Michael Ondaatje, “The Collected Works of Billy The Kid”

His stomach was warm
remembered this when I put my hand into
a pot of luke warm tea to wash it out
dragging out the stomach to get the bullet
he wanted to see when taking tea
with Sallie Chisum in Paris Texas

With Sallie Chisum in Paris Texas
he wanted to see when taking tea
dragging out the stomach to get the bullet
a pot of luke warm tea to wash it out
remembered this when I put my hand into
his stomach was warm

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Siri Husvedt, “Living, Thinking, Looking”

“…Self-consciousness itself is born in the “mirroring” and the acquisition of symbols through which we are able to represent ourselves as an “I,” a “he,” or a “she.” It is this distance from the self that makes narrative movement and autobiographical memory possible. Without it, we couldn’t tell ourselves the story of ourselves. Living solely in reflection, however, creates a terrible machinery of insatiable desire, the endless pursuit of the thing that will fill the emptiness and feed a starved self-image. Emma Bovary dreams of Paris: “She knew all the latest fashions, where to find the best tailors, the days for going to the Bois or the Opera. She studio descriptions of furniture in Eugene Sue, and sought in Balzac and George Sand a vicarious gratification of her own desires.”

It is no secret that, once gained, the objects of desire often lose their sweetness. The real Paris cannot live up to the dream city. The high-heeled pumps displayed in a shop window that glow with the promise of beauty, urbanity, and wealth are just shoes once they find their way into the closet. After a big wedding, which in all its pomp and circumstance announces marriage as a state of ultimate arrival, there is life with a real human being, who is inevitably myopic, weak, and idiosyncratic. The revolutionary eats and sleeps the revolution, the grand cleansing moment when a new order will triumph, and then, once it has happened, finds himself wandering among corpses and ruins. Only human beings destroy themselves by ideas.”

Jeffery Burton Russell, “Satan: The Early Christian Tradition”

“Christian tradition has interpreted the saving work of the Passion in three main ways. According to the first interpretation, human nature had been sanctified, dignified, transformed, and saved by the very act of Christ’s becoming man. In terms of the second, Christ was a sacrifice offered to God in order to bring about the reconciliation between man and God. The third, in ransom theory, found its first strong proponent in Irenaeus, and its basis is as follows. Since Satan justly held the human race in prison, God offered himself as ransom for our freedom. The price could be paid only by God. Only God could freely submit. No on else could choose freely, because original sin had deprived us all our freedom. By submitting to Satan’s power of his own free will and choice, Christ liberated us from the Devil’s power. God handed Jesus over in order to release the hostages. The Devil accepted Jesus. But when he seized him and put him to death, he overstepped the boundaries of justice, since Jesus himself was without sin and could not justly be held. The Devil had held us justly in the past, but when he broke the rules of justice himself, he lost his rights and could no longer hold either Jesus or us. Christ’s suffering crippled the Devil, freeing us from death and damnation.”