Anthony Pau Cabrales: journal — II

From the journal of Anthony Pau Cabrales, Associate Justice

21. On the Fifth Circuit, at home

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake, centered near Port-au-Prince, Haiti, leaves some 200,000 and more dead, dying. Night after the quake, in the streets of Port-au-Prince, packed in the safety of outside, a capella music begins, the hymnal phrase Blessed be the Lord weaving through the streets. January, 2010.


I tread the earth, and the earth is firm beneath my feet, and there is no motion to the earth, and the earth is the center of all things, and I am the center of the earth, and the eye of the Creator is upon me.


–Cardinal to Galileo Galilei

Bertolt Brecht




When the dice are thrown on the table of the earth it trembles and is broken.


Gilles Deleuze

Nietzsche and philosophy


We have no name for you, you no Katrina whose path becomes a personality, whose turn of desolation becomes someone else’s grace. No: you are everywhere, at once, existence falling from itself, theology shattered into dumbed ignorance. You dissolve what we were, shatter every tie, erase every petty monument to our climbed successes, dead bodies grounding our heights turned liquid in physics, drowning us as we drowned them.

This your grace: all done in no hand of ours. Grace beyond Apocalypse, Apocalypse which shall be made in our own engines, we thereby revealed as your destructive hand, then knowing there never was a we, only a you, awaiting End. But not this day. Today you invite us to struggle ourselves anew; to war, not against some of us, but all of us. We go to battle ourselves, to stand on the dead necessarily uncountable and make ourselves something new, no sea of shacks to topple in the next time, desperation fragile which was and is our living murder. In that desolation is humanity unowned, the lumber of our building, the only ground we have ever had. You clear the land in irresponsible lumber so we may war in charity toward a bloodless victory; yet we fearful of what shall outreach to us, that when the grief clears we will see nought but us again.

Streets flow with Blessed be the Lord, detritus of survival offering grace to the creator, needs be in lower case, that this time the he that is we can get it right.

Added later:

Lord, see our struggle. We level Europe in rehearsal of your End, raising thereafter a world incomprehensible to our past. But you turn eyes to the protective sky called United States, saying not yet, not yet. And shatter some others’ worlds for a try again.


22. On the US Supreme Court, before appointment of Suzuki

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, Archbishop of Buenos Aires, takes the name Francis I upon election to the Papacy.  When greeting the crowd below, he asks for their blessing before blessing them.  March, 2013.


Bless me, I above, tiered toward Heaven, a would be infinity point, trick of perception salvation’s map.  Web me in your say, tether me, my ride to Heaven not that but floating wayward loss into oblivion; out of your sighted site I no longer would be.  Keep me here, tell me my path can be, see me so there is a path.  I am not toward God but a signal to God, and when I look down I see up is there.  The path to Heaven is in the distance.  Climb hard, turn around; there is God.

Around me riches of red and gold, I holed within them, a hermit from empowered belief, impoverished through self humiliation.  They’ve sayed me out, pushed my backwall chiseled out of prayer forward with their words, back filled my doubt with doctrine until I spilled forth among them.  Red eyes capture me, lead us, miracle they made yet no one made, Godded act, take us into forward as we harness you, existence the church, cardinal belief, so many says woven into election, where can doubt have a place to rest?  Into the room of tears, borne yet again, crying out the route of faith, its door closing me into a silence of no one’s making, no cave but cell empowered.

They will come and ask my name, their chance for difference, for novelty in all the sayed said.  Francis, stigmata, still pin pointing truth for all to see.  Francis, condemned, then sainted when he would not go away, our truth that which survives our flay.  Francis, who walked the desert, his survival your Act of God.

Francis.  Your beady eyes peck at this gift of God.  Poverty raised to grandeur in our robes, whatever I say shaped by your mouths.  So say.  Francis I say and watch you say, flowing through the rich red no color of blood.  Say the name.  You took the story.  Mayhap it will now take you.

Bless me.  Then I can bless you, all of us distanced from God.  The kingdom amidst us, in the looks distant but here, intersection of our glanced queries the locus of God.

[Editorial note: The room of tears, where the newly elected goes to dress himself in Papal attire alone, before greeting the outside crowd, is entered after declaring the Papal name.  Cabrales has reversed the events.]


23. On the US Supreme Court, otherwise undated

Refractions of Gandhi

August 1914.  Gandhi travels by sea to England as World War I begins, with him his closest confident, a well off Jewish architect, who carries an expensive pair of cherished binoculars.  Gandhi convinces him to throw them into the ocean.

To toss that for a moment beyond our acts yet present, above a barrier that marks oblivion upon which we travel, terrain of unlived science beneath, instrument to spy distance abandoned into the final reality beyond us all.  Death comes to our tools too.  Glistening surface of waves anonymous to cause, gentle force ready to dissolve all, pierced by an extension of our eyes now blind, to drift downward on currents of spent purpose lost to all but the actions of millennia.

Gandhi chuckles.  Why spy far what cannot be touched when without each other nothing can be touched?  Their knowledge leaves us isolate grain for harvest.  But around us is another sea, of people who in their touch send waves to toss they who ride our medium using us for travel which drowns us in ourselves.  They stay afloat on us.  But we will not drown them as would the sea we ride today–just nudge them in gentle current through which they live, our life their support until they flow away.

This sea which shines blind then invites entry in trough and swell yet can break us with a density of universe; we are not that.  We are what we ride, the hands which keep ourselves afloat.  They–they ride purpose beyond themselves which will smash them into walls of their own body.  Each sea makes you its own.  Let us go down below to forget where we are until arrived at the hope of hands that pull us out onto the land of our making where they too will be grateful for a sojourn.  Surrounded by their purpose, we will be the island they hope to spy, unaware they shall walk on others’ water, miracle unknown yet there.