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Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, Lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk and pass our long love’s day.
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find: I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood,
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow;
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast;
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart;
For, Lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.
   But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song: then worms shall try
That long preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust:
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace.
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may,
And now, like amorous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour
Than languish in his slow-chapt power.
Let us roll all our strength and all
Our sweetness up into one ball,
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life:
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.
Unknown Variables

The phrase pokes me the eye,
demanding obeisance and a

My compliance is required,
not demanded, but required,
for the “unknown variables”
conundrum, roots around in
my brain cells necessitating a

Walking down the street is
fraught, unknown variables
everywhere, popping out like
cutouts on a law enforcement
shooting course, requiring
instant delineation between
killing not good guys and only bad guys,
no hostages, civilians and no them,

Can you test for unknown

Of course not.

Unknown is a condition,
that you cannot drop in
to ascertain what condition
your multiple conditions are

Then there is you.

reader, are an unknown
variable, ripe with nearly
nuclear reaction potential,
you are fissionable material,
capable of destruction of
my explosive

Assessing the poem,
do you conclude,
keep/discard, remake?

poem a known variable, asking
that it becomes a parcel of
your multivariate inputs,
a familiar variable, that can
charm, destroy, mislead, or
even, fulfill a need, make a
reckoning, modify your brain;
all those dangerous things
that are permissible when
first you read a newly constant
known variable,
a perpetually reborning

my name is brandychanning
“Wakely tells Calvin that “no one is best alone” and that he should open himself up to “unknown variables” — the results might surprise him.“

Lessons in Chemistry
  2d Nat Lipstadt
why is it that all men know how to do is take

they take away our purity
they chip away at our soul
they take away our space
and make it their own

it’s almost as if it were what they are born for
as it it were their only purpose

they take from everything
from women
from earth
from children
from death

why is it that all men know how to do is to ******* take?
the sol and solitude
scalpel~dissect layers of tissue,
marrows of nuclei separate,
the warming is discomforting

dismayed and dissuaded,
cannot be in two places,
either/or/or simultaneous,
my centerpiece is a-kilter

wavering and waving,
my balance is mis-weighted,
teetering and tottering, in a land
lightly and thickly discriminating

between bodies and disembodiment
I am neither
I am both,
I am invisible
to eyes that are shut by
obstructions of
Nat Lipstadt Nov 19
Axe Handles

One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.
A broken-off axe handle behind the door
Is long enough for a hatchet,
We cut it to length and take it
With the hatchet head
And working hatchet, to the wood block.
There I begin to shape the old handle
With the hatchet, and the phrase
First learned from Ezra Pound
Rings in my ears!
"When making an axe handle
                 the pattern is not far off."
And I say this to Kai
"Look: We'll shape the handle
By checking the handle
Of the axe we cut with—"
And he sees. And I hear it again:
It's in Lu Ji's Wên Fu, fourth century
A.D. "Essay on Literature"-—in the
Preface: "In making the handle
Of an axe
By cutting wood with an axe
The model is indeed near at hand."
My teacher Shih-hsiang Chen
Translated that and taught it years ago
And I see: Pound was an axe,
Chen was an axe, I am an axe
And my son a handle, soon
To be shaping again, model
And tool, craft of culture,
How we go on.

Gary Snyder, "Axe Handles" from Axe Handles. Copyright © 1983 by Gary Snyder.
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