Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Most Popes Are Called "Babe" Because Growing Up to Be Pope Is a Lot of Fun



James Tate

Any poodle under ten inches high is a toy.
Almost always a toy is an imitation
of something grown-ups use.
Popes with unclipped hair are called “corded popes.”
If a Pope’s hair is allowed to grow unchecked,
it becomes extremely long and twists
into long strands that look like ropes.
When it is shorter it is tightly curled.
Popes are very intelligent.
There are three different sizes.
The largest are called standard Popes.
The medium-sized ones are called miniature Popes.
I could go on like this, I could say:
“He is a squarely built Pope, neat,
well-proportioned, with an alert stance
and an expression of bright curiosity,”
but I won’t. After a poodle dies
all the cardinals flock to the nearest 7-Eleven.
They drink Slurpies until one of them throws up
and then he’s the new Pope.
He is then fully armed and rides through the wilderness alone,
day and night in all kinds of weather.
The new Pope chooses the name he will use as Pope,
like “Wild Bill” or “Buffalo Bill.”
He wears red shoes with a cross embroidered on the front.
Most Popes are called “Babe” because
growing up to become a Pope is a lot of fun.
All the time their bodies are becoming bigger and stranger,
but sometimes things happen to make them unhappy.
They have to go to the bathroom by themselves,
and they spend almost all of their time sleeping.
Parents seem incapable of helping their little popes grow up.
Fathers tell them over and over again not to lean out of windows,
but the sky is full of them.
It looks as if they are just taking it easy,
but they are learning something else.
What, we don’t know, because we are not like them.
We can’t even dress like them.
We are like red bugs or mites compared to them.
We think we are having a good time cutting cartoons out of the paper,
but really we are eating crumbs out of their hands.
We are tiny germs that cannot be seen under microscopes.
When a Pope is ready to come into the world,
we try to sing a song, but the words do not fit the music too well.
Some of the full-bodied popes are a million times bigger than us.
They open their mouths at regular intervals.
They are continually grinding up pieces of the cross
and spitting them out. Black flies cling to their lips.
Once they are elected they are given a bowl of cream
and a puppy clip. Eyebrows are a protection
when the Pope must plunge through dense underbrush
in search of a sheep.

  • What the hell is wrong with me, why did it take me until 5:56 this morning to remember Tate's pope-poem? My apologies. 
  • My apologies, I need point out again that when Obama is confronted (their word) w/questions about drones, especially by Democrats, weigh what's worse, they know it's kabuki, they think it's not kabuki?
  • Trick question: insert whatever question behind that freaky backward E-thing of power and under that skeevy square root thing of greed and fuck me, your motives can be - probably are - purer than mine and thus more concussive than a depth charge dropped from PT-73.
  • My apologies, after Get Smart and F Troop allusions yesterday, I thought a McCale's Navy allusion was necessary today, Old Leadbottoms.
  • My apologies, this was going to be an aarghfree post.
  • the moon gazed  my midnight labors...
  • Taco Cat is a palindrome.
  • Hey, look what was waiting for me when I got home last night:

  • Arsenal line-up for tonight: Fabianski, Jenks, a mop, dust, Gibbs, dark matter, no tomato, inanimate carbon rod, Bergerac, Akers, a merkin.
  • Devotion of rubes.
  • Hey, if you listen to WFMU and/or appreciate what they do for music, they are way behind on their goals for the annual Marathon, throw them even a Snacks Sticker Sheet's worth of $$$ please. Look how much Arvo Pärt they play!
  • Will there be a WFMU in 2046, when Planet is my age today, when I'm 85, when this fucking blog is 42, imagine how old the gags you hate now will be then.
  • The ten least hipster cities.
  • Baltasound.
  • Bailter Space.
  • A guide to Arvo Pärt's music.
  • bX-62m038 - that's what motherfucking blooger told me after it ate this post last night - the part written before I remembered the Tate poem this morning - keeps telling me up to three minutes ago. What is an idiot blogwhore and attention slut to do?
  • I had two interesting conversations blog-sparked yesterday, sincere thanks to you both, one - hehful - by phone, say no more say no more, the second by email, asking me to clarify one of my habitual spasms, not the following one, but related to Have I ever mentioned I love in this case Arvo Pärt's music? Because I do love Arvo Pärt's music, I mention it, play it all the time. Usually in this situation I would use the italicized question above as a brick in a gag lamely rhetorical to you perhaps but sophisticated as an anchor link to echoes to me, but not this time, just like this time.


  1. Holy airwaves, Batman, I feel like I've steeped into some sort of a Time Tunnel what with all the 60s TV references.

    It's okay, Li'l Buddy, it's not like we're going to revive the Jeannie v. Samantha battle again. Or Ginger v. Mary Ann.

    Whew. Gollee, Sarge. That was always such a Mission Impossible.

  2. We did the Ginger v Mary Ann thing last month. I stand by my assessment: "In the ubiquitous and sexist game of who would you rather do boys played in my school years, I always thought those who chose Marianne were either lying and/or dopes and/or chose her because she'd also cook their dinner and do their laundry."

    But yes, by picking Siegfried as avatar I pegged my age (and my fascination with TV shows that toggled from black & white to color. I can't explain how much that happening when I was a kid has influenced my way of seeing the world.

  3. This is all just a ruse.

    They're adding corn syrup to the old pope instead of sugar and In 6 months they'll re-release him as Pope Classic.

    From Redskins Insider, of all places.

  4. All those damn food trucks kept Cleveland off that list. I'm guessing they finally picked an old cracker to wear the ruby slippers.