Saturday, December 31, 2005

"When Loving You Is Killing Me!"

When Loving You Is Killing Me!
Move From Pain to Promise!

When Ronnie first saw him he was standing in the house of God, with his hands lifted towards heaven. His gaze intensely fixed on an invisible Savior. He was beautiful. His lips were offering praises to our God. That made him even more beautiful. He stood taller than any man that Ronnie had ever seen. He looked seven feet tall, a tower of masculine beauty. His skin was the color of hot caramel. His eyes were slightly slanted as if a hint of the orient flowed through his blood. He was impeccably dressed, as if he’d just stepped out of GQ Magazine. His lips were perfectly shaped, smooth and flawless, the kind of lips you would expect to find on an angel. He had the perfect lips to hug a microphone and could preach fire down from heaven.

Ronnie fell in love with those lips, but was unaware that she would soon find out that those same lips, those anointed lips, those lips that preached the Gospel, preferred rather to cover the warm stem of a crack pipe.....

I had not gotten out of the bed since the night Eric left, which was seven days ago. I had a nervous breakdown. Well, I don’t know how nervous it was but trust me, I was BROKE DOWN!

“You need to get out of that bed! Girl look at you, your hair is a mess, you ain’t brushed your teeth in a week and you look like you stank! Tammy yelled. She’s always yelling, why don’t she just leave. I thought to myself.

I snatched the cover back from Tammy and buried my head under the cover. I began to cry. Again. A deep cry, the kind that rattles your soul. “I just can’t do this right now.” I pleaded with my friend through sobs. “I’m so hurt Tammy, I haven’t even heard from Eric. How could he do this? How could he just leave me? Where is he? Who is he with? What is he doing?
Tammy looked at her friend, lying there seemingly in one piece yet broken into many.

“Honestly Ronnie, I don’t even know what to say. I’m so mad at that sorry, no good excuse for a man. He has some nerve.” I held up my hand as if to say enough. “Don’t do that Tammy!” I warned, with fresh tears flowing down my face. "I love him!”
I screamed. Tammy sat on the edge of my bed. “Listen Ronnie.” She said, with true compassion. “I’m sorry Ronnie. I know that you love Eric.” Tammy pauses, carefully choosing her words. She doesn’t want to inflict any further pain on her fragile friend. “But Ronnie, this is not love! I’m sorry, but you need to hear this."

Tammy grabbed my arms and pulled me to a sitting position. “Ronnie you deserve better.” I looked questioningly at her. I guess I didn’t believe her. I looked across the room and spotted my image in the mirror. My mouth dropped open as I stared at the stranger in the mirror, seeing myself for the first time in a week. Who is this pitiful looking woman? Her hair dirty and wild. Deep bags and dark circles competed for first place under my eyes. Zeroing in on the sadness in those eyes, I crawled to the edge of the bed. “Ronnie, what’s wrong?” Tammy asked nervously. As if hit with a bolt of lightening, I jumped from the bed and quickly moved closer to the mirror. “I know those eyes.” I whispered, moving even closer to the mirror and pointing at my image in the mirror. “I know those eyes.” I repeated, this time more loudly, frantically shaking my head. Yes, I had seen those pain filled eyes before. “Those are my mother’s eyes.” I reached out, I extended my hand and I lovingly touched the reflection in the mirror. I gently wiped the tears from my mother’s eyes, I mean from the reflection in the mirror. No, I mean from my mother’s eyes. But this time she wasn’t crying for her. She was crying tears for me.

Eric called after two weeks of being missing in action. He called pledging his love, pleading for forgiveness. He asked me to move to Germany with him. To leave my family and friends and follow him! I was speechless.
Ronnie? Please forgive me, please talk to me.” He pleaded.
I couldn’t even answer him because then he would know that I was crying.
“Ronnie you don’t have to talk to me, just listen. He said.
“No you listen! I screamed. “Forgive you? You want me to forgive you Eric? Well what does that mean? Does forgiving you mean that I have to let you hurt me over and over again? Does forgiving you mean that I should act as if nothing happened? Does it mean that you won’t do this to me again? Does forgiving you mean this pain will stop?
I lose it now and break down in tears.

I sat holding the phone long after Eric had hung up. I cried because he had hurt me so bad. I cried because I couldn’t bring myself to say all of the mean, nasty things I had rehearsed for whenever he did get up the nerve to call. I also cried because I already knew that I would go with him. I cried because I was a prisoner, imprisoned by my low self esteem, imprisoned by my fear of loneliness, imprisoned by my love for this man. No matter how much I ached to be free, I was not.

Who is TK Jordan?

"TK Jordan will reach many through her literary works that we who hold a microphone will NEVER be able to reach!"
"Pastor Diana Lyles" - Victory First Presbyterian Deliverance Church, Atlantic City, NJ"

TK Jordan is fast emerging as the Danielle Steel of the Christian Literary World!" "Pastor Ronald Dewberry" - New Life Temple of Praise, Syracuse, NY

The Love That I Was Searching For Could Never Have Come From a M.A.N!" They just did not possess that much Power, and I needed a lot of POWER!" " TK Jordan"

Order "Woman at the Well" and/or Pre-Order your copy of "When Loving You is Killing Me!" Today at Join our Mailing List for TK Jordan's Upcoming Tour Updates! You're just a click away from HEALING!

Place your Ministry/Organization on TK Jordan's "When Loving You Is Killing Me!" National Tour 2006 schedule, send an email request to / or call (919) 303-1085.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Ten Seconds To Eternity

If I have only ten seconds to live
And God gives me the chance to make my last wish
I will only ask for one thing.
I will ask God to let me love only you forever.

Even if you are the only one left in the whole universe
I will be happy just being with you forever
Because, you are my heart and my soul
You are the only one on my mind ten seconds to eternity.

Quite a lot really. Ten seconds may only be a fraction in a span of a day. In the realm of the World Wide Web though, those ten seconds is an eternity.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

The Price of a Miracle: Faith of a little child.

A little girl went to her bedroom and pulled a glass jelly jar from its hiding place in the closet.

She poured the change out on the floor and counted it carefully. Three times, even. The total had to be exactly perfect. No chance here for mistakes.
Carefully placing the coins back in the jar and twisting on the cap, she slipped out the back door and made her way 6 blocks to Rexall's Drug Store with the big red Indian Chief sign above the door.

She waited patiently for the pharmacist to give her some attention but he was too busy at this moment. Tess twisted her feet to make a scuffing noise. Nothing. She cleared her throat with the most disgusting sound she could muster. No good. Finally she took a quarter from her jar and banged it on the glass counter. That did it!
"And what do you want?" the pharmacist asked in an annoyed tone of voice. I'm talking to my brother from Chicago whom I haven't seen in ages," he said without waiting for a reply to his question.

"Well, I want to talk to you about my brother," Tess answered back in the same annoyed tone. "He's really, really sick... and I want to buy a miracle."
" I beg your pardon?" said the pharmacist.
" His name is Andrew and he has something bad growing inside his head and my Daddy says only a miracle can save him now. So how much does a miracle cost?"
"We don't sell miracles here, little girl. I'm sorry but I can't help you," the pharmacist said, softening a little.
"Listen, I have the money to pay for it. If it isn't enough, I will get the rest. Just tell me how much it costs."
The pharmacist's brother was a well dressed man. He stooped down and asked the little girl, "What kind of a miracle does your brother need?"
" I don't know," Tess replied with her eyes welling up. "I just know he's really sick and Mommy says he needs an operation. But my Daddy can't pay for it, so I want to use my money."
" How much do you have?" asked the man from Chicago.
"One dollar and eleven cents," Tess answered barely audibly.

"And it's all the money I have, but I can get some more if I need to."
"Well, what a coincidence," smiled the man. "A dollar and eleven cents---the exact price of a miracle for little brothers. "

He took her money in one hand and with the other hand he grasped her mitten and said "Take me to where you live. I want to see your brother and meet your parents. Let's see if I have the miracle you need."
That well dressed man was Dr. Carlton Armstrong, a surgeon, specializing in neuro-surgery. The operation was completed free of charge and it wasn't long until Andrew was home again and doing well.
Mom and Dad were happily talking about the chain of events that had led them to this place.

That surgery," her Mom whispered. "was a real miracle. I wonder how much it would have cost?"
Tess smiled. She knew exactly how much a miracle dollar and eleven cents .... plus the faith of a little child..
In our lives, we never know how many miracles we will need..

A miracle is not the suspension of natural law, but the operation of a higher law.. I know you'll keep the ball moving!

Here it goes. Throw it back to someone who means something to you!
A ball is a circle, no beginning, no end. It keeps us together like our Circle of Friends. But the treasure inside for you to see is the treasure of friendship you've granted to me.

Today I pass the friendship ball to you.
Pass it on to someone who is a friend to you.

When you are sad.....I will dry your tears.

When you are scared.....I will comfort your fears.
When you are worried.....I will give you hope.
When you are confused.....I will help you cope.

And when you are lost....And can't see the light, I shall be your beacon.....Shining ever so bright.
This is my oath.....I pledge till the end.
Why you may ask?.....Because you're my friend.

Signed:The One and Only One Who Loves You Most. GOD.

Friday, December 23, 2005

A Christmas Wedding

I am very proud to recommend a best selling novel "A Christmas Wedding" by Father Greeley who is the author of over 30 best selling novels. This is a book to enjoy this Christmas and also a beautiful gift to give to someone.
I have been receiving Christmas presents since last week. My brother inlaw Sunday Unah brought me a classic shirt he bought in London. And I am so happy this Christmas is on Sunday. Because, my father was born on a Sunday and I was born on a Sunday and my brother inlaw was born on a Sunday. And my song "She Comes On Sundays" was played on the BBC with a special focus on my performance poetry. So, I love Sundays.

A Christmas Wedding (O'Malley Novels)
by Andrew M. Greeley
ISBN: 081256667x

Synopses & Reviews
Publisher Comments:
"Happy families are all alike," said Tolstoy, and the O'Malley's are one of the happiest, if slightly crazy, families in current fiction. A Christmas Wedding continues the saga of Chucky, the youngest son who wants to live the quiet life of an accountant and raise a nice Catholic family. Fate, of course, has other plans for Chucky, in the person of the beautiful Rosemarie, his off-again on-again nemesis from the time he saved her life when he was a young man.
Thrown out of Notre Dame on trumped up charges, Chucky ends up going to the University of Chicago. The only problem: his lifelong enemy Rosemarie is a fellow student. They decide to be "just friends," and while they battle with each other, "just friends" turns into something neither of them expected.

About the Author
A native of Chicago, Reverend Andrew M. Greeley, is a priest, distinguished sociologist and bestselling author. He is professor of social sciences at the University of Chicago and the University of Arizona, as well as Research Associate at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. His current sociological research focuses on current issues facing the Catholic Church-including celibacy of priests, ordination of women, religious imagination, and sexual behavior of Catholics.

Father Greeley received the S.T.L. in 1954 from St. Mary of Lake Seminary. His graduate work was done at the University of Chicago, where he received the M.A. Degree in 1961 and the Ph.D. in 1962.

Father Greeley has written scores of books and hundreds of popular and scholarly articles on a variety of issues in sociology, education and religion. His column on political, church and social issues is carried by the carried by the Chicago Sun Times and may other newspapers. He stimulates discussion of neglected issues and often anticipates sociological trends. He is the author of more than thirty bestselling novels and an autobiography, Furthermore!: "Confessions of a Parish Priest".



Thursday, December 22, 2005

Children of the Fire

A Special Memorial Tribute to Pastor Bimbo OdukoyaTHE LATE PASTOR BIMBO ODUKOYA

Our mother is gone
The mother of our generation has departed
Our mother of many words
Our mother with eyes like fire

Our mother whose pleasant demeanor
and the beauty of angels
could not restrain her fierce passion
to save our souls from the demon of the sacred and sweet death
Our mother who brought living waters to the violently disvirtued
and hope from the hills to the troubled afflicter
Our mother who chastised the wayward brethren
and gathered us in her great bosom to comfort
us on return
Mother! why now?

Our mother lived for a brief 45years
but she taught everyday what it would take
500 mothers, 500 years to impart
Mother, speak again now!

Your vision remains hatched on the tablets of our hearts
that if we but recline and dilate our pupils a moment
to remember you
You will dance again on your stage
and enchant us with wisdom from our Father
that will never leave our hearts
Mummy, we could never forget you…

We remember your words- like the sword
in the mouth of the queen Mother of Lemuel (Prov 31:1)
words that will guide generations forever
Your words will be as a blanket
in cold and dry harmattan
and a shelter from the blazing sun
a guard rail to the lame and weak
and a manual to the famous and rich
Mummy, we will remember you

But mummy, more assuredly
we will never forget your eyes
that burned with the fire of truth
and told us that we could trust the God in you…
Mummy, although our hearts weep, why did you have to leave?

We know that if you did not agree with DADDY
no fire could have taken you
but we see with our eyes of understanding
that you danced amidst the fire unhurt (Dan 3:24)
holding the hands of your children
and walked free with the One who walks in
the midst of the fire (vs 25)
Mummy, we know you could have walked out of the fire
but you could not leave your children behind
…and if we attune to our higher frequencies
we would hear the heralded roll call
as the King of kings calls you and your children forth
from the midst of the fire (vs 26)
at the great assembly of saints that gather around
to tell and retell your testimony (vs 27)
while the King of kings bestows His eternal blessings on you
to the glory of God (vs 28)

as for "us"
we will see again
for we shall all walk through the fire
and remain unhurt
as we enter into the kingdom
Adieu mama,
your fire will never die within.

From: Oluyemisi Agboola

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Frogs and Dogs On The Web Logs

Hugh MacLeod's Illustration of Blogging.

I heard the croaking frogs
And I heard the howling dogs
As I was wandering in the fog
In search of my missing web log.

Babble and dabble
Grumble and mumble in the jumble
Tumble and rumble in the jungle.

I saw Yankee Doodle in torn and worn denim pants
As he boasts of his taunts and rants
As Mr.Dick weds Mr. Prick
Because they are both sick.
As Elton marries his buffon in their weird-ding
As the two weirdos go to White Hall for their weird wedding.

Lest I forget. As I was rambling
I saw frogs and dogs on the web logs
They were ranting and taunting
Like some dysfunctional bed bugs.

Most bloggers are jokers
Who love "Croakers 'n Slo Pokers".
Gossips have grown wings in the blogosphere
Blogging and farting into the atmosphere.

Monday, December 19, 2005

My Earth, My City And My Heartthrob

My Earth, My City And My Heartthrob

When the Atlas shook
The floors cracked under our feet
And the walls collapsed.
Coughs of inferno
Raining fiery ashes down
Fuel of fire flows.
Rising up higher
The waves swallow shells and sand
While the swimmers scream.

Lagos city crawls
Tortoise caught in winding paths
Lost in the jungle.
Heaps of refuse
Decorating the streets
With evil miasma.
Commuters picket
As pump prices
Of fuel rise.

Oh, humanity!
Why are you such a wonder
That makes me numb.
Only God knows how
How the wind in autumn blows
How the river flows.
Life is a prayer
Total submission to God
Overcomes the world..

I see the rainbow
In seven colours
When life is in bloom.
In the summer of love
Passions bloom like sunflowers
In garden of life.
Adeleke came
Our muse ascended higher
Reaching for the stars.

Stark silken tresses
Glowing eyelashes of night
The sheen of the moon.
Twin blinking brown balls
Golden eye lashes of dawn
In the rising sun.
Even heaven knows
What my heart is going through
All because of you.
In painted haiku
Flowers of our love unfold
As red roses bloom.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Rosa Maria, My Sweet Senorita

Rosa Maria, My Sweet Senorita

I met this pretty lady on the train
She was singing on our way to Spain.
She was singing a soulful love song
And her love song kept me awake all night long.
I couldn’t take my eyes off her
She filled me with so much desire.
As I held her to my body
Responding to the rhythm of her melody.
And when I called her senorita
She told me to call her Rosa Maria.

Oh, beautiful Rosa Maria
Will you be my Sweet Senorita?

I fell in love with Rosa Maria at first sight
And I adored her every day and night
And I loved her with my heart and my soul
She was the only woman I ever wanted
From the North Pole to the South Pole.
The only woman I wanted in the whole world
And I wanted the whole world to see
That Rosa Maria was the only woman for me.

Oh, beautiful Rosa Maria
Will you be my Sweet Senorita?

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Illustrated Mum

The Illustrated Mum
by Jacqueline Wilson
Delight the Budding Bookworm on Your List
A Review by Sarah Karnasiewicz

When it was released in Britain, The Illustrated Mum, by prolific children's author Jacqueline Wilson, was showered with awards -- including the Guardian Award for Children's Fiction and the Children's Book of the Year Award. Unfortunately, readers living stateside had to bide their time for more than four years before this spring's first American printing -- but I dare say it was worth the wait.

In The Illustrated Mum, Wilson spins a quirky modern drama chronicling the lives of two young girls, Dolphin and Star, as they struggle to come to terms with their mother Marigold's mental health problems. Marigold is alternately depicted as both a fascinating free spirit -- who gets a new tattoo whenever the whim strikes -- and a frightening firecracker, prone to three-day benders and manic mood swings that prompt her to spend the welfare checks on dozens of fancy cakes instead of school lunches.

Though this story could easily melt into melodrama, Wilson maintains a deft touch with her characters, keeping them firmly planted in a real and recognizable physical and emotional landscape. Star, the elder girl, tired of having to take care of her mother and her younger sister, retreats to the local McDonald's parking lot to hang with her high school clique and trade kisses for French fries and butterscotch sundaes. Ten-year-old Dolphin, our narrator, is devoted to Marigold and clings to the hope that she'll "get better," but fears Star has left them behind. Even Marigold escapes caricature as Wilson paints a complex, poignant portrait of a mother struggling to do right by her girls while wrestling with an overwhelming illness.

Wilson, a superstar in her home country, was this year named the U.K.'s children's laureate -- a post she will hold for the next two years. The Illustrated Mum makes for a humorous, human introduction to her work and is a sterling example of the ambitious young-adult novels coming out of the U.K. today.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

Charity, Humility and Liberty

"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses."
-Abraham Lincoln

What you do is who you are.

Not your lip service or eye-service.

Jesus Christ is the perfect example of the truth.
And he is the author and finisher of my faith.

Kisses & Roses is the heart and soul of the flower child of God. A citizen of the universe.

Torch bearer of the eternal light of love and truth.
He comes to tell us his fables, parables and tales of his pilgrimage on earth and share with humankind the vision of his mission on earth. He is God sent with his kisses and roses of the cornucopia of euphoria.

I believe in Charity and liberty and without charity and liberty, humanity is doomed.
That is why I love America. Because charity and liberty are the real heart and soul of America.

The negative things in America are like weeds gone wild. But the lunatic fringe cannot change the love of God for America or for you and I.

God also loves my country Nigeria and all the other nations on earth.
We are all his children. And he loves also his prodigal children.

If you want to understand true love, study Jesus Christ. His charity, humility and liberty.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

When Our Words Are Not Enough

(In Memory of Pastor Bimbo Odukoya of the Fountain of Life Church in Nigeria.)

Sister Bimbo
Beloved of God
Beloved of Taiwo
The Virtuous Woman of her husband
Princess of the royal house of Odukoya
Heroine of the single and married in Nigeria.

There are no words to express my spirit.
Because, words will not be enough to express it.

God knows best
So, farewell to our everlasting place of rest.
In the eternal home of the triumphant saints in glory
And here ends my story.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


My blog is not a monologue. My blog is a dialogue.
I am not blogging as another ego-tripping or for solicitations. I am blogging as a medium of sharing our issues of the facts of life with one another. Because, the burden shared is reduced and the happiness shared is doubled. Kisses & Roses is a charity.
As John Legend sang, "We are ordinary people." But, I believe that by the Grace of God, ordinary people can do extra-ordinary things.
John Legend Ordinary People Lyrics
Please, let me share the story of the OCHOA WINTER CENTER IN GILROY with you.
Alex Jimenez, 9, places an American flag in the screen door of their temporary home - a converted garage - while brother Antonio, 7, and mother Erika watch from the doorway. The Ochoa Center offers small furnished duplexes to homeless families.
By MELINDA SACKS / Special to the Mercury News

Even though she knew supporting the three of them would be tough, she couldn't stand living in fear that her husband would break down the door of the bedroom and beat her or her children as he did numerous times when he lost his temper.

Today, just one year later, Jimenez is a different person from the frightened woman who fled Texas with her kids and what she could cram in their car. Settled in a tiny apartment and finishing up a computer training program that will give her the skills she needs to find a good job, Jimenez is optimistic in a way she hasn't been before. Wish Book readers can help make this family's future even brighter.

"I know I will make it and I am very happy,'' she says through a translator. Jimenez is enrolled in English classes, and hopes to be comfortable conversing in English one day soon, but for now she is more articulate in her native Spanish.

When they arrived in San Jose last year, Jimenez and her boys were homeless and friendless. Thanks to the Ochoa Winter Center in Gilroy, though, they found a safe, warm place to sleep. From that day forward, things began to improve. The children were immediately enrolled in school, Jimenez started ESL classes, and all three received counseling to help them deal with the trauma they left behind.

Each winter, the Ochoa Winter Center offers its services to homeless individuals and families with nowhere else to turn. A case manager assigned to each person oversees a comprehensive plan that includes language courses, vocational training, child care, tutoring, health care and a path to obtaining secure, long-term housing.
Last season, 65 families — including 130 children — found refuge between December and February. In the summer, the Center is home to 100 immigrant farmworker families.
A winter highlight for Ochoa residents is the shopping spree for children, which Wish Book readers' donations have made possible for the past several years. All the youngsters take to the aisles of a large department store to fill baskets with items their families could not otherwise afford — from shoes to jackets to backpacks.
"They loved it because they got to pick out their own things,'' recalls Jimenez of the shopping expedition that included her two boys last year. "Usually I could only buy things at the second-hand store, but this time they got to pick out things new and it made them feel so good. They are still wearing the things they got.''

Staff at the Ochoa Center say that for many children, the humiliation of always wearing hand-me-downs or clothing from donation boxes is so upsetting they don't want to go to school. The shopping spree allows all the children in the center to get school supplies and choose warm coats and clothes that fit them. It is a huge boost to everyone's self-esteem.

St. Joseph's Family Center in Gilroy organizes the shopping outing, recruiting dozens of volunteers to help out. For $125, each child can get a backpack and school supplies, a coat, shoes, pajamas and necessities such as underwear and socks.
For Jimenez, although life is far from easy, there are many reasons to feel good these days. A scholarship has allowed her to enroll in advanced computer courses while holding a part-time job. When she completes her certification in the next month, she plans to work as a bookkeeper.

Her real dream, though, is to have a business of her own. Jimenez already has taken on some small projects combining business organization with promotional services.
A laptop computer, software and printer ($2,985 in a bundled package that includes everything she needs) would make it possible for Jimenez to launch her home-based business. She would like to be there when her children get out of school, so working from home is an ideal way to generate income and avoid expensive child care.
"Thank God I had the help from Ochoa,'' says Jimenez. "I started with nothing and now we have a future.''

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Venice:The City of Falling Angels

Who Lives There?
"Is It Possible to Live in Venice?".
"Will you love a romantic weekend in Venice?"

A review by Sheila Hale

In 1969 UNESCO published a report about the problems of Venice
which included a chapter entitled "Is It Possible to Live in Venice?".
Since 1951, the resident population of the historic centre had
declined from 175,000 to 120,000. A shortage of affordable housing
and of jobs unrelated to the tourist industry was driving Venetians,
some of whom had never crossed the boundaries of their native
sestieri, across the lagoon to the mainland. The population is
now under 70,000, and its average age has risen, as has the proportion
of foreigners who have snapped up the properties of the fleeing

While warming up for the kill, Berendt wanders around Venice looking
for real, innocent Venetians. On the Strada Nuova, he finds a
comic character dressed like a clown who trades affectionate banter
with the locals to whom he sells plants and organic chickens.
On the Giudecca, he comes across an electrician who dresses up
in various uniforms, posing as a vaporetto conductor, carabiniere,
soldier, sailor, airman, and so on. At a carnival ball, Berendt
shares a table with a man from Treviso who has made a fortune
from concocting recipes for rat poison that will tempt rodents
whose palates are accustomed to garbage rich in leftovers from
the local cuisine -wurstel in Germany, hamburgers in New York,
curry in Bombay. Also at the table is a famous Venetian bore who
talks exclusively about the importance of his family, until led
away by his apologetic wife.

But this is nothing compared to the monumentally juicy power battle
between the two men in charge of Save Venice, an American charity
that restores buildings - and throws ultra-glamorous parties to
guests only too eager to pay $3,000 for the privilege of attending.
Dr Randolph ("Bob") Guthrie, president of Save Venice, is a plastic
surgeon in New York. When in Venice, he drives his own private
motor launch, a Boston Whaler, and insists that the authorities
permit his guests and committee members to be ferried around in
oversize motorboats at speeds that are usually forbidden because
they make waves that damage the foundations of the buildings.
Bob has been heard to say that Venice would be better off without
the Venetians. Larry Lovett, Chairman of Save Venice, is Bob's
temperamental opposite. Glamorous heir to the Piggly Wiggly chain
of grocery stores, he loves to entertain royalty in his palace
on the Grand Canal. He is so fond of royalty that if one of them
is in mourning he demonstrates his friendship by abstaining from
going to parties. After much jockeying for power, Larry accused
Bob of having his hand in the till and then stormed out of a meeting
to start his own charity called Venetian Heritage. "Save Venice,
Venetian Heritage", says a tough old Venetian, "What's the difference?
They're both really just glorified package tours . . . . Why must
they come to Venice to save it? . . . Forget it. Venice will save
itself. Go and save Paris!"

The City of Falling Angels is packaged for the carriage trade
in a silky blue dust jacket, with matching ribbon page marker
and the title embossed in gold. An Italian glossary includes palazzo,
prosecco, St Mark's, Rialto and ciao ("Hello, also goodbye. Used
in the familiar."), presumably for the sake of the 15 million
unwashed tourists who trample unknowingly through the city of
scandal each year. It does not list sgroppino, a mixture of prosecco
and lemon sorbet, which slips down quite easily but can set the
teeth on edge and make one belch.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Sapphire of Love

(For Marek of Mickey Ripped)

Sapphire of Love

Come my purest blue divine Sapphire
Come O Star Sapphire of my eternal desire.
Come immortal guardian of my love
Come blinking with the glints in the eyes of the turtle dove
Come in the blue translucent ether of your chastity
Come wrapped in the immaculate silken robes of fidelity
Come my priceless princess and my queen
Come O gem of the gems of heaven
Come in the full weight of your million and one carats
Come to me in the crystal drops of the cataracts
Come ornate ornament of the firmament of paradise
Come O lodestar of the universe.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

She Lay Down On My Bed Of Nymphaea Lotus

She has fled from the arid land Arizona
She has fled to the Prairies of Manitoba
She fled in search of greener pastures
And she fled to the haven of nature's pleasures.
I found her in the Eden of the Prairies
I found her in the midst of my fairies.
I found her in the state of nature
I found her in her voluptuous posture.
She was lying on the petals of the lilies
The lotus blossoming in Heliopolis.
The lotus flower of the heart of Nun
Blooming in the light of the African sun.
Behold the muse of my magnum opus
As she lay down on my bed of Nymphaea Lotus.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

I Am Like The Desert Rose

I found myself in the sandy desert
I found myself all alone.
I saw no camel or caravan.
I saw no oasis or even a mirage.

I was like a wanderlust pilgrim
Wandering in the wilderness
Then I saw a white flower growing in the sand
It was immaculate white and with fresh petals.
The petals of a rose flower
But, do roses grow in the desert?

I bent down and kissed the Desert Rose
Then I woke up.

I am not engaged or involved in any relationship now and I am not lonely.
My closest companion is always with me day and night. And my closest companion is the only one who knows and understands me heart and soul and encourages and comforts my genius as I am very busy now working on the anthology of two romantic poets. An enchanted Spanish poet and the enigmatic Nigerian poet. Toni and Orikinla.

Toni has already sent me his own collection of poems in English and Spanish. And I am still selecting my own poems. Our anthology is in English and Spanish. We have given it a title. But, I am not giving the title away.

I share my bed with no other lover, except my closest companion. We watched two movies yesterday and were moved by the compassion for humanity in both films. “My Louisiana Sky” and “The Passion of the Christ”.

The more we see human tragedies, the more we are heart-broken. We wish people would learn how to love and love truly without conceit or deceit.

I had a strange dream in the early hours of dawn. I saw myself kissing a flower in the desert. A sandy desert without oasis. And I called it "My Desert Rose." It was not a red rose flower. No not the Persian Rose. It was an immaculate white rose.
I woke up and searched for information on the Desert Rose. And believe it or not, I saw white Desert Rose and everything about the Desert Rose matches my character and spirit heart and soul.

Sting also composed a song about the Desert Rose.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

"My Louisiana Sky" And Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets

Have you watched "My Louisiana Sky"? The memorable film directed by Adam Arkin and with the perfect cast of Juliette Lewis as Dorie Kay, Kelsey Keel as Tiger Ann Parker, Shirley Knight as Jewel and Amelia Campbell as Corrina.

"My Louisiana Sky" is a beautiful and wonderful story well told by an equally beautiful and wonderful soul Kimberly Willis Holt. The Film also captured the pathos of the sensitivity of the novelist who succeeded in capturing the heart and soul of humanity in this classic novel.

Read the book and watch the film and you will never be bored of even repeating it again and again.

Tiger Ann Parker wants nothing more than to get out of the rural town of Saitter, Louisiana--far away from her mentally disabled mother, her "slow" father who can't read an electric bill, and her classmates who taunt her. So when Aunt Dorie Kay asks Tiger to sp the summer with her in Baton Rouge, Tiger can't wait to go. But before she leaves, the sudden revelation of a dark family secret prompts Tiger to make a decision that will ultimately change her life.

Set in the South in the late 1950s, this ter coming-of-age novel explores a twelve-year-old girl's struggle to accept her grandmother's death, her mentally deficient parents, and the changing world around her. It is a novel filled with beautiful language and unforgettable characters, and the importance of family and home.


The daughter of a Navy chief, Kimberly Willis Holt lived all over the world during her childhood. But Forest Hill, Louisiana, became the place she called home. "Forest Hill is the kind of town where neighbors care when you're sick and show up at your door with chicken and dumplings. I wanted Tiger to be from a place like that," says the author. She currently lives in Amarillo, Texas, with her family. This is her first novel for young readers. Her second novel, When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, won the National Book Award and will be published in paperback by Random House Children's Books in the spring of 2001.

Pensacola, Florida (during a hurricane)
Currently lives
Amarillo, Texas
Previous jobs
Directing radio news, marketing, and decorating
Reading and going to the movies and theater
Inspiration for writing
Memories from childhood
Favorite books
To Kill a Mockingbird and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter

Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets
by Jude Morgan
The romantic poets as soap opera stars
A Review by Yvonne Zipp

The Romantic poets -- Lord Byron, John Keats, and Percy Bysshe Shelley -- bear more than a passing resemblance to modern celebrities (and not just due to some scandalous behavior): Every aspect of their lives has been so picked over that writing about them can seem as stale as a month-old Enquirer.

British writer Jude Morgan overcomes this difficulty handily in his absorbing new book, Passion: A Novel of the Romantic Poets.

Instead of the head-on approach, Morgan instead explores the lives of four of the women who loved the poets (Byron, of course, gets more than his fair share): the high-strung Lady Caroline Lamb, who has an affair with Byron; sparkling Fanny Brawne, who was engaged to Keats before his untimely death; generous, sunny Augusta Leigh, half-sister and lover of Byron; and Mary Shelley, Percy's teen bride and author of Frankenstein.

Morgan opens with the attempted suicide of Mary Wollstonecraft, protofeminist and author. And Wollstonecraft, with her radical idealism and defiance of society, serves as matriarch to all, not just her famous daughter. After Wollstonecraft dies as a result of childbirth, the novel catalogs the childhood of the four women.

Some readers may find the early pages slow (Bring on Bryon!), but the wealth of detail and Morgan's amazing ability to re-create what these women might have thought and felt are worth savoring. The novel is meticulously researched, but scholarship never outweighs storytelling.

Morgan uses a variety of narrative techniques to fit the mood of the tale, from first-person accounts where the character speaks directly to the reader to sections that read like scenes from a play. With Byron's wife, Annabella Milbanke (of whose sanctimony the poet quips, "She would make Cromwell look like a backsliding voluptuary"), he borrows Jane Austen's acerbic quill: "In all there was about her a quality of quiet self-containment that could not fail to elicit admiration, even where it did not inspire affection." (There is an even more obvious homage to Austen later, when Annabella notes, "[S]he must admit it as a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man not in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.")

After the poets make their grand entrance, the novel encompasses enough love affairs and tragedy for a dozen bodice-rippers, without ever losing its clear-eyed intelligence. Mary's story is particularly heartbreaking.

The men might have the fame, but they never quite come to life in the same way as the women, particularly Augusta and Mary. Shelley, despite his espousal of free love, somehow seems a prig. Byron and Keats get plenty of clever witticisms (a running gag has both men making fun of Wordsworth) but sometimes their genius feels stated rather than observed.

But these are minor quibbles. For lovers of literature, Passion more than lives up to its title.

Yvonne Zipp is a freelance writer in Kalamazoo, Mich.

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Sunday, December 04, 2005

Faith in Marriage

Is your marriage having troubles?
Please, read the following articles and respond accordingly.

Another season of sharing and caring is here and the best gift you can give or receive is Love, pure and true.

Faith in Marriage
Is a common spiritual bond critical to marital health and happiness?
By Carol Mithers

Security in Faith
When Liz Hammer began dating her husband, Brian, at 21, in some ways it was an improbable pairing. Liz was bubbly and outgoing, Brian quiet and reserved. At a party she was apt to work the room while he sat off to the side, deep in a one-on-one conversation. In one major way, though, they were very much alike. Both had been raised in religious homes where belief in God was the bedrock of their lives. Both had gone to a Christian college, where they'd met. Both had known that they would marry someone equally devout. "My relationship with Christ was so much a part of who I was, there was no way I could be married and not share it," says Liz, now 43. Eighteen years of marriage and four children later, faith remains the foundation of the bond between Brian, a litigation consultant, and Liz, a stay-at-home mother in Santa Monica, California. It is, she says, "the springboard from which we make all our choices and decisions."

Faith -- belief in the judgment and authority of a higher power -- can have a powerful positive influence on the marital bond, research has shown. David Popenoe, PhD, professor of sociology at Rutgers University, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and codirector of the National Marriage Project, sees being "answerable to a higher authority" as "vital" for a strong marriage. In part, faith has this power because belief in God often also means a belief that marriage itself is sacred. The conviction that, as Liz Hammer puts it, "this is a commitment we made before God, so divorce isn't an option" can give couples both emotional security and an incentive to keep their relationship strong.
"There's never the anxiety that we'll have a deal-breaking argument," says Hammer.
"And if we're frustrated, we know that we have to work it out."

The idea that religious conviction helps a couple navigate rough spots is echoed by others. "There are times when I lose patience with my husband and feel free to be short with him," says Beverly, a 37-year-old mother of three in New York City and an Orthodox Jew. "But on Yom Kippur [the Jewish Day of Atonement], I ask his forgiveness for those times. Having to say 'I'm sorry' -- and to admit that I haven't been as good a wife as I'd like to be -- requires me to swallow my ego. These moments force us to have a very different kind of conversation than we would have if we were just going out to dinner."

In addition, faith helps hold couples together by encouraging selflessness and stressing the need to give as much as one takes. "We know that for love to last, it must evolve from romantic love, which is the basis for many marriages, into something more mature and less selfish," says Gary L. Hansen, PhD, professor of sociology at the University of Kentucky, in Lexington. "Faith may help couples make that transition." The result: unions that not only are enduring but satisfying. One survey of 161 men and women published in 2003 in the Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion found that inner religious commitment coupled with church attendance was associated with a reduced tendency to engage in extramarital affairs, or "mate poaching."

One Marriage, Two Faiths
Religion, however, can complicate marriage when spouses hold different beliefs. Today, according to a recent American Religious Identification Survey by the Graduate Center at City University of New York, 22 percent of U.S. households are of mixed faiths (Christian/non-Christian, Christian of different denominations, or believer/nonbeliever). Some 50 percent of Jews and 25 percent of Catholics marry outside their faith, and 16 percent of Americans switch their religious affiliation at some point.

Religious beliefs not only influence our most basic convictions -- what happens after we die, what it means to live a virtuous life -- they also govern a host of daily choices, such as what to eat, how to raise children, even whether or not to use birth control. And "every layer of difference that exists between partners adds complexity to a marriage," says Joel Crohn, PhD, the San Rafael, California-based author of Mixed Matches (Ballantine, 1995). An additional difficulty, says Dr. Crohn, is that before marriage many interfaith couples never discuss what their religion means to them and how the difference will affect their future. Do they intend to go to their respective churches alone or attend alternate churches together? Will they want their child baptized? Celebrate a first communion or bar mitzvah? Such unresolved issues can become emotional minefields. One unfortunate result: Adults who've had children with someone of another faith have a divorce rate three times that of single-faith households. Indeed, disputes over what faith to instill in the children can outlast the marriage. Experts say battles over "soul custody," as it has been called, are on the rise. (The courts have been slow to get involved because many judges believe determining a child's religion is outside their purview.)

The greatest predictor of marital stability, however, isn't whether a couple is of the same faith but how much they agree on the role religion will play in their lives.
Denominational differences don't cause breakups, according to a study at Creighton University's Center for Marriage and Family, in Omaha, Nebraska. It depends on what the couple do together religiously and how they deal with differences. If they can fashion some kind of shared religious life, they will be as stable as any same-church marriage, concludes the study.

Growing numbers of interfaith couples, with the help of support organizations, networks, therapists, and even clergy, are successfully fashioning marriages that incorporate faith, whether that means one partner converting, each remaining with his or her religion of origin, or both embracing a new, blended belief.
Eve Edwards, 34, of McLean, Virginia, found such a compromise. An observant Jew, she had always wanted to share her beliefs with the Roman Catholic college sweetheart she married at 25. Neither spouse ever considered giving up his or her religion. Instead, after much discussion and soul searching the couple chose to raise their children in both faiths.

"We celebrate Easter and Passover, Christmas and Hanukkah," says Edwards. "We tell our children, 'Mommy's Jewish and Daddy's Catholic, and you are Jewish and Catholic.' We tell them that different people envision God differently and different people take different paths. But in the end all paths lead to God." Edwards acknowledges that their family life would have been simpler had she and her husband agreed on one faith from the outset. But the process of deciding how to practice their faiths and what to teach their children, she says, "has given us one more way to share."

Friday, December 02, 2005

Nigerian Writers of the Year

Sefi Atta:"Everything Good Will Come"

Helen Oyeyemi, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Sefi Atta and Chris Abani made Nigerians proud with their awesome literary exploits as shown in the celebration of their classic novels highly acclaimed in America and the UK.

I am very proud of them all.

If you don't have any of their outstanding novels in your collection, please go and collect them now and they are beautiful and wonderful presents to give to people.

Helen Oyeyemi:"Icarus Girl"

I communicated my personal commendation to Chris Abani and he was very sincere and appreciative. I have written on Chimamanda on Farafina and on Helen Oyeyemi on my Orikinla. And I communicate with Sefi Atta as well.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:"Purple Hibiscus"

Chimamanda's second novel "Half Of A Yellow Sun" is also ready and will soon be available on Amazon.

Chris Abani:"Graceland"
Of all these novelists, Chris Abani is the most gifted as shown in the corpus of his literature in novels, short stories, poetry and other forms of writing.

Suddenly Single

Suddenly Single

5 tips for saner dating
By Veronica Chambers

To make the right decisions in love, you need to use your head as well as your heart. Here’s how to do just that—and win big in the long run.

While many a rapper has proclaimed that there is “no romance without finance,” I never once thought to liken my love life to my investing strategies. But when the idea was suggested to me by a good friend who was an editor at a financial magazine, I got to thinking: People lose money in the stock market all the time by investing with their hearts, not their heads; likewise, people lose out in relationships by choosing to ignore even the most obvious signs that they should jump in, hang on, or cut bait. The longer I thought about it, the more similarities I found between building a nest egg and finding someone to spend the rest of your life with. What if I could apply some financial savvy to my dating life—would my search for Mr. Right finally pay off? In my experience, you can count on it. Here’s how to use a little logic to reap many happy dating dividends in the months and years to come:

Investment tip #1: Build a dating ladder
Taking the advice of my financially savvy friend, I decided to create a dating ladder—a version of an investment ladder many people use to build a strong stock portfolio. In an investment ladder, you distribute your money over various stocks to reduce your risk. Similarly, instead of falling madly and hopelessly in love on the first date, I needed to diversify and see a few people until I was sure that one investment — or in my case, one guy — was actually going to commit to a relationship.

This meant that instead of worrying whether Mark, the starving artist I’d been seeing, was going to ask me out on a date Friday or Saturday night, I should make my own plans—say, spend Friday having dinner with a friend (and mini-crush) who’d just moved to the city and on Saturday go out on my own and perhaps summon up the courage to ask a new guy out. That way, by the time Sunday rolled around and Mark asked me to gallery-hop with him, it seemed like a perfectly lovely thing to do. He was just one rung of my dating ladder, after all.

Investment tip #2: Don’t always go for gold
Alas, life is not like The OC; few of us live in a world where we juggle two or three good-looking, charming prospects at one time. But if your dating ladder is to work, you have to fill your dance card with something besides the person you hope will become your one and only. One idea is to reserve a Friday or Saturday night for a platonic date. Go out with an old college friend to a great restaurant or invite an interesting work colleague to a play. For months, I had a standing Saturday night date for a private tennis lesson. Sure, I knew that I was just swatting balls and getting a workout, but the message this sent to guys I was dating was that I was busy, period. Author and life coach Sophfronia Scott sees platonic dates as a great way to keep your sanity when you’re dating. “One of the suggestions I give clients is to behave their way into the life and relationships they want to have,” says Scott. “Platonic dating is a perfect illustration of this. Dating platonically is a great way to remind yourself of the way you want to feel on a date: Relaxed, comfortable, just being you! The more you practice, the more you know how that feels.”

Investment tip #3: Don’t throw bad money after good; buy low and sell high
But sometimes (a lot of times, actually), that hot stock you gambled on keeps tanking—and you have no choice but to buy high and sell low. Dating is no different: In the classic film, Every Girl Should Be Married, Betsy Drake chases after Cary Grant. At one point, she admits that she is sick of the way he’s ignoring her, but justifies her efforts by saying, “I spent two week’s salary on this dress, on this dinner, trying to impress you.”

We all do similar things in real life: We hang onto relationships because the person seems like such a hot investment, or we’ve put in so much time and effort into one person that it seems like we’ve got to hang on for the payoff. But relationships gone sour aren’t that different from investments that have gone south. So, don’t throw good money after bad. Know when to move on, especially in those first few months when you’re getting to know someone.

Investment tip #4: Date like a millionaire
One question that financial advisors (and therapists, for that matter) like to ask clients is, if money were no object, what would you do? Your answer is an amazing bellwether to your heart’s desires—and what quickly becomes apparent is how attainable those goals truly are, regardless of your financial situation. For example, you may need to be a millionaire to buy a sailboat and sail around the world, but you don’t need limitless cash to take a sailing lesson or set up a “sailboat fund” where you throw in ten bucks a week.

Similarly, many of us are waiting for the perfect relationship to do the thing we most desire: Buy a house, get a dog, join the Sierra Club. So what if you’re single, what’s really stopping you? There’s no reason to put off pursuing your dreams, and doing so will only frustrate you further. Life coach Scott always advise clients who wish to be in a relationship to spend as much time nurturing those wants as they do looking for a partner. “The idea is to get them excited about living their life and having fun,” says Scott. “They may not realize it, but when they start living and having fun is when they start looking more attractive to potential mates!”

Investment tip #5: The market always corrects itself
From the Depression to Black Monday, people have lost millions in the stock market. But ask any financial expert and they will tell you, it never pays to keep your money underneath your mattress. Over the years, you always make money in the stock market because the market always corrects itself. Similarly, it doesn’t pay to give up on dating. A friend of mine, who was sick and tired of being sick and tired, announced at a party that she was begging someone, anyone to set her up. Three months later, she is dating the most amazing guy she’s ever met.

I, too, know what it’s like to want to give up on the whole enterprise. Not too long ago, I had endured the worst, most humiliating breakup of my life. By my own estimation, I gave myself six months to start showering on a regular basis and another six months to stop breaking out in tears for no apparent reason in the middle of the day. I’d planned for a solid year of mourning because well, dammit, I deserved it. Then two weeks later, this guy called me up and asked me out for dinner. I didn’t want to go—in fact, I was convinced that there was milk in my refrigerator with a longer expiration date than this man. But I took a shower. I packed a purse full of tissues. I went out to dinner, and I had a lovely time.

Even though he claimed to be smitten right away, I stuck with the dating ladder and continued going out on platonic dates with other people. When my ex-boyfriend came back around, I made the difficult decision not to throw more good money after bad. In less than a year, the man who’d asked me to dinner when my heart was broken had proposed. Confident that this was the best investment I could possibly make, I said yes.

Veronica Chambers is a novelist living in Los Angeles. You can reach her at

Pieces of my Heart

She always wanted to see me and be with me. So, I obliged.
Linda and I spent days and nights just sharing our thoughts and future plans.But, she was very worldly. She is totally ignorant of her spirit. So, we communed heart to heart. But not spirit to spirit. I simply came down to her temporal level.

I did not find her physically attractive. But, other men found her sexy.

One night, the body builder and body guard called "Voltron" came to see Linda in his BMW convertible. And he saw her drinking and eating. He said he was thirsty and wanted a drink. Linda said, "Chima brought me the drink and snacks." She gave him water and sent her only brother to buy him a drink. We all sat down to talk. And "Voltron" remarked that Linda has very attractive legs. And I showed them my own more attractive legs. Fair,smooth and spotless. But, later I thought it was wrong to have compared my legs to Linda's. Because, it is not good for a man to rate his looks above the looks of his female friend or lover. But,I only did that to let her know that the man was only flattering her.

Men who flatter you don't really love you.
That romantic cliche they used to flatter you has been repeated to scores of other girls and ladies they see as sex objects. But, most women make themselves willing sex objects.

"Uche is looking for you," my cousin said when I visited him.
"I have closed the chapter on Uche," I replied.

I have a perfect control over my passions or what I call affairs of the heart. Because, I can date a lady for a year and end it without any record of it in my diary. I dated a young college student who actually wanted to marry me. But, after having intimate communication with her and found that she would end up making my life miserable, I told her that I did not see her in my future and I erased all my records of her and closed the chapter. She sent me an e-mail and I replied with "God bless you" and then deleted her e-mail.

The other lady in my life was wondering why I kept away from her.

The fact is these ladies don't even know who I am. Even Linda who has known me since 1997. They choose to know their impression of what they want me to be. Boyfriend, lover or husband. But, they failed to try to understand who I am, heart and soul.
That is why millions of women married the wrong men and their marriages break down or break up.

You love the kisses and roses and enjoy the chocolate and cookies.
You take long walks and make love several times. But, all these things do not tell the truth above the heart and soul of the man. So, you have to look beyond these perishables and seek the imperishables of the true essence of our existence. The spirit of the soul.

My spirit controls me. And all the emotions and passions of life will vanish. But the spirit survives till the end.

You may win my heart and lose my spirit.

That is why I can remain faithful to God forever. And if I marry, I can remain faithful to my wife till the end.

Having sex is not the answer.
Saying "I love you" is not enough.

Let your spirit rule your heart.

Thirsting for God
To the chief Musician, Maschil, for the sons of Korah.

1 As the hart panteth after the water brooks,
so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

2 My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God:
when shall I come and appear before God?

3 My tears have been my meat day and night,
while they continually say unto me, Where is thy God?

4 When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul in me:
for I had gone with the multitude,
I went with them to the house of God,
with the voice of joy and praise,
with a multitude that kept holyday.

5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
And why art thou disquieted in me?
Hope thou in God:
for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance.

6 O my God, my soul is cast down within me:
therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan,
and of the Her'monites, from the hill Mizar.

7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts:
all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.

8 Yet the LORD will command his loving-kindness in the daytime,
and in the night his song shall be with me,
and my prayer unto the God of my life.

9 I will say unto God my rock,
Why hast thou forgotten me?
Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?

10 As with a sword in my bones, mine enemies reproach me;
while they say daily unto me, Where is thy God?

11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul?
And why art thou disquieted within me?
Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him,
who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psalm 42,The Holy Bible: King James Version. 2000.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

How to survive a breakup?

How to survive a breakup?
By Greg Behrendt & Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt

The First Commandment: Don’t See Him or Talk to Him For Sixty Days. Sixty? Yes, sixty. But… NO BUTS, PRETTY LADY! We know it seems like a long time, and it is. But if ever there was anyone in need of “he-tox,” it’s you! It is, hands down, the most important thing you can do for yourself. The idea is to get him out of your system—he’s much less likely to continue to wield his power if you don’t have any contact. Furthermore, laying down the sixty-day rule gives you the opportunity to take control of a situation that has you reeling out of control. We don’t care if he (or you) still wants to be friends, if he still has some of your stuff, or if you were fused together in a welding accident. You can revisit all these issues two months from now when you have some clarity. (And by then you probably won’t even really care if you talk to him anymore.) This is about taking care of you.

How the Heck Am I Supposed to Do That?
Two months can sound really daunting, but you can’t be in tomorrow; you can only be in today. So today, to the best of your ability, you are not going to see or speak to him. We’ll deal with tomorrow, tomorrow. Get it? If you read this tomorrow it will be today, so congratulations on making it on your own for one day so far. Mark your calendar each time you make it through the day.

If you find yourself strongly resisting this idea, figure out why it’s so hard for you. We have a place for you to do this. That’s right; it’s time to get yourself a notebook! There’s something transforming about seeing things on the page. Having actual proof that you are doing work on yourself is truly affirming. The other great thing about your notebook is it can be a safe place for you to put all the crazy thoughts down so that you don’t take them out into the world.

The Smart Girl’s Breakover Super Book
Let’s start your notebook by giving it a face, or, more specifically, HIS face. Find the very best picture you have as well as the very worst one. In the notebook, paste the pictures at the top of the first page. Below the best picture, list his best qualities—the things you will miss (“looks like Ashton Kutcher”). Below the worst picture, list his worst qualities, the things you absolutely will not miss (“not as smart as Ashton Kutcher”).

Let’s take a long look at both sides. Your ex has all of these qualities. It’s easy to remember only the good things rather than recall how the relationship deteriorated over time and the problems that led to its demise. He wasn’t perfect. Your relationship wasn’t perfect. At the end of the day, he’s just a person like you. Except not as pretty, and he scratches his crotch a lot.

So where were we? Right. Sixty days without seeing or speaking to him and why that’s hard. “Because I miss him, you jerks!” We know, and we’ve heard it all: You’re used to talking to him, you’re not used to sleeping alone, you really want to salvage the friendship, he hurt you and he’s not getting off that easy, he still has your favorite socks, and so on. They’re all just excuses not to move forward. So ask yourself, What does hanging on to or demanding scraps of his attention get you? What does tormenting yourself (or him) get you? Does the momentary relief of hearing his voice make up for the reinforced rejection you feel when every phone call or meeting doesn’t result in you getting your old life together back? What about him is more valuable than making yourself feel whole again?

These are questions that you need to answer, and your notebook is where you’re going to do it. We suggest that every day for these sixty days you write in your notebook first thing in the morning, even if you have to get up early. Just doing it will eventually give you the ability to leave some of your thoughts, pain, and anxiety on the page a few hours. How nice would a big ol’ break from thinking about him be? We know you feel like crap. We know this sounds like “blah blah blah, try this, it’s cool.” If that’s the way you feel, write it down. In fact, whenever you have a feeling — good or bad — and a spare moment, write it in your notebook. Rage on the page!

Try and think of it this way: You’re giving the time you were spending on him back to yourself as a gift while you set up shop as the new you.
From It’s Called A Breakup Because It’s Broken: The Smart Girl’s Breakup Buddy by Greg Behrendt and Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt c. 2005 Broadway Books. Greg Behrendt is a comic who worked on Sex and the City and is co-author of He’s Just Not That Into You. Amiira Ruotola-Behrendt is a writer and television producer. They live in Los Angeles with their daughter.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The Satan In The Vatican

The Satan In The Vatican

I see the proverbial beast in the white cassock of holiness.
Offering the misled the wormwood of Beelzebub
In the chalice of vice covered in the Eucharist of the Antichrist
As the gay monks frolic in the Vatican like drunkards in the pub
And the fallen Son of the Morning spills his accursed seed in the pulpit
As I see wickedness in the cloak of righteousness.

The wizards of the Holy See
Mating with the sirens of the Aegean Sea
As they share in the Unholy Communion of their Blood Covenant
Junkies of the Seminary and Bobbies of the Covent
Smoking the white powder of their dope
Blurring the vision of the Pope
As they turn the Vatican into the White Sepulcher
And the remnant flee from the torment of Lucifer.

The Vatican must take note of the testimony of true Ministers of God.

Archbishop Peter Akinola of Nigeria said the U.S. bishops had failed to repent for an act he said was contrary to their faith.

"America must repent, they must put a stop to that practice," Akinola told reporters. "If God says (homosexuality) is an abomination, they should say it is an abomination. ... If God says it is wrong, then it is wrong."

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


To Deo vivante: Who made the Word a gift

For Homo mortalis: Who craves the Word to live

In garment wrought of fiery stuff,

And undercoat of stellar sorts

They stood unfazed in crumbling sparks

Of Lie aligned with Morning Stars1.

With words a thousand beings to start,

And thoughts a thousand more in store:

They roam the face of deepest sphere

Of mounds of stars of wondrous sorts.

When such as keenly seen is scant,

You glean the ken and see it's speck –

They show the world in all's a spate

That being on stage as scenes is singed.

With minions bound in place to skip,

And millions more in store for spring –

They break the spell of numbing siege

Of winter – life's essence to shield.

In ceaseless eons – they stay the same;

And breathless span – unknown the scale,

They mount Eternity, a seam

Of being and will, a breathless scope.

In perfect ease – unroll the scroll;

With wanton peace – at once to speak:

They made the dots as scented sheets

Of sounds and sights: a thumping score.

With vaunted span as wide as sight,

And tenderest arms as cool as steel –

They bear in care the ponderous sheikh

And stag and sheaf and wondering sheep.

With all for all – nay naught for self;

And more for all: the scars, the stripes –

They gave and gave – with naught to spare

Of thought as work – as tells the Shroud.

With mills that grind from whole and shards,

To mill as fine as hail sans scars:

They mount in place a scheme as so

To sound for depths: their eons to sow.

With sunken heart beheld the scene,

As misty eyes appraised their strips:

They sighed in thought at what it seemed –

And saw to it: a token streak.

Cavernous depths of bounded strength,

Sinews intangible to sense –

They tread the sea in tandem strides

And stamp on myriad forms their seal.

With zeal unbounded, boundless source!

And will undaunted: steeped in salve –

They wright the Forces: "Mould Me salt!

For seas and systems – sumptuous sums!"

© 2003 by Adeleke Adeyemi

1. The Allusion is to "the father of lies" – once one of very many "sons of God," or "morning stars" in Judeo-Christian thought. (See St. John 8:44; Job 1:6; 38:7&Ezekiel 28:13.)

The identity belongs to Loki: the "god of mischief and destruction" in Norse mythology.

Patented as Esu in Yoruba folklore, it is told there how upon encountering two close friends walking on jollily deems it fit to destroy the amity between them – by simple recourse to mischief, an aspect of his being; his stock-in-trade for very many intents and purposes.

He surreptitiously intrudes into their line of vision, wearing a twin-lobed multi-colored cap. One friend sees it all as red; the other friend sees it as only black!

A quarrel ensues between the two, each disgusted with the other for pettiness in not conceding the point.

They soon come to blows – and end up parting ways.

Esu – or, Loki – stalks away with a smirk, satisfied his ruse has, once again, ruled supreme to carry the day.

This is his Parody of the NT Emmaus Walk reality ( St. Luke 24:13-32) – the Parody being a dimension of his persona.

His personhood is quite distinct, however, from the principle of evil – "the will to live in reverse". But he has, willy-nilly, assumed it for his personality. Hence, he is a cosmological counterfeit in reality.

He is a two-sided coin– Mischief and Destruction – in his present existence, which will end when he is spent, a function of Time only.

N.B:This poem was composed by one of the most gifted poets in Africa, my friend Adeleke Olufemi Adeyemi who has endured so much with me.And we are still the best of friends.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Hurricane Lolita

The Annotated Lolita
by Vladimir Nabokov
Hurricane Lolita
A Review by Christopher Hitchens

In Azar Nafisi's Reading Lolita in Tehran, in which young female students meet in secret with Xeroxed copies of Nabokov's masterpiece on their often chaste and recently chadored laps, it is at first a surprise to discover how unscandalized the women are. Without exception, it turns out, they concur with Vera Nabokov in finding that the chief elements of the story are "its beauty and pathos." They "identify" with Lolita, because they can see that she wants above all to be a normal girl-child; they see straight through Humbert, because he is always blaming his victim and claiming that it was she who seduced him. And this perspective -- such a bracing change from our conventional worried emphasis on pedophilia -- is perhaps more easily come by in a state where virgins are raped before execution because the Koran forbids the execution of virgins; where the censor cuts Ophelia out of the Russian movie version of Hamlet; where any move that a woman makes can be construed as lascivious and inciting; where goatish old men can be gifted with infant brides; and where the age of "consent" is more like nine. As Nafisi phrases it,

This was the story of a twelve-year-old girl who had nowhere to go. Humbert had tried to turn her into his fantasy, into his dead love, and he had destroyed her. The desperate truth of Lolita's story is not the rape of a twelve-year-old by a dirty old man but the confiscation of one individual's life by another. We don't know what Lolita would have become if Humbert had not engulfed her. Yet the novel, the finished work, is hopeful, beautiful even, a defense not just of beauty but of life ... Warming up and suddenly inspired, I added that in fact Nabokov had taken revenge on our own solipsizers; he had taken revenge on the Ayatollah Khomeini ...

It's extraordinary to think that the author of those anti-tyrannical classics Bend Sinister and Invitation to a Beheading, who would surely have felt extreme pleasure at this tribute, can be posthumously granted such an unexpected yet -- when you reflect on it -- perfectly intelligible homage. In his own essay on the fate of Lolita, Nabokov recalled a publisher who warned him that if he helped the author get it into print, they would both go straight to jail. And one of the many, many pleasures of Alfred Appel's masterly introduction and annotation is the discovery that Nabokov did not realize that Maurice Girodias and the Olympia Press were specialists in -- well, shall we just say "erotica"? -- when he let them have the manuscript. (The shock and awe surrounding its publication were later well netted by the great lepidopterist in one of John Shade's cantos in Pale Fire: "It was a year of tempests, Hurricane / Lolita swept from Florida to Maine.") Innocence of that kind is to be treasured.And innocence, of course, is the problem to begin with. If Dolores Haze, whose first name means suffering and grief, that "dolorous and hazy darling," had not been an innocent, there would be nothing tragic in the tale. (Azar Nafisi is someone who, in spite of her acuity and empathy, fails what I call the Martin Amis test. Amis once admitted that he had read the novel carefully before noticing that in its "foreword" -- written not by the unreliable Humbert but by "John Ray, Jr., Ph.D." -- we learn that Lolita has died in childbirth. She's over before she's begun. That's where the yearning search for a normal life and a stable marriage got her. I fear that the young ladies of Tehran missed that crucial, callous postdate/update sentence as well.)

Then we must approach the question of how innocent we are in all this. Humbert writes without the smallest intention of titillating his audience. The whole narrative is, after all, his extended jailhouse/madhouse plea to an unseen jury. He has nothing but disgust for the really pornographic debauchee Quilty, for whose murder he has been confined. But he does refer to him as a "brother," and at one point addresses us, too, as "Reader! Bruder!," which is presumably designed to make one think of Baudelaire's address of Les Fleurs du Mal to "Hypocrite lecteur, -- mon semblable, -- mon frère!" I once read of an interview given by Roman Polanski in which he described listening to a lurid radio account of his offense even as he was fleeing to the airport. He suddenly realized the trouble he was in, he said, when he came to appreciate that he had done something for which a lot of people would furiously envy him. Hamlet refers to Ophelia as a nymph ("Nymph, in thy orisons, be all my sins remembered"), but she is of marriageable age, whereas a nymphet is another thing altogether.

Actually, it is impossible to think of employing Lolita for immoral or unsavory purposes, and there is now a great general determination to approach the whole book in an unfussed, grown-up, broad-minded spirit. "Do not misunderstand me," said Amis père when he reviewed the first edition, "if I say that one of the troubles with Lolita is that, so far from being too pornographic, it is not pornographic enough." When he wrote that, his daughter, Sally, was a babe in arms, and now even those innocuous words seem fraught with implication. This doesn't necessarily alter the case, but neither can I forget Sally's older brother, who wrote,"Parents and guardians of twelve-year-old girls will have noticed that their wards have a tendency to be difficult. They may take Humbert's word for it that things are much more difficult -- are in fact entirely impossible -- when your twelve-year-old girl is also your twelve-year-old girlfriend. The next time that you go out with your daughter, imagine you are going out with your daughter."

"When I first read this novel, I had not had the experience of having a twelve-year-old daughter. I have had that experience twice since, which is many times fewer than I have read the novel. I daresay I chortled, in an outraged sort of way, when I first read, "How sweet it was to bring that coffee to her, and then deny it until she had done her morning duty." But this latest time I found myself almost congealed with shock. What about the fatherly visit to the schoolroom, for example, where Humbert is allowed the privilege of sitting near his (wife's) daughter in class: I unbuttoned my overcoat and for sixty-five cents plus the permission to participate in the school play, had Dolly put her inky, chalky, red-knuckled hand under the desk. Oh, stupid and reckless of me no doubt, but after the torture I had been subjected to, I simply had to take advantage of a combination that I knew would never occur again."

Or this, when the child runs a high fever: "She was shaking from head to toe. She complained of a painful stiffness in the upper vertebrae -- and I thought of poliomyelitis as any American parent would. Giving up all hope of intercourse ..."

Forgive me, hypocrite lecteur, if I say that I still laughed out loud at the deadpan way in which Nabokov exploded that land mine underneath me. And of course, as Amis fils half admits in his words about "parents and guardians," Lolita is not Humbert's daughter. If she were, the book probably would have been burned by the hangman, and its author's right hand sliced off and fed to the flames. But, just as Humbert's mind is on a permanent knife-edge of sexual mania, so his creator manages to tread the vertiginous path between incest, by which few are tempted, and engagement with pupating or nymphlike girls, which will not lose its frisson. (You will excuse me if, like Humbert, I dissolve into French when euphemism is required.) For me the funniest line in the book -- because it is so farcical -- comes in the moment after the first motel rape, when the frenzied Humbert, who has assumed at least the authority and disguise of fatherhood, is "forced to devote a dangerous amount of time (was she up to something downstairs?) to arranging the bed in such a way as to suggest the abandoned nest of a restless father and his tomboy daughter, instead of an ex-convict's saturnalia with a couple of fat old whores." None of this absurdity allows us to forget -- and Humbert himself does not allow us to forget -- that immediately following each and every one of the hundreds of subsequent rapes the little girl weeps for quite a long time ...

How complicit, then, is Nabokov himself? The common joking phrase among adult men, when they see nymphets on the street or in the park or, nowadays, on television and in bars, is "Don't even think about it." But it is very clear that Nabokov did think about it, and had thought about it a lot. An earlier novella, written in Russian and published only after his death -- The Enchanter -- centers on a jeweler who hangs around playgrounds and forces himself into gruesome sex and marriage with a vachelike mother, all for the sake of witnessing her death and then possessing and enjoying her twelve-year-old daughter. (I note one correspondence I had overlooked before: the hapless old bag in The Enchanter bears many unappetizing scars from the surgeon's knife, and when Humbert scans Lolita's statistics -- height, weight, thigh measurements, IQ, and so forth -- he discovers that she still has her appendix and says to himself, "Thank God." You do not want to think about that for very long either.) And then there is, just once, a hint of incest so elaborate and so deranged that you can read past it, as many critics have, before going back and whistling with alarm.
... the thought that with patience and luck I might have her produce eventually a nymphet with my blood in her exquisite veins, a Lolita the Second, who would be eight or nine around 1960, when I would still be dans la force d'age; indeed, the telescopy of my mind, or un-mind, was strong enough to distinguish in the remoteness of time a vieillard encore vert -- or was it green rot? -- bizarre, tender, salivating Dr. Humbert, practicing on supremely lovely Lolita the Third the art of being a granddad.

Arresting, as well as disgusting, to suddenly notice that Lolita (who died giving birth to a stillborn girl, for Christ's sake) would have been seventy this year ... However, I increasingly think that Nabokov's celebrated, and tiresomely repeated, detestation of Sigmund Freud must itself be intended as some kind of acknowledgment. If he thought "the Viennese quack" and "Freudian voodooism" were so useless and banal, why couldn't he stay off the subject, or the subtext?

I could very well do with a little rest in this subdued, frightened-to-death rocking chair, before I drove to wherever the beast's lair was -- and then pulled the pistol's foreskin back, and then enjoyed the orgasm of the crushed trigger. I was always a good little follower of the Viennese medicine man ...

Many a true word is spoken in jest, especially about the kinship between eros and thanatos. The two closest glimpses Humbert gives us of his own self-hatred are not without their death wish -- made explicit in the closing paragraphs -- and their excremental aspects: "I am lanky, big-boned, wooly-chested Humbert Humbert, with thick black eyebrows and a queer accent, and a cesspoolful of rotting monsters behind his slow boyish smile." Two hundred pages later: "The turquoise blue swimming pool some distance behind the lawn was no longer behind that lawn, but within my thorax, and my organs swam in it like excrements in the blue sea water in Nice." And then there's the offhand aside "Since (as the psychotherapist, as well as the rapist, will tell you) the limits and rules of such girlish games are fluid ..." in which it takes a moment to notice that "therapist" and "the rapist" are in direct apposition.

Once you start to take a shy hand in the endless game of decoding the puns and allusions and multiple entendres (the Umberto echoes, if I may be allowed) that give this novel its place next to Ulysses, you are almost compelled to agree with Freud that the unconscious never lies. Swinburne's poem Dolores sees a young lady ("Our Lady of Pain") put through rather more than young Miss Haze. Lord Byron's many lubricities are never far away; in the initial stages of his demented scheme Humbert quotes from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage: "To hold thee lightly on a gentle knee and print on thine soft cheek a parent's kiss," and when we look up the lines we find they are addressed to Harold's absent daughter (who, like Byron's child and Nabokov's longest fiction, is named Ada). Humbert's first, lost girlfriend, Annabel, is perhaps not unrelated to Byron's first wife, Anne Isabella, who was known as "Annabella," and she has parents named Leigh, just like Byron's ravished half-sister Augusta. The Haze family physician, who gives Humbert the sleeping pills with which he drugs Lolita preparatory to the first rape at the Enchanted Hunters Hotel, is named Dr. Byron. And while we are on the subject of physicians, remember how Humbert is recommended to "an excellent dentist":

Our neighbor, in fact. Dr. Quilty. Uncle or cousin, I think, of the playwright. Think it will pass? Well, just as you wish. In the fall I shall have him "brace" her, as my mother used to say. It may curb Lo a little.

Another Quilty, with his own distinctive hint of sadism. "Sade's Justine was twelve at the start," as Humbert reflects, those three so ordinary words "at the start" packing a huge, even gross, potential weight ... These clues are offset by more innocuous puns ("We had breakfast in the township of Soda, pop 1001") and by dress rehearsals for puns, as when Humbert decides to decline a possible joke about the Mann Act, which forbids the interstate transport of girls for immoral purposes. (Alexander Dolinin has recently produced a fascinating article on the contemporaneous abduction of a girl named Sally Horner, traces of the reportage of which are to be found throughout Lolita.)

All is apparently redeemed, of course, by the atrocious punishment that Nabokov inflicts for this most heinous of humanity's offenses. The molester in The Enchanter was hit by a truck, and Humbert dies so many little deaths -- eroding his heart muscles most pitifully -- that in some well-wrought passages we almost catch ourselves feeling sorry for him. But the urge to punish a crime ("Why dost thou lash that whore?" Shakespeare makes us ask ourselves in King Lear) is sometimes connected to the urge to commit it. Naming a girls' school for Beardsley must have taken a good deal of reflection, with more Sade than Lewis Carroll in it, but perhaps there is an almost inaudible note of redemption at Humbert and Lolita's last meeting (the only time, as he ruefully minutes, that she ever calls him "honey"), when "I looked and looked at her, and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else."

The most unsettling suggestion of all must be the latent idea that nymphetomania is, as well as a form of sex, a form of love.

Alfred Appel's most sage advice is to make yourself slow down when reading Lolita, not be too swiftly ravished and caught up. Follow this counsel and you will find that -- more than almost any other novel of our time -- it keeps the promise of genius and never presents itself as the same story twice. I mentioned the relatively obvious way in which it strikes one differently according to one's age; and if aging isn't a theme here, with its connotation of death and extinction, then I don't know what is. But there are other ways in which Lolita is, to annex Nabokov's word, "telescopic." Looking back on it, he cited a critic who "suggested that Lolita was the record of my love affair with the romantic novel," and continued, "The substitution 'English language' for 'romantic novel' would make this elegant formula more correct." That's profoundly true, and constitutes the most strenuous test of the romantic idea that worshipful time will forgive all those who love, and who live by, language. After half a century this work's "transgressiveness" makes every usage of that term in our etiolated English departments seem stale, pallid, and domesticated.