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It is the habit of the cynical
to believe themselves too smart to be optimistic;

This allows them the privilege of being unhappy,
even when they are right.
Henri Coetzee Sep 21
He placed his heart on the anvil
And picked up his hammer
He hesitated less than a second
Before he brought it down.

The first hit was bitterness
For life had not gone his way.
The second hit was cynicism
For no one ever cared beyond themselves.

The third and final hit was hatred
For love had betrayed him
And in its absence, he realized
Hate never broke his heart.

He returned his heart to his chest
And a bitter, hateful cynic said:
Emotions are for the weak
As a tear fell down his face.
A little poem I wrote a few weeks back
Paul Butters Jul 3
You say that all poetry is gobbledygook:
That Art's a waste of time
Elvis was just a Showman
And Freddie Mercury…
(Yes the same first name as you!)
…I’d better not say.

Where is your soul, Philistine Fred?
So many like you around.
Your mind cluttered with clinical facts,
Everything measured
And boxed –
Fastidious and precise.
Emotion killed
By setsquares
Set by Pythagoras
On a geometrical day.

You hate historical dramas
And all things learned.
Admitting any Education
Loses any street cred earned.
Yet you watch hours and hours
Of soaps.

You love supporting football teams
From places you’ve never been near.
But at least you like your pubs
For a lovely pint of beer.

I guess I’ll have to keep trying
To get through to you and your kind.
Yet I know some things ain’t possible
And you may never change your mind.

But yes I’ll keep on trying:
Keep banging out my poems –
Knowing that my pockets
Will never be lined with coins.

I know that you won’t read this,
But I will carry on.
For there are people out there
Who will listen to my song.

Paul Butters

© PB 3\7\2020.
(Partly Inspired by “How Do You Sleep” (1971) song by John Lennon. Education, education, education. Soul, soul, soul.
Meysa Apr 26
Men?

Hah.

They come to me.
But they never seem to go as easily
as they come to me.
I'm a simple girl.
I want nothing more than to bathe in my solitude.
But these men,
so foolish by nature
they want nothing
more than to claim me.

They threaten my essence.

And so well
I hurt them.
So well I hurt them too - my dear
So well in fact
that they come for seconds.
And when I start hurting them
I can't seem to stop.

I carry their morsels,
their names
in my every stride
in my sway lies their broken hearts.
At night, I lay on a bed of virtuous compliments.
I adorn my flesh with their promises
my skin reeks of their tenderest secrets.
My dress
a construct of their desires alone.
You will hear their fervent pleas
from time to time
concealed so effortlessly beneath my laugh
a soft cackle.

It is true.

I have dulled many lives.
Yet I have never felt more alive.
Because my dear
I’m sure that you too
would agree
I wear them well

les garçons.
- do not try to convince her that your companionship is better than her solitude
Performing Art
by Michael R. Burch

Who teaches the wren
in its drab existence
to explode into song?

What parodies of irony
does the jay espouse
with its sharp-edged tongue?

What instinctual memories
lend stunning brightness
to the strange dreams

of the dull gray slug
—spinning its chrysalis,
gluing rough seams—

abiding in darkness
its transformation,
till, waving damp wings,

it applauds its performance?
I am done with irony.
Life itself sings.

One suspects the typical American poetry professor and/or workshop instructor would advise birds to give up singing for mostly inaudible expressions of jaded irony. Keywords/Tags: performing, art, poetry, song, singing, music, irony, cynicism, parodies, dreams, imagination, chrysalis, butterfly, transformation, natural, performance
Lise Nastja Feb 18
My whole life I had scoffed at boys gifting girls flowers
The expensive ones, the kind they saved up for
I thought it was incredibly immature to pay for pretty dead things
When the world is in the process of destruction
And the economy is constantly in inflation
It could’ve paid for a lot of things—
A nice meal or even AirPods

It was until I got a girl of my own
Smiling like she’s the sun
Walking around and tugging me along
I suddenly had the urge to get her a 50-dollar bouquet
Or those fancy ones in a box shipped from Dubai
Or a giant teddy bear—Yes!
A giant teddy bear to fill a corner of her room on top of her pile of trash

Suddenly she deserves pretty dead things
Hold onto them as they slowly wilt
I want her to walk around owning a piece of Earth
It could’ve been an animal or a plant
Shiny gems or a worm
But she deserves the brightest crop among the weeds
The purplest shade nature can make
The pinkest rose
The yellowest sunflower

I’m not even one to write a poem either
But somehow I now belong in the stupid group of hopeless romantics
plucking pretty things from Earth
Despite inflation and pragmatism
I guess it says a lot about us humans
Sentimental *****
chitragupta Feb 14
Rip, rip, rip!
Red glazed paper
Cling, cling, cling!
The falling sugar
Whirr, whirr, whirr!
Grinding of the beans
Stir, stir, stir!
Till the surface gleams
Drip, drip, drip!
Dripping black ocean
Sip, sip, sip!
The bitter decoction

Sweetheart
Ain't it sweet enough
To believe there's someone we're made for
But it's never enough sugar
in that sachet
Why does love last as long as it's paid for?
Happy Valentine's day, poets.
Kat Dec 2019
Sometimes in the evenings she’ll drive
Through winding roads, past skyscrapers
Under bright city lights and smoke-smeared clouds
Under street lamps that glow and street lights that shine
Red and green and gold in the night
She’ll drive and she’ll watch
The speedometer numbers in a ring of white
The dial moving left and right
As she stops and starts and stops again

She’ll watch
Lovers holding hands as they walk
Hands stuffed in mittens and hoods pulled up
Looking up to the sky even though there are no stars
Whispering truths and untruths into open ears
Smiling and singing and sighing with the wind

She’ll watch
Families crossing the bridge
Looking with wonder out over the sea
Admiring the lights of the cityscape
It is dark and cold and few stop for long
But there are always a few silent solitary souls
Who stand for hours with hands on the railings
And stare and stare at the darkness below

She’ll watch
Skyscrapers speckled with yellow windows
Where workers hunch drowsy behind desks
Type furiously behind fluorescent screens
Peer out over potted plants to the winding streets
Why they all still there?
It is dark and cold and they should be home
With their families and their friends, not here
In this place where no one gives a crap
Will trade hours of sleep for a fatter paycheck

She’ll watch
People streaming from flashing club doors
Girls in miniskirts and guys in polos
Huddled like penguins next to concrete walls
Splashed with graffiti and half-chewed gum
Smoking cigarettes and shivering in the breeze

She’ll watch
Men scurry through seedy alleys
In tattered coats with tattered beards
They lie in doors or on trash-covered floors
Sleep in tents that have been beaten and torn
While blocks away crowds form a queue
Admire the latest dinner menu
And ignore everyone less fortunate than them
And laugh and shake hands and talk of the views

She’ll watch and drive and watch
Until suddenly it is all too much
The red and green and gold the glow
The couples the families the workers the wealthy
And the throngs of people snaking like
Monsters with their make-up plastered faces
And their warm winter coats and their laughs
While they ignore the homeless and the destitute and
The forgotten but they are
Alone oh so alone but they’d never admit it
Smiling at each other while they’re sinking inside
Trying to run from everything they hide
So they work and dance and flirt and **
Away their fear their fury their fantasies all fake
All fake ALL FAKE - and here she is
Driving a faded worn-out car
Hands too cold for comfort and face too hard for tears
In a place she has always watched but never known
All alone because she’s never asked for help
Hating her city because she’s hating herself
This is one of two poems I wrote about a woman living in the city. The other, “The City: Alive” presents the same city in a happier light.
Ashlee Reyes Sep 2019
last night your kisses
made the moon brighter
we'd smoked before
but inhaling you
made me higher.

i went back to my empty apartment
dreamed of you real sweet

but i know better
than to text you
and wish you the
most decent day

i wanna believe in the concept
"ask and it is given"
but i know better
than to expect you to stay
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