(More of the Dadaist Cathechism)

What are the Ten Commandments?
A candle, a mirror, a little spring.

What do we learn from these commandments?
Never pass up a chance to ride a carousel, and when you do, be sure to turn and look behind.  All the horses with their open red mouths are running at you, bearing wild children with wonder on their faces.

What is our duty to God?
Stay open, stay unsure like the fox who never knows from where the rabbit will spring–or better, like the rabbit.
Find room for the bits and pieces—perhaps an abandoned car to store things in.  Perhaps stacks of weather-gray apple crates found in the empty barn in an orchard that has gone wild.
Be like a dog waiting in a car.
Shut off consciousness, be unaware of the pass of time. Wait and breathe, smell, look around, don’t be anxious, don’t worry or even think.

What is our duty to our neighbors?
Sail into your mooring one night when the moon is dark and only stars break through the sky and the harbor is absolutely still and the lake black as a perfect stone.
Cosy up to God, toss Him sticks, take  Him for a walk, go to His school plays.  Become incarnate.
Juxtapose odd things, then clear a space so one can see the connection.
Bring the stray cat home, place the dying frog in the brook, take the toad from the snake.  Give everything a chance, just a chance.
Dance along the plateau of longing.
Give your life for the one poem you have not written, the one locked up under the fear of death.

What is the purpose of the Ten Commandments?
To be the sign by the road where the house used to be.

Since we do not fully obey them, are they useful at all?
They are a fence just high enough to keep you out, but not too high to climb if you have strong arms and rubber-soled shoes and don’t mind tearing your trousers.



  1. kathy says:

    I really like this group, mostly because I’ve kept two of them: I used to store things in my old car (of course! I store things everywhere), but just let it go a couple of weeks ago. I once removed a toad from a snake’s mouth. Did it as much for me as for the toad, who scampered off unharmed, while the snake looked perplexed. I wondered what the snake had ever done to me, that I took her meal away.

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