Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Still must I hear?—shall hoarse FITZGERALD bawl
His creaking couplets in a tavern hall,
And I not sing, lest, haply, Scotch Reviews
Should dub me scribbler, and denounce my Muse?
Prepare for rhyme—I’ll publish, right or wrong:
Fools are my theme, let Satire be my song.

  Oh! Nature’s noblest gift—my grey goose-quill!
Slave of my thoughts, obedient to my will,
Torn from thy parent bird to form a pen,
That mighty instrument of little men!
The pen! foredoomed to aid the mental throes
Of brains that labour, big with Verse or Prose;
Though Nymphs forsake, and Critics may deride,
The Lover’s solace, and the Author’s pride.
What Wits! what Poets dost thou daily raise!
How frequent is thy use, how small thy praise!
Condemned at length to be forgotten quite,
With all the pages which ’twas thine to write.
But thou, at least, mine own especial pen!
Once laid aside, but now assumed again,
Our task complete, like Hamet’s shall be free;
Though spurned by others, yet beloved by me:
Then let us soar to-day; no common theme,
No Eastern vision, no distempered dream
Inspires—our path, though full of thorns, is plain;
Smooth be the verse, and easy be the strain.

  When Vice triumphant holds her sov’reign sway,
Obey’d by all who nought beside obey;
When Folly, frequent harbinger of crime,
Bedecks her cap with bells of every Clime;
When knaves and fools combined o’er all prevail,
And weigh their Justice in a Golden Scale;
E’en then the boldest start from public sneers,
Afraid of Shame, unknown to other fears,
More darkly sin, by Satire kept in awe,
And shrink from Ridicule, though not from Law.

  Such is the force of Wit! I but not belong
To me the arrows of satiric song;
The royal vices of our age demand
A keener weapon, and a mightier hand.
Still there are follies, e’en for me to chase,
And yield at least amusement in the race:
Laugh when I laugh, I seek no other fame,
The cry is up, and scribblers are my game:
Speed, Pegasus!—ye strains of great and small,
Ode! Epic! Elegy!—have at you all!
I, too, can scrawl, and once upon a time
I poured along the town a flood of rhyme,
A schoolboy freak, unworthy praise or blame;
I printed—older children do the same.
’Tis pleasant, sure, to see one’s name in print;
A Book’s a Book, altho’ there’s nothing in’t.
Not that a Title’s sounding charm can save
Or scrawl or scribbler from an equal grave:
This LAMB must own, since his patrician name
Failed to preserve the spurious Farce from shame.
No matter, GEORGE continues still to write,
Tho’ now the name is veiled from public sight.
Moved by the great example, I pursue
The self-same road, but make my own review:
Not seek great JEFFREY’S, yet like him will be
Self-constituted Judge of Poesy.

  A man must serve his time to every trade
Save Censure—Critics all are ready made.
Take hackneyed jokes from MILLER, got by rote,
With just enough of learning to misquote;
A man well skilled to find, or forge a fault;
A turn for punning—call it Attic salt;
To JEFFREY go, be silent and discreet,
His pay is just ten sterling pounds per sheet:
Fear not to lie,’twill seem a sharper hit;
Shrink not from blasphemy, ’twill pass for wit;
Care not for feeling—pass your proper jest,
And stand a Critic, hated yet caress’d.

And shall we own such judgment? no—as soon
Seek roses in December—ice in June;
Hope constancy in wind, or corn in chaff,
Believe a woman or an epitaph,
Or any other thing that’s false, before
You trust in Critics, who themselves are sore;
Or yield one single thought to be misled
By JEFFREY’S heart, or LAMB’S Boeotian head.
To these young tyrants, by themselves misplaced,
Combined usurpers on the Throne of Taste;
To these, when Authors bend in humble awe,
And hail their voice as Truth, their word as Law;
While these are Censors, ’twould be sin to spare;
While such are Critics, why should I forbear?
But yet, so near all modern worthies run,
’Tis doubtful whom to seek, or whom to shun;
Nor know we when to spare, or where to strike,
Our Bards and Censors are so much alike.
Then should you ask me, why I venture o’er
The path which POPE and GIFFORD trod before;
If not yet sickened, you can still proceed;
Go on; my rhyme will tell you as you read.
“But hold!” exclaims a friend,—”here’s some neglect:
This—that—and t’other line seem incorrect.”
What then? the self-same blunder Pope has got,
And careless Dryden—”Aye, but Pye has not:”—
Indeed!—’tis granted, faith!—but what care I?
Better to err with POPE, than shine with PYE.

  Time was, ere yet in these degenerate days
Ignoble themes obtained mistaken praise,
When Sense and Wit with Poesy allied,
No fabled Graces, flourished side by side,
From the same fount their inspiration drew,
And, reared by Taste, bloomed fairer as they grew.
Then, in this happy Isle, a POPE’S pure strain
Sought the rapt soul to charm, nor sought in vain;
A polished nation’s praise aspired to claim,
And raised the people’s, as the poet’s fame.
Like him great DRYDEN poured the tide of song,
In stream less smooth, indeed, yet doubly strong.
Then CONGREVE’S scenes could cheer, or OTWAY’S melt;
For Nature then an English audience felt—
But why these names, or greater still, retrace,
When all to feebler Bards resign their place?
Yet to such times our lingering looks are cast,
When taste and reason with those times are past.
Now look around, and turn each trifling page,
Survey the precious works that please the age;
This truth at least let Satire’s self allow,
No dearth of Bards can be complained of now.
The loaded Press beneath her labour groans,
And Printers’ devils shake their weary bones;
While SOUTHEY’S Epics cram the creaking shelves,
And LITTLE’S Lyrics shine in hot-pressed twelves.
Thus saith the Preacher: “Nought beneath the sun
Is new,” yet still from change to change we run.
What varied wonders tempt us as they pass!
The Cow-pox, Tractors, Galvanism, and Gas,
In turns appear, to make the ****** stare,
Till the swoln bubble bursts—and all is air!
Nor less new schools of Poetry arise,
Where dull pretenders grapple for the prize:
O’er Taste awhile these Pseudo-bards prevail;
Each country Book-club bows the knee to Baal,
And, hurling lawful Genius from the throne,
Erects a shrine and idol of its own;
Some leaden calf—but whom it matters not,
From soaring SOUTHEY, down to groveling STOTT.

  Behold! in various throngs the scribbling crew,
For notice eager, pass in long review:
Each spurs his jaded Pegasus apace,
And Rhyme and Blank maintain an equal race;
Sonnets on sonnets crowd, and ode on ode;
And Tales of Terror jostle on the road;
Immeasurable measures move along;
For simpering Folly loves a varied song,
To strange, mysterious Dulness still the friend,
Admires the strain she cannot comprehend.
Thus Lays of Minstrels—may they be the last!—
On half-strung harps whine mournful to the blast.
While mountain spirits prate to river sprites,
That dames may listen to the sound at nights;
And goblin brats, of Gilpin Horner’s brood
Decoy young Border-nobles through the wood,
And skip at every step, Lord knows how high,
And frighten foolish babes, the Lord knows why;
While high-born ladies in their magic cell,
Forbidding Knights to read who cannot spell,
Despatch a courier to a wizard’s grave,
And fight with honest men to shield a knave.

  Next view in state, proud prancing on his roan,
The golden-crested haughty Marmion,
Now forging scrolls, now foremost in the fight,
Not quite a Felon, yet but half a Knight.
The gibbet or the field prepared to grace;
A mighty mixture of the great and base.
And think’st thou, SCOTT! by vain conceit perchance,
On public taste to foist thy stale romance,
Though MURRAY with his MILLER may combine
To yield thy muse just half-a-crown per line?
No! when the sons of song descend to trade,
Their bays are sear, their former laurels fade,
Let such forego the poet’s sacred name,
Who rack their brains for lucre, not for fame:
Still for stern Mammon may they toil in vain!
And sadly gaze on Gold they cannot gain!
Such be their meed, such still the just reward
Of prostituted Muse and hireling bard!
For this we spurn Apollo’s venal son,
And bid a long “good night to Marmion.”

  These are the themes that claim our plaudits now;
These are the Bards to whom the Muse must bow;
While MILTON, DRYDEN, POPE, alike forgot,
Resign their hallowed Bays to WALTER SCOTT.

  The time has been, when yet the Muse was young,
When HOMER swept the lyre, and MARO sung,
An Epic scarce ten centuries could claim,
While awe-struck nations hailed the magic name:
The work of each immortal Bard appears
The single wonder of a thousand years.
Empires have mouldered from the face of earth,
Tongues have expired with those who gave them birth,
Without the glory such a strain can give,
As even in ruin bids the language live.
Not so with us, though minor Bards, content,
On one great work a life of labour spent:
With eagle pinion soaring to the skies,
Behold the Ballad-monger SOUTHEY rise!
To him let CAMOËNS, MILTON, TASSO yield,
Whose annual strains, like armies, take the field.
First in the ranks see Joan of Arc advance,
The scourge of England and the boast of France!
Though burnt by wicked BEDFORD for a witch,
Behold her statue placed in Glory’s niche;
Her fetters burst, and just released from prison,
A ****** Phoenix from her ashes risen.
Next see tremendous Thalaba come on,
Arabia’s monstrous, wild, and wond’rous son;
Domdaniel’s dread destroyer, who o’erthrew
More mad magicians than the world e’er knew.
Immortal Hero! all thy foes o’ercome,
For ever reign—the rival of Tom Thumb!
Since startled Metre fled before thy face,
Well wert thou doomed the last of all thy race!
Well might triumphant Genii bear thee hence,
Illustrious conqueror of common sense!
Now, last and greatest, Madoc spreads his sails,
Cacique in Mexico, and Prince in Wales;
Tells us strange tales, as other travellers do,
More old than Mandeville’s, and not so true.
Oh, SOUTHEY! SOUTHEY! cease thy varied song!
A bard may chaunt too often and too long:
As thou art strong in verse, in mercy, spare!
A fourth, alas! were more than we could bear.
But if, in spite of all the world can say,
Thou still wilt verseward plod thy weary way;
If still in Berkeley-Ballads most uncivil,
Thou wilt devote old women to the devil,
The babe unborn thy dread intent may rue:
“God help thee,” SOUTHEY, and thy readers too.

  Next comes the dull disciple of thy school,
That mild apostate from poetic rule,
The simple WORDSWORTH, framer of a lay
As soft as evening in his favourite May,
Who warns his friend “to shake off toil and trouble,
And quit his books, for fear of growing double;”
Who, both by precept and example, shows
That prose is verse, and verse is merely prose;
Convincing all, by demonstration plain,
Poetic souls delight in prose insane;
And Christmas stories tortured into rhyme
Contain the essence of the true sublime.
Thus, when he tells the tale of Betty Foy,
The idiot mother of “an idiot Boy;”
A moon-struck, silly lad, who lost his way,
And, like his bard, confounded night with day
So close on each pathetic part he dwells,
And each adventure so sublimely tells,
That all who view the “idiot in his glory”
Conceive the Bard the hero of the story.

  Shall gentle COLERIDGE pass unnoticed here,
To turgid ode and tumid stanza dear?
Though themes of innocence amuse him best,
Yet still Obscurity’s a welcome guest.
If Inspiration should her aid refuse
To him who takes a Pixy for a muse,
Yet none in lofty numbers can surpass
The bard who soars to elegize an ***:
So well the subject suits his noble mind,
He brays, the Laureate of the long-eared kind.

Oh! wonder-working LEWIS! Monk, or Bard,
Who fain would make Parnassus a church-yard!
Lo! wreaths of yew, not laurel, bind thy brow,
Thy Muse a Sprite, Apollo’s sexton thou!
Whether on ancient tombs thou tak’st thy stand,
By gibb’ring spectres hailed, thy kindred band;
Or tracest chaste descriptions on thy page,
To please the females of our modest age;
All hail, M.P.! from whose infernal brain
Thin-sheeted phantoms glide, a grisly train;
At whose command “grim women” throng in crowds,
And kings of fire, of water, and of clouds,
With “small grey men,”—”wild yagers,” and what not,
To crown with honour thee and WALTER SCOTT:
Again, all hail! if tales like thine may please,
St. Luke alone can vanquish the disease:
Even Satan’s self with thee might dread to dwell,
And in thy skull discern a deeper Hell.

Who in soft guise, surrounded by a choir
Of virgins melting, not to Vesta’s fire,
With sparkling eyes, and cheek by passion flushed
Strikes his wild lyre, whilst listening dames are hushed?
’Tis LITTLE! young Catullus of his day,
As sweet, but as immoral, in his Lay!
Grieved to condemn, the Muse must still be just,
Nor spare melodious advocates of lust.
Pure is the flame which o’er her altar burns;
From grosser incense with disgust she turns
Yet kind to youth, this expiation o’er,
She bids thee “mend thy line, and sin no more.”

For thee, translator of the tinsel song,
To whom such glittering ornaments belong,
Hibernian STRANGFORD! with thine eyes of blue,
And boasted locks of red or auburn hue,
Whose plaintive strain each love-sick Miss admires,
And o’er harmonious fustian half expires,
Learn, if thou canst, to yield thine author’s sense,
Nor vend thy sonnets on a false pretence.
Think’st thou to gain thy verse a higher place,
By dressing Camoëns in a suit of lace?
Mend, STRANGFORD! mend thy morals and thy taste;
Be warm, but pure; be amorous, but be chaste:
Cease to deceive; thy pilfered harp restore,
Nor teach the Lusian Bard to copy MOORE.

Behold—Ye Tarts!—one moment spare the text!—
HAYLEY’S last work, and worst—until his next;
Whether he spin poor couplets into plays,
Or **** the dead with purgatorial praise,
His style in youth or age is still the same,
For ever feeble and for ever tame.
Triumphant first see “Temper’s Triumphs” shine!
At least I’m sure they triumphed over mine.
Of “Music’s Triumphs,” all who read may swear
That luckless Music never triumph’d there.

Moravians, rise! bestow some meet reward
On dull devotion—Lo! the Sabbath Bard,
Sepulchral GRAHAME, pours his notes sublime
In mangled prose, nor e’en aspires to rhyme;
Breaks into blank the Gospel of St. Luke,
And boldly pilfers from the Pentateuch;
And, undisturbed by conscientious qualms,
Perverts the Prophets, and purloins the Psalms.

  Hail, Sympathy! thy soft idea brings”
A thousand visions of a thousand things,
And shows, still whimpering thro’ threescore of years,
The maudlin prince of mournful sonneteers.
And art thou not their prince, harmonious Bowles!
Thou first, great oracle of tender souls?
Whether them sing’st with equal ease, and grief,
The fall of empires, or a yellow leaf;
Whether thy muse most lamentably tells
What merry sounds proceed from Oxford bells,
Or, still in bells delighting, finds a friend
In every chime that jingled from Ostend;
Ah! how much juster were thy Muse’s hap,
If to thy bells thou would’st but add a cap!
Delightful BOWLES! still blessing and still blest,
All love thy strain, but children like it best.
’Tis thine, with gentle LITTLE’S moral song,
To soothe the mania of the amorous throng!
With thee our nursery damsels shed their tears,
Ere Miss as yet completes her infant years:
But in her teens thy whining powers are vain;
She quits poor BOWLES for LITTLE’S purer strain.
Now to soft themes thou scornest to confine
The lofty numbers of a harp like thine;
“Awake a louder and a loftier strain,”
Such as none heard before, or will again!
Where all discoveries jumbled from the flood,
Since first the leaky ark reposed in mud,
By more or less, are sung in every book,
From Captain Noah down to Captain Cook.
Nor this alone—but, pausing on the road,
The Bard sighs forth a gentle episode,
And gravely tells—attend, each beauteous Miss!—
When first Madeira trembled to a kiss.
Bowles! in thy memory let this precept dwell,
Stick to thy Sonnets, Man!—at least they sell.
But if some new-born whim, or larger bribe,
Prompt thy crude brain, and claim thee for a scribe:
If ‘chance some bard, though once by dunces feared,
Now, prone in dust, can only be revered;
If Pope, whose fame and genius, from the first,
Have foiled the best of critics, needs the worst,
Do thou essay: each fault, each failing scan;
The first of poets
ryn Aug 2014
Earlier today, painting was the activity that we had planned
I have a support teacher who would always lend a hand
She had left the class to get the paint all mixed
While I stayed behind to get the toys and props all fixed
She came back and bore bowls of red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Lunchtime I visited a store and neatly displayed on low shelves
Arranged so immaculately as if magically done by elves
Were cases upon cases stitched together with only zips
They almost instantly bent a smile to my lips
Their colours shone brilliant red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Passed by a shop selling accessories and apparel
Merchandise dangled on wall hooks and some in a jumble
On the adjacent wall something caught my eye
Carried all the neat little tote bags one could ever buy
One peeking from a corner was red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Walked by a building, so modern-looking and new
Down on one side almost obscured from view
Were these horizontal rows of dancing neon lights
Stopped for a minute just to soak in the sights
Then I realised that they flickered red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Waited for the bus to get home at my usual bus stop
Whilst waiting, I shifted and from my bag something did drop
Bent over and picked my coin pouch that had fallen out
Looked up only to see another commuter lingering about
On his pack was a sticker which boasted red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Bus was packed, found a seat in the back row
Sat myself down, I peered briefly out the window
Engine under me, I scanned around to those who were seated
Observed the floor beneath my shoes as it vibrated
My pair of Adidas, oh my, they're red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

Got home, put my bag down and sank into the sofa
Switched on the telly, on was the Food Network's "Barefoot Contessa"
Surfed through the channels, caught a real estate commercial
Promoting prime land in a country not anywhere regional
Splashed on the screen, a flag - red, white and blue
Made me think of...well, made me think of you.

End of the day, it is best that I hit the sack
Allow some rest for my poor aggravated back
But not till I complete the words you're currently reading
I'm thinking, dreaming and furiously typing
How do I end this? Hmm...red, white and blue?
I'm thinking and dreaming...and wishing I'm with you.
in my family conversation is seldom thoughtful questioning filled with wonder quiet pauses instead it is sociable banter teasing goading spontaneous gratuitous remarks clever embellishment excessive flattery it is an ancient system passed down patronage pecking order nepotism sycophancy near to impossible for me to be honest in presence of their overwhelming vanity when it comes to family gatherings my voice isn’t very strong my family’s joking squelches my chirp they are each and all more loud sarcastic faster wittier more crude outrageous more funny loud gregarious sanguine Mom embarrasses herself with uncalled for flirtations (her mental state rapidly deteriorating) everyone laughs boisterously they snap kid exaggerate amplify taunt i can hardly get word in i need to repeat myself several times or more to be heard my voice is minor i struggle to tell story they listen politely then rush back into their rowdy repartee i am way too sincere way too naked in my ineptitude my stomach ties in knots biting lip shivering from cold fear what’s going to happen pitch black in front of me voice inside screams please i need help so bad please make it easier i’m lost in all this commotion drama hunger lack of clarity

Chicago 1980 Odysseus always revered cousin Chris is taller tan-skinned handsomer stronger protective of Odysseus knowing he is frivolous liability tags along with Chris and his prosperous trader friends advantaged echelon inherited wealth educated white young men they float above everyone else their tastes in clothes furnishings run Brooks Brothers Burberry Giorgio Armani Ralph Lauren John-Paul Gautier Paul Smith Emile Zegna Salvatore Ferragamo their preference in women run typically blonde large ******* tight butts make-up painted nails they think Odysseus is a freak because he usually chooses females none of them want Odysseus likes skinny girls flat chests glasses he knows he is an extraneous art pet to Chris and his group

Chris joins newly built state of art fitness facility pricey membership accesses all of Chicago’s fast track shakers movers politicians lawyers pretty people Odysseus has his limits he does not have money to join also he dislikes snooty elitism several times Chris invites Odysseus as guest Odysseus feels insecure outsider Chris always includes Odysseus pays for dinners they begin with round of doubles then 2nd round of doubles before glancing at menu Chris drinks Canadian Club on the rocks Odysseus follows they raucously order extravagant meals with appetizers 3rd 4th 5th rounds of doubles after pricey dinner at chic restaurant Chris’s group rendezvous at bar or club they order round of drinks tip lavishly sip drink glare around room leave barely touched drinks walk out with look of disdain they scavenge more bars in search of females or some intangible attraction Odysseus is never certain what they are looking for or what is the source of their contempt each wears black leather jacket carries huge wads of cash $20s $50s $100s folded stuffed in front pockets no wallets or clips

the Red Meat palace or Chang’s Szechwan grill are their favorite restaurants as many as 8 men sit at table pack mentality prevails for dessert course they pull out small brown bottles filled with ******* if it is Friday night Chris’s pad is frequently elected females other arrangements settle bill depart restaurant one night Odysseus arrives early at Chang’s wanders downstairs into women’s boutique salesgirl named Fiona greets him they hit it off he invites her to join him and his hosts upstairs after her shift is done Fiona arrives as dessert is about to be served table of men look desirously at Fiona beams Odysseus and Fiona along with Chris Phil Tom go to Odysseus’s place Fiona is perhaps 22 petite lovely with deep blue eyes set wide apart long eyelashes brown thick hair cut to shoulders high ******* pink ******* fragrance of linden flowers delighted by male attention Fiona ***** fondles each men are quite intoxicated Odysseus and Phil are only capable to sustain erections Odysseus stares mesmerized at Fiona’s extraordinarily swollen ***** she notices his fixation grins blushing men shout commands but in actuality Fiona is in charge reducing each of them to little boys vying for her attention near conclusion she requests they form circle around her ******* on her chest she fondles them touches herself men laugh mockingly as if to compensate for their lack of performance Tom picks up plastic dart gun aims it at Fiona she laughs crawls on all fours Tom fires dart hitting her on **** Phil grabs gun from Tom reloads another dart suddenly it feels like fraternity stunt Odysseus goes along offended by his own complicity to him episode feels more like men having *** with each other than being with a woman telephone rings it is Odysseus’s latest love pursuit she tells him she is on her way over everyone rushes to put on clothes change bed sheets they depart within minutes she arrives finally ready after weeks of romancing to put out for him after that night when Chris and Odysseus get buzzed in bar Chris routinely speaks the line to women have you ever been done by 2 cousins one night at Green River tavern woman squeezes milk from her ****** into shot glass dares cousins to drink Chris laughing turns down her offer Odysseus shoots back shot of milk then takes swig of Irish whiskey cousins go see Billy Idol at Odysseus’s insistence they stand near front stage young girls screaming after show driving home in Chris’s Fiat Spider Chris complains his ears are ringing i don’t know how i’ll be able to work tomorrow Odysseus nods like he hears hollers out window hey little sister shotgun!

Mom and Dad want their son to enjoy fruits of burgeoning affluence they feel certain what they are doing is best for him they rent quarter seat at Chicago Mercantile Exchange they originally promised full seat but they are overextended Odysseus enrolls in trading course he learns to trade Certificates of Deposit and Eurodollars which are recently established markets suddenly Odysseus has lots of cash his parents are dishing out he does not know what he is doing newly launched markets lack investment and fleece young men of their parent’s money his friends surroundings change he loses sight of himself he is a thoroughly incompetent trader bleeding cash scatters money between harebrained panicked trades or ******* girls $1000. wristwatch when Mom and Dad see jewelry they become furious in a way he represents his parent’s design for how to build successful son yet their plan is going dreadfully wrong he wants to stand up speak out against Dad and Mom he is not courageous enough to counter their weight he wants to express with more assurance his passion to pursue painting and writing isn’t fact he graduated from art school evidence enough of his aspirations commodities exchange is last place in the world he belongs Odysseus is risk taker but he is not aggressive or entrepreneurial only lesson he has learned with respect to his parents is how to run away

by all appearances cousin Chris is brilliant trader in reality Chris is hooked up with powerful crooked brokers they use him as their bagman he covers losing trades and is compensated or offsets winning side of profitable trades subsequently dealt his share Chris is not a criminal he stumbles into profit-making situation when certain conditions are flexible to advantages Chris is diligent hard worker the vast sums of money he earns do not distort his personality he is always generous shielding of Odysseus gold trading pit becomes so shady S.E.C. intervenes relinquishing exchange’s contract Chris and his bosses walk away unscathed having made their bundles

Mom and Aunt Rita run social itinerary for family including birthdays holidays all other gatherings where family will meet changes by the minute depending on Mom and Aunt Rita’s caprice checking in by telephone at least an hour before is mandatory arriving at destination Mom and Aunt Rita insist on specific table location seating arrangement it is important they be seen viewed by others at restaurant they never sit near kitchen or washrooms or where there is too much noise light away from drafts who sits next to who is crucial round tables are their favorite preferring backs to wall looking out so they can nod wave Mom rules from proud pedestal Dad upholds chain of command sometimes he irritably gripes Aunt Rita immediately comes to Mom’s defense Dad points finger back off Rita you’re way out of line where do you come up with a remark like that Mom mediates Max that’s enough in a way the sisters are spoiled little girls over-indulged by their father they believe their opinions and tastes are the best most correct everyone in family are subordinate to their no and don’t Mom and Aunt Rita routinely criticize Odysseus’s semantics oppose his observations critical of his clothes conduct they handily misconstrue his comments to mean fodder for their amusement Mom and Aunt Rita’s efforts to keep prim proper decorum cause resentment Odysseus feels constricted by his subservient role in drama of family he fails to understand their care

Odysseus busts out of markets leaving behind alarming debts for family to pay off he feels humiliation disgrace plunges into bottomless sleepless despair hides in house door locked window shutters shut phone rings unanswered hates life willfully wants to destroy himself there is no way out after week Chris comes by to see if he is all right Odysseus is reluctant to let Chris in Chris commands be a man get a grip on yourself Odysseus replies maybe i’m not a man he feels failure shame realizes he has become traitor to himself he wants to look at existence head on embrace it but all he knows are dishonor regret deception he conceives his being has been stolen he wants his life back but knows not how to recover it he feels deep in obligation to Mom and Dad thinks to escape from Chicago but his parent’s control is crushing he wakes late drinks black coffee smokes cigarettes marijuana hangs out alone sky changes from light to dark to light phone rings he reads Nietzsche Sartre frequents ***** Hole punk rock dive several blocks from residence becomes orphan of night drinking drugging

January 5 2011 30 years have passed Chris marries fathers son becomes best father to his child he can be leaves markets in late 80’s Dad dies in ’91 Odysseus leaves Chicago in 1994 he manages to paint some paintings write some words stomach ties in knots biting lip shivering from cold fear what’s going to happen ***** pink gray skies behind pitch black in front sometimes you need to take a step back in order to move forward Mom says she worried enough about money when she was younger and isn’t going to worry about it anymore her entire life she boasted i’m saving for my children but in the end she saved solely for herself Odysseus never learned to stand on his own all he ever wanted is to love and be loved he wonders what will happen next
Titanic-Lover Aug 2013
If you didn't know my story,but saw me in a book,
You'd read my name and wonder,then take a second look.
A shadow of my former beauty,I've been ruined by many years,
The things that have happened to me always bring on many tears.
I do not hide my sadness,for it is fresh and always there,
As I wait here so very lonely in my sunless Atlantic lair.
My poor,proud body is rotting away,there is nothing I can do,
Except hope maybe one day,equality will be given me too.
I recall a sadness filled day within my lonely dark,
When a plastic cup came floating down,and on my tomb left a mark.
That was one of many times I would give up and cry,
For human cruelness hurt me so,I got this rather than 'good-bye'.
I do not hardly recognize myself anymore,I say it not to be vain,
I say it with truth and exactness,to my heart welled up with pain.
Some people truly love me,for them I'm truly greatful,
Others regard me as a rusty ship with eyes that bespeak hateful.
I cannot help what happened to me,they just don't understand,
I once had a heart adventurous that would lead a career grand.
My hopeful life was ended in the year of 1912,
And my dreams,visions and pride-filled youth to the bottom delved.
I was told that youth and beauty would get me far in life,
And with these assets I proudly boasted,I knew nonesuch called 'strife'.
Throughout the tumble and crash of waves rode my lean body's length,
I reveled many times over in my satisfying,thrilling strength!
****
On the evening tide of the 14th,I saw the iceberg  true,
A handsome,glittering,ethreal prince,what was a lonely girl to do?
I rushed as fast as could be allowed to greet this glacier born one,
Eager to introduce myself and rid forlornness akin to a ton.
But when I came up closer,my heart he did stab,
With that glittering,icy spellbinding look,'twas my start of being sad.
He tore into my body,bringing unsurmountable pain,
What was the purpose of such cruelty,what could he possibly gain?
And on the night my life ended,I travelled my beloved sea no longer,
Death so young,in such a way,could life be any wronger?
I hoped so much I would not perish in a life that did just start,
Yet hopes were banished by the truths of a rapidly weakening heart.
I tried to wait as long as I could to save my passengers dear,
But the ending for so many of us was soon becoming near.
I didn't want to say farewell to the things I did love so,
And yet time was running short,and I wanted them to know:

Olympic,my lovely sister,I hope your life is a promise true,
Of many voyeurs across oceans wide,a charmer you are too.
Treasure the sun's bounty that warms the evening's chill,
And know throughout your entire life,my love is with you still.
Enjoy the satisfaction of your beauty and strength even when in dock you sit,
For a day may come anytime,and a single moment end it.
Show the Captain you are bold-bold,lovely and free,
But do not toss caution in the spray thrown off the sea.
I trust you not to be lonely in travels near and far,
For my ghost is always with you,just look up at a star.
When days come to you and a disconsolate thought you may think,
Remember the unconditioning love of a sister who'd "Never Sink".
Remember my love at morning,remember it at night,
Remember it these coming days I will no longer be in your sight.
I love you,Fair Olympic,in wordless,heartfelt ways,
Your memory I shall treasure in my saddened,sunless days.

I rest on a sandy sea bottom,amongst accoutrements of life,
From an unforgettable day when I learned the meaning of strife.
The earth has covered the stab the iceberg in my side did maim,
But despite that all,the hurt in my heart did stain.
I relive in over and over,wishing it were just a dream,
Yet awaken to the truths to know,my broken funnels have no more steam.
The way I landed in this grave,I look like I shall sail ahead,
But,that is all a fantasy,my once-strong body is dead.
It will not go anywhere,today or ever again,
I am helpless to the trash that falls upon me from heartless men.
The ship that sail above me hold people bright and gay,
Who do not know the sorrows that were on a 15th of April day.
They sail on to their destination,thinking nothing of me,
Who haunts the very waves they ride on my beloved Atlantic sea.
They dream of their days ahead,cheerful and free of plight,
Disregarding any notion of a nightmarish Hadean night.
They dance,they revel and throw trash over the side,
Where it floats down eventually onto the Ocean's Queen who has died.
They do not know of an iceberg with a sinister,laughing gaze,
And who pleasured in so knowing he ended my happy days.
They do not know of terror,of the ocean flooding ones' heart,
They do not know suffering for a ship breaking apart.
They do not know the agony of bading goodbye,
To the sunshine and a beloved sister who would never,ever lie.
They stand aboard a breezy bow,above the white waves foam,
Knowing soon,within a few days,they will be going home.
They seem to forget I belonged somewhere once too,
My home wasn't supposed to be an ocean floor,far from the sky's blue.
They do not know I've loved,they do not know I've cared,
They do not know the pain in my heart,that in scrapping,my sister wasn't spared.
They are the people who have this phrase float off their lips:
"Olympic and Titanic ,they are little more than ships!"
You humans claim you hold a bond to those you love so dear,
How different is it for me,I ask,with my sister built so near?
There is so much out there for those to remember me,
But my poor,sweet sister is forgotten,plunged into ocean history.
When you recall me,try to think of her too,
Bring her alive within your heart,I leave it up to you.
Years have passed,times have changed,though down here it's the same,
I am still the great Titanic,though my bow no longer says my name.
Some people who have discovered me have been respecting and kind,
I shall never give up my secrets,but their visits I don't mind.
Then,there are others,who ravage me to know,
They steal my finery,what is rightly mine;how can they hurt me so?
Although I do not mind some visits,I am now accustomed to the dark,
For the lights they shine upon me are so horribly bold and stark.
I am now part of this sea for one-hundred and one years strong,
All stemming from an April night when the most horrible went wrong.
The rust that drapes off me,some people say are like tears,
And,partially they are,my dearest friend,of the sorrows of many years.
The ocean floor is somber,the ocean floor is cold,
All the more unpleasant for a girl who's growing old.
My song it is of truth,to show that life is not a game,
But,treasure it every minute you can,all the very same.
It may be pleasant,it may be sorrow,
But,hold close the day you live in,think not heavily of a 'morrow.
I thought I'd have a tomorrow too,as I sit here in my grave,
I had a tomorrow,yes indeed,but not in a life-filled way.
I rest under these bitter waves,a melancholy heart is mine,
A shadow of my former beauty,a ghost of the White Star Line.
In the Aprils of today,on the dancing surf above,
My soul rises up to haunt the sea I love.
My soul is not marred by tears,fright and rust,
Whole and in perfection,before my death it's just.
At the latitude and longitude of that long ago day,
I have stopped many a vessel,so,remember me that may.
The scrapping of my sister,the sinking of me,
Life ended none too kind for both Queens of the Sea.
Remember us,gay vacationers,as you gaze up at a cloud,
For Titanic and Olympic,death 'twas not proud.....

I rest under these bitter waves,
A melancholy heart is mine,
We are remnants of our former beauty,
We are the ghosts of the
WHITE STAR LINE...
This poem is dedicated to my beloved Royal Mail Steamship 'Titanic',and her more forgotten,yet beautiful sister,Olympic. Never shall the sea be host to two finer ocean liners.
“I may be grown up but I’m only seventeen.”
The faded blue chairs were in rows, as could be expected. The building was old and the air was littered with dust; just like you would expect. The light shimmied through the draperies and tapestries and slithered across the floor in tiny slits that cut the room into pieces. The dark worn floors boasted years of scuffs and scratches. They were no longer mahogany for they were nearly black with age and dirt. The whole place was frozen in time. Even the air was reminiscent of years gone by. When you walked in you could expect to find memories nestled in corners or peeping out from one of the many books strewn around. The place breathed nostalgic fumes. Some might have called it “stale,” but many others would prefer to call it “alluring” or “curious.”

This was not her case. The door ****** the life out of the place as it slammed shut. The reverberations could be felt throughout the entire structure. Her anger fueled her along at a violent pace, sending chills up the drapes and swirling the dust into tornadoes of chaos. The floorboards rumbled and squealed in sheer terror under her feet. If you were here you would likely have tread softly and listened carefully just because you hoped the place was talking to you. But since this is her story and not yours, that is not the case.
She threw her body into the nearest chair and the force almost sent her backwards. The girl and the chair hung in time for a single moment, teetering on the edge of balance, but nothing happened. She kicked her feet up on to the chair in front of her out of utter disrespect.

Each breath that she blew carried venomous thought. Every air molecule expelled from her nose was laced with despise until it fell to the floor, devoid of life. You could feel the place shuddering with every breath. Or maybe she was shuddering. But it wasn’t important.
The girl let one lonesome anguished tear roll off her face, but since she was too strong for crying, she ****** her body out of the chair with every ounce of hatred she had inside. In one swift motion she swathed her face with her shirt to obscure and erase the tear. She stood there, filtering the air through her shirt, refusing to acknowledge everything the place had to offer. She dropped the weight of her head into her palms and bit her lip against the pain. She pulled her face back only to check the shirt. She knew it would be stained. She knew because every other time before it had been stained. She listened for a moment before she glided across the floor toward the nearest window.
When she finally came to a moment of rest, the place sighed in relief. The dust rested and the floorboards managed to quiet themselves. The drapes relaxed and everything paused again, settling back into a time of long ago. The place embraced her like the wind embraces a leaf. It helped her along gently as she was carried away.

Not wanting to be discovered, and not wanting to overstay her welcome, the girl carefully hid her soul behind the heaviest drape and emptily marched towards the door. She traced her finger along the scorch marks that marred the wood. The scars ran deep, evidencing a strong fire that had ravaged the place years before. The door oozed sympathy as the young girl shared her pain. Her heartbeat pounded out her sadness and resounded through the door and back to her. She clutched the **** in her hand and pushed it open. She slid through to the outside. She did not look over her shoulder. She did not carry a glimpse of hope within her. The flame in her heart was extinguished with the closing click of the door. She was outside. She watched as the place got smaller as she walked away.

His name was Devlin. “Dev” for short. It could’ve been “Devil.” It should have been “Devil.” He was the one who called the shots. This was his game; his rules. She was just a player who could be benched at any minute; suspended from the league in the blink of an eye. He knew the world. He had been learning it for years. As if the world was something that could be learned; that could be acquired. He missed the most important lesson for he never learned how to love. He had mastered affection and words spilled off his lips like honey. But love was not yet something he had come to possess.

Regardless of his material possessions, Dev knew he was missing something. He didn’t know what it was or how it could be acquired, or if it could be acquired. He only knew that the gaping black hole inside him was consuming him. There was no fulfilling this insatiable hunger. There seemed to be no solution. Only temporary fixes could easy the longing but with every dose the hole grew deeper.

           She too, knew that beneath his smile there was blackness. Not emptiness. Just blackness. There was no value, no gradation. No. There was nothing to hold on to, nothing to hope for. She would have enough black to cover the entire world if she had wanted to paint. But she was honestly looking to survive.


                Time had gone by, but only by the measure of light. Time had not elapsed to heal her wounds. She had covered miles on the feet of one thought. She had traversed only into one idea during her journey and yet she had already reached her destination. It was easy to fall to your subconscious when your body was tattered. When she stepped through the threshold she almost imagined the place. But she stopped herself because she didn’t want to take the chance of contaminating it.

                Her eyes were closing and the soft carpet looking appealing in all its graying and deterioration. The couch and bed looked inviting but that was suicide. She was fighting the urge. She had too. She had tried to purge her mind but one insignificant monstrous thought plagued her. “Don’t go to sleep until I get back.” Her eyes lingered closed for a moment. How beautiful and welcoming this blackness was. It was gentle and comforting. Her eyes jumped open. How long had they been closed? Surely no more than a few minutes. Fate laughed in her face once again. “I told you: Don’t get to sleep until I get back.”
                The first one was the most painful. Even though her eyes were blurred from pain she could still see the look in his eyes. She had to look. The simple thought of closing her eyes would earn her several more. She clutched the threadbare carpet with all the dignity she could muster and stood like a soldier before a firing squad. Every wince squeezed the tears in her eyes closer and closer to escape, but she held on through the miserable pain. It wasn’t even his hands that hurt anymore. No, it was the iron, or the bat, or even the brick that hurt. When it was his hands, he sympathized with the contortions of her body. He felt her pain. When it was some other object, there was distance between them. Six, five, four, three, two… She could time the blows. When he wasn’t so angry they came faster, just to put the girl in her place. When he was enraged, they came slower. Each hit was followed by an explanation or justification. “You have to learn the hard way.” or “How dare you get blood on your clothes?” The indignation in his voice made her sick. “Don’t look at me like that!” “I love you.” Over time she had learned to smile over time. To lessen the pain.

                …Her face was burning. Every fiber in her body wrenched with pain. Every breath brought tears to her eyes. The shaking was uncontrollable. She never should
have fallen asleep…

                You see on the inside he was just a child who never knew love. But that was her job. To love him. He was one of those “monsters,” or rather a vortex, something to be awed and feared. A display of powerful destruction. But that was the point. He was ******* up everything good while furthering his own self-destruction. He would eventually collapse in on himself. It was inevitable. It was not a matter of time. It was not some probability that fate would determine. It was not plausible to think, no matter what length of time you were thinking for, that time could, and would, heal all wounds. This was not something that would fade into the background and blend into a dull gray. This was not something that could be fixed by a miracle of God. There was no twelve step program with guaranteed results. The only thing that could happen was the elimination of time. If this happened, then there could be change.  


                She had figured it out some time ago. A long while back before she knew the place. The only answer was destruction. You might even call it ******. But since it involved no bloodshed or munitions or hatred, it seemed to be a good idea. Even the victim was ultimately willing to go through with it. The only factor stopping the girl was love. Her love for him. She did love him. She truly and justly loved him. She loved everything about him. She loved him for chaos and instability. The only solution was to destroy time. Without time, there is no way to measure. There is no structure. There are no rules. The only structure is what you make in your mind. That was the easiest way to escape, the easiest way to ignore the pain, to ignore the love.        


                  However much she thought about it, she never thought about it enough. The hours she spent on the floor in utter stillness were useless. When her breath was shallow enough, she nearly died. Her shirt was stained with blood. It was severed from her hip to her elbow. Her face was swollen purple and blue. Four of her ribs were shattered. Her left ankle was swollen. Her eyes were sealed shut by dried tears. Her lips were pale and chapped. She could not breathe out of her nose. It was filled with blood. Her pants were a rolled in a crumpled ****** mess several feet away from her. Her legs were patched with bruises. Her fingernails had blood under them.


This was love.


Eventually. Not relative to time. Not relative to the beating, but relative to her. She crawled over to her pants and began to restore her dignity until a foot crashed down upon her hand, jarring her body into a fetal position on the floor. She forced her eyes to stare at her hand turning from pink to white to purple. She hung her head in shame and hoped for mercy or forgiveness. The crushing weight of the foot began to ease the slightest bit. “You didn’t learn. You never do.” She stood perfectly still, waiting. The foot lifted. He pulled her to her feet and bestowed a kiss upon her forehead. “That’s why I am here: To teach you.” He took the crumpled pants from the floor and removed her bloodied shirt. Then with **** of his head he motioned to the floor. “You will learn the meaning of humble today.” She lay back down and tried to glean warmth from the carpet. She was cold. Desperately cold.
Deathreat Man sent Mrs.Deathreat to the continent,
dud doves smuggled thru the Chunnel in her clungeal
cavity, but even the Olympicwatchdog’s  
human snifferdogs wouldn’t conduct a narc
nosedive into Mrs.Deathreat’s  Annsummersnumber,
coz the amount of drugs in the drugs
the Deathreats deal is next to nil,
contrabland, all the scorer chorma
minus the highness.  Mrs. Deathreat
was mule with a hole, she was
Muffin the ****, but hug drugs up her clopper
kept the pillheads of La Rochelle
social clodhoppers who danced like Joecocker,
so they sent
themselves to bed early outta pity
for their own unhappening, nonfunspasming
hips. They wanted to be eating their upperlips,
they were brownedoff that the grey gradegetter their mums
had maximised with Omega3 hadn’t had its chips,
in no danger of being Gallic Gatecrasherkids.
They wanted to be braiMDaMAged,
Bezzes in berets on duracell drugs, balistically
blissed enuff for
Balearic drill ‘n’ bass drum ‘n’ gluegun
bhangraggabba Gangsta Abba or the Triphopscotch,
but they were no buzzing sitting ducks
for whatever vibranium vinyl
spun like Lindablair’s head or whatever Tonyblair eversaid
on decks that layer beats.
On the plusside, none of Mrs.Deathreat’s fleeced Frenchies
would do a Leahbetts, but that would not console
the Pillheads of La Rochelle, les herberts, still tediously
on their cognitits unless the Angel Ravey L
- pushermanifestation of the patron saint of getting mashed -
pharmathaumaturgically ticks
up some of that numinous ****
for neurotransmission,
a miracle drug effective without ingestion, Immaculate
Consumption, when all the laws of biochemistry go Petetong.
But, alas, riboflavin and ibuprofen are harder and more
happycore, send
cerebrum more signals of fly bo’ ravin’
than shonk Es Mrs.D
squelchily dealt from out crotchless unmentionables.

Now, the technotarantist addicts d’Avignon,
les personnes adonnees a ‘aving one
from Provencal Pontefract-on-the-Rhone
(where Picasso pimps scrimp
coz Cubist hookers ain’t lookers),
les avaleurs of mitzies and bishies
rather than le plonque (rouge ou blanc),
wou’nt ‘ave it if they weren’t ‘aving it
in that wellaged wine of a town.
They’d be sent spare
if Mrs.Deathreat dared ****** ’em there
with fraudulent Franglais avowals that they’d
‘avoir it large, Pierre!’
There’d be stormin’ Bourbons in Avignon, yeah,
if they couldn’t electwitch to DJ Saintvitus
because of some ***** doves. Adamdroppers
in Avignon know their discobiscuits
from their biscodiscuits, comprende?
But the Pillheads of La Rochelle? Quelle pillocks!

XTCtablet escroquette sent by her deaththreatening
not dishwashening husbandit,
madame des merde mollies sent **** shivers
of letdown lucidity thru the cuddle puddle jungle
drums that pure vexes the cortexes of Senors Beeg
amongst thizz biz fixers, the Cortez Bruvas.
As young fluff she'd boasted more
overzealous sweaty inspectors than Ofsted,
but now Mrs Deathreat's hairy goblet
would be of sweet ***** adams interest
to the syndicate if only her ***** adams were sweeter.
Funnily enough, fact her serpent socket
is no Aladdin’s cave of Hacienda Hedex,
but more an  Anadin Cove of dummy drugs
has dem Cortez muthas jumpy thugs.
Traffikers of Lover’s Speed in hock
to the Sam Madrid mob, they express
narcommercial concerns that mock mookers
up her thrushenflamed damianduff
are so cuttonaffall, it could senda fad for temperance
thruout chemiculture of a continent,all
the bluerooms and dancetents of Europa
being once burnt, twice straight
(or turn respectable taxpaying pissheads,
staying in caining an unprohibited crate or eight,
pickling themselves to preserve the State).
But before suspicion  about the serotonocidal
supplyline snowballs, before the Cortezes
even depart the chilloutroom to ****,
or at least put les frighteneurs on her and the tangy
baggie of humbug harryhills, whack weekenders
up her suspenders and past her pudenders,
his missus was already on the homewardbound Eurostar
- for her darling Deathreat was a disastrous
domestic selffender, who'd sent a guava
to the vet's and put her Pomeranian in the blender,
tho' pertainian to value of life he's vilipender,
so to animedic aforementioned prolly not
Snoopy smoothie sender,
unless off the invoice for the guava's jabs
it might scare up a nice little subtrahender.
Shannon Ulmer Jul 2010
Chapter 1
A man wearing a black suit and tie stood at the pew of a church. He had an anxious look on his face. Where is she? He thought. It was his wedding day, yet the room was strangely empty. Not a single person had showed up so far. Not even the priest. There were no flowers, no music, nothing. All there was were empty chairs and an occasional cockroach scuttling across the floor. Maybe I got the date wrong...No, I doubt that. We talked about it all night. Just then the large mahogany doors creaked open and he saw her. Her dress…god it was gorgeous. Pure white, not a speck of dirt on it. It flowed around her shoeless feet. She appeared to be walking on air. He was utterly stunned, not able to say a word, not able to think. She was so beautiful…Her eyes, a deep shade of blue stared back at him and they became all he could see. But as he stared, something in them died. The light just left. The glimmer she always had disappeared. They looked more and more like glass eyes on a doll than the ones that belonged to his lover. Dark circles surrounded them as a thin film covered them and took away every bit of life that was left. And then they shut. The next thing he knew, he was standing over her dead body, crying. The soft velvet lining in the coffin turning the tears into little beads that rolled down the creases.
Chapter 2
My eyes opened and I took in my surroundings, wondering where I was until I realized it was just my own room. My pillow was wet with tears and my hands shaky. Then I remembered, she died. But that couldn’t be. It just wasn’t right. I rolled over in my bed too see if she was there. Much to my relief she was, her brown hair resting on the pillow. I reached out to touch it and took in the soft scent of lavender. It felt like silk slipping through my fingers. A soft moan escaped from her throat as she rolled over and faced me.
“Hi,” she whispered in a voice that was scratchy and barely audible but **** at the same time. I just stared back at her deep blue eyes and felt the tears build up behind my eyes. “What’s wrong?” she asked a pitiful look on her face.
“Nothing, just another bad dream.” I replied nonchalantly.
She sat up in the bed, stroking her hair. “You didn’t take your sleeping pill last night did you? You were tossing all night long.”
I just stared at her back. We both knew the answer. I hadn’t. I’d been skimping on my meds recently. I was getting married in a week and needed to give the meds time to completely wear off. I didn’t want the pills taking away my feelings. I wanted the full experience. Besides I thought I was getting better. There were no more voices whispering my name and I no longer talked to my dead sister, who apparently was just a hallucination my mind created to help deal with the pain of losing her. They said that it in no way meant I was insane. They called it a defense mechanism. They said it was my body’s way of protecting me. But I saw their thoughts in their eyes. I saw how frightened they were at my insanity, how they kept their distance from me, avoiding me like I was infected with the plague.
I remembered how healthy, how happy she had been. She’d had her whole life ahead of her but when she was nineteen I had taken her down to the Gulf of Mexico with Kasey, my fiancée. I couldn’t have one without the other. It was through Sarah that I met Kasey and through Kasey that I saved Sarah. I had figured that I would take the two most important people in my life to the beach for spring break but now I regret it.
I just remember Sarah’s smiling face, mocking me and Kasey as we held each other on the shore, our toes tickled by the gentle water.  Without warning a scream escaped her mouth as she was pulled under against her will. She didn’t leave the water until the following morning when her body washed up on shore. A shark had bitten one of her legs clean off. Her face was pale, her eyes open, not seeing through the milky film surrounding them and her lips stained a dark blue color. For so long I had been convinced that she had escaped. I saw her on the streets, in my apartment, in my car everywhere. Sometimes we just waved or said hi and we went on with our days but sometimes I had long drawn out conversations with her. I remember the day I proposed to Kasey that she had been waiting for me outside the apartment and we had talked for hours about how happy I was going to be with her and how I am so lucky to be able to have someone like her. Even seeing her body in that black coffin surrounded by white lilies didn’t bring the truth to me. It just felt like an insane dream when I stood up and recounted our good times during the eulogy and when I held Kasey tight in the cemetery where she now rests. I was absolutely convinced that she had lived. She couldn’t be dead I saw her, I talked to her, I hugged her. But all those psychologists said she was. They all said the hallucination was just how my brain was choosing to deal with it. Instead of becoming clinically depressed, I just chose to deny it.
Other than the hallucinations, I haven’t really dealt with her death. It still doesn’t feel real; even if I don’t see her anymore. Although she’s six feet under next to our parents, I can’t believe it. I’m just waiting for the day it hits me. The day I’ll want to do nothing but look at pictures of her as I’m locked in my room crying. But surely it won’t be soon. I’m marrying Kasey in a week and then everything will be perfect for a while.
Chapter 3
The weeks before our wedding was spent running about the streets of St. Augustine. Kasey boasted to me for days about how gorgeous she would be in her dress and how I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off her. We were having a small wedding, neither of us really had a family left and we didn’t have too many friends being as I could never keep one job for too long, let alone live in one place for a while. I usually ended up working as a waiter somewhere or in a small store. I really relied on Kasey for most of my money though.
Kasey had modeled at one point in her life and still had some money left over from it. I kept telling her to get back into it but she always said no, claiming the people in the business were shallow and ignorant. A little over a year after we’d met, she was getting pretty well known. Her agent was a scumbag who would milk absolutely everything he could from her, even if it meant turning to pornographic modeling. He was going to get as much money as he possibly could from her so he paid, literally paid, a new male model to date her. His name was Jacob Fischer. Apparently the guy was stupid enough to tell Kasey that he hadn’t been paid enough to take her anywhere really expensive. I remember when Kasey showed up at my house drenched in rain, crying. I tried to make her as comfortable as possible in my dinghy apartment. Apparently all she needed was my love. That was the first time that we admitted how much we loved each other. The only other time we admitted it was when I proposed to her. Our wedding day drew nearer and nearer until the night of our rehearsal dinner.
It took place at the Sun Dial, where I worked. We were all wearing our dress suits and the ladies wore dresses that glittered and shone in the dim lighting. We sat and drank champagne as we watched the city of Atlanta revolve around us. You could see the street lights and malls and other buildings. From our view the Golden Dome looked beautiful. I sat down sipping my wine and letting the constant chatter of the place engulf me. I was completely lost in my thoughts as Kasey sat down next to me and everyone began clapping. “Go on,” She whispered, “it’s time for the toast.” I stood up and the volume of the clapping increased.
I cleared my throat. “I can’t tell you all how flattered I am to be able to have Kasey’s hand in marriage. It’s very rare that a guy like me ends up with someone as beautiful as her,” I paused, listening to the dead silence and continued, “No really though, I am honored to be able to have her become part of my family.” I looked at the very last table and saw Sarah sitting there smiling at me. “And I’m sure that Sarah is excited to have her as her sister-in-law. Isn’t that right Sarah?” There was no reply, only stunned faces staring back at me.
Sarah was gone. I could feel all those eyes boring holes in me as my face grew hot. Kasey stood up and took my arm, “Will you excuse us please?” she pulled me of the rotating floor and towards the door of the restaurant. “What is wrong with you?” she was practically yelling. I could see the tears welling up behind her eyes. “She really was there. Sarah was sitting in the back of the room smiling at me.” I tried to tell her the truth. “No. No Parker. You’re the only one who saw her. She’s been dead for over two years now.” She looked me straight in the eyes, begging me to believe her. “You can’t just quit taking your meds like that! Normal people don’t see their dead sisters at the rehearsal dinner and most of them don’t talk to her during the toast!” I couldn’t say anything; I just looked at her. “I love you Parker, I really do. You’re the only person in this world that I feel truly understands me but you’re insane! Nothing will bring her back. I know you don’t understand that she really is gone but you have to move on. It hurts me as much as it does you. I loved her too and if you would just pull your head out of your *** you would see that there are so many other people that did too but we’ve all dealt with it and moved on.” I could tell she was trying really hard to hold back the tears but they just kept rolling down her face, painting it with bleeding mascara.
I reached out and hugged her. “I’m so sorry Kasey. I just don’t know what happened back there…” she pushed me back and stared at me in disbelief.
“You know what? **** it. You’ve completely lost your mind. How do you expect me to be able to marry someone who talks to dead people?!” her chest was heaving with effort. She was yelling at me louder than she ever had before. “Just…Just come find me whenever you find your ******* mind.” She shoved me away from her slipped in the elevator just as its doors closed.
“Kasey! Wait!” I called desperately after her. I stood by the window completely dumbfounded. My breath fogged up the glass that my hand rested on.
Chapter 4
I lay in my bed that night, staring at the water stained ceiling. I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Thinking about how I had hurt her, of how she had run away and how I had been too stunned to go and face all those people that had just witnessed me talking to a hallucination. I hadn’t done that in so long…What happened? Why did she blow up like that at me? It’s not like I meant to, I mean just because it’s the first time I’ve done it in a couple months doesn’t give her a right to get so mad does it? I’m not insane…at least I don’t think I am. But maybe she’s right. Maybe I am. Insane and depressed. I thought as I rolled over in my bed and brought my legs up to my chest. My eyes landed where her head would usually be. I felt a wave of extreme hopelessness rush over me as I thought of her. I really did love her. But maybe she just can’t make herself love me. Maybe the insane aren’t meant to be loved. We’re all destined to a life of loneliness and tears. All those who try to help us don’t really care. They all just come and go like birds in the change of seasons. The world never stops changing, never stops moving. Neither do we, but we never go up, we only fall deeper and deeper until we’ve lost it completely. That’s when we start sitting in a rocking chair all day mumbling nonsense to ourselves. By then no one cares anymore; we all just become lost causes. There is no hope anymore. Not for us.
It felt like someone had ripped my heart right out of my chest. That was how bad it felt to know she didn’t want to be with me. I would rather her have died knowing that she loved me than have her living knowing she doesn’t give a ****.  This way she was dead to me, but only me; just like my sister was dead to everyone but me. She told me to come find her when I found my mind, but how do I find it if I’ve never lost it? I just can not believe I’m insane. Surely she would come back to me if I could just talk to her. She had always loved me no matter how crazy I got. What made now different? I had to make it up to her. I would find her in the morning and hold her tight for the rest of the day. We didn’t have to get married if she didn’t want to. If she was just looking for an excuse not to marry me, why didn’t she just tell me that she wasn’t ready yet? That would’ve been easier for me to take than this. Anything would be.
The beast that had my heart in their hands rolled it around, feeling the warmth and stickiness of blood on their hands. They held still for a moment and then squeezed it until it burst, gushing blood between their fingers. I screamed into my pillow and then succumbed to the unavoidable sobs.
Chapter 5
Sleep never came to me that night. I just lay there; thinking about her, imagining her, missing her. She was all I thought about. She was the only thing I thought about as I slipped some clean clothes on and headed out of the apartment that smelled like mildew.
The streets were too crowded for me to take my car and after ten minutes of waiting for a cab, I decided to walk. Besides, I didn’t even really know where I was going yet. I tried to think of where she would go if she felt like she needed to get away. Then it hit me, Oakland Cemetery. She would probably be visiting Sarah’s grave. I flagged down a taxi and went to find her.
Upon stepping inside the cemetery I became aware of the ancient graves. In a way it was a beautiful sight. The headstones jutting out of the ground; it just brought me a feeling of peace. A thousand souls rested here, many centuries old. Most people find it somewhat creepy, but it’s fascinating to me. There’s so much history buried beneath this earth, it just astounded me to think of all these people coming to rest all in one place. I could just imagine all the things these people did, all their accomplishments. I walked up hill towards Sarah’s grave. There it was. The graves were more modern here, no headstones stuck out of the ground, they all lay parallel to the bodies beneath them.  And just as I suspected a human figure was kneeling on the ground. It had to be Kasey, I mean how many people go the cemetery this early on a day when the sun shines bright and a light breeze tussles your hair? No one. No one would want to come here this morning.
I quietly crept towards the figure, whispering Kasey’s name. There was no response from the figure so I drew nearer and nearer.  With every step I took I noticed that something wasn’t right. Their backside was bare, and so far as I could tell, so was their front. They sat there, no movement at all, trapped in one moment of time. From the back, they looked like Kasey, they had the same hair and lying next to her was the dress that she’d worn last night. “Kasey?” I called out, waiting for an answer. Nothing stirred except for a couple of squirrels off in the distance. I reached out and touched her on the shoulder. I drew my hand back immediately as the awful stench of death filled my nostrils. I stood there stunned as the body fell back into the grass with a thud. It was definitely Kasey. She lay there, on top of Sarah’s grave staring up at me. There were long, deep gashes up her wrists. A knife clutched in her right hand, she had died, staining the earth with her blood. Her bloodshot eyes stared up at me with an eerie emptiness. Her face looked pained; you could almost see her last thoughts on it. Life isn’t worth living anymore, I’ve been betrayed one too many times so I’m just going to end it all right now and stop waiting for someone else to do it for me. My mind and body went completely numb. This wasn’t happening, No, I would wake up and it would all just be a dream. She couldn’t have killed herself, no, not her. She had always loved life. Always loved to go somewhere new, to get out there, try everything, and live life to the fullest. So why would she **** herself? It couldn’t possibly be my fault. I had never done anything to hurt her. I never could have. I had loved her way to much. I couldn’t be the re
Copyright Shannon Ulmer 2008
Then, when we had got down to the sea shore we drew our ship into
the water and got her mast and sails into her; we also put the sheep
on board and took our places, weeping and in great distress of mind.
Circe, that great and cunning goddess, sent us a fair wind that blew
dead aft and stayed steadily with us keeping our sails all the time
well filled; so we did whatever wanted doing to the ship’s gear and
let her go as the wind and helmsman headed her. All day long her sails
were full as she held her course over the sea, but when the sun went
down and darkness was over all the earth, we got into the deep
waters of the river Oceanus, where lie the land and city of the
Cimmerians who live enshrouded in mist and darkness which the rays
of the sun never pierce neither at his rising nor as he goes down
again out of the heavens, but the poor wretches live in one long
melancholy night. When we got there we beached the ship, took the
sheep out of her, and went along by the waters of Oceanus till we came
to the place of which Circe had told us.
  “Here Perimedes and Eurylochus held the victims, while I drew my
sword and dug the trench a cubit each way. I made a drink-offering
to all the dead, first with honey and milk, then with wine, and
thirdly with water, and I sprinkled white barley meal over the
whole, praying earnestly to the poor feckless ghosts, and promising
them that when I got back to Ithaca I would sacrifice a barren
heifer for them, the best I had, and would load the pyre with good
things. I also particularly promised that Teiresias should have a
black sheep to himself, the best in all my flocks. When I had prayed
sufficiently to the dead, I cut the throats of the two sheep and let
the blood run into the trench, whereon the ghosts came trooping up
from Erebus—brides, young bachelors, old men worn out with toil,
maids who had been crossed in love, and brave men who had been
killed in battle, with their armour still smirched with blood; they
came from every quarter and flitted round the trench with a strange
kind of screaming sound that made me turn pale with fear. When I saw
them coming I told the men to be quick and flay the carcasses of the
two dead sheep and make burnt offerings of them, and at the same
time to repeat prayers to Hades and to Proserpine; but I sat where I
was with my sword drawn and would not let the poor feckless ghosts
come near the blood till Teiresias should have answered my questions.
  “The first ghost ‘that came was that of my comrade Elpenor, for he
had not yet been laid beneath the earth. We had left his body
unwaked and unburied in Circe’s house, for we had had too much else to
do. I was very sorry for him, and cried when I saw him: ‘Elpenor,’
said I, ‘how did you come down here into this gloom and darkness?
You have here on foot quicker than I have with my ship.’
  “‘Sir,’ he answered with a groan, ‘it was all bad luck, and my own
unspeakable drunkenness. I was lying asleep on the top of Circe’s
house, and never thought of coming down again by the great staircase
but fell right off the roof and broke my neck, so my soul down to
the house of Hades. And now I beseech you by all those whom you have
left behind you, though they are not here, by your wife, by the father
who brought you up when you were a child, and by Telemachus who is the
one hope of your house, do what I shall now ask you. I know that
when you leave this limbo you will again hold your ship for the Aeaean
island. Do not go thence leaving me unwaked and unburied behind you,
or I may bring heaven’s anger upon you; but burn me with whatever
armour I have, build a barrow for me on the sea shore, that may tell
people in days to come what a poor unlucky fellow I was, and plant
over my grave the oar I used to row with when I was yet alive and with
my messmates.’ And I said, ‘My poor fellow, I will do all that you
have asked of me.’
  “Thus, then, did we sit and hold sad talk with one another, I on the
one side of the trench with my sword held over the blood, and the
ghost of my comrade saying all this to me from the other side. Then
came the ghost of my dead mother Anticlea, daughter to Autolycus. I
had left her alive when I set out for Troy and was moved to tears when
I saw her, but even so, for all my sorrow I would not let her come
near the blood till I had asked my questions of Teiresias.
  “Then came also the ghost of Theban Teiresias, with his golden
sceptre in his hand. He knew me and said, ‘Ulysses, noble son of
Laertes, why, poor man, have you left the light of day and come down
to visit the dead in this sad place? Stand back from the trench and
withdraw your sword that I may drink of the blood and answer your
questions truly.’
  “So I drew back, and sheathed my sword, whereon when he had drank of
the blood he began with his prophecy.
  “You want to know,’ said he, ‘about your return home, but heaven
will make this hard for you. I do not think that you will escape the
eye of Neptune, who still nurses his bitter grudge against you for
having blinded his son. Still, after much suffering you may get home
if you can restrain yourself and your companions when your ship
reaches the Thrinacian island, where you will find the sheep and
cattle belonging to the sun, who sees and gives ear to everything.
If you leave these flocks unharmed and think of nothing but of getting
home, you may yet after much hardship reach Ithaca; but if you harm
them, then I forewarn you of the destruction both of your ship and
of your men. Even though you may yourself escape, you will return in
bad plight after losing all your men, [in another man’s ship, and
you will find trouble in your house, which will be overrun by
high-handed people, who are devouring your substance under the pretext
of paying court and making presents to your wife.
  “‘When you get home you will take your revenge on these suitors; and
after you have killed them by force or fraud in your own house, you
must take a well-made oar and carry it on and on, till you come to a
country where the people have never heard of the sea and do not even
mix salt with their food, nor do they know anything about ships, and
oars that are as the wings of a ship. I will give you this certain
token which cannot escape your notice. A wayfarer will meet you and
will say it must be a winnowing shovel that you have got upon your
shoulder; on this you must fix the oar in the ground and sacrifice a
ram, a bull, and a boar to Neptune. Then go home and offer hecatombs
to an the gods in heaven one after the other. As for yourself, death
shall come to you from the sea, and your life shall ebb away very
gently when you are full of years and peace of mind, and your people
shall bless you. All that I have said will come true].’
  “‘This,’ I answered, ‘must be as it may please heaven, but tell me
and tell me and tell me true, I see my poor mother’s ghost close by
us; she is sitting by the blood without saying a word, and though I am
her own son she does not remember me and speak to me; tell me, Sir,
how I can make her know me.’
  “‘That,’ said he, ‘I can soon do Any ghost that you let taste of the
blood will talk with you like a reasonable being, but if you do not
let them have any blood they will go away again.’
  “On this the ghost of Teiresias went back to the house of Hades, for
his prophecyings had now been spoken, but I sat still where I was
until my mother came up and tasted the blood. Then she knew me at once
and spoke fondly to me, saying, ‘My son, how did you come down to this
abode of darkness while you are still alive? It is a hard thing for
the living to see these places, for between us and them there are
great and terrible waters, and there is Oceanus, which no man can
cross on foot, but he must have a good ship to take him. Are you all
this time trying to find your way home from Troy, and have you never
yet got back to Ithaca nor seen your wife in your own house?’
  “‘Mother,’ said I, ‘I was forced to come here to consult the ghost
of the Theban prophet Teiresias. I have never yet been near the
Achaean land nor set foot on my native country, and I have had nothing
but one long series of misfortunes from the very first day that I
set out with Agamemnon for Ilius, the land of noble steeds, to fight
the Trojans. But tell me, and tell me true, in what way did you die?
Did you have a long illness, or did heaven vouchsafe you a gentle easy
passage to eternity? Tell me also about my father, and the son whom
I left behind me; is my property still in their hands, or has some one
else got hold of it, who thinks that I shall not return to claim it?
Tell me again what my wife intends doing, and in what mind she is;
does she live with my son and guard my estate securely, or has she
made the best match she could and married again?’
  “My mother answered, ‘Your wife still remains in your house, but she
is in great distress of mind and spends her whole time in tears both
night and day. No one as yet has got possession of your fine property,
and Telemachus still holds your lands undisturbed. He has to entertain
largely, as of course he must, considering his position as a
magistrate, and how every one invites him; your father remains at
his old place in the country and never goes near the town. He has no
comfortable bed nor bedding; in the winter he sleeps on the floor in
front of the fire with the men and goes about all in rags, but in
summer, when the warm weather comes on again, he lies out in the
vineyard on a bed of vine leaves thrown anyhow upon the ground. He
grieves continually about your never having come home, and suffers
more and more as he grows older. As for my own end it was in this
wise: heaven did not take me swiftly and painlessly in my own house,
nor was I attacked by any illness such as those that generally wear
people out and **** them, but my longing to know what you were doing
and the force of my affection for you—this it was that was the
death of me.’
  “Then I tried to find some way of embracing my mother’s ghost.
Thrice I sprang towards her and tried to clasp her in my arms, but
each time she flitted from my embrace as it were a dream or phantom,
and being touched to the quick I said to her, ‘Mother, why do you
not stay still when I would embrace you? If we could throw our arms
around one another we might find sad comfort in the sharing of our
sorrows even in the house of Hades; does Proserpine want to lay a
still further load of grief upon me by mocking me with a phantom
only?’
  “‘My son,’ she answered, ‘most ill-fated of all mankind, it is not
Proserpine that is beguiling you, but all people are like this when
they are dead. The sinews no longer hold the flesh and bones together;
these perish in the fierceness of consuming fire as soon as life has
left the body, and the soul flits away as though it were a dream. Now,
however, go back to the light of day as soon as you can, and note
all these things that you may tell them to your wife hereafter.’
  “Thus did we converse, and anon Proserpine sent up the ghosts of the
wives and daughters of all the most famous men. They gathered in
crowds about the blood, and I considered how I might question them
severally. In the end I deemed that it would be best to draw the
keen blade that hung by my sturdy thigh, and keep them from all
drinking the blood at once. So they came up one after the other, and
each one as I questioned her told me her race and lineage.
  “The first I saw was Tyro. She was daughter of Salmoneus and wife of
Cretheus the son of ******. She fell in love with the river Enipeus
who is much the most beautiful river in the whole world. Once when she
was taking a walk by his side as usual, Neptune, disguised as her
lover, lay with her at the mouth of the river, and a huge blue wave
arched itself like a mountain over them to hide both woman and god,
whereon he loosed her ****** girdle and laid her in a deep slumber.
When the god had accomplished the deed of love, he took her hand in
his own and said, ‘Tyro, rejoice in all good will; the embraces of the
gods are not fruitless, and you will have fine twins about this time
twelve months. Take great care of them. I am Neptune, so now go
home, but hold your tongue and do not tell any one.’
  “Then he dived under the sea, and she in due course bore Pelias
and Neleus, who both of them served Jove with all their might.
Pelias was a great ******* of sheep and lived in Iolcus, but the other
lived in Pylos. The rest of her children were by Cretheus, namely,
Aeson, Pheres, and Amythaon, who was a mighty warrior and charioteer.
  “Next to her I saw Antiope, daughter to Asopus, who could boast of
having slept in the arms of even Jove himself, and who bore him two
sons Amphion and Zethus. These founded Thebes with its seven gates,
and built a wall all round it; for strong though they were they
could not hold Thebes till they had walled it.
  “Then I saw Alcmena, the wife of Amphitryon, who also bore to Jove
indomitable Hercules; and Megara who was daughter to great King Creon,
and married the redoubtable son of Amphitryon.
  “I also saw fair Epicaste mother of king OEdipodes whose awful lot
it was to marry her own son without suspecting it. He married her
after having killed his father, but the gods proclaimed the whole
story to the world; whereon he remained king of Thebes, in great grief
for the spite the gods had borne him; but Epicaste went to the house
of the mighty jailor Hades, having hanged herself for grief, and the
avenging spirits haunted him as for an outraged mother—to his ruing
bitterly thereafter.
  “Then I saw Chloris, whom Neleus married for her beauty, having
given priceless presents for her. She was youngest daughter to Amphion
son of Iasus and king of Minyan Orchomenus, and was Queen in Pylos.
She bore Nestor, Chromius, and Periclymenus, and she also bore that
marvellously lovely woman Pero, who was wooed by all the country
round; but Neleus would only give her to him who should raid the
cattle of Iphicles from the grazing grounds of Phylace, and this was a
hard task. The only man who would undertake to raid them was a certain
excellent seer, but the will of heaven was against him, for the
rangers of the cattle caught him and put him in prison; nevertheless
when a full year had passed and the same season came round again,
Iphicles set him at liberty, after he had expounded all the oracles of
heaven. Thus, then, was the will of Jove accomplished.
  “And I saw Leda the wife of Tyndarus, who bore him two famous
sons, Castor breaker of horses, and Pollux the mighty boxer. Both
these heroes are lying under the earth, though they are still alive,
for by a special dispensation of Jove, they die and come to life
again, each one of them every other day throughout all time, and
they have the rank of gods.
  “After her I saw Iphimedeia wife of Aloeus who boasted the embrace
of Neptune. She bore two sons Otus and Ephialtes, but both were
short lived. They were the finest children that were ever born in this
world, and the best looking, Orion only excepted; for at nine years
old they were nine fathoms high, and measured nine cubits round the
chest. They threatened to make war with the gods in Olympus, and tried
to set Mount Ossa on the top of Mount Olympus, and Mount Pelion on the
top of Ossa, that they might scale heaven itself, and they would
have done it too if they had been grown up, but Apollo, son of Leto,
killed both of them, before they had got so much as a sign of hair
upon their cheeks or chin.
  “Then I saw Phaedra, and Procris, and fair Ariadne daughter of the
magician Minos, whom Theseus was carrying off from Crete to Athens,
but he did not enjoy her, for before he could do so Diana killed her
in the island of Dia on account of what Bacchus had said against her.
  “I also saw Maera and Clymene and hateful Eriphyle, who sold her own
husband for gold. But it would take me all night if I were to name
every single one of the wives and daughters of heroes whom I saw,
and it is time for me to go to bed, either on board ship with my crew,
or here. As for my escort, heaven and yourselves
An Batingaw Mar 2013
dahil wara katapusan an duon san mga mata
mabubuhay akong minamatay
san dating kaaway ko sa lawas na ini
sa lawas na ini naghambog an talawon
pinapagubtik an kaaluhan na nagpapamuda
muda na nagpupukaw saakon gurugab-i
kendi na nagpapahibi
mesias na naghahala-hala

magiging madalas an pagsid-ip niya sa bintana
para laen ko makita an liwanag
malaog siya sa kahon ko
laen para magkawat
kundi dagdagan an pagub-at
makasakat an pagbagsak
siya na ako
masurat tula.

~Written by Melton Balicano
(a bikol dialect)


since these eyes have been weighed down on unending
i shall live while being slain by an old foe in this body
this body where the craven had once boasted
surging chagrins that blaspheme
blasphemy that rouses this corpse in the dark
treats that shed tears
a messiah that taunts.

he shall constantly peep through the window
so that I see no light
he will break in my casket
not to thieve
but to burden further
the downfall shall rise
then he becomes me
penning a poem.

~a translation of Balicano's masterpiece
Glenn Sentes
Edna Sweetlove Feb 2016
My sister boasted to me one night in a Liverpool pub
She had *** with a couple of coppers down the Mersey Tunnel.
'You're nothing bit a fat slapper' I scolded her,
As she examined the selfie I had taken
Just a few moments earlier of me
And her best friend up against the ladies' bog door.
"Good likeness, innit?" I commented and the
She farted stentoriously in surprise and,
The follow-through oozed down her dimpled thigh.
Such faith, conceived by truth-revealing trials
Would open up the way for sojourn hearts
Which, too long groaning, some contend the while
And fix not, pierced through with searing darts
Of cruel despite.  The back and not the front
Too much pursued, then turns away the thought
Which, rightly meek, could otherwise wax blunt
The plaint of sorrow, though not falsely wrought.
The vale they pass, and must, which set before
Is flood with tears of loss for grace remiss
Unkindly given, faithfully now born-
Both cheeks for smiting, doubly felt love's kiss.
Forbearing calls of tempted wrath, uncouth
They still the soul with love to love in truth.

Miners do not bemoan their lot or odds
Toiling amidst the mountains for the boon
Of rare and costly things, nor curse the gods
That one is later rich, one richer soon.
Attentiveness they hold who sooner reap
The treasure that's around them secret sown
While into every crevice careful peek
To pluck what heedless others pass unknown.
Life is not slack to proffer all the glee
Of finding underfoot their stainless wealth
If but the waking heart might, pious, see
The subtle vision slipped their soul in stealth.
A fool to Fortune's ways too tempted cling
As others own great price in common things.

What is a plowman’s good who does not know
To rend the fallow starts a noble work
And sluggard helper who rose not to sow
For early rains, and still the labor shirks?
All seasons come upon a certain time
Accounting naturally important ends
Then run together, pending to adjoin
And pass one into each toward that they tend.
So bides the heart, all dispositions moved
Proportionate to their respective toil
And meets the trials of reason, thorough proved
To blend experience for richer soil.
Such faithfulness lays hold upon the tares
And garners truth in joy of harvest tears.

The carpenters, with line and cornered rule
Perfect their plan, all purposes befitting;
Discerning every plane, they make it true
To need and art, nothing good omitting.
Time, space, and material, they well acquaint
To suit what in idea they have known
And do not reckon aimlessly to joint
The forms of care which discipline bestows.
Determining at first, their soul aspires
With upright means to prove a steady norm
In outward style, contracting the attire
To fit, more solid, ‘gainst the pending storms.
All ends appraised, no castle in the air
They raise integrity’s undoubted lair.

The shifting winds of glancing pride toss-on
The ship of fools ambition ere the port
Of youth is left, though life will not disport
With careless confidence and ****** throngs.
Awake you sleepers, grab onto the helm
Of discipline and keep a watchful eye
For them false prophets' quackery that o’er whelms
The halting reason; now, the trial draws nigh.
Set sail for deeper waters, brave the depths
Of judgment, yet retain a stern relief
'gainst piercing cynicism, which has cleft
Many strong hull upon the siren’s reef.
A hero braves the dark, where Dagon preys
To pluck the pearly gem from wisdom's lay.

Seeming and unseemly, like and dislike
The teeter and the totter is such play
Of mind and meaning, cause and mirrored sight
Which founding can confound the night with day.
The child is parent to the man while life
On loss is nourished; so a fusion rules
The universe inverse, returning strife
To compound allegory, deft endued.
Now what in words the wise of men contend
Consistent with or contra-wise contrived
Truth veers centripetal as spirit bends
The line’s division into circumscribed.
So Hermes’ message, as with salty might
Transforms the fixed in point of solving light.

The trials’ invocation always lends
Two ways to go, all faithless thoughts determined;
Another’s liberty of life extends
And once encompassed, all sure hope resounds.
What outward and destructive ways are there
In boasted things and ****** aspirations
Darkens careless souls that proudly bear
The cruelty of reckless estimations;
Though as an envoy of the light there’s one
That demonstrates a proven dignity
In all the world, illumined as the Sun
Their character’s sublime prosperity.
Such paragon of peace must ever live
In conquest of the other's death and sin.

As donning faces for the shift of things
Accommodation is the passing rite
That opens up upon the newest things
Where right or wrong, as given's, always nice.
What dogma won, in things of captured worth
Then fails for certain as both night and day
Impose fierce gauntlets which, ordained by birth
Initiates into humanity.
Whether comes fair or foul, truth ever is
Between what was, perhaps that which shall be
Where nothing good's received, nothing given
Except that proven by integrity.
More prudent hearts, in seeming-self discern
What loss to own, what gains to yet forgo.

No longer bothered in the waking hours
To vex the soul with thoughts of cruel reproof
They lighten every gloom with kinder bowers
And firm affections for shared primal youth.
Life’s promises they keep and sooner turn
On admiration of a sincere care
That judges not but, ever ready, learns-
What good or bad, by name, is common shared.
So being one within a true respect
They dare no more contend with right or wrong
Nor weary coming days with old regrets
But thank the night as harbinger of song.
At last to love in truth and constant live
By word of grace, their best of care to give!

Confessing nothing rash to vainly give
An estimation of life’s fleeting span
They overcome the world and constant live
In each, uniting, as is fit to stand.
Too soon, contesting banter comes about
On winds of contradiction, outward born
For inward wreck upon the teeth of doubt
As partial men from better self are shorn.
But owning what is due in right respect
Of station that sets all among the stars
So puny, comes a night to recollect
Those cares that found and folly each discharged.
Without more striving then, their way bestows
A humble truth, in love more plainly known.

So comes the proof upon transcendent will
To study every thought and whispered care
In what is sought and how may grace distill
The phantom soul; from private ways to bear
All things of good and evil in compound
As strange concoctions are at first the mead
Of sojourn ways, from ancient roots to bound
With vital links of continuity.
No star of vacant hope to glimpse at first
Where subtle intimations strike the mind
For sacred unction, urging on a birth
Through shadowed veils of self and misty kinds.
Once found in each, born by integrity
They compass perfect care to open up
The fount of golden youth while manhood’s key
Unlocks the treasures of salvific sup.
Such ripened grace of knowing, rightly heard
Stores up the nations, garnering the world.

A vision in the heart of Man, more true
To magnify the deed and, pure as gold
Proved equity of faith in each that holds
As dung all things which strife of pride once lured.
Allied and filling up the high measure
Of righteousness, with precepts born of love
It rectifies the will, drawing treasures
From Hade’s misty shrine and dank abode.
Thereby to light their lamps and truth reflect
The awesome wonder of life’s unity
While nothing of their tears to yet regret
Nor grant a loss to love's great sanctity.
Great mystery, though measured in the known
It rises, all in each and each in all!

Who knows what by this awful sight is spied
For proofs more sturdy, sought upon the word
To shape the justice of their dawning days
And lift to yet new life the palling world?
More subtle than the silent creep of time
It slips on by like whispers of a dream
To walk amidst the hustle and the grind
Of souls, too careless snared by cruel disdain.
Not here or there with proud insistency
Nor couched in dainty flirting of the mind-
A form of light and golden verity
Clothed in itself, itself a world sublime.
Substance of being, hope without a fear
This faith, indemnified by countless tears.

Ten thousand times ten thousand worlds employed
With weight and number, light and vast devoid
Before this fairest seat could faith enjoin
As heaven’s solar dame to the sublime.
Compressed within its bowels, the work's distress
From many tons of ore brings forth one stone
Which rare carbunculus the sage invest
With value, their beloved to adorn.
But this and all true wonder has not shown
What men and women may, in time, bequeath
As one pure breath of aurum spirit, born
To comprehend and compliment the rest.
Great agony has justified the odds
In consequence of Man, revealing God!
The immense striking letters
of the gazette’s front page
make me almost cross-eyed

My mind is going to explode
in the images I have seen in the television

Boom!

When will the politicians
be weary in stealing
the wealth of the country?
Millions of pesos were caught
in the centre of the golden sea

Can we only find it from other countries?
Is that the main reason
why Filipinos are migrating:
to find source of much bigger income?

I am thinking about them
together with their bosses
with heavy iron hands
I believe crime rate is escalating...

...the crime that can grab you
24 hours a day
Can we still smell the tainted odor
of pictures of the street children...
children who beg for a piece of bread?

Mr. President, where is the promised straight road
you are pointing at?
Why can’t we see it?
Is it crooked?

Why is it that these are
the ONLY stuffing of rumors?
Why can’t we focus onto a bigger
and wider problem of our country
and even around the world?

Perhaps above all issues,
this is the only concern
that is not yet trending in Twitter

So, I just boasted it to my open-mouthed puppy...
“If I will be the President of the Philippines,
I will focus first on ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES.”
Suddenly, Bruno’s saliva dripped.
Why is environmental issue the least priority?
I chased the first rays
of an autumn morning

but to my sorrow
when I arrived at
the urgent place
the sun had
already
risen

breathing a
crowning glory of a
seasons brilliant
splendor

alighting
the glowing amber
of golden woods
shining like gleaming
constellations of
dazzling morning
stars...

though I
desired to find
ascendent beauty
the ubiquitous glow of
transfigured leaves
immersed me in
a divine chrome...

as I traversed
the woods, my
solitary steps found
companionship
with a sullen
mistress singing
a sad rustle
of dry fallen leaves

and as the drone
of cars faded from the
receding road

I searched myself
for courage and
found resolve

I pondered truth
and discovered
the wisdom
of resolution...

yearning  to
realize a
deeper faith

I hiked
further up
the wooded hill,
visiting the gay
playfields
of my youth

and received
an epiphany
of wholesome
closure
opening
new
timeless
doors...

still questing
for more light

a prophetic wren
whirred a pliant
secret into my ear

she bespoke
a symphony
of avian
improvisations

conversing in
a thousand
luminous tongues,
relating a sonorous
elegy teaming with
the brightest
joys of life

raising bold
proclamations

celebrating a
seasons radiance

imploring me
to join the chorus...

though the canopy
of the woods still
boasted boughs
of green

the
infant hues
of spring had
run its course

the glory of an
expiring season
strewn on the
forest floor

covering the
mouldering stags
inching back into
the compost of life

breeding blankets
of furry moss

feeding on the
primal organica

of seemingly
expired flora

here, in this
darkened moment
I realized
the transcendent
miracle

the loam of life
incubating
churning  
in concert with
the turn of
seasons...

to my sorrow
I missed the first
rays of the morning

the first
peeks of light
a breaking day
gracefully bespeaks
upon a sleeping earth
awoken in new light

yet I am filled

I am transcendent

I am the first ray
of an eternal light

I am the first ray
of my earthen
gloaming...

on the morrow
the best of me
is in the marrow
of all who loved me
and all whom I loved

these rays of me
will forever rise
in an eternity
of dawnings

For Joey
Godspeed Beloved

Vaughan Williams:
Lark Ascending

Oakland
101313
jbm
I have a dream! I have a dream,
To the racial discriminators, said Martin Luther King,
I have a dream! I have a dream!
To the evil-creating economists, I warn and ring.

Globe witness hunger, inequality poverty and unemployment
The world turns out to be bitter,
To all of you, I write this letter.
To create a world relieved from these and turn better.

I am a mad aspiring economist, a fool,
Searching for the right tool,
You turned the world with full of mess,
People are left with nothing less.

To the world, you gave theories,
Pushed us into a vicious cycle of injuries,
About your theories, you boasted,
It has created a few ruling and bloated.
Most of you worked as economic hitmen,
Turned victim laymen to fighting gunmen.

To the realities, your theory is distant,
Served no solution to the dying peasants,
To the few, we remain a psychological slave and servants,
Tuned our lives to a depended migrant.

With your development lecture,
You have killed the entire nature,
In the name of ventures, corporates turned vulture,
Hunted and looted our generations’ future.

We lived a self-reliant community,
You killed us with imposed liability,
Our lives are now placed in intensive casualty,
The word that remains imagination still is equality.



We lost our humanity and identity,
In your eyes, we are just a market and commodity,
Your play with scarcity, was a mere futility,
We finally became a society, filled with atrocity.

Your useless lectures of development,
Put us under frightening & irrecoverable unemployment,
For a few, you got us into a deep-rooted enslavement,
So, now for you instead, we make a replacement.

To my questions, you neglected and ran,
In your eyes, I am foolish stupid common man,
To you short-sighted range,
I say I will bring in a change!

Today, I may remain lower and mere viewer,
A day will come, where you will stand to answer,
Writing a new rule, I would seize your beloved positions,
This will be my lifetime mission and ambition.

I say with all my limited experience,
I will put a test to all your conscience,
Are you just a fat-big corporate’s hand?
With people will you always stand?

I am not an economist,
I am neither an egotist,
I proclaim! I proclaim!
I am a revolutionary economist,

I know you will fit me a label,
I am sure I will be an economic rebel,
A rebellious economist.

I dream a world without huge inequalities,
I dream a world free from imposed liabilities,
I dream a world without poverty and disparities,
I finally dream for becoming an economist with no ambiguities.
The whole world is staring at new difficulties. It is still riddled with poverty, inequality, unemployment and illiteracy. The economists who dictated these rulebooks are the main culprits behind these. I am an aspiring economist. The economists mostly don’t stand with people’s welfare. Mostly they are ambiguous. They know only theories. They work as economic hitmen for many corporates. They are just a bookworm. Without understanding the pain and situation, they put forward new theories. Their theories sometimes serve good for the western world. One food or one dress or even one house cannot suit every person in the world. I have written this poem to the economists. It is better that all economist stay with people and find a solution that is most suitable for their enhancement. Else, people would reject their presence. In short, I say economist should be from the people, for the people, by the people, of the people.
Yonas Mengisteab Jan 2019
A lost pearl
Lost!
I wonder it was lost
What do you think?
It was lost!
A school, job, diamond
Gold, or money
Friends, fathers, mothers
Brothers, or sisters
No they are human beings
They deserve to die
And they make mistakes
So what!
Love…………….
Love is dead
Lost forever
It is lived far away from us
And cuts into different parts
So let examine our own hearts
How much we lived through this precious
Love, forever with much happiness


Two things
I cry
I weep
I despair
Again the other day
I enjoy
Happy
Pleasure
Experiencing two different things
Now and then
Here and there

Failed
This statue was done by me
This school was done by me
This mind of children was done by me
Everything was done by me
I boasted myself
Every minute of the days
People along the street
They watched me with their askance eyes
They mumbled, cried
How arrogant I was!
If I could climb to the mountains of pride
Then I would definitely become greed
How silly I am! In my life of deeds
I am doomed.

We blessed Friday, but

God bestowed freedom
On the dawn of Friday
For Eritrean
To have a new day
Our mother ululated
Our father brandishing their hands
School children waves their flags
Then the sky becomes brighter
People gathered from every corner
The birds sing a melodious
The children taste delicious
The sea becomes calmer
Rebuilding the country is our premier
Then we began steadily
Without hesitation
Everything changed
But nowadays,
I am afraid
I heard something bad
People cursed
And murmured to the given freedom
Which is given by almighty God?
Oh! What is wrong?
My fellow people
Do we have prayed?
Which is multiple?
Of three or four
Our freedom
To be reconsider
Absolutely, not
Don’t argue
In the life of God

True love
Love is God
Of eternity
Value of human being
Ever changing society
Decayed of soul, poorer or richer
Overwhelmed by materials
Never afford as good maker
Odorous gratitude
Taken for granted
Ready for good or bad day
Emerging and paving the way
Cuddle in my heart
Obviously, you are best
Reunion in one circle
Determine the best friend
Salute you, thanks indeed
Out of this entire world
Fetish you are, in my soul
We are embraced in one heart
Really it is the beautifulness
Omit the bad spirit
Never gave up a true love
Get ready for any eventuality
Stand up for unity and beauty.

Brag kills you

People are brag
The government is brag
Everybody is brag
Brag, brag, brag,
Flattened themselves in rag
Which is made by their drug?
A drug of ignorance
Of stupidity
Of selfishness
Of unspiritual
But
At the end of the day
They all fall into a ditch
Living in their grave
Like a log
You lived in the everlasting bog.


Poems is my life
Ponder about the life
Oblivious the dumpiness
Emanate from grace
Make the world change
Initially gratitude
Set up in my mind
Master of my life
Yonder that cliff
Love yield in my soul
Intimately grow
Forgetting the appall
Ending you go.

Empty coffer
Oh! My goodness
I have never seen like that
In my life
How corrupted the governor was
When I was a grown up
As a school children
My mother told me
How beautiful of the nation
A nation of sacrifices
Of perseravance
Of unity
Of resilience
They promised us
To do that, to do this
They scheduled timetable
To feed their people
But they never do anything
They go back to square one
Everything is vanished
No more nations with empty coffer
Withoutland
There is no farmer.

My confession
Ah! Is that you?
I know….
I remember you
Listen carefully
I will tell you
It was on June 20, 2010
I met you in Asmara
A unique name of aba shawl
You make me craze
You kept me in bowl
I spent money
To please you
I run always to catch you
I forgot everything
School, job, family
I thought you.
So what do you need now?
Again, you call me
This is not the other of me
I confess
I don’t need you
Let me leave in peace.

Back to square one
I don’t blame you
I don’t rebuke you
I always bless you
I hate of everything
Of bad thinking
You know…
Which leads you?
To the place of despair
You know…
I know you more
This is not from inside of you
Banish the bad behavior
Come back to the life of good deeds
Then you know it
Who leads you?
To the evil of thought
Who kills you?
Bit by bit.

Our mother land

Of all the lands,
Urging and promising to us
Really hold prosperity and peace.

Mother of hero and heroine
Order rehabilitation
Things to change
House to build
Education to flourish
Roads to construct.

Have you ever seen that change yet?
Always talking for nothing
Suspect the people for that being

Beseech for development and democracy
Rolled their sleeves for prosperity
Attest their resistance from enemies
Vows and stands as bees
Endures from excessive animosity
Laying in their country peacefully
Yes we can, were their voices rigorously

Master of all these
Uproot the ignorance
Take off the poverty
Initiate it now,
Let’s do it, was their slogans
Assault us severely
To dismantle us thoroughly
Evolve them in corruption
Destroy the beauty of the nation

Under their rule of administration
Subdued us to blow for their mission
Be my lover
I told you millions times
Not to cross my mental doors
To **** me in the barren fields
I don’t have any pacts
With others
Why not I inside you
You inside me
If I had a true love,
I wouldn’t have told you about the others
Why shouldn’t I
Tell you the truth
I told you millions times
Not to cross my fences
This gems was given to my beloved ones
My soul doesn’t allow
The ****** love
Which is blowing in time of trouble?
That doesn’t resist the strife
Then,   you will lose your life.


Bethlehem  
Be hold of happiness
Enlighten of your kindness
Towards with your fellow friends
Have I wished you great times?
Excel yourself from others
Let me bless you more than this
Hard work and change is must
Endure and protect your heart
Make your future bright.
Smile
We cried
We died
Of   failure
So in times of trouble
Be humble
And innocent
And change the situation
In your favor
Love edifices
Be sacrifices
And smile
A while
Until you drink a cup of success
Don’t give up in despair
Said my brother
“Smile costs nothing
But it creates much.”
Don’t close your doors with latch.












Death
It is a pity
Really sympathy
People are going
In hectic
For they don’t do anything
Life is full of ups and downs
Someone breakthrough
While others falls
Someone they get stayed
Others they frayed
But death
Repose them
To cease their life
And brought them on its emperor
In its territory once for all.

My hero
I promise
I promise not
I thank you
I thank you not
Definitely,
One day
You would become my hero
You light up my darkness
As a teacher,
You pave away the dirt road
As engineer,
You praise me
As pastor,
You are blessed
You are endowed
Thanks god,
So, my dear fellow
Grasp and seize
The intended position
To serve your family and nation
Meanwhile,
Your victory becomes sparkle
Like smile
Then
Everything is fun.
Aztec Warrior Nov 2016
Some people say and will say, let us unite and heal. Unite round what exactly? Fascism??  This is at best a pipe dream and in reality a nightmare for billions of people everywhere on the planet. There can be and there should be no unity with fascists and a program of global violence and destruction (already under way for several centuries now)..  An historical reference: People who say this are actually saying "be good Germans" do not protest or resist the death camps and slaughter of Jews and others. Their cry: "Uber Germany - Uber Alles" - "God, Fatherland, and Motherhood".  In our case 2016, it is non whites, Black, Muslims, Mexicans, GLTQ people, women and abortion rights, and the environment that will be the targets of this "resurrent America"... and why would anyone want to "unite " with this?? In the name of humanity, I will not unite, collaborate, conciliate, nor capitulate to a fascist America.

In this light I offer a statement / message that is being distributed throughout this country and where ever people are protesting and resisting, including to people in other countries who are looking to us to see what we will do. Here is the link:  

http://www.revcom.us/a/464/in-the-name-of-humanity-we-refuse-to-accept-a-fascist-america-en.­html

While I encourage everyone to read  by following the link, I am also going to post the message below.

In the Name of Humanity,
We REFUSE To Accept a Fascist America
Rise Up... Get Into The Streets... Unite With People Everywhere
to Build Up Resistance in Every Way You Can
Don’t Stop: Don’t Conciliate... Don’t Accommodate... Don’t Collaborate

 
Donald Trump has now won the presidency. Under the slogan “Make America Great Again,” he has viciously attacked Mexicans and Muslims, threatened to deport millions and boasted that he will build walls and close borders. He incites people to fear and hate those who are “different,” or who come from other countries or nationalities, or practice different religions. He crudely demeans and degrades women, and openly boasts about molesting them. He’s a champion of white supremacy who has insulted and threatened Black people, and whipped up a racist lynch-mob mentality. Trump has mocked the disabled.  He is an aggressive and unapologetic militarist, who threatens to use nuclear weapons and will have his fingers on the nuclear codes. He openly advocates war crimes and crimes against humanity"including torture and killing the families of people accused of terrorism. He plans to pack the Supreme Court with justices who will gut and reverse the right to abortion, gay rights, and other important legal rights. He calls climate change a hoax and his policies will wreak further devastation on the environment. He has attacked and threatened the press and stirred up his supporters to do the same. Trump has utter contempt for facts and the truth, and consistently lies to advance his agenda. As for the rule of law, Trump went so far as to openly threaten his opponent, Hillary Clinton, not only with jail, but even assassination. Donald Trump is an outright fascist. And he is now the president-elect.

Fascism is a very serious thing. Fascism foments and relies on xenophobic nationalism, racism, and the aggressive reinstitution of oppressive “traditional values.” Fascism feeds on and encourages the threat and use of violence to build a movement and come to power. Fascism, once in power, essentially eliminates traditional democratic rights. Fascism attacks, jails, and executes its opponents, and launches violent mob attacks on “minorities.” In **** Germany in the 1930s and ’40s, under ******, fascism did all these things. They imprisoned millions in concentration camps and exterminated millions of Jews, Roma people (Gypsies), and other “undesirables.” And ****** did almost all of this through the established institutions and the “rule of law.” This is where this goes. And yes, ****** himself could “talk graciously” when he felt it would serve his interests and lull his opponents.

Trump did not even win the popular vote, (even though he did win the “electoral college” which decides elections in the U.S.). ****** himself came to power through democratic procedures, including through the process of elections. Should people have accepted ******?! Unfortunately, they did, at a horrific cost to humanity. Today, with nuclear weapons, that cost could be far higher.  

In the name of humanity, we must refuse to accept a fascist America!
The fact that Trump won as many votes as he did must be understood. The fact that he got more than even 10 percent of the vote is disgraceful and reveals some very ugly things about America. So why did this happen? The world today is turbulent, full of changes. Those who supported Trump’s fascist program were overwhelmingly sections of white people, especially but not only white men, who yearn for the days of open white supremacy and American global *******, and the blatant subjugation of women. A significant minority of white people did oppose him, but we have to confront how deep the racism, the national chauvinism, and the hatred of women is woven into this society... and not give in to this, but vigorously challenge and fiercely oppose it. 

But even more than this, Trump was backed by powerful forces in this society. Beyond those who directly supported him, the media, the Democratic Party, and others treated him as a legitimate candidate, refused to call him out as the fascist he is, and now call on everyone to accept his ascension to power. All the major powerful forces in this society bear the responsibility"it is they who have, over decades, either built up this fascist force or have “enabled” it.

You cannot try to “wait things out” with fascists. Those who lived through ******’s Germany and sat on the sidelines, looking on as ****** rounded up one group after another, became shameful collaborators with monstrous crimes against humanity. Trump and his regime must be resisted and defied, beginning now, in many different ways and in every corner of society. 

Reconciliation and collaboration would be nothing less than criminal and deadly. Literally. Come together... resist... and let the whole world know that we will not allow this to stand!
                                          **revcom.us
it is a wonderful sight here in NYC to see so many youth and others out protesting, marching and opposing a fascist America....
lana c Oct 2019
i remember she used to always tell me, it's okay to cry.
she gave me that look that said everything. as if she was silently telling me than it was okay to not be okay, to be broken, to be absolutely destroyed.
i'll always remember that side hug and proud look. the hand squeeze and happy tone in her voice when she boasted about me.
i'll remember everything now that you're gone.
JJ Hutton Jul 2010
we rejoiced
when the sign on the parking meter said we could park for free.

your kind hand
in clumsy mind,

we strolled.

we were caught between the arts and business district,
so the shops and eateries weren't
sure if they should be cool or classy.

we strolled.

we passed an army of delis now abandoned.
a greek place,
a gelato,
a couple of hotel diners,
we rounded the block,
came back close to our start,
decided on the only restaurant
that was open.

as we were seated,
the already present patrons
stared ceaselessly, with no blinking.

people always stare at us.
i think they have trouble
categorizing us.

we aren't fat.
i don't wear affliction t-shirts,
you don't dress ******,
we are caught somewhere
between the summer of '72 and indie rock brats.

our waiter was uneasy,
he had black hair, a beard,
a voice that squeaked and stuttered
as he boasted the organic and local support
the restaurant waved as their prideful flag.

order taken, people still throwing quick glances,
the music was right up our alley.

we took turns saying the names of the bands.
Cake, The Strokes, Spoon (the setlist's favorite), a deep cut from Bowie's Low, and a multitude of indie darlings that i can't remember.

i fell in love with you again.
i guess that makes the fifth or sixth time.
your child's eyes,
warm laughter,
and noble concern for the ****** state of the world.

it was good conversation,
it was good food,
it was a pleasant warm-up
for the remainder of our
getaway weekend.
Copyright 2010 by Joshua J. Hutton
Juhlhaus Jan 2019
Wellspring of blood and gold
In flame and glory ever
Doest thou faithful rise
Cast off thy vapor shrouds
Radiance of ancient godhood undimmed

Magnified by singing ice
As prophesied in the late darkness thy
Hoped triumph heralded while
Bearers chained on metalled rails
Muttered protest under
Hoary breath of polar air

But lo! The brazen promise of thine
Image graven in beholder's eye
Rings hollow in the bitten ears
And the stung flesh
Feels thy boasted fire
Not at all

Above thee stands the city's goddess proud
So virile once thou smilest
Upon her white clad shoulder now
Ceres scorns thine impotence turns not
But fixes her steeled gaze
On the frozen north
Mythos of a -15˚F Chicago sunrise.
In the valley of the Pegnitz, where across broad meadow-lands
Rise the blue Franconian mountains, Nuremberg, the ancient, stands.

Quaint old town of toil and traffic, quaint old town of art and song,
Memories haunt thy pointed gables, like the rooks that round them throng:

Memories of the Middle Ages, when the emperors, rough and bold,
Had their dwelling in thy castle, time-defying, centuries old;

And thy brave and thrifty burghers boasted, in their uncouth rhyme,
That their great imperial city stretched its hand through every clime.

In the court-yard of the castle, bound with many an iron band,
Stands the mighty linden planted by Queen Cunigunde’s hand;

On the square the oriel window, where in old heroic days
Sat the poet Melchior singing Kaiser Maximilian’s praise.

Everywhere I see around me rise the wondrous world of Art:
Fountains wrought with richest sculpture standing in the common mart;

And above cathedral doorways saints and bishops carved in stone,
By a former age commissioned as apostles to our own.

In the church of sainted Sebald sleeps enshrined his holy dust,
And in bronze the Twelve Apostles guard from age to age their trust;

In the church of sainted Lawrence stands a pix of sculpture rare,
Like the foamy sheaf of fountains, rising through the painted air.

Here, when Art was still religion, with a simple, reverent heart,
ived and labored Albrecht Dürer, the Evangelist of Art;

Hence in silence and in sorrow, toiling still with busy hand,
Like an emigrant he wandered, seeking for the Better Land.

Emigravit is the inscription on the tomb-stone where he lies;
Dead he is not, but departed,—for the artist never dies.

Fairer seems the ancient city, and the sunshine seems more fair,
That he once has trod its pavement, that he once has breathed its air!

Through these streets so broad and stately, these obscure and dismal lanes,
Walked of yore the Mastersingers, chanting rude poetic strains.

From remote and sunless suburbs came they to the friendly guild,
Building nests in Fame’s great temple, as in spouts the swallows build.

As the weaver plied the shuttle, wove he too the mystic rhyme,
And the smith his iron measures hammered to the anvil’s chime;

Thanking God, whose boundless wisdom makes the flowers of poesy bloom
In the forge’s dust and cinders, in the tissues of the loom.

Here Hans Sachs, the cobbler-poet, laureate of the gentle craft,
Wisest of the Twelve Wise Masters, in huge folios sang and laughed.

But his house is now an ale-house, with a nicely sanded floor,
And a garland in the window, and his face above the door;

Painted by some humble artist, as in Adam Puschman’s song,
As the old man gray and dove-like, with his great beard white and long.

And at night the swart mechanic comes to drown his cark and care,
Quaffing ale from pewter tankards, in the master’s antique chair.

Vanished is the ancient splendor, and before my dreamy eye
Wave these mingled shapes and figures, like a faded tapestry.

Not thy Councils, not thy Kaisers, win for thee the world’s regard;
But thy painter, Albrecht Dürer, and Hans Sachs thy cobbler bard.

Thus, O Nuremberg, a wanderer from a region far away,
As he paced thy streets and court-yards, sang in thought his careless lay:

Gathering from the pavement’s crevice, as a floweret of the soil,
The nobility of labor,—the long pedigree of toil.
LJ Chaplin Jun 2016
I watched the sky transform
Overhead,
As the sun set
It flourished more than ever.

I watched in awe
As it changed colour,
The clouds shed its white washed skin
And boasted an undulating opalescence
Of pink and lilac,
Soft like candyfloss,
I felt compelled to reach up
And sink my teeth into it,
Only to let the rain fall
Onto my lips and seep
Into my skin.

I traced the clouds
To the horizon,
Where fiery hues of
Orange burned bright
Like wildfire,
An irresistible iridescence
That filled my belly with
An inferno
Not even the Seven Seas
Could tame.

Before long,
The stars filtered through
The kaleidoscopic creation,
Illuminating the Universe
Like the London Skyline.

I pick one amongst the
Palette of scattered clouds
And wish that I can witness
This masterpiece
*The same time tomorrow
© L.J. Chaplin
Diane Sep 2013
4 am child awakened from sleep
By my father gently shaking my shoulder
It did not matter that my sisters
Had declined first
I, the youngest, was about
To inherit an honor  
To go alone in the boat, just dad and I
To Little Swan Lake, about 3 miles from home
A familiar place very different in this light
Night sounds and odours distilled
He lowered the boat into the water
And extended his hand to help me climb inside
Looking around me, this darkness was new
Enchanted silence was new and
It did not take long to recognize  
That I liked it that way
Soft rowing carried us
To the center of the lake
Where quietly drifting
He introduced me
To the space
Where humans were asleep
And nature claimed you as her own
Smoothing words with his hand
He implored me to be still
As he gave me the gift
of Solitude
An hour passed as we listened
To the rhythm of water
The voices of fish
And the depths of our thoughts
Our eyes exchanged sadness
When other boats crept in
Knowing soon, daylight would waken
The sleeping dogs and invaders
And we would no longer be alone
In our nest of idealists


Did he know
How I worshipped his every action?
That every word he spoke has molded my character?
His humility would never have boasted of such
Which is all the more reason to want to be like him
(Reply of the Pythian Oracle to Philip of Macedon.)


Oh! could LE SAGE’S demon’s gift
  Be realis’d at my desire,
This night my trembling form he’d lift
  To place it on St. Mary’s spire.

Then would, unroof’d, old Granta’s halls,
  Pedantic inmates full display;
Fellows who dream on lawn or stalls,
  The price of venal votes to pay.

Then would I view each rival wight,
  PETTY and PALMERSTON survey;
Who canvass there, with all their might,
  Against the next elective day.

Lo! candidates and voters lie
  All lull’d in sleep, a goodly number!
A race renown’d for piety,
  Whose conscience won’t disturb their slumber.

Lord H—indeed, may not demur;
  Fellows are sage, reflecting men:
They know preferment can occur,
  But very seldom,—now and then.

They know the Chancellor has got
  Some pretty livings in disposal:
Each hopes that one may be his lot,
  And, therefore, smiles on his proposal.

Now from the soporific scene
  I’ll turn mine eye, as night grows later,
To view, unheeded and unseen,
  The studious sons of Alma Mater.

There, in apartments small and damp,
  The candidate for college prizes,
Sits poring by the midnight lamp;
  Goes late to bed, yet early rises.
He surely well deserves to gain them,
  With all the honours of his college,
Who, striving hardly to obtain them,
  Thus seeks unprofitable knowledge:

Who sacrifices hours of rest,
  To scan precisely metres Attic;
Or agitates his anxious breast,
  In solving problems mathematic:

Who reads false quantities in Seale,
  Or puzzles o’er the deep triangle;
Depriv’d of many a wholesome meal;
  In barbarous Latin doom’d to wrangle:

Renouncing every pleasing page,
  From authors of historic use;
Preferring to the letter’d sage,
  The square of the hypothenuse.

Still, harmless are these occupations,
That hurt none but the hapless student,
Compar’d with other recreations,
Which bring together the imprudent;

Whose daring revels shock the sight,
When vice and infamy combine,
When Drunkenness and dice invite,
As every sense is steep’d in wine.

Not so the methodistic crew,
Who plans of reformation lay:
In humble attitude they sue,
And for the sins of others pray:

Forgetting that their pride of spirit,
Their exultation in their trial,
Detracts most largely from the merit
Of all their boasted self-denial.

’Tis morn:—from these I turn my sight:
What scene is this which meets the eye?
A numerous crowd array’d in white,
Across the green in numbers fly.

Loud rings in air the chapel bell;
’Tis hush’d:—what sounds are these I hear?
The *****’s soft celestial swell
Rolls deeply on the listening ear.

To this is join’d the sacred song,
The royal minstrel’s hallow’d strain;
Though he who hears the music long,
Will never wish to hear again.

Our choir would scarcely be excus’d,
E’en as a band of raw beginners;
All mercy, now, must be refus’d
To such a set of croaking sinners.

If David, when his toils were ended,
Had heard these blockheads sing before him,
To us his psalms had ne’er descended,—
In furious mood he would have tore ’em.

The luckless Israelites, when taken
By some inhuman tyrant’s order,
Were ask’d to sing, by joy forsaken,
On Babylonian river’s border.

Oh! had they sung in notes like these
Inspir’d by stratagem or fear,
They might have set their hearts at ease,
The devil a soul had stay’d to hear.

But if I scribble longer now,
The deuce a soul will stay to read;
My pen is blunt, my ink is low;
’Tis almost time to stop, indeed.

Therefore, farewell, old Granta’s spires!
No more, like Cleofas, I fly;
No more thy theme my Muse inspires:
The reader’s tir’d, and so am I.
“I’m not sure if night is ending or day is beginning.  What time is it?” She asked as she opened the door.

“Its about 2:30” I answered.

She was pacing about slightly bobbing her head as she spoke.

“We're sorry to disturb you beloved.  We're conducting a homeless census. May we ask you some questions?”

“I don’t want to be put away”  she said.  “I have to be outside.”

“We’re not here to hurt you.  We’re here to help.”

"Where do you come from?" Ally asked.

She didn't remember where she was from and was uncertain why it mattered.

She knew she wanted to leave Paterson but was unsure about where she wanted to go.

She kept her eye on the McDonald’s across Market Street.  

"As long as the light is on, I know its still nighttime and I'll have a place to go if the cops kick me out of here."

Here, was this evenings lodging in an ATM vestibule.  

"I can also get something to eat when I'm hungry."

"What time is it?"

"Its about 2:30."    

She earnestly wants to know what time it is.  

"I don't want the people going to work in the morning seeing me sleeping here." she said, "It's embarrassing."

Her papers were scattered on the floor.

She had one shoe on and one shoe off.  A white sock gloved an indeterminate number of other sock layers warming her shoe-less left foot, sufficient protection from the balmy mist of this late January evening.   The orphaned shoe lay on its side in the corner of the Wells Fargo foyer.

White, black and yellow plastic grocery bags filled with the content of her worldly possessions lay atop the shelf housing bank deposit slips neatly stacked in cubbyholes.

A woolen hat circled her head.  Her tiny face shone through the gray skull cap tightly tied under her soft chin.

She looked to be in her 50’s.  She spoke in a pale uneven tempo with a quiet anxious voice.  Her eyes were clear.  Her pursed mouth bracketed by a trinity of long chocolate crescent winkles. The sounds floating from her mouth were gently angelic and the kindness of a tender smile was filled with demure submissiveness.

She swaddled herself in multiple layers of coats and trousers bulking up a waif like frame.  Her outermost cloak, a gray trench coat was secured with a tightly wrapped knotted cloth belt.  The coat was thoroughly soiled by a life of sleeping rough in the urban outback.  The fabric boasted a consistency worthy of an Abercrombie and Fitch oil finished coat.  The bulky layers rounded the frame of her shoulders.  She resembled a small granite headstone.

"Whats your name?" I asked.  She was reluctant to tell us.  “I don’t like my name”.

We gently coaxed her.

“Carmen” she whispered.

“That's a beautiful name.  Its the name of the most beautiful operas ever written.”

“I know.  I’m gonna change my name someday.” she answered.  “I never liked it.”

Ally finished taking the survey, leaving more questions unresolved than answered.  

We gave Carmen a blanket, gloves, a hat.  Some hot cocoa, two sandwiches and a chocolate bar. We implored her to visit our pantry when it opened in the morning for cloths, referrals and food.  She was very grateful; but I don’t think she’ll ever make her way there.

I gave her my phone number; but I don’t think she’ll call.

“You are not forgotten beloved.  You are deeply loved.  Please remember that.” I said cupping her calloused hands within my palms.

“I know” the dainty caged bird cooed with a submissive smile.  

“What time is it?”

As we left Carmen, I wondered how to count a person wishing to remain invisible.

Music Selection: Bizet’s Carmen, Habanera

Maya Angelou: I Know Why a Caged Bird Sings

Paterson
1/30/13
jbm
Part 8 of extended poem Silk City PIT.  PIT is an acronym for Point In Time.  PIT is an annual census American cities conduct to count the homeless population.  Carmen was a person we found and counted during the census.  Silk City is a nick name of Paterson NJ.
K Balachandran Jul 2014
They repeatedly boasted aloud
of conquests and victories
for a short period between
their  palmy days of youth
and unexpected quick death;
a mad rush of adrenaline
before thought could wake up reason,
nothing more than a basic need
for impulsive violent action,
few drops of poetry could have changed direction,
a death wish triggered by moments of darkness
that invites a chain of tragic consequences.

But thoughtful they were
to  hire overzealous writers,
being aware of their need of arming future.

The writers extolled the futile deaths
embellished words, made it look  heroic
which really pointed only to a ****** end.

Look at each tomb stones lined
here in the cemetery, once more
see, if the names extolled once are still not eroded.
Edited a bit
കെ .ബാലചന്ദ്രന്‍
Mateuš Conrad Jul 2016
.one of the great dissatisfactions of life: dreaming... which makes me suspect of the anglo-saxons and their subsequent branches of sub-ethicities... they dream... they have recurring dreams... lucid dreams... i find that slightly suspicious... i rarely dream and if i do dream, the dreams are so bogus or so uninteresting that they make no sense to: "interpret" them via any freud-cubism schematic - that a woman's sun hat implies: the depth of ****** and promiscuity, or some otherwise bogus stretching it mate, really stretching that analogy... but why do the anglo-saxons have such lucid dreams, even recurring dreams? are they descendants of joseph: der traumgehhilfe? last time i had a dream? oh... family invites me to say, three memebers of the family don't like me... **** the rest of the family with a knife, a gun and a baseball bat (somewhere in south east asia)... a few of the killed members run into the street to die... i somehow pick up a kalashnikov and shoot the murderous 3... then i jump into slender boat with a motor with 3 or 4 women... 'jesus'... and i escape the scene of retribution sailing to... cambodia! **** me... even sylvester stallone or jason statham or arnie wouldn't star in a movie as b-movie as this... but anglo-saxons seem to have the most vivid dreams... two good examples: h. p. lovecraft and william burroughs... is dreaming a form of escapism? if so, then evidently i'm quiet content with reality... like today: too much pop psychology, too much self-help guru mishmash, too much advice: not enough stories... video streaming a game being played... etc., so i retreat, even from modern music, into? here's a beginner's guide list to medieval music:

       1. qui habitat in adiutorio altissimi
       2. da pacem domine
       3. agni parthene
       4. dum pater familias
       5. chevalier, mult estes guariz
       6. virga iesse floruit
       7. walther von der vogelweide's
                 palästinalied
       8. codex buranus no. 179:
                     tempus est locundum
       9. non é gran causa
      10. herr holger
      11. herr mannelig
      12. die eisenfaust am lanzenschaft
      13. meie din liechter schin
      14. under der linden
      15. mayenzeit one neidt
      16. mönch von salzburg (das nachthorn)

   why would i have stopped at merely
Orff's reading of Carmina Burana -
                 sure... that's the entry point...
   but the radio only plays o fortuna till
the cows come home in a full-moon lit night...
yawn...
    if only: fortune plango vulnera,
      veris leta facies, omnia sol temperat,
     floret silva, or... or!
   a monk's love song for the queen of england -
were diu werlt alle min:
              were diu werlt alle min
              von dem mere unze an den Rin,
              des wolt ih mih darben
              daz diu chunegin von Engellant
               lege an minen armen.

but no... it's o fortuna or nothing from that album
on the radio...
    i get it, great song...
   but why is auld lang syne only sung once
a year, on new year's eve?!
              
as with women, so with music, one simply tires of
contemporary examples: not exactly the music
but the lyrics behind the music...
                        music will never change to appease
the brute and the beast... but modern lyricism
is just agitating... it exhaust with its choice
of subject matters...
                                and by the looks of it...
    i spend too much time with music to find myself
in needing the comfort of a woman's voice,
a cuddle or relationship or whatever you want
to call it from now on...
           i am wedded to three women that will
never materialize: Euterpe, Sophia and Amber...
and all the better...
                                i could never wallow in what's
currently being wallowed in...
by some who have these recurrent dreams
and are unable to stop them from recurring...
hence my suspicion with the anglo-saxon traits
of vivid dreaming: this cruch of relying on dreams...
of so easily being ***** by celesto-cerebral powers
that impregnate their sleeping heads with
these realities that only exist in the mind and
a sleeping mind at that!


(nb. not proof read, apologies in advance for any mistakes, upon rereading will correct if any appear - or i'll just keep them...)

look at these two slogans: let's make America great (again)!
complimenting the English variation
let's get our country back! ring any bells? i guess you must
have heard one or the other as an English speaker -
it's hardly surprising - the English Prime Minister singing
a little toodeloo then uttering the word right upon
reentering number 10 - shambles ahoy! every rat and
mutineer bailed - we're in free-fall, Trotsky had it coming,
this guy hasn't - hardliner but a bubble-gum tongue -
it stretches like a joke my English teacher said:
how was copper wire invented? hmm? two Scots
tugging and pulling in opposite directions a two pence coin -
for all their worth, they joked the blond quiff of
both Boris and President Donald Yeltsin - where one
gets drunk on egoism, the other just gets drunk -
even though they don't like him in Scotland, they sure as
hell bought the slogan like a Big Mac - the problem is
there's a zenith, and then a necessary decline -
you can reach the zenith of breaking the 100m sprint,
but then a stock-market dip (necessary) -
much of Britain's exit from the European Union was due
to the campaign trail of the Doodle T - the best politician
i assume is the one that enjoys the most prodding jokes,
which also means the majority of votes,
jokes and votes walk hand-in-hand - people don't want
leaders, they want caricatures - after all, the little existences
have to matter with a joke in the Oval office.
i can't imagine the unholy alliance of feminists running
the place in the west - Theresa May in England,
Hilary Clinton in America, Angela Merkel in Germany,
Ms. Le Pen in France, the Polish prime minister
Beata Szydło - it has to look like a 2nd Cold War scenario,
a break from World Wars... Putin and pukka Tyson Trump
on the other side, macho v. macho - man talk and
the ultimate bromance. i know that Nietzsche referenced
genius too much, assuredly i hear that a lot too around
here with child geniuses storming around for silverware -
children geniuses and not original? so technically you're
talking about data storage in porridge - trained monkeys,
right? those children will be scarred for life as if they
saw their parents ******* - what sort of genius is a genius
if he doesn't work from blank but is there are a memory
gimmick to boost hopes of curing dementia?
philosophy doesn't do geniuses, it does things like Spinoza,
solitary wanderers, loners - outsiders and mesmerisers,
there's no genius in philosophy - there's only solitude -
granted that an open-minded psychiatrist is a modern subplot
in not reading philosophy - where is the ultimate source
of compassionate solely theory based (anti) psychiatry?
in reading philosophy books rather than exercising authority /
abusing it - R. D. Laing is a perfect example -
who wrote after reading philosophy books - i mean read them,
in the English speaking world i recommend reading
the works of the anti-psychiatric movement of the 1960s,
which was much bigger than the Beat Movement - obviously
not as dazzling, but with poetry you're imitating Philippe Petit
(film, the walk) - i watched it and my legs experienced
needles, and a firm assertion of gravity and the location
of the floor - films like that are worse than horror -
you share the heart of the original, but given it's Plato's cave
we're talking about representing the events, you realise
that no matter how much you want your shadow to be
Philippe Petit, you hear from the outside world, your legs
are firmly on the ground - basically: **** that - men are not
born equal, they have to live by principle to be at least moderating
their excellence into a respectable cohesion (democracy) -
quiet simply juggling their strengths with their weaknesses -
man is not born equal, he was to strive for equal measure -
when subduing their strengths and when exfoliating them -
no man is born equal, as no man is an island - the two synchronise.
(i'm deliberately masking what's coming)...
but there is genius in philosophy - but only in one area of
interest - religion... we know that popular beliefs are
grounded in plagiarism - the Trojans became the Romans
via the accounts of Virgil, and we know the Trojans in
becoming Romans plagiarised the Greek polytheism -
Zeus became Jupiter, Poseidon became Neptune,
Cronos became Saturn, Hera became Juno, Aphrodite
became Venus... etc., it was done to mimic the Greek heart
from the defeat at Troy, to invoke a heart that overcame -
every pauper and every king would identify with
this pluralism - but a second plagiarism had to come -
it was prophetically echoed from approximately 2000 years -
the Greeks later plagiarised the Hebrew concept -
the monotheistic concept, yet because their thinking
was so advanced (or so they thought) they dismissed the
sects of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes and
the Zealots... their hero was their antagonist - and nothing
of their learning was actually work their concerns since
they boasted of their Aristotle and their Plato and their
Socrates - the peddle-stool effect appeared -
but what if a Latin man (well, these letters are Roman) were
to say - never mind the son, how about the father?
in Christianity the father is rather anonymous in his
omnipresence etc. - but let's assume on the biological tenet
that we are referring to the old testament god -
would we want to plagiarise the Greek plagiarism of
Hebrew? i already mentioned the four prime canons as
imitations of the tetragrammaton - of course they're
intended to not be identical accounts, but there must be
two that are mirror images - i.e. referring to h      &      h
of the tetragrammaton - if there are no two mirror images
then we are bothered - i can see why the Greek mind thought
that Y refers to a convergence, a mother, a father, a child
and the entry point to the gospel: a genealogy -
Y being representative of a convergence - past and present,
following through - this is all about first impressions,
from what i can remember and regurgitate back -
in Catholic school we were taught by majority the gospel
of St. Mark - the others were discredited -
i can't tell you if there are two identical gospels (or at least
with very little variation between them) - what comes after
them is what comes after all essences of religion,
bureaucracy - imams and priests, yoga teachers and
whatever it is that comes with religion for the common man,
but in the new testament this is the essence, a shady
reinterpretation of the tetragrammaton - but a Latin man
who didn't bother to attribute symbols with nouns,
but made his alphabet musically orientated for the
castrato and the choirs to come - a (alpha) b (beta)...
o (omicron / omega) it became obvious that the four letters
arranged as so with missing Adam and missing Eve
would provide more than just four interpretations of
the same event / person - for when a Greek has to cut off
-lpha from a to attach it to another letter to create meta,
the Latin man has only to cut off less, perhaps dentistry's
ah, or otherwise cut off -ee from b... the world is full
of such possibilities, and this is the only area where
genius can be applied to philosophy - the genius of
philosophy is within religion, and nowhere else -
of course mind that i don't identify myself as one -
i treat genius as an angel or a demon, that fairy-tale
race of creatures that whisper into your ear - markedly
geniuses are more powerful in demanding an individual
rather than clones of the individual, e.g. Mohammad
and Muslims, Jesus and Christians... which is why i suppose
the genius of Moses also allowed others to write on sacred
paper, but of course excluding Malachi for falling into
heresy with a polytheistic concept of reincarnation, not
oddly enough Malachi's was the last book before the two
major strands of his heresy emerged like Behemoths.
Nat Lipstadt Sep 2013
Two men, one poem.

This day, on this site.
Two men wrote to me.
One called me brother.
The other, an arrogant *****,
Called me little.

One shared his life,
With humility and gratitude,
That I lost it. Wept. Baby like.
Honored me with trust.
Swapped spit stories
That bled into my brain,
And a tattoo appeared on my
Writing arm, one word,
Humility.

One boasted of his beans.
His bean counting reads.
Analyzed his trends,
Predicting by Christmas (!),
He would have this many.

His **** poems he informed,
Would be published.
What need did he have
For punk-u-ation,
His rants, his **** stream of words.
Better than mine,
Just cause his stuff I said,
Not my cup of tea.

What a crazy place this place.
Holy and *******, sided.
Humble humble, always humble.

He invoked, this arrogant one,
God's name.
Not knowing I talk to Him.

So I rang Him up and said,
How did a little peenus-genius
Find his way onto this
Holy Place, HP, of kindness.

He smiled in brevity.
Did I not create both,
Angels and devils?

I love God's brevity.
His commas, his question marks,
His pointed punctuation.

I love that He could create
A man whose sight of
Me, unseen, but found capacity
To love me in ways
Undreamed.

Because I peered in to the man's reveal,
Saw quality, value,
Saw humility.

So of arrogance, I said,
I would write.
But it is of humility
I will sing,
Of loving human kindness extraordinaire.

Of weeping endless.
At the joy afforded me
To read so many lovely poems,
Here.

If my poems never see the
Imprimatur of a publishing house,
It matters not,
For I have seen a human being
Weep real tears reading mine.

I have shed rivers of my own
Upon discovering yours.

Humble, humble.

If it is glory you seek,
You will find it,
All alone. Mastur-bating.

Me, I live here, in the midst of a
Good Company.


Sept. 7th, 2013
Nat Lipstadt  
I appreciate this, but it does not connect for me...many beautiful phrases and images, but I am left confused other than the general tenor...just not my cup of tea. Sorry


Unnamed:

Well friend I guess I will take comfort in my writing being published through the University of Arizonian and being invited out to the winter and spring release parties. Then I have two hundred and thirty eight thousand reads on my two writing sites that will reach three hundred thousand by Christmas I will try to go on God bless you.
B Woods Dec 2009
I learned an important lesson
during a street hockey match.
Don't stand in front of slap shots.

Some runt boasted
of how powerful he could smack the ball,
and I howled with laughter, a hyena,
standing my ground,
confident as a peacock,
feet away from his stick.
I was a hockey god none could conquer,
and he, a puck peasant
whom I could smite with a single shot.

But then he slapped
The ball, Crack!
the start of a track meet.
From there my memory is as shaky
as my knees when the ball
crashed into my eye.
They say I wailed and crumpled
to the ground, clutching
away, feeling the stinging
tears come.
I tried to fight them,
but like the eternal rains
endured by Noah, down
they poured. I slunk home, head-hung
In shamed defeat.

I ran to the bathroom
to inspect my battle wounds,
and there in the mirror,
dark and purple as a stormy sky
was my first
Shiner.
Mike Essig Apr 2015
from Beautiful Losers.

God is alive. Magic is afoot.
God is alive. Magic is afoot.
God is afoot. Magic is alive. Alive is afoot.
Magic never died.
God never sickened.
Many poor men lied. Many sick men lied.
Magic never weakened. Magic never hid. Magic always ruled.
God is afoot. God never died.
God was ruler though his funeral lengthened.
Though his mourners thickened Magic never fled.
Though his shrouds were hoisted the naked God did live.
Though his words were twisted the naked Magic thrived.
Though his death was published round and round the world the heart did not believe.
Many hurt men wondered. Many struck men bled.
Magic never faltered. Magic always led.
Many stones were rolled but God would not lie down.
Many wild men lied. Many fat men listened.
Though they offered stones Magic still was fed.
Though they locked their coffers God was always served.
Magic is afoot. God rules.
Alive is afoot. Alive is in command.
Many weak men hungered. Many strong men thrived.
Though they boasted solitude God was at their side.
Nor the dreamer in his cell, nor the captain on the hill.
Magic is alive.
Though his death was pardoned round and round the world the heart would not believe.
Though laws were carved in marble they could not shelter men.
Though altars built in parliaments they could not order men.
Police arrested Magic and Magic went with them for Magic loves the hungry.
But Magic would not tarry.
It moves from arm to arm.
It would not stay with them.
Magic is afoot. It cannot come to harm.
It rests in an empty palm.
It spawns in an empty mind.
But Magic is no instrument.
Magic is the end.
Many men drove Magic but Magic stayed behind.
Many strong men lied.
They only passed through Magic and out the other side.
Many weak men lied.
They came to God in secret and though they left him nourished they would not tell who healed.
Though mountains danced before them they said that God was dead.
Though his shrouds were hoisted the naked God did live.
This I mean to whisper to my mind.
This I mean to laugh with in my mind.
This I mean my mind to serve till service is but Magic moving through the world, and mind itself is Magic coursing through the flesh, and flesh itself is Magic dancing on a clock, and time itself the Magic Length of God.
Buffy Saint Marie did a shortened version of this long ago, but it is from his decades out of print second novel: Beautiful Losers.
"How can two souls, with their own wells of stories and fears and delights and tears, so far from each other's presence and premises and thoughts, look exactly the same?"--SC.

It all began at the end of another day;
On an evening with faint footsteps—behind the shy sunset,
With an eyes that were craving for sweet sleep;
I closed my day with a heart too tired to weep.

With him still in my mind, and a melted heart back again,
I frequented the bus stop once more—
But too thought I had caught a ghost:
A ghost of him trapped within thee;
You with his charms, and within his body;
You with his gaze, and the smooth dark hair he has;
You with his chin, and the faint blushes to it;
You in his jacket, with a bag slung loosely over your shoulder.

Nikolaas, ah, you reminded me of him at that instant;
Nikolaas, that perhaps even He has left behind;
Nikolaas, that once entertained my young artist's heart;
Nikolaas, that wailed and pleaded funnily like a young infant;

Nikolaas, that often woke me with his childish cry;
Nikolaas, that failed to sew a long brown tapestry;
Nikolaas, that held my poetry book over the literary summer;
Nikolaas, with whom I spent too much time together.

Nikolaas, whose calls oft' distracted my lessons;
Nikolaas, who at whose mischief laughed very charmingly;
Nikolaas, who to my words listened willingly;
Nikolaas, who in his brown pyjamas startled me every day.

But you were too realistic to be deemed artistic, Gianluca;
You were even more hopeful than the tainted earth grounds;
You lent to me a bashful terrific smile;
You charmed me, though with his charm, for a long while;

You are but his soul told in another way;
This I knew when with a bold smile you nodded at me;
A smile that was more melodious than the purplish skies.
The skies just sneered at our florid scene;
With insatiable glances they boasted of their silk;
Spat thunder onto the shivering glass beneath our feet;
Before they swore and took a chance to run and fleet.
Fleet, fleet away, like an unconscious, insane rainbow,
As if there would not be another day.
As if the world would end as tomorrow ended,
As if no rain would dismay the earth by its cold colour.
Gianluca, I was as wet as clouds—over there, by the bus stop,
My soaked hair had made myself turn grey; pale, and—before you came,
I had become again disillusioned, once more.

How could two beings look exactly the same—that I understand not,
But you made me gasp as I caught you first in my sight.
Your eyes, that were more European than the crying night,
Your hair, that was funnier than the unmet moonlight,
And your aura, that was more serious than a dream.
Ah, Gianluca, how could you be as numerous as him!
Tell me now, your stories from Italy;
And the city of Rome you had ridden across;
Ah, but my sweet Nikolaas is from Amsterdam;
In which all years are pale with white snow and dust;
And a scattered whiteness—a shrieking pale gloss.
Gianluca, Gianluca, still—you are all but a filmed mirror of my Nikolaas,
My little prince, that once attained and tightened his grip of my ****** soil,
My dear husband, that once entertained me with the brass and grass of his toil.
My naughty love, that ran jumping about the following morning;
My very own darling, with his own explosive moods,
But no tears once appeared in his moonlit eyes.
Ah, Gianluca, how I could see none but my lost prince in thee!
Gianluca, my dear, but are you perhaps more sincere than him?
Remind me that reality is but not another horror like dreams,
For my days, ever since he left, hath been a nightmare,
A nightmare my heart has failed to tease, and burn dryly away,
A nightmare that has fallen onto the top of my every single cell.
Gianluca, and your red mouth was as bright as the red sunset;
Just like the lips of my darling back then—which started to smile as our eyes met.
Gianluca, Gianluca, but tell me now—shall I ever meet thee again?
My Nikolaas might still be alive—but his image is dead within me,
He has fallen for his evil night aurora; an Aurora that, sadly, is not like me, Estefannia.

Gianluca, dry is my throat, hungered is my tongue;
But you fired me against those like a poem;
Your shadow was to me like a little ghost—and perhaps is still,
Your sight made me fear, and my stomach churn ill—
While your hands were just a few turns away.
Perhaps you can assure me again, that you are not him;
You are new, with an unsinned soul—and untainted;
Tell me that you are pure—that you are whom I have sought;
Even though you are still him to my ****** dreams;
With a voice within which he used to say;
With a smile within which he lived my days;
Ah, in my mind now, there is but a jumbled forest of thoughts;
A whole well of unheard mirages—that I shall craft into dear, dear poetry;
Ah, but who knows everything except that He gives to know;
And who sees everything but that He makes our destiny;
Ah, Gianluca, perhaps I shall see you again amongst tonight's traffic;
When days but grow low, and dusk reclaims its fair relic;
When dawn is prepared—with the night maddening about at hand;
As I return from my errands—after attending to my books and friends.

Gianluca, Gianluca, Gianluca no matter how much you are like him;
Perhaps you are better at luring my souls;
And the treaties by which they feel satisfied not.
You are the fallen star—that I have hoped for;
You are the sanguine angel I have never met before;
Ah, and if this was the case, would you always be there for me?
And thus, my dear, but can this time—you see me by unlasting daylight?
Perhaps you look only more like him by the night;
And as dawn greets, and noon appears fast;
I think you shall claim your own image;
Confirming that to me, your charm shall always last.

Gianluca, Gianluca, Gianluca,
How I miss, miss, and miss him in my sordid dreams;
I've missed him far too terribly—and at times, unjustly;
He, the son of storm and the child of mystery;
He, the lad of madness—the angel of scrutiny;
And to this day still but I miss him, my dear Nikolaas,
The little, little darling naughtiest—yet most beloved to my heart.
But still, show me what you can say onto my poetry;
Show me what you can see, and what you may keep in mind;
Show me, perhaps, the threads of another love story;
Another gracious tale—with him I shall never find.
brokenperfection Aug 2015
he stared hard at the sky
and saw the whitest of stars...
a simple glimpse inside his mind
was all I needed to fall in love.
for the stars weren't stars at all,
just white bubbles in a sea of hope
stretching out to the sheer depths of imagination.
he boasted of the morning birds and
their sweet, sweet songs...
a creature I had come to hate,
he made me long to hear.
we've heard all our lives
how attraction is necessary in love
but I told him I loved him
before I ever saw his face.
and I do, oh, how I do.
those bright blue eyes bring feeling
back into my empty, empty soul.
he makes me unafraid
to love again, and to grow
to be the fullest essence of myself
without pause or second thought.
all these years...
I've been scared to be truly vulnerable
I have called myself nothing
unworthy
ugly
not good enough
you know what he calls me?
melodie foley Apr 2014
Seven year old Meghan boasted after school
that she already knew who she was to marry --
His name was Jack
and she had cold, hard facts
to back up her theory
on why he would be her perfect husband
"He's not crazy and we both like legos"

Fair enough.

if only we never grew out of our old toys,
never stopped building and re-building what got torn down
brick by brick
maybe then I'd still be hiding in the closet
kissing eddie martin with the lights off


But neither of us like legos anymore
and I guess we're both slightly crazy

Meghan will learn soon enough
that after a while you will step on too many legos
and you will have had enough

— The End —