Bourbon Cowboy

The adventures of an urbane bar-hopping transplant to New York.

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Location: New York, New York, United States

I'm a storyteller in the New York area who is a regular on NPR's "This American Life" and at shows around the city. Moved to New York in 2006 and am working on selling a memoir of my years as a greeting card writer, and (as a personal, noncommercial obsession) a nonfiction book called "How to Love God Without Being a Jerk." My agent is Adam Chromy at Artists and Artisans. If you came here after hearing about my book on "This American Life" and Googling my name, the "How to Love God" book itself isn't in print yet, and may not even see print in its current form (I'm focusing on humorous memoir), but here's a sample I've posted in case you're curious anyway: Sample How To Love God Introduction, Pt. 1 of 3. Or just look through the archives for September 18, 2007.) The book you should be expecting is the greeting card book, about which more information is pending. Keep checking back!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Vocabulary Poem: Rhipidion

RHIPIDION (rih-PID-ee-un). n. A fan used to keep flies away from the wine in the chalice during the Celebration of the Liturgy. (Eastern Orthodox.)

Before there was MetLife, and back past Providian
Some Byzantine genius devised the rhipidion
As a sort of insurance for Orthodox guys
To keep Jesus' blood unpolluted by flies.

But that wasn't all! Once the fan became known,
Then some other inventors built things of their own:
Like the gagulon rex--a small chisel and mallet
To chip bits of the Host that get stuck to one's palate;

Or the vellux--a cloth stuffed with small bits of cheeses
To capture the wine if some supplicant sneezes;
From the cermyl, a corn-floured, gluten-free Host,
To the etnoi--a cooker for Holy Host toast--

They kept adding--The nouon, the quimmel, the jeltz--
Until Orthodox priests had utility belts!
But through some clumsy mix of tradition and luck,
It seems only the simple rhipidion stuck.

(P.S.--It's just me now, but I wish instead
They'd invented good wine and some tastier bread.)

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Blogger Joshua Kosman said...

Great stuff as usual. Just one quibble: a mallet is a hammer. The image sprang to mind with perfect clarity nevertheless, which is why I think I can safely claim that what you want is "chisel and mallet".

4/10/2008 1:38 PM  
Blogger Cowboy Dave Dickerson said...

I've fixed it accordingly. Thanks! You should be an editor of puzzles of some sort!

4/10/2008 3:02 PM  

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