.jpg?resize=331%2C548
 
In history’s pity and terror   
The child is Aeneas again;
 
Troy is in the nursery,
The rocking horse is on fire.
 
Child labor! The child must carry   
His fathers on his back.
 
But seeing that so much is past   
And that history has no ruth
 
For the individual,
Who drinks tea, who catches cold,
 
Let anger be general:
I hate an abstract thing.
 
 
       4
 
Brother and sister bounced   
The bounding, unbroken ball,
 
The shattering sun fell down   
Like swords upon their play,
 
Moving eastward among the stars   
Toward February and October.
 
But the Maywind brushed their cheeks   
Like a mother watching sleep,
 
And if for a moment they fight   
Over the bouncing ball
 
And sister pinches brother   
And brother kicks her shins,
 
Well! The heart of man is known:   
It is a cactus bloom.
 
 
       5
 
The ground on which the ball bounces   
Is another bouncing ball.
 
The wheeling, whirling world   
Makes no will glad.
 
Spinning in its spotlight darkness,   
It is too big for their hands.
 
A pitiless, purposeless Thing,   
Arbitrary and unspent,
 
Made for no play, for no children,   
But chasing only itself.
 
The innocent are overtaken,   
They are not innocent.
 
They are their father’s fathers,
The past is inevitable.
 
 
       6
 
Now, in another October   
Of this tragic star,
 
I see my second year,   
I eat my baked potato.
 
It is my buttered world,
But, poked by my unlearned hand,
 
It falls from the highchair down   
And I begin to howl.
 
And I see the ball roll under   
The iron gate which is locked.
 
Sister is screaming, brother is howling,   
The ball has evaded their will.
 
Even a bouncing ball   
Is uncontrollable,
 
And is under the garden wall.   
I am overtaken by terror
 
Thinking of my father’s fathers,   
And of my own will.
 
Delmore Schwartz, “The Ballad of the Children of the Czar” from Selected Poems (1938-1958): Summer Knowledge. Copyright © 1967 by Delmore Schwartz. Reprinted with the permission of New Directions Publishing Corporation, www.wwnorton.com/nd/welcome.htm.
Source: Selected Poems (1938-1958): Summer Knowledge (New Directions Publishing Corporation, 1967)

2 Comments

  1. Posted October 17, 2020 at 9:41 pm | Permalink | Edit

    Happy to get your stuff.
    Would never have heard of Delmore Schwartz
    brilliant

    H.

     

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    Victor Enns reads and writes poetry and fiction. Afghanistan Confessions, poems in the voice of Canadian soldiers, was published in 2014, boy in 2012. Lucky Man (2005) was nominated for the McNally Robinson Manitoba Book of the Year award.

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