The Book's Lover

The Book's Lover
Damiano Cali

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Hagiograffiti: Naomi

The other night, I used the word “hagiography” in a sentence, and everyone looked at me as if I had sprouted an extra head.  Apparently, knowing that a hagiography is a book of saints’ lives is not common knowledge.  Who knew?  My mother, whom I adore, misheard me, and asked what on earth hagiograffiti meant. 
Ever since, I have had these delightful mental images of the possibilities.  Puns like Saint Lucy is watching adorning dilapidated buildings (Lucy’s eyes were cut out).  Saint Juliana’s dragon stylized on an overpass.  Saint Agatha against breast cancer tagged on a subway car (Dear Aggie had her ta-tas cut off). If Andre the Giant’s face can become a street-art phenom, I don’t see why we can’t class up the joint a little with some hagiograffiti. 
And in the roundabout, scattershot way that my brain functions, I began to consider the merits of hagiography haiku.  I think I started playing with the sound of hagiography, and it became haiku-ography, but the “hagio” stayed in there…but I can’t swear to it.  I’ve tried to retrace my mental steps; I got lost.  Newly fascinated with the idea of hagiographical haiku, I did a web search which yielded this gem, from The Diary of a Wimpy Catholic (
To Francis de Sales
Of all Saints Francis,
You’re by far the most obscure.
Does that piss you off?

And I discovered a new game!  In honor of my alma mater, Old St. Lawrence:
St. Lawrence, grilling,
Lightly tells his tormenters
“Turn me over, fool!”

This could keep me entertained for days.  And no, I’m not even Catholic.  I just have a ridiculous vocabulary and a love for word games.  Anybody else want to play?


  1. St. Jude oh St. Jude!
    I pray to you and still fail.
    I guess I chose right.