Sons of God – Part 2

By Christopher Zoukis Image courtesy One prominent tale of the Blue Men goes thus: “A fishing trawl passed through the strait on its way home after a day of heavy fishing.  A light fog stood upon the carpet of a gray sea.  Lookouts were posted.  One of them spotted something floating on the suface […]

Read More

Sons of God – Part 1

Image courtesy Christopher Zoukis   

No one is really sure where this fairy tale originated.  Some scholars say that the story of the Blue Men came from Morocco, through the Berber traders as they sailed north to do business with the Scottish islanders.  The faces of the Berbers were glossy blue in color.  A color caused by the pigment they used to dye their leather merchandise.  When business went bad, the Berbers became pirates, sailing the strait looking for ships to plunder.  These pirate attacks were called “mad pleasure.”

According to legend, not only do the Blue Men have blue skin, but long gray faces with beards, and green hair.  Their eyes are small, their noses are flat like the back of an axe, and their mouths are wide.  They have long arms and fish-tails instead of legs, which means they are mermen.  As large as a normal land-bound man, their strength is prodigious. 

Read More


Image courtesy By Christopher Zoukis Recent publishing news:  College For Convicts (tentative title) will be published by McFarland & Co. I have signed a publishing contract with Headpress, a U.K. publisher, to produce a book on the East Coast Bloods. And I hope to soon announce some exciting news in the fiction arena.  Stay […]

Read More

Imagination – 2

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy

I’m actually going somewhere with all this information, trying to tie it all together.  Here’s the point:

There was once a woman named Margery Winifred Williams.  She was lucky.  Her process of ‘becoming’ Real occurred while she was very young.  Her father, who was a Real person, encouraged Margery ‘to become.’  He transmitted his love for literature to his daughter, and her addiction to read soon transmuted to an addiction to write, to create something from nothing, using words as her narrative clay.  For writing is the literary equivalent of walking on water. 

When her father suddenly died, Margery was seven years old.  This cataclysmic event closed one door and opened another door.  Behind the closed door stood her father and all he had taught her.  Through the opened door in-walked the shadow of Marcus Aurelius and his philosophy, which, keeping it simple ran along these lines:  ‘becoming’ a Real person means suffering.  Although Margery didn’t consciously adopt Aurelius’ philosophy, nevertheless, it flows through her prose like a river through its banks.  Margery believed being truly human was a highly desirable thing, which contended with impulses of the human heart to remain artificial

Read More

Imagination – 1

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy

New St. Paul’s Cathedral resides in Central London.  The adjective ‘new’ refers to the fact that the extant structure was rebuilt from the ground up after the Great Fire of 1666.  The Old Cathedral dated back to Saxon times, circa 600 A.D.  Saxon, of course, refers to the ancient Northern Germanic people, who spoke the Low German dialect. 

The cemetery holds the bones and ashes of those who await the Second Advent and the trumpet call to eternity, among who:  the Flemish artist Sir Anthony Van Dyck, who died of the Plague in Blackfriars; John Donne, the poet-priest; and Sir Joshua Reynolds, London’s foremost painter of portraits.

Entombed here also is Horatio Nelson, the cyclopean, single-armed libertine; and the Duke of Wellington, hero of the Napoleonic era and emancipator of Catholics.

And over in the corner, near the ashes of the architect Sir Edwin Landseer Luytens, rest the ashes of Walter de la Mare, poet extraordinaire.

Read More

Rock and Ice – 2

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy

His real name was Giulio Cesare Andrea Evola, aka Baron Evola, aka Julius Evola.  When he died he was seventy-six years old, had never married, had no children and no remaining family.

Born in Rome into an aristocratic Sicilian family, Evola inherited enough wealth to make him independent.  A natural yet ultraistic intellectual, after participating as an officer of artillery in the Italian Army in World War I, he sought out the eccentric isms of his era, becoming part of the Futurist movement, which he quickly discarded.  Dadaism was his next depot; its meaninglessness inspiring his poetry, essays and paintings. 

Soon though, Evola decided that even the meaningless nothing of Dadaism was corrupt, since it was being cloned and marketed to the general public.  In protest, he stopped painting and writing poetry, limiting himself to prose alone. 

Seeking the newest new-thing, he immersed himself in soi-disant (so called) spiritual studies, which had assumed the grandiose name of ‘supra-rationalism.’  This mystical nonsense appealed directly to the elitism of his mind.  He believed he had found illumination in the esoteric books he purchased and devoured.  Books on the occult, alchemy, magic and Eastern mystical studies, such as Lamaism and tantric yoga.

Read More

Rock and Ice – 1

By Christopher Zoukis Image courtesy The gravesite is high and cold and detached.  No one knows its precise location anymore.  For it’s been nigh onto forty years since they took him up there. Back in 1974, his ashes were poured in an urn, which was placed in a backpack, which was strapped to a […]

Read More

Open Court – 2

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy

Open Court Publishing Company published affordable copies of the classics of philosophy, along with original scholarly books in philosophy, science and religion.  Some of which were vague presentations of newfangled ideas.  One of the newfangled ideas was Pragmatism, which reconciled logic as a system of symbols.  In other words, logic was not a rational system of correct reasoning based on cause and effect.  Rather it was symbolic, that is, correct reasoning is inferred from signs or symbols.  Which means that, like a disease in the human body, logic can only be diagnosed by means of symptoms.  Thus, understanding the symbols of logic is not intuitive, but very businesslike – the systematic recognition of known facts.

Pragmatism was the offspring of Charles Sanders Pierce.

And if you recall, I discussed Charles Sanders Pierce’s rather dismal life when I wrote about Margery Williams and the Velveteen Rabbit.  Pierce was a prime example of someone who is Unreal, someone who lives according to the logical and practical, someone who is, in a word, boring – beyond belief.  Carus was intrigued by Pierce’s scientific philosophy and published a number of Pierce’s articles.   

The articles appeared in his publishing company’s two magazines, The Open Court and The Monist.  Carus was the chief editor of both. 

Carus was not, though, a nutcase.  He was a true liberal in the full, energetic etymology of the word.  Fascinated by anything new and unparalleled, anything not chained by blind conviction, he carried on voluminous correspondence with some of the finest intellects of his day:  John Dewey, Ernst Haeckel, Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Edison, Ernst Mach, Elizabeth Stanton, Nichola Tesla, and Booker T. Washington.

Read More

Open Court

By Christopher Zoukis  Image courtesy

There’s a dark green bench near the tombstone, one of the old ones with the wooden slats and iron legs, like the ones city governments placed at bus stops.  It’s as if he’s inviting you stay for a while.  Sit, relax and let us converse. 

His name is on the back of the bench, along with his birth date and his death date.  Of course that got me to thinking that maybe the bench isn’t for sitting and relaxing.  Maybe it’s part of the tombstone, kind of a double display effect:  the actual stone tombstone and the bench forming two sides, like bookends for the dead.

The actual tombstone has his name and dates too.  Two feet wide by eight inches high, it’s a three-layered affair, like a cake, but each layer is smaller than the one beneath it.  The bottom layer is just cement, with the next two higher layers being black granite, which, as usual, isn’t really black.  More of a dark gray.

Read More