where the writers are

In my previous post I suggested that the late Senator Jesse Helms is now in hell. That was incorrect, or may be. As my friend and teacher James McCourt once told me, there is no way of knowing who is in hell, or bound for it. This at least is true in Catholicism, which I think has the final word on hell. Going by another tradition, only the Buddha and a very small number of arhats or bodhisattvas are said to know the contents of their past lives, which presumably would include some lives spent in hell. I for one do not, and so I can make no assumptions as to where the personality that was Jesse Helms has gone, if it still exists.

The danger of bloging is that it encourages the author to start thinking of himself as the editorial committee of his or her favorite newspaper, The Daily Me, which, as we all know, is infallible.

But even the Times screwed up on Iraq.

2 Comment count
Comment Bubble Tip

i'd bet on it

The odds are in favor of your being right. But I appreciate your acknowledgement that there's no way of proving it from here. : ) I can't help thinking about an amazingly powerful poem by a North Carolina writer named Jaki Shelton Greene called "prayer for jesse" (from her book conjure blues). It begins: "i will smear blood under your eyes / stand in the same dream with you / hear your secret screams . . . " and devotes six sections to pondering what kind of curse or evil mojo brought him into this world and what kind of rituals might save him (and his victims) from his evil ways. It ends: "your speaking will cease / you will fear the eyes of all children / you ought to get to the altar / and speak in tongues."


Comment Bubble Tip

Great Poem

Whew. No wonder he wanted to shut down the NEA! I sometimes wish I had the gall to write an updated version of THE INFERNO; it would give me the chance to populate hell with the sonsofbitches of my choice.

Peter Trachtenberg