Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Gallery Showing - Light and Joy


I have such a sense of joy whenever I see any of Orion's art. From a visual stand point alone they are stunning, I mean absolutely stunning. They are playful, but not infantile. The type of pictures that both children and adults can enjoy and find delight in, though for different reasons. If there is ever any doubt that illustration is an art form that has to be taken more seriously Orion's work proves that point. In a world where dark, edgie, and politically incorrect just for the sake of being dark, edgie, and politically incorrect her work is novel, it doesn't make any appologies nor try to explain itself. It stands on it's own. Her work doesn't try too hard, it just is. That is what makes her work so special. She doesn't try too hard, but let's it speak for itself.



posted by Out Of Jersey | 4:36 PM | 5 comments

Monday, March 27, 2006

Abandonment


All leaving is betrayal.

-- Dan Maguire – Leavings

Over forty or fifty years our houses

Waited for our stories to begin like a wind

Chimes hesitant first notes.

Whenever

I came over for a game of chess

All I wanted was to play a game,

But your children wanted to laugh out loud,

Forget they are old men and the games must stop.

A friend of mine often quotes, "A poem is never finished, only abandoned." I cannot remember who it was who said that, but it's true. I've been puttering away at this stupid thing for three years. Still no title (secretly, I hate titles, don't like reading them, don't like coming up with them), still the feeling that it needs something, but not knowing what that something is. Unless the Holy Spirit decides to give me an epiphany I bid it adieu. The epigram is a line from my friend with the quote.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:25 PM | 6 comments

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Commentary on Cate's Work


When I first published Cate's story below someone asked me why I hadn't given my commentary on her story. Stories are a lot different than art work in the fact that you can get the big picture just at a glance while with a story you have to invest a little more time to get the full story. Where they coincide is you need to devote time and energy (something a lot of people aren't willing to do anymore) to really dig deep to get the full picture. And I have to thank She's A Sprite for pointing out to me how Oz's uses the theme of Eve and the Garden of Eden a lot, something which I missed. Props to you Sprite. Anyway, I wanted to wait til people read Cate's story because anything I said would have spoiled it for everyone.

Now that enough people have read it I find it safe to say that rightly so everyones attitudes have been possitive. What was not to love? It is hard to write about heart ache and not have it appear to be melodramitic or over the top. More of a soap opera than a story. Plus, realism is back in fiction. Everyone was trying (and failing) to be another Chuck Palanhiuk. Grotesque stories of hyper realism where the strange is the norm. But let's face it, our lives are ordinary and boring at times. We plod through life like it's any other thing. And that is where Cate's work fits into the big picture. Where Oz's pictures use bright primary colors to soften the blow of the harsh underbelly, Cate's pictures exploit the ordinary. For ordinary is life, and tends to be a lot stranger than we give it credit for. Just as life can distract us from what is really going on in the world, so Cate's stories distract you from what is really happening before you.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 1:42 PM | 1 comments

Friday, March 24, 2006

Flash Fiction: What Isn't


This is a story Cate has been promising to send me for over a month now. It's about time too, I can see that she was holding out on me. This is one of those stories that after you read it all you can say is "Whoa!". That doesn't happen too often. I do not know how she manages to get so many ideas, images, etc. wrapped into such a short piece of work. It is poetic. I don't want to share too much, just read and discover for yourself.
-cube rev

Bella’s baby is wearing a striped terry cloth sleeper stained with something green. Green beans? Or maybe it’s spinach? Hard to tell. Bella’s baby lays belly down in his stroller and has powerful legs that he kicks out behind him, a frog swimming in water. Bella calls her baby’s legs his “hindquarters” as a joke. She thinks that this is funny, in the same way that people laugh after they tell a baby that it is delicious. You’re so delicious. I just want to gobble you up. Indeed, Bella’s baby’s legs are fat sausages, his complexion creamy like vanilla pudding, soft like a dumpling. Her puddin’ dumplin’with powerful hindquarters, that’s who this one is.

Bella likes this park best because the benches are spread out from each other and because there’s a nice sized playground and solid trees and a clean drinking fountain. Children come here, not teenagers who slink and slither and offer her booze, but real children: little girls in purple tights, boys with baseball caps and sweaty faces. Bella likes this bench best, too, because it is far from any of the trash receptacles, which usually stink like dog shit. The drinking fountain is behind Bella’s bench, and after glancing at her baby, Bella wanders over for a drink. The stream of water reminds Bella of ice and a Winter that is only four months away.

Bella is taking another drink when her baby begins to cry. She rushes back to her bench without wiping her mouth; some water dribbles down her chin and onto her blouse. She peers in the stroller to find her baby kicking his hindquarters and trying to lift his head. Her baby’s screams compete with the jug band shouts from the monkey bars and makes Bella’s head start to pound. She’s tired. She rarely sleeps well these days.

Bella watches the woman with the long fingers and unpolished nails reach into the stroller and pick up the baby, cradling his head in the ball of her hand. Bella wants to say to this woman, you’re dismissed, and tuck a couple of bucks into the woman’s pocket, but she can’t because she doesn’t have a couple of bucks. But this woman whispers to Bella’s baby, “Mama’s got you,” and Bella suddenly remembers that although this baby is hers, he isn’t. Just as this bench that she eases into and sleeps on is hers, but isn’t. Just as the fountain where she drinks and cools her face and washes her hands is hers, but isn’t.

This world is hers, but isn’t.

Bella can’t watch this woman hug this baby. Bella folds up the newspapers that she used as blankets the night before. She sits down and hugs her knees, instead of her baby, to her chest. She listens to children laugh in this home that is hers, but isn’t.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 3:39 PM | 14 comments

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Poetry Thursday - Bei Dao: Poet of Exile


Old Snow
Bei Dao

When the snow receives an ancient language
maps of national territories change shape
on this continent
snow shows deep concern
for a foreigner's small room

Before my door
lies a three metre long steel rail

Factories go bankrupt, governments fall
outdated newspapers converge
into a decomposed ocean
old snow comes constantly, new snow comes not at all
the art of creation is lost
windows retreat
....five magpies fly past

Unexpected sunlight is an event

Green frogs start their hibernation
the postmen's strike drags on
no news of any kind

posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:30 PM | 6 comments

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Gallery - Oz's Art


I can’t believe she is only twenty years old! Looking at her art makes me realize how much of a schlep I was at her age. I spent more time trying to not work than she has creating these beautiful art works. When I came upon her blog just one look at her pictures made me feel like I had to post them on my sight. They are so playful and alive! They are a joy to look at, but beneath the surface they can be equally as dark and harsh. These pictures aren’t the whispy dreams or heavy broodings of someone playing artist. Any sense of melancholy is easily over powered by her bright colors, mythic subjects, and stress on beauty in its various forms. If she is creating this type of work at the age of 20, what will she be producing in 10, 20, or 40 years? The middle two are my personal favorites.





posted by Out Of Jersey | 4:15 PM | 8 comments

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

This isn't goodbye


When I started this blog I did it more on a lark as a way to talk about the things I felt were important and as a way of working on my writing. Though over the short life of the Cube Rev it has more and more been consuming my life to the point where I am spending more time on the blog and not on other things like my job. So I am sad to sad to say that I have to start stepping back from the amount of posts that I am doing. I am hoping that I can continue as often as I can to do the art posts, the poetry posts, and other things, just at a much abbreviated pase than I have in the past. Thank you for all the support you have given this little blog of mine and understand that if I do not contact you or comment on your blogs as often as I have in the past, but there are other things that are things that I have been neglecting for too long. I am not completely giving up on the blog, just greatly decreasing my activity. So don't worry A..., I am sure you will find other ways to get on my nerves than just by posting on the blog.

Love,
The Cube Rev

posted by Out Of Jersey | 11:55 AM | 13 comments

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Do you have what it takes?


Do you think you know the cube rev? How well do you know him? I mean really really know him? Take the Cube Rev Challenge and find out.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:05 PM | 3 comments

Monday, March 13, 2006

Worth A Look


Speaking of things worth noticing, here are a few bands that are flying under the radar:


  1. Tegan and Sara - Twin sisters from canada, some of the best haromies and chord driven rock I've heard in ages. Probabbly the best band I've heard in the last 5 years.
  2. Pedro The Lion - A one man band, he has broken out of the CCM market to write some of the most heart breaking songs around.
  3. The Raveonettes - There is no way for me to describe them, you just have to give them a listen.
  4. James Hunter - Soul is alive and well. I seriously thought this guy was a 60 year old black man.
  5. The Hooligans - Philadelphias best celtic rock band.

You Are 48% Abnormal
You are at medium risk for being a psychopath. It is somewhat likely that you have no soul.
You are at medium risk for having a borderline personality. It is somewhat likely that you are a chaotic mess.
You are at medium risk for having a narcissistic personality. It is somewhat likely that you are in love with your own reflection.
You are at high risk for having a social phobia. It is very likely that you feel most comfortable in your mom's basement.
You are at low risk for obsessive compulsive disorder. It is unlikely that you are addicted to hand sanitizer.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:30 PM | 9 comments

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Cube Head Assignment


What to be a guest blogger? Have art, poetry, flash fiction to share? E-mail me what you'd like to have posted and I'll consider it for a future post. E-mail all submissions or idea recomendations or any suggestions you have for the blog to cubicle.reverend@gmail.com .

You Are Emerald Green
Deep and mysterious, it often seems like no one truly gets you.Inside, you are very emotional and moody - though you don't let it show.People usually have a strong reaction to you... profound love or deep hate.But you can even get those who hate you to come around. There's something naturally harmonious about you.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:45 PM | 17 comments

Thursday, March 09, 2006

The Friday Gallery - Brandi Powell






Brandi's colors are so alive and vibrant. Even when dealing with darker imagery there is an overt hint of the beauty found there. Her sight Visual Awakenings aptly describes her work. They are visually awakening, they are live, and bright, and beautiful. There is just as much whimsy as well as the sensualness of the human form.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:24 PM | 13 comments

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different....


I am a tad bored with trying to write about my every day thoughts on Lent. I will continue with the readings, but will only comment on them when I come up with something interesting because quite frankly I've been reading the same thing day after day. So for a change of pace, here are the lyrics for "Three Little Birds" by Bob Marley.

Don’t worry about a thing,
’cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin’: don’t worry about a thing,
’cause every little thing gonna be all right!
Rise up this mornin’,
Smiled with the risin’ sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, (this is my message to you-ou-ou:)
Singin’: don’t worry ’bout a thing,
’cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin’: don’t worry (don’t worry) ’bout a thing,
’cause every little thing gonna be all right!
Rise up this mornin’,
Smiled with the risin’ sun,
Three little birdsPitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, this is my message to you-ou-ou:
Singin’: don’t worry about a thing, worry about a thing, oh!
Every little thing gonna be all right.
don’t worry!
Singin’: don’t worry about a thing - I won’t worry!
’cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin’: don’t worry about a thing,
’cause every little thing gonna be all right - I won’t worry!
Singin’: don’t worry about a thing,
’cause every little thing gonna be all right.
Singin’: don’t worry about a thing, oh no!
’cause every little thing gonna be all right!

posted by Out Of Jersey | 7:33 PM | 12 comments

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Lenten Journals - Days 4 - 6


Day 4 - Chains Are the Fitting Ornaments of Faith - Polycarp

I must be making the faith sound so attractive. My discussions on going through the desert, the difficulty of understanding my redemption, and the heartache caused by our struggling with our identity in Christ. The image of being in chains are equally as difficult an image. Paul was in chains when he wrote Phillipians 3:1

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.

A friend of mine said that prison allowed Paul to have to write the epistles which make up a greater portion of the New Testament. If only my time alone as well spent. I hate being alone. I need to be on the go all the time, finding some errand to do. Christ went to the desert, Paul was in prison, and I have a house full of electronic crap to make enough noise to rattle my neighbors windows.


Day 5 - Blessed Are The Meek (Matt 5:5)
Be ye meek in response to their wrath, humble to their opposition. - St. Ignatius

The faith is so contrary to what we are taught in the world. Several months back I was in a bar to see a friends band perform. I was so taken back by what was going on around me I almost completely stopped listening to the music. People so despearate for love, for a connectioni, they attatched themselves to anyone who pays attention. Alcohol really helps in that respect. As a Christian I am asked to be meek and humble, to love and serve. My instinct is to blow these people off. To let them go down their path to destruction. Jesus probably would have acted a tad differently.


Day 6 - My Prayer For You
If I were to pick the one or two things I've seen as major themes with the church father's it'd be

  1. We are to glorify God the father and we should love each other as Christ loved us.

Maybe I am reading a lot into this, but it seems to me that by loving and serving others we are able to point others to the Love of God and in turn bring glory to Him. Worship and prayer are the other side of the same coin.

In my journey through the desert I have forgotten I am not alone. For six days I have been focussing on myself, becoming self obsorbed, ignoring the people around me who are going through their own desert experience. Several people recelty talked to me abou ttheir own experiences here in the desert. So it is for you that I make this prayer:

That God may renew the broken relationships in your life,

for guidance in the difficult choices you are going to make, both the ones that come by choice and ones that do not.

May you seek Him in all you do and desire to know God in his holy and righteous love.

Amen.

I love you all, you have my support, my prayers, and my encouragement.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 6:37 PM | 3 comments

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Lenten Journal - Days 2 & 3



Day 2: Pressing On
Phillipians 3:1
Phillipians 3:12-14

It is easy for me to talk about pressing on and persevering when I'm only 2 days into my journey. It is no coincidence that my scripture reading for this week are about rejoicing and striving towards the prize. Everyone in my life is going through some sort of change or hardship. Verbal mentioned a story from James Baldwin's book Going To Meet The Man called "Sonny's Blues" about a man trying to save his younger brother from drugs. I had a particularly hard time reading this story because I have been the younger brother destroying himself, not by drugs, but by bad choices and apathy. I have also watched others destroying themselves. Helplessly watching as they struggle with their demons. Yet we press on. We pray and minister. We hope and worry. In Mathetes Epistle to Diognetes it is written, " They pass their days on earth, but they are citizens of Heaven."



Day 3: The Old Gods

Satan offered Jesus the whole world if he bowed down and worshipped him. Jesus said no. For Satan to be seen as God is a mockery for what can he offer? God through the death and resurrection of Christ wants us to come to Him, to be with Him. Doesn't that make the whole world seem like a giant dung heap in comparrison?

In my daily life I see the old gods I try to leave behind. In Mathetes Epsitle he talks about how the old gods of wood rot and the old gods of stone crumble.

So what matters? What is important? I see many of the churches bickering over one thing or another only to lose sight of the One True God. I know this anger. I lost sight of the True God to carry onto a temporary one. I had been hurt, followed bad teaching, so whenever something came along I didn't like I'd blast it with as much anger as I could. I didn't even notice how angry I was until I met with the guy who's discipling and I start going off on a rant about how such and such a leader is not a true believer and is leading people astray. He just sat there looking at me. When I finally noticed I stopped and asked, "I'm a very angry person aren't I?" I am not saying we shouldn't challenge bad doctrine, but are we doing it as believers or as the world? There is a time and a place for everything. But what is more important? What matters? Where do I find my hope?

posted by Out Of Jersey | 10:02 AM | 5 comments

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lenten Journal - Day 1: Why Am I Wandering The Desert?



Why am I doing this? In all my years in both the catholic and protestant churches have I ever practised lent. Why start now? My decision to do it this year I made hastily. Not always the best reason to do anything let alone something intended to help you know and experience God.

Jesus walked into the desert, fasted 40 days, was tempted, and came out just as righteous. That is what I want. To come out of the desert I've been wandering in the past few years into the loving embrace of God free from the burden of my sins.

It is an interesting choice for Didache as the first day on my Church Father Reading. The almost compulsive view of sin leaves me feeling a bit discouraged. What are my options? An obssession with sin where I use it as a club to hammer the nails into other people's hands instead of those of Christ. Or to ignore sin so it may continue to corrupt my soul and the soul of all those around me.

Dear Father God, why am I here in the desert? I do not know the full coruption of sin, nor the full power of your death on the Cross. What is righteousness in light of sin? What good is the desert if I stand still?

Amen

posted by Out Of Jersey | 5:18 PM | 18 comments