The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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If only you could learn to love the pauses, gaps,
And empty spaces that grow with age,
Those dead zones where desires die,
And feed at this dry teat
Wander these dry paths
Lick in this parched hollow,
You’d be fine—
But I know you cannot—
For you paint your nails, dye your hair, rouge your lips
Like some grotesque maiden, like Lawrence himself,
Forgetting you are old, a husk, a shell
Broken and riven beyond hope,
Forever hearing them call your name,
“El-Orens, El-Orens, El-Orens!”
Imagine you will never die.

December 26, 2010   Comments Off on El-Orens


This coming year I’ve decided to invent a new religious movement, you know, something on the order of Scientology, Rosicrucianism, or Theosophy—secretative, arcane, and plunged in mystery. The central tenent shall be that wealth is the imprimature of god’s grace—the more the better. I’ll call it Mammonism.

It shall be constructed as a paramid scheme. It goes without saying that being at the apex of the organization, I’ll take a percentage of everything. The idea is to maximize membership. The more people new members enroll, the closer they’ll come to realizing the mystical gifts of Christ—fourteen in all—which will be revealed one-by-one based on how much they have earned. Naturally, these gifts were transmitted directly by Jesus Christ, preserved, and kept secret until his “Manual for the Salvation of the Soul” was discovered in a cave in Palastine less than a year ago. How it came into my possession is, of course, a mystery.

To promulgate this new religion, I’ll set up a website with levels of access based on rank. It will be advertised through tweets, social networking sites, and a specially crafted YouTube video, with under-the-table payments to The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast for posts disguised as a legitimate news stories.

There are still many details to be worked out, but it shouldn’t be too hard to flesh them out. There are more than a few examples in history to choose from.

December 26, 2010   Comments Off on Mammonism