The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries from August 2013

Lakefront Dusk, Late August

August 31st, 2013 · No Comments

Fat boys with the breasts of pubescent girls take off their shirts do cannonballs off the dock. Toddler soils his pants squeals on the beachfront. Auntie strips him down washes him in the lake. Devil’s darning needles stitch the fading sky with random dancing patterns of appetite and death.

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Evil, mean and average

August 31st, 2013 · No Comments

“When the highest and strongest drives, breaking passionately out, carry the individual far above and beyond the average and lowlands of the herd conscience, the self-confidence of the community goes to pieces, its faith in itself, its spine as it were, is broken: consequently it is precisely these drives which are most branded and calumniated.  […]

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Tags: Friedrich Nietzsche · Lit & Crit

Peace

August 30th, 2013 · No Comments

I’m Kelly.  It’s an Irish name. I’m black Irish.  I’m not from here.  I’m from farther south, from that part of town where five people were shot in front of the church last night.  On the steps of the church, they were just standing there.  Not hurting anyone. You don’t have a gun, do you? […]

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Just another beast of burden

August 30th, 2013 · No Comments

“‘Thou shalt obey someone and for a long time: otherwise thou shalt perish and lose all respect for thyself’—this seems to me to be nature’s imperative, which is, to be sure, neither ‘categorical’ as old Kant demanded it should be (hence the ‘otherwise’—), nor addressed to the individual (what do individuals matter to nature!), but […]

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Tags: Friedrich Nietzsche · Lit & Crit

Having Enough

August 29th, 2013 · No Comments

He told his wife, When I scratch my face I am scratching my face, not making secret baseball signs. When I say I’m going to clean the couch, it’s not because I think you “did something dirty” on it or to it (no one says you did), it’s because the generous people who gave it […]

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Hose him down

August 29th, 2013 · 2 Comments

“A man with genius is unendurable if he does not also possess at least two other things: gratitude and cleanliness.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil (trans. Hollingdale)

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Tags: Friedrich Nietzsche · Lit & Crit

Barely Otherwise

August 28th, 2013 · No Comments

Evanston is a town that sits on the left shoulder of Chicago, facing up (right shoulder if you’re facing down). It is protected by an asphalt moat patrolled by civilian traffic, a vast cemetary where fog twists around large monuments to people barely otherwise remembered, and a train track fatally electrified and lined by deciduous […]

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Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Words

It’s just a flesh wound

August 28th, 2013 · No Comments

“It has never been faith but always freedom from faith, that half-stoical and smiling unconcern with the seriousness of faith, that has enraged slaves in their masters and against their masters.  ‘Enlightenment’ enrages: for the slave wants the unconditional, he understands in the domain of morality too only the tyrannical, he loves as he hates, […]

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Tags: Friedrich Nietzsche · Lit & Crit

Rogers Park

August 27th, 2013 · 2 Comments

There’s a party in the alleyway every night. It’s August, it’s hot, what’re you going to do? Sit in your stuffy apartment, puny wall-unit wheezing a lie of cool, refreshing air? Watch some fast-food brain shit on the box? Drink thin beer from cheap cans, scream at the wife who screams at the boy while […]

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Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Politics & Law · Words

Deceiving first themselves

August 27th, 2013 · No Comments

“What makes one regard philosophers half mistrustfully and half mockingly is not that one again and again detects how innocent they are—how often and how easily they fall into error and go astray, in short their childishness and childlikeness—but that they display altogether insufficient honesty, while making a mighty and virtuous noise as soon as […]

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Tags: Friedrich Nietzsche · Lit & Crit

What It Means

August 26th, 2013 · No Comments

You didn’t ask—no one has asked but this is why I’m afraid of black people: I’m afraid of black people because television shows, movies, newspapers, magazines, and popular songs have taught me that black people hate me and want to hurt me because I’m white and because being white makes me guilty both of injustices […]

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Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Politics & Law · Words

A basic principle of leadership

August 26th, 2013 · No Comments

“Nothing is so infectious as example, and we never do great good or evil without producing the like.” – Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Reflections (trans. Bund & Friswell)

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Tags: Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Scoured

August 25th, 2013 · No Comments

The weeping man lied to God. He—the weeping man, not God (who may well be a she, or an it, or all three, plus…)— he is in the basement laundry room pulling the clean, wet clothes from the washer to put them into the dryer, where they will spin around for sixty minutes and he […]

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

At least it’s consistent

August 25th, 2013 · No Comments

“Does this present not belong to the mob?  The mob, however, does not know what is great or small, what is straight and honest: it is innocently crooked, it always lies.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (trans. Hollingdale)

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Tags: Economics · Friedrich Nietzsche · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Block Party

August 24th, 2013 · 2 Comments

Five dollars’ admission. All the neighbors (who can pay) are there. Canvas folding chairs (bring your own) line the curbside along green parkways. Dogs crap in those parkways. The new kids on the block are in attendance.  They are middle-aged and are me and my wife. We are shy but determined, frightened of people but […]

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Tags: Economics · Oniontown · Poems · Politics & Law · Words

Hang him by his nuts, see what he does

August 24th, 2013 · No Comments

“Man is the cruellest animal.  More than anything on earth he enjoys tragedies, bullfights, and crucifixions; and when he invented Hell for himself, behold, it was his heaven on earth.” – Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (trans. Hollingdale)

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Tags: Friedrich Nietzsche · Lit & Crit

Refugee

August 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

She doesn’t have her great-grandmother’s childhood book of stories and verse her grandmother’s cast-iron skillet her grandfather’s favorite glazed blue bowl or even her mother’s hand-knit afghan collection of imperial stamps and coins rocks from the Garden of the Gods. Her father collaborated with the enemy fled with her mother and older brother he was […]

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

The freedom of deliberate reading

August 23rd, 2013 · No Comments

“Books and reading, I believe, have to be understood and taught as a distinctive, embodied meditative tradition; as a rhetorically constructed deliberative verbal ordering of the world; and as a social practice through which the liberal ideal of a mutual human accountability was formulated and partially enacted. Reading as an embodied rhetorical verbal interchange and […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Branches

August 22nd, 2013 · 2 Comments

Boys gone wilding in the night have torn these branches down. Beat each other bloody with the splintered ends. Beat their girls, their lovers and their children. Broken bones, bruises, contusions, lacerations, punctures, abrasions.  Branches litter the breakwater. Leaves surf the waves.  The lake is churning this morning, waters muddy.

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Did I quit smoking, or did smoking quit me?

August 22nd, 2013 · No Comments

“When our vices leave us we flatter ourselves with the idea we have left them.” – Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Reflections (trans. Bund & Friswell)

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Tags: Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld · Lit & Crit

Castles

August 21st, 2013 · No Comments

The north wind is a hand it pushes at the Great Lakes freighter moving along the horizon The freighter pushes back its bridge and forecastle all that can be seen from the beach where the hand pushes waves up the sand washing away the castles the children built Gulls stretch their arms and stand aloft […]

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

16 Horsepower

August 21st, 2013 · No Comments

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Tags: Verandah

Cat’s got my tongue

August 21st, 2013 · No Comments

“As it is the mark of great minds to say many things in a few words, so it is that of little minds to use many words to say nothing.” – Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld, Reflections (trans. Bund & Friswell)

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Tags: Francois Duc De La Rochefoucauld · Lit & Crit

Down the Breakwater

August 20th, 2013 · 8 Comments

The lake is never still. It can calm to the point where it’s glassy over the shallows, and the waves barely ripple onto the beach, their sloshing easily inaudible when an airliner flies over on its approach to O’Hare. The sky is overcast, the clouds a low, quiet jumble in blue and gray and even […]

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Chronos devours his young

August 20th, 2013 · No Comments

“If in fact the core of our supposedly rational society is a great vacuum, if its present arrangement precludes any contestation to the Thanatos-fueled expansion of capital, then the seizure of power by the working class becomes a necessity for the continuing survival of the species. If the myths we have ceased to believe in […]

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Tags: Economics · Jarrod Shanahan · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Gallipoli

August 19th, 2013 · No Comments

We hit the beach under heavy fire. The first wave reached the seawall and they were all killed.  Their bodies fell back on the second wave, and the following waves, and all the soldiers in all the waves were shot down.  They fell back on those of us behind so fast, we were being buried […]

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

Sometimes it’s the NSA

August 19th, 2013 · No Comments

“The appeal of conspiracy  theories is simple. Whether its Lizard People, Ancient Aliens, Freemasons, Occupy’s ‘1%,’ or the poor maligned Rothschilds, the conspiratorial mind clings to the comforting notion of a world controlled by a rational agent capable of exerting its will to guide human events. Somebody is driving this thing … anybody. To the […]

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Tags: Jarrod Shanahan · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Today’s Biggest Winner

August 18th, 2013 · No Comments

The people near the station have a game they play it when the day is light the sun high and sky clear. The train is coming and the players— not all the people play—the players gather by the tracks.  The object of the game has to do with the train hitting the players. It’s simple […]

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words

I canna’ give ‘er no more power, Captain!

August 18th, 2013 · No Comments

“The irony of the increasing rationalization of society toward some mythic equilibrium is the intensification of paroxysm, of violent crisis, of catastrophe on a heightening scale which it has ensured. The crises inherent in the capitalist cycle now grip the entire planet, leaving destitution in the wake of periodic booms, leaving entire regions to starve, […]

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Tags: Economics · Jarrod Shanahan · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

God’s Children

August 17th, 2013 · 2 Comments

We are all sinners, craving a forgiveness we know we don’t deserve. We are all exiles, forever expelled from our homeland—it was only ever a dream. We are all vagrants on the hot, dusty road, telling lies to the border guards. We are God’s children, orphans in bloody rags.

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Tags: Oniontown · Poems · Words