For Joby

joby these are evil days
and i fear
that i have said this so many times
that you will not know quite what i mean
when i say
joby these are evil days


The Harrowing of Hell


He that was taken by death has annihilated it.
He descended into Hades and took Hades captive.
He embittered it when it tasted His flesh.

And anticipating this, Isaiah exclaimed:
“Hades was embittered when it encountered Thee in the lower regions.”

This Old Man

Once more, the authors of Lupus-Cain have received an unsolicited contribution from a reader of this blog. One of you, dear readers, has submitted a verse that–though lying beyond the ordinary themes of Lupus-Cain–fittingly captures its spirit. For that we are grateful. Read, then, and be edified.

“This Old Man”

This old man was a drunken buffoon.
And when he would drink, he would croak like a loon.
He drank and he drank, and then he’d caterwaul.
Till the campus constable on this nuisance did call.
Said he: “Professor Swinburne, you’re a goddamn lout.
And the principals of Oxford will soon find it out.”
But this old man was cruel and sly.
He quickly reached down to unbutton his fly.
And said to him, “Sirrah! That’s no way to speak to a don.”
Now come over here, and I’ll show you how to go on.”
But the campus constable was nobody’s fool.
He mayn’t have gone to Eton, but he knew the Golden Rule.
“Do unto others as you’d have them do you.”
So he huffed and he puffed till Swinburne was blew.
And when he finished, he drank up the old man’s jism.
And said: “Finally I affirm the coherence of theism!”

On Political Action & Effectiveness

From time to time, the authors of Lupus-Cain receive unsolicited contributions from readers of this blog. In most cases, these contributions are considered but rejected. In this case, however, a reader has submitted a verse that–while it lies beyond the scope of typical themes of Lupus-Cain–captures its spirit in an unusually fitting manner.


        “The O-Boat”
         by a Reader
Be realistic, be responsible,
I want this nonsense to end!
Be serious about politics,
For Obama’s your friend.
With a grin on his face,
And a gun in his hand,
He’ll keep our cities quiet,
He’ll bring peace to this land.
Oh, he’s back and he’s black,
Are you too blind to see?
To the poor and defenseless,
He brings peace and prosperity.
Love him and serve him,
Respect him and his sword.
Now he’s building us an ark
So get on board!

Bring two of each kind,
As you climb in the O Boat
But above all else,
I want you to vote!

Commentary on 1 John 2:16

“For all that is in the world–the desire of the flesh, the desire of the eyes, the pride in riches–comes not from the Father but from the world.” 

Here, the apostle delineates–though does not describe–three basic forms of human sickness. Because he provides merely a taxonomy, and not a phenomenology proper, it will be my task here to sketch three brief examples of each distinctive form of sickness; a brief compendium of those illnesses that plague the soul. 
The desire of the flesh. This is the perverse desire to have one’s own way in the world, to dominate, to manipulate, and to order the world–and all of its inhabitants–to one’s own perverse way of reckoning. To be Master, Teacher, and Lord: the Center of Attention. The Father of Lies is the archetype,  Japheth is the ancestor, and today’s example is The Teacher.
The desire of the eyes. This is a perverse way of looking at God’s creation. And looking, and looking, and looking. The one who is possessed by the desire of the eyes will prioritize the seeing of bodily images over and above all other tasks. He will stare, with little regard for propriety. He will imagine, and those images will come to colonize and to dominate his imagination, and even his dreams. King David is the archetype, Ham is the ancestor, and the Two Gallants (and in particular, the Gallant of The Plains) exemplify this type today.
The pride in riches. This is a perverse misordering of material goods. It requires the least commentary, for it is the most crass, and the least interesting of the three basic human sin-sicknesses. However, it is also the most easily cured. The archetypal figures are the characters from our savior’s parables (the “rich man”), the ancestor is Shem, while our own example today is Lambkins.

Behold, I Show You a Mystery

The following are not words of true teachers, but rather the words of a deceiver. For one has said: “Not all shall rise; rather, some shall sleep in the dust of the earth forever. One such man is Abel, son of Adam; another is the second Abel, son of the most high.”

But we say: “It is true that the second Abel recapitulates the first Abel in all manner of things. Just as the first Abel did not resist his brother Cain, but allowed him what is called ‘wolf space,’ neither  does the second Abel resist Cain. Rather, he grants unto him the steppes, the prairies, and a dry and cold place on which to roam.”

We say further: “But to deny that either the first or the second Abel has risen unto new life is rank apostasy. Let such a deceiver be Anathema.”