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Terry Collett Aug 2013
You stopped outside
this shop window
on the New Kent Road
and peered in

there were lots
of merchandise
with labels saying
To Clear on them

and you saw
this stamp album
with a packet
of stamps attached

for 1/6d
so you went in
and asked the old guy
behind the counter

for the stamp album
and stamps
and he reached in
the window

and took it out
and you gave him
the 1/6d
and he handed you

the album
and he said
ain't you the kid
who came in here

last week
and bought
the cap gun and holster?
yes I am

you said
why?
you must have
diverse tastes kid

he said
guess so
you said
and walked out

into the street
where Helen
was waiting for you
what did you buy?

she asked
a stamp album
and stamps
you replied

you showed her
what you'd bought
you don't look like
the kind of kid

who'd buy
a stamp album
or who
collected stamps

she said
what's a kid
who collects stamps
look like?

you asked
she looked at you
her head
slightly

to one side
I don't know
someone with glasses
with black plastered

down hair
with a posh voice
she said
you gazed at her

standing there
in her red
and yellow
flowered dress

and brown hair
in tied bunches
and her thick
lens glasses

you wear glasses
you said
you don't
collect stamps

but I'm not a boy
she said
only boys collect stamps
you shook your head

and smiled
anyway lets go
to my house
and drop theses off

and go to the park
and have fun
you said
ok

she said
and you walked with her
to your home
you with your stamp album

and stamps
and she with her
battered doll Betty
in her right hand

swinging it along
and you humming
some Roy Rogers
cowboy song.
PrttyBrd Jan 2015
Time stamped messages
Instant gratification
Checked in
Logged on

Time stamps
I C U
Instant disappointment
Overlooked, ignored

Time stamps
Phone updates
Notifications
Instant insanity

Time stamps
Back check lies
I C U
Checked in elsewhere
When, where, why

Time stamps
Insomnia
Where R U
Ah, I C U
12215
Seriously, enough already. Big brother has turned into expectations of the people in this instantaneous world of technology.
Tom Leveille May 2014
kissing you was like swerving into oncoming traffic

i can never tell if i am more haunted by empty picture frames or the ashes of their contents

you taught me that the saying "pick your battles" meant not answering when love was at the door

sometimes when i drink whiskey i swear i can hear your voice in the creases of my bedsheets & i sleep on the floor

i still catch myself running my hands over things you touched the most, looking for the echoes of your fingertips

i practice things i'll never say to you

i remember the day you told me you didn't like poetry, how "everything's already been said" & how "nothing meaningful can be captured without being cliche" you know, i don't miss you like the sun and moon, i do not miss you like tide bent waves crashing on the shoreline, i miss you like a chernobyl  swingset misses children

rumor has it that drowning is a lot like coming home, that drinking bleach can **** the butterflies in your stomach

for your love of cigarettes, i would have been an ashtray

this halloween i want to dress up as the you when you loved yourself and show up on your doorstep

i never understood what you meant when you said i was an instrument, back when you would cup your hands around my chest and breathe through the holes in my heart, i still wonder if the sounds i made remind you of wind chimes

i never paid much attention to abandoned buildings until i became one

in my dreams all the flowers smell like your perfume

i am the only person who has ever wished for the same snowflake to fall twice

if i could go back, and rewrite the definition of audacity, it would be how when we lost the bet of love, you said "we never shook on it"

i love you, if the feeling is not mutual, please pretend this was a poem

the only apology i want from you, is to have you repeat the names of children we will never have in your parents living room until they *****

we are the same person if you find yourself up at 4am dry heaving promises, or if you are kept awake by the laughter of those who've abandoned you

nobody ever told you that goodbyes taste like the back of stamps

sometimes i'm convinced that the only reason we hug, is so you can check my back for exit wounds
Even as the sun with purple-coloured face
Had ta’en his last leave of the weeping morn,
Rose-cheeked Adonis hied him to the chase;
Hunting he loved, but love he laughed to scorn.
Sick-thoughted Venus makes amain unto him,
And like a bold-faced suitor ‘gins to woo him.

“Thrice fairer than myself,” thus she began
“The fields chief flower, sweet above compare,
Stain to all nymphs, more lovely than a man,
More white and red than doves or roses are;
Nature that made thee with herself at strife
Saith that the world hath ending with thy life.

“Vouchsafe, thou wonder, to alight thy steed,
And rein his proud head to the saddle-bow;
If thou wilt deign this favour, for thy meed
A thousand honey secrets shalt thou know.
Here come and sit where never serpent hisses,
And being set, I’ll smother thee with kisses.

“And yet not cloy thy lips with loathed satiety,
But rather famish them amid their plenty,
Making them red and pale with fresh variety:
Ten kisses short as one, one long as twenty.
A summer’s day will seem an hour but short,
Being wasted in such time-beguiling sport.”

With this she seizeth on his sweating palm,
The precedent of pith and livelihood,
And, trembling in her passion, calls it balm,
Earth’s sovereign salve to do a goddess good.
Being so enraged, desire doth lend her force
Courageously to pluck him from his horse.

Over one arm the ***** courser’s rein,
Under her other was the tender boy,
Who blushed and pouted in a dull disdain,
With leaden appetite, unapt to toy;
She red and hot as coals of glowing fire,
He red for shame, but frosty in desire.

The studded bridle on a ragged bough
Nimbly she fastens—O, how quick is love!
The steed is stalled up, and even now
To tie the rider she begins to prove.
Backward she pushed him, as she would be ******,
And governed him in strength, though not in lust.

So soon was she along as he was down,
Each leaning on their elbows and their hips;
Now doth she stroke his cheek, now doth he frown
And ‘gins to chide, but soon she stops his lips,
And, kissing, speaks with lustful language broken:
“If thou wilt chide, thy lips shall never open”.

He burns with bashful shame; she with her tears
Doth quench the maiden burning of his cheeks;
Then with her windy sighs and golden hairs
To fan and blow them dry again she seeks.
He saith she is immodest, blames her miss;
What follows more she murders with a kiss.

Even as an empty eagle, sharp by fast,
Tires with her beak on feathers, flesh, and bone,
Shaking her wings, devouring all in haste,
Till either gorge be stuffed or prey be gone;
Even so she kissed his brow, his cheek, his chin,
And where she ends she doth anew begin.

Forced to content, but never to obey,
Panting he lies, and breatheth in her face;
She feedeth on the steam as on a prey,
And calls it heavenly moisture, air of grace,
Wishing her cheeks were gardens full of flowers,
So they were dewed with such distilling showers.

Look how a bird lies tangled in a net,
So fastened in her arms Adonis lies;
Pure shame and awed resistance made him fret,
Which bred more beauty in his angry eyes.
Rain added to a river that is rank
Perforce will force it overflow the bank.

Still she entreats, and prettily entreats,
For to a pretty ear she tunes her tale;
Still is he sullen, still he lours and frets,
‘Twixt crimson shame and anger ashy-pale.
Being red, she loves him best; and being white,
Her best is bettered with a more delight.

Look how he can, she cannot choose but love;
And by her fair immortal hand she swears
From his soft ***** never to remove
Till he take truce with her contending tears,
Which long have rained, making her cheeks all wet;
And one sweet kiss shall pay this countless debt.

Upon this promise did he raise his chin,
Like a dive-dapper peering through a wave
Who, being looked on, ducks as quickly in;
So offers he to give what she did crave;
But when her lips were ready for his pay,
He winks, and turns his lips another way.

Never did passenger in summer’s heat
More thirst for drink than she for this good turn.
Her help she sees, but help she cannot get;
She bathes in water, yet her fire must burn.
“O pity,” ‘gan she cry “flint-hearted boy,
’Tis but a kiss I beg; why art thou coy?

“I have been wooed as I entreat thee now
Even by the stern and direful god of war,
Whose sinewy neck in battle ne’er did bow,
Who conquers where he comes in every jar;
Yet hath he been my captive and my slave,
And begged for that which thou unasked shalt have.

“Over my altars hath he hung his lance,
His battered shield, his uncontrolled crest,
And for my sake hath learned to sport and dance,
To toy, to wanton, dally, smile, and jest,
Scorning his churlish drum and ensign red,
Making my arms his field, his tent my bed.

“Thus he that overruled I overswayed,
Leading him prisoner in a red-rose chain;
Strong-tempered steel his stronger strength obeyed,
Yet was he servile to my coy disdain.
O be not proud, nor brag not of thy might,
For mast’ring her that foiled the god of fight.

“Touch but my lips with those fair lips of thine,
—Though mine be not so fair, yet are they red—
The kiss shall be thine own as well as mine.
What seest thou in the ground? Hold up thy head;
Look in mine eyeballs, there thy beauty lies;
Then why not lips on lips, since eyes in eyes?

“Art thou ashamed to kiss? Then wink again,
And I will wink; so shall the day seem night.
Love keeps his revels where there are but twain;
Be bold to play, our sport is not in sight:
These blue-veined violets whereon we lean
Never can blab, nor know not what we mean.

“The tender spring upon thy tempting lip
Shows thee unripe; yet mayst thou well be tasted.
Make use of time, let not advantage slip:
Beauty within itself should not be wasted.
Fair flowers that are not gathered in their prime
Rot and consume themselves in little time.

“Were I hard-favoured, foul, or wrinkled-old,
Ill-nurtured, crooked, churlish, harsh in voice,
O’erworn, despised, rheumatic, and cold,
Thick-sighted, barren, lean, and lacking juice,
Then mightst thou pause, for then I were not for thee;
But having no defects, why dost abhor me?

“Thou canst not see one wrinkle in my brow,
Mine eyes are grey and bright and quick in turning,
My beauty as the spring doth yearly grow,
My flesh is soft and plump, my marrow burning;
My smooth moist hand, were it with thy hand felt,
Would in thy palm dissolve or seem to melt.

“Bid me discourse, I will enchant thine ear,
Or like a fairy trip upon the green,
Or like a nymph, with long dishevelled hair,
Dance on the sands, and yet no footing seen.
Love is a spirit all compact of fire,
Not gross to sink, but light, and will aspire.

“Witness this primrose bank whereon I lie:
These forceless flowers like sturdy trees support me;
Two strengthless doves will draw me through the sky
From morn till night, even where I list to sport me.
Is love so light, sweet boy, and may it be
That thou should think it heavy unto thee?

“Is thine own heart to thine own face affected?
Can thy right hand seize love upon thy left?
Then woo thyself, be of thyself rejected,
Steal thine own freedom, and complain on theft.
Narcissus so himself himself forsook,
And died to kiss his shadow in the brook.

“Torches are made to light, jewels to wear,
Dainties to taste, fresh beauty for the use,
Herbs for their smell, and sappy plants to bear;
Things growing to themselves are growth’s abuse.
Seeds spring from seeds, and beauty breedeth beauty;
Thou wast begot: to get it is thy duty.

“Upon the earth’s increase why shouldst thou feed,
Unless the earth with thy increase be fed?
By law of nature thou art bound to breed,
That thine may live when thou thyself art dead;
And so in spite of death thou dost survive,
In that thy likeness still is left alive.”

By this, the lovesick queen began to sweat,
For where they lay the shadow had forsook them,
And Titan, tired in the midday heat,
With burning eye did hotly overlook them,
Wishing Adonis had his team to guide,
So he were like him, and by Venus’ side.

And now Adonis, with a lazy sprite,
And with a heavy, dark, disliking eye,
His louring brows o’erwhelming his fair sight,
Like misty vapours when they blot the sky,
Souring his cheeks, cries “Fie, no more of love!
The sun doth burn my face; I must remove.”

“Ay me,” quoth Venus “young, and so unkind!
What bare excuses mak’st thou to be gone!
I’ll sigh celestial breath, whose gentle wind
Shall cool the heat of this descending sun.
I’ll make a shadow for thee of my hairs;
If they burn too, I’ll quench them with my tears.

“The sun that shines from heaven shines but warm,
And lo, I lie between that sun and thee;
The heat I have from thence doth little harm:
Thine eye darts forth the fire that burneth me;
And were I not immortal, life were done
Between this heavenly and earthly sun.

“Art thou obdurate, flinty, hard as steel?
Nay, more than flint, for stone at rain relenteth.
Art thou a woman’s son, and canst not feel
What ’tis to love, how want of love tormenteth?
O, had thy mother borne so hard a mind
She had not brought forth thee, but died unkind.

“What am I that thou shouldst contemn me this?
Or what great danger dwells upon my suit?
What were thy lips the worse for one poor kiss?
Speak, fair; but speak fair words, or else be mute.
Give me one kiss, I’ll give it thee again,
And one for int’rest, if thou wilt have twain.

“Fie, lifeless picture, cold and senseless stone,
Well-painted idol, image dull and dead,
Statue contenting but the eye alone,
Thing like a man, but of no woman bred!
Thou art no man, though of a man’s complexion,
For men will kiss even by their own direction.”

This said, impatience chokes her pleading tongue,
And swelling passion doth provoke a pause;
Red cheeks and fiery eyes blaze forth her wrong:
Being judge in love, she cannot right her cause;
And now she weeps, and now she fain would speak,
And now her sobs do her intendments break.

Sometime she shakes her head, and then his hand;
Now gazeth she on him, now on the ground;
Sometime her arms infold him like a band;
She would, he will not in her arms be bound;
And when from thence he struggles to be gone,
She locks her lily fingers one in one.

“Fondling,” she saith “since I have hemmed thee here
Within the circuit of this ivory pale,
I’ll be a park, and thou shalt be my deer:
Feed where thou wilt, on mountain or in dale;
Graze on my lips, and if those hills be dry,
Stray lower, where the pleasant fountains lie.

“Within this limit is relief enough,
Sweet bottom-grass and high delightful plain,
Round rising hillocks, brakes obscure and rough,
To shelter thee from tempest and from rain:
Then be my deer, since I am such a park;
No dog shall rouse thee, though a thousand bark.”

At this Adonis smiles as in disdain,
That in each cheek appears a pretty dimple.
Love made those hollows, if himself were slain,
He might be buried in a tomb so simple,
Foreknowing well, if there he came to lie,
Why, there Love lived, and there he could not die.

These lovely caves, these round enchanting pits,
Opened their mouths to swallow Venus’ liking.
Being mad before, how doth she now for wits?
Struck dead at first, what needs a second striking?
Poor queen of love, in thine own law forlorn,
To love a cheek that smiles at thee in scorn!

Now which way shall she turn? What shall she say?
Her words are done, her woes the more increasing.
The time is spent, her object will away,
And from her twining arms doth urge releasing.
“Pity!” she cries “Some favour, some remorse!”
Away he springs, and hasteth to his horse.

But lo, from forth a copse that neighbours by
A breeding jennet, *****, young, and proud,
Adonis’ trampling courser doth espy,
And forth she rushes, snorts, and neighs aloud.
The strong-necked steed, being tied unto a tree,
Breaketh his rein, and to her straight goes he.

Imperiously he leaps, he neighs, he bounds,
And now his woven girths he breaks asunder;
The bearing earth with his hard hoof he wounds,
Whose hollow womb resounds like heaven’s thunder;
The iron bit he crusheth ‘tween his teeth,
Controlling what he was controlled with.

His ears up-pricked; his braided hanging mane
Upon his compassed crest now stand on end;
His nostrils drink the air, and forth again,
As from a furnace, vapours doth he send;
His eye, which scornfully glisters like fire,
Shows his hot courage and his high desire.

Sometime he trots, as if he told the steps,
With gentle majesty and modest pride;
Anon he rears upright, curvets and leaps,
As who should say ‘Lo, thus my strength is tried,
And this I do to captivate the eye
Of the fair ******* that is standing by.’

What recketh he his rider’s angry stir,
His flattering ‘Holla’ or his ‘Stand, I say’?
What cares he now for curb or pricking spur,
For rich caparisons or trappings gay?
He sees his love, and nothing else he sees,
For nothing else with his proud sight agrees.

Look when a painter would surpass the life
In limning out a well-proportioned steed,
His art with nature’s workmanship at strife,
As if the dead the living should exceed;
So did this horse excel a common one
In shape, in courage, colour, pace, and bone.

Round-hoofed, short-jointed, fetlocks **** and long,
Broad breast, full eye, small head, and nostril wide,
High crest, short ears, straight legs and passing strong,
Thin mane, thick tail, broad buttock, tender hide;
Look what a horse should have he did not lack,
Save a proud rider on so proud a back.

Sometime he scuds far off, and there he stares;
Anon he starts at stirring of a feather;
To bid the wind a base he now prepares,
And whe’er he run or fly they know not whether;
For through his mane and tail the high wind sings,
Fanning the hairs, who wave like feathered wings.

He looks upon his love, and neighs unto her;
She answers him as if she knew his mind:
Being proud, as females are, to see him woo her,
She puts on outward strangeness, seems unkind,
Spurns at his love, and scorns the heat he feels,
Beating his kind embracements with her heels.

Then, like a melancholy malcontent,
He vails his tail that, like a falling plume,
Cool shadow to his melting buttock lent;
He stamps, and bites the poor flies in his fume.
His love, perceiving how he was enraged,
Grew kinder, and his fury was assuaged.

His testy master goeth about to take him,
When, lo, the unbacked *******, full of fear,
Jealous of catching, swiftly doth forsake him,
With her the horse, and left Adonis there.
As they were mad, unto the wood they hie them,
Outstripping crows that strive to overfly them.

All swoll’n with chafing, down Adonis sits,
Banning his boist’rous and unruly beast;
And now the happy season once more fits
That lovesick Love by pleading may be blest;
For lovers say the heart hath treble wrong
When it is barred the aidance of the tongue.

An oven that is stopped, or river stayed,
Burneth more hotly, swelleth with more rage;
So of concealed sorrow may be said.
Free vent of words love’s fire doth assuage;
But when the heart’s attorney once is mute,
The client breaks, as desperate in his suit.

He sees her coming, and begins to glow,
Even as a dying coal revives with wind,
And with his bonnet hides his angry brow,
Looks on the dull earth with disturbed mind,
Taking no notice that she is so nigh,
For all askance he holds her in his eye.

O what a sight it was wistly to view
How she came stealing to the wayward boy!
To note the fighting conflict of her hue,
How white and red each other did destroy!
But now her cheek was pale, and by-and-by
It flashed forth fire, as lightning from the sky.

Now was she just before him as he sat,
And like a lowly lover down she kneels;
With one fair hand she heaveth up his hat,
Her other tender hand his fair cheek feels.
His tend’rer cheek receives her soft hand’s print
As apt as new-fall’n snow takes any dint.

O what a war of looks was then between them,
Her eyes petitioners to his eyes suing!
His eyes saw her eyes as they had not seen them;
Her eyes wooed still, his eyes disdained the wooing;
And all this dumb-play had his acts made plain
With tears which chorus-like her eyes did rain.

Full gently now she takes him by the hand,
A lily prisoned in a gaol of snow,
Or ivory in an alabaster band;
So white a friend engirts so white a foe.
This beauteous combat, wilful and unwilling,
Showed like two silver doves that sit a-billing.

Once more the engine of her thoughts began:
“O fairest mover on this mortal round,
Would t
david badgerow Feb 2014
i am a house with a door
a lighthouse with sand around it
where a man takes a **** at night
away from his friends

i am a cold accidental touch
of the false pinky finger of
a janitor at work at a high school

i am burned to death in my apartment
flipped out on ***** coke
sold to me by a ****** salesman in
an envelope marked "Kotex $$"

i am disappearing into roots
a rusted out minivan in a trailer park yard
that no one drives
filled with fast food bags and baseballs

i am a glimpse into a  lifespan
but only the part of the road that you can see
from your apartment building

i am an adventure
a warm wet raindrop
landing on your face
as you walk out of the door
onto your lawn in springtime

i am not a voice or an expression
like the quiet tattoo of a boat
you keep hidden in your brassiere

i am the cool dry pillow that you dream into
i collect butterflies and stamps
and old shoes from unconscious men
in the alleyways behind bars

and that's how i've decided to make a living
Elise Marie Jan 2012
Dine on open roads and dust
Each meal another stamp
These pockets filled with traveled ink
Beg gypsies to make camp
These stamps they urge for permanence
These stamps they whisper home
But these soles deaf to stand-still dreams
Won’t listen, will just roam
No tar pit streets or shackled needs
Will hold me in their grasp
My ship will sail to float the sea
The nets are tied and cast
These travels promise me more meals of dirt and humble brews
My thirst cannot be quenched indoors
A drought my soul would lose
These travel stamps drip ripe with ink
They live to smudge and haunt
The signature I’ve signed in soot
My birthright home does taunt
Yes, I must off to earth and air
Where deeds for land are scant
These soles the only souls I trust
I hope you understand
ah, christ, what a CREW:
more
poetry, always more
P O E T R Y .

if it doesn't come, coax it out with a
laxative. get your name in LIGHTS,
get it up there in
8 1/2 x 11 mimeo.

keep it coming like a miracle.

ah christ, writers are the most sickening
of all the louts!
yellow-toothed, slump-shouldered,
gutless, flea-bitten and
obvious . . . in tinker-toy rooms
with their flabby hearts
they tell us
what's wrong with the world-
as if we didn't know that a cop's club
can crack the head
and that war is a dirtier game than
marriage . . .
or down in a basement bar
hiding from a wife who doesn't appreciate him
and children he doesn't
want
he tells us that his heart is drowning in
*****. hell, all our hearts are drowning in *****,
in pork salt, in bad verse, in soggy
love.
but he thinks he's alone and
he thinks he's special and he thinks he's Rimbaud
and he thinks he's
Pound.

and death! how about death? did you know
that we all have to die? even Keats died, even
Milton!
and D. Thomas-THEY KILLED HIM, of course.
Thomas didn't want all those free drinks
all that free *****-
they . . . FORCED IT ON HIM
when they should have left him alone so he could
write write WRITE!

poets.

and there's another
type. I've met them at their country
places (don't ask me what I was doing there because
I don't know).

they were born with money and
they don't have to ***** their hands in
slaughterhouses or washing
dishes in grease joints or
driving cabs or pimping or selling ***.

this gives them time to understand
Life.

they walk in with their cocktail glass
held about heart high
and when they drink they just
sip.

you are drinking green beer which you
brought with you
because you have found out through the years
that rich ******* are tight-
they use 5 cent stamps instead of airmail
they promise to have all sorts of goodies ready
upon your arrival
from gallons of whisky to
50 cent cigars. but it's never
there.
and they HIDE their women from you-
their wives, x-wives, daughters, maids, so forth,
because they've read your poems and
figure all you want to do is **** everybody and
everything. which once might have been
true but is no longer quite
true.

and-
he WRITES TOO.
POETRY, of
course. everybody
writes
poetry.

he has plenty of time and a
postoffice box in town
and he drives there 3 or 4 times a day
looking and hoping for accepted
poems.

he thinks that poverty is a weakness of the
soul.

he thinks your mind is ill because you are
drunk all the time and have to work in a
factory 10 or 12 hours a
night.

he brings his wife in, a beauty, stolen from a
poorer rich
man.
he lets you gaze for 30 seconds
then hustles her
out. she has been crying for some
reason.

you've got 3 or 4 days to linger in the
guesthouse he says,
"come on over to dinner
sometime."
but he doesn't say when or
where. and then you find out that you are not even
IN HIS HOUSE.

you are in
ONE of his houses but
his house is somewhere
else-
you don't know
where.

he even has x-wives in some of his
houses.

his main concern is to keep his x-wives away from
you. he doesn't want to give up a
**** thing. and you can't blame him:
his x-wives are all young, stolen, kept,
talented, well-dressed, schooled, with
varying French-German accents.

and!: they
WRITE POETRY TOO. or
PAINT. or
****.

but his big problem is to get down to that mail
box in town to get back his
rejected poems
and to keep his eye on all the other mail boxes
in all his other
houses.

meanwhile, the starving Indians
sell beads and baskets in the streets of the small desert
town.

the Indians are not allowed in his houses
not so much because they are a ****-threat
but because they are
***** and
ignorant. *****? I look down at my shirt
with the beerstain on the front.
ignorant? I light a 6 cent cigar and
forget about
it.

he or they or somebody was supposed to meet me at
the
train station.

of course, they weren't
there. "We'll be there to meet the great
Poet!"

well, I looked around and didn't see any
great poet. besides it was 7 a.m. and
40 degrees. those things
happen. the trouble was there were no
bars open. nothing open. not even a
jail.

he's a poet.
he's also a doctor, a head-shrinker.
no blood involved that
way. he won't tell me whether I am crazy or
not-I don't have the
money.

he walks out with his cocktail glass
disappears for 2 hours, 3 hours,
then suddenly comes walking back in
unannounced
with the same cocktail glass
to make sure I haven't gotten hold of
something more precious than
Life itself.

my cheap green beer is killing
me. he shows heart (hurrah) and
gives me a little pill that stops my
gagging.
but nothing decent to
drink.

he'd bought a small 6 pack
for my arrival but that was gone in an
hour and 15
minutes.

"I'll buy you barrels of beer," he had
said.

I used his phone (one of his phones)
to get deliveries of beer and
cheap whisky. the town was ten miles away,
downhill. I peeled my poor dollars from my poor
roll. and the boy needed a tip, of
course.

the way it was shaping up I could see that I was
hardly Dylan Thomas yet, not even
Robert Creeley. certainly Creeley wouldn't have
had beerstains on his
shirt.

anyhow, when I finally got hold of one of his
x-wives I was too drunk to
make it.

scared too. sure, I imagined him peering
through the window-
he didn't want to give up a **** thing-
and
leveling the luger while I was
working
while "The March to the Gallows" was playing over
the Muzak
and shooting me in the *** first and
my poor brain
later.

"an intruder," I could hear him telling them,
"ravishing one of my helpless x-wives."

I see him published in some of the magazines
now. not very good stuff.

a poem about me
too: the ******.

the ****** whines too much. the ****** whines about his
country, other countries, all countries, the ******
works overtime in a factory like a fool, among other
fools with "pre-drained spirits."
the ****** drinks seas of green beer
full of acid. the ****** has an ulcerated
hemorrhoid. the ****** picks on ****
"fragile ****." the ****** hates his
wife, hates his daughter. his daughter will become
an alcoholic, a *******. the ****** has an
"obese burned out wife." the ****** has a
spastic gut. the ****** has a
"****** brain."

thank you, Doctor (and poet). any charge for
this? I know I still owe you for the
pill.

Your poem is not too good
but at least I got your starch up.
most of your stuff is about as lively as a
wet and deflated
beachball. but it is your round, you've won a round.
going to invite me out this
Summer? I might scrape up
trainfare. got an Indian friend who'd like to meet
you and yours. he swears he's got the biggest
pecker in the state of California.

and guess what?
he writes
POETRY
too!
Lucas Keith Dec 2015
Fear is cold, dark, and safe.
 It's always there, always stays.
It hides when it isn't bold.
 But still remains truth be told.
It whispers soft before it yells.
 It speaks in secrets it always tells.
It holds my tongue from giving thoughts.
 It ruins lives that can't be bought.

Yet love can bring light to dark.
 It can find the kindling with a spark.
It starts to smolder in childish ways,
 Then catches fire and burns bright as day.
It shines right through with radiance.
 It shows me to the second chance.
It fills my chest like a well lit room.
 It stamps the letter and seals my doom.

Love and fear sometimes coexist.
 The answer is found in who wins.
My silence before came as a fearful fool,
 It's broken now, because 'I love you.'
It is full winter now:  the trees are bare,
Save where the cattle huddle from the cold
Beneath the pine, for it doth never wear
The autumn’s gaudy livery whose gold
Her jealous brother pilfers, but is true
To the green doublet; bitter is the wind, as though it blew

From Saturn’s cave; a few thin wisps of hay
Lie on the sharp black hedges, where the wain
Dragged the sweet pillage of a summer’s day
From the low meadows up the narrow lane;
Upon the half-thawed snow the bleating sheep
Press close against the hurdles, and the shivering house-dogs creep

From the shut stable to the frozen stream
And back again disconsolate, and miss
The bawling shepherds and the noisy team;
And overhead in circling listlessness
The cawing rooks whirl round the frosted stack,
Or crowd the dripping boughs; and in the fen the ice-pools crack

Where the gaunt bittern stalks among the reeds
And ***** his wings, and stretches back his neck,
And hoots to see the moon; across the meads
Limps the poor frightened hare, a little speck;
And a stray seamew with its fretful cry
Flits like a sudden drift of snow against the dull grey sky.

Full winter:  and the ***** goodman brings
His load of ******* from the chilly byre,
And stamps his feet upon the hearth, and flings
The sappy billets on the waning fire,
And laughs to see the sudden lightening scare
His children at their play, and yet,—the spring is in the air;

Already the slim crocus stirs the snow,
And soon yon blanched fields will bloom again
With nodding cowslips for some lad to mow,
For with the first warm kisses of the rain
The winter’s icy sorrow breaks to tears,
And the brown thrushes mate, and with bright eyes the rabbit peers

From the dark warren where the fir-cones lie,
And treads one snowdrop under foot, and runs
Over the mossy knoll, and blackbirds fly
Across our path at evening, and the suns
Stay longer with us; ah! how good to see
Grass-girdled spring in all her joy of laughing greenery

Dance through the hedges till the early rose,
(That sweet repentance of the thorny briar!)
Burst from its sheathed emerald and disclose
The little quivering disk of golden fire
Which the bees know so well, for with it come
Pale boy’s-love, sops-in-wine, and daffadillies all in bloom.

Then up and down the field the sower goes,
While close behind the laughing younker scares
With shrilly whoop the black and thievish crows,
And then the chestnut-tree its glory wears,
And on the grass the creamy blossom falls
In odorous excess, and faint half-whispered madrigals

Steal from the bluebells’ nodding carillons
Each breezy morn, and then white jessamine,
That star of its own heaven, snap-dragons
With lolling crimson tongues, and eglantine
In dusty velvets clad usurp the bed
And woodland empery, and when the lingering rose hath shed

Red leaf by leaf its folded panoply,
And pansies closed their purple-lidded eyes,
Chrysanthemums from gilded argosy
Unload their gaudy scentless merchandise,
And violets getting overbold withdraw
From their shy nooks, and scarlet berries dot the leafless haw.

O happy field! and O thrice happy tree!
Soon will your queen in daisy-flowered smock
And crown of flower-de-luce trip down the lea,
Soon will the lazy shepherds drive their flock
Back to the pasture by the pool, and soon
Through the green leaves will float the hum of murmuring bees at noon.

Soon will the glade be bright with bellamour,
The flower which wantons love, and those sweet nuns
Vale-lilies in their snowy vestiture
Will tell their beaded pearls, and carnations
With mitred dusky leaves will scent the wind,
And straggling traveller’s-joy each hedge with yellow stars will bind.

Dear bride of Nature and most bounteous spring,
That canst give increase to the sweet-breath’d kine,
And to the kid its little horns, and bring
The soft and silky blossoms to the vine,
Where is that old nepenthe which of yore
Man got from poppy root and glossy-berried mandragore!

There was a time when any common bird
Could make me sing in unison, a time
When all the strings of boyish life were stirred
To quick response or more melodious rhyme
By every forest idyll;—do I change?
Or rather doth some evil thing through thy fair pleasaunce range?

Nay, nay, thou art the same:  ’tis I who seek
To vex with sighs thy simple solitude,
And because fruitless tears bedew my cheek
Would have thee weep with me in brotherhood;
Fool! shall each wronged and restless spirit dare
To taint such wine with the salt poison of own despair!

Thou art the same:  ’tis I whose wretched soul
Takes discontent to be its paramour,
And gives its kingdom to the rude control
Of what should be its servitor,—for sure
Wisdom is somewhere, though the stormy sea
Contain it not, and the huge deep answer ‘’Tis not in me.’

To burn with one clear flame, to stand *****
In natural honour, not to bend the knee
In profitless prostrations whose effect
Is by itself condemned, what alchemy
Can teach me this? what herb Medea brewed
Will bring the unexultant peace of essence not subdued?

The minor chord which ends the harmony,
And for its answering brother waits in vain
Sobbing for incompleted melody,
Dies a swan’s death; but I the heir of pain,
A silent Memnon with blank lidless eyes,
Wait for the light and music of those suns which never rise.

The quenched-out torch, the lonely cypress-gloom,
The little dust stored in the narrow urn,
The gentle XAIPE of the Attic tomb,—
Were not these better far than to return
To my old fitful restless malady,
Or spend my days within the voiceless cave of misery?

Nay! for perchance that poppy-crowned god
Is like the watcher by a sick man’s bed
Who talks of sleep but gives it not; his rod
Hath lost its virtue, and, when all is said,
Death is too rude, too obvious a key
To solve one single secret in a life’s philosophy.

And Love! that noble madness, whose august
And inextinguishable might can slay
The soul with honeyed drugs,—alas! I must
From such sweet ruin play the runaway,
Although too constant memory never can
Forget the arched splendour of those brows Olympian

Which for a little season made my youth
So soft a swoon of exquisite indolence
That all the chiding of more prudent Truth
Seemed the thin voice of jealousy,—O hence
Thou huntress deadlier than Artemis!
Go seek some other quarry! for of thy too perilous bliss.

My lips have drunk enough,—no more, no more,—
Though Love himself should turn his gilded prow
Back to the troubled waters of this shore
Where I am wrecked and stranded, even now
The chariot wheels of passion sweep too near,
Hence!  Hence!  I pass unto a life more barren, more austere.

More barren—ay, those arms will never lean
Down through the trellised vines and draw my soul
In sweet reluctance through the tangled green;
Some other head must wear that aureole,
For I am hers who loves not any man
Whose white and stainless ***** bears the sign Gorgonian.

Let Venus go and chuck her dainty page,
And kiss his mouth, and toss his curly hair,
With net and spear and hunting equipage
Let young Adonis to his tryst repair,
But me her fond and subtle-fashioned spell
Delights no more, though I could win her dearest citadel.

Ay, though I were that laughing shepherd boy
Who from Mount Ida saw the little cloud
Pass over Tenedos and lofty Troy
And knew the coming of the Queen, and bowed
In wonder at her feet, not for the sake
Of a new Helen would I bid her hand the apple take.

Then rise supreme Athena argent-limbed!
And, if my lips be musicless, inspire
At least my life:  was not thy glory hymned
By One who gave to thee his sword and lyre
Like AEschylos at well-fought Marathon,
And died to show that Milton’s England still could bear a son!

And yet I cannot tread the Portico
And live without desire, fear and pain,
Or nurture that wise calm which long ago
The grave Athenian master taught to men,
Self-poised, self-centred, and self-comforted,
To watch the world’s vain phantasies go by with unbowed head.

Alas! that serene brow, those eloquent lips,
Those eyes that mirrored all eternity,
Rest in their own Colonos, an eclipse
Hath come on Wisdom, and Mnemosyne
Is childless; in the night which she had made
For lofty secure flight Athena’s owl itself hath strayed.

Nor much with Science do I care to climb,
Although by strange and subtle witchery
She drew the moon from heaven:  the Muse Time
Unrolls her gorgeous-coloured tapestry
To no less eager eyes; often indeed
In the great epic of Polymnia’s scroll I love to read

How Asia sent her myriad hosts to war
Against a little town, and panoplied
In gilded mail with jewelled scimitar,
White-shielded, purple-crested, rode the Mede
Between the waving poplars and the sea
Which men call Artemisium, till he saw Thermopylae

Its steep ravine spanned by a narrow wall,
And on the nearer side a little brood
Of careless lions holding festival!
And stood amazed at such hardihood,
And pitched his tent upon the reedy shore,
And stayed two days to wonder, and then crept at midnight o’er

Some unfrequented height, and coming down
The autumn forests treacherously slew
What Sparta held most dear and was the crown
Of far Eurotas, and passed on, nor knew
How God had staked an evil net for him
In the small bay at Salamis,—and yet, the page grows dim,

Its cadenced Greek delights me not, I feel
With such a goodly time too out of tune
To love it much:  for like the Dial’s wheel
That from its blinded darkness strikes the noon
Yet never sees the sun, so do my eyes
Restlessly follow that which from my cheated vision flies.

O for one grand unselfish simple life
To teach us what is Wisdom! speak ye hills
Of lone Helvellyn, for this note of strife
Shunned your untroubled crags and crystal rills,
Where is that Spirit which living blamelessly
Yet dared to kiss the smitten mouth of his own century!

Speak ye Rydalian laurels! where is he
Whose gentle head ye sheltered, that pure soul
Whose gracious days of uncrowned majesty
Through lowliest conduct touched the lofty goal
Where love and duty mingle!  Him at least
The most high Laws were glad of, he had sat at Wisdom’s feast;

But we are Learning’s changelings, know by rote
The clarion watchword of each Grecian school
And follow none, the flawless sword which smote
The pagan Hydra is an effete tool
Which we ourselves have blunted, what man now
Shall scale the august ancient heights and to old Reverence bow?

One such indeed I saw, but, Ichabod!
Gone is that last dear son of Italy,
Who being man died for the sake of God,
And whose unrisen bones sleep peacefully,
O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower,
Thou marble lily of the lily town! let not the lour

Of the rude tempest vex his slumber, or
The Arno with its tawny troubled gold
O’er-leap its marge, no mightier conqueror
Clomb the high Capitol in the days of old
When Rome was indeed Rome, for Liberty
Walked like a bride beside him, at which sight pale Mystery

Fled shrieking to her farthest sombrest cell
With an old man who grabbled rusty keys,
Fled shuddering, for that immemorial knell
With which oblivion buries dynasties
Swept like a wounded eagle on the blast,
As to the holy heart of Rome the great triumvir passed.

He knew the holiest heart and heights of Rome,
He drave the base wolf from the lion’s lair,
And now lies dead by that empyreal dome
Which overtops Valdarno hung in air
By Brunelleschi—O Melpomene
Breathe through thy melancholy pipe thy sweetest threnody!

Breathe through the tragic stops such melodies
That Joy’s self may grow jealous, and the Nine
Forget awhile their discreet emperies,
Mourning for him who on Rome’s lordliest shrine
Lit for men’s lives the light of Marathon,
And bare to sun-forgotten fields the fire of the sun!

O guard him, guard him well, my Giotto’s tower!
Let some young Florentine each eventide
Bring coronals of that enchanted flower
Which the dim woods of Vallombrosa hide,
And deck the marble tomb wherein he lies
Whose soul is as some mighty orb unseen of mortal eyes;

Some mighty orb whose cycled wanderings,
Being tempest-driven to the farthest rim
Where Chaos meets Creation and the wings
Of the eternal chanting Cherubim
Are pavilioned on Nothing, passed away
Into a moonless void,—and yet, though he is dust and clay,

He is not dead, the immemorial Fates
Forbid it, and the closing shears refrain.
Lift up your heads ye everlasting gates!
Ye argent clarions, sound a loftier strain
For the vile thing he hated lurks within
Its sombre house, alone with God and memories of sin.

Still what avails it that she sought her cave
That murderous mother of red harlotries?
At Munich on the marble architrave
The Grecian boys die smiling, but the seas
Which wash AEgina fret in loneliness
Not mirroring their beauty; so our lives grow colourless

For lack of our ideals, if one star
Flame torch-like in the heavens the unjust
Swift daylight kills it, and no trump of war
Can wake to passionate voice the silent dust
Which was Mazzini once! rich Niobe
For all her stony sorrows hath her sons; but Italy,

What Easter Day shall make her children rise,
Who were not Gods yet suffered? what sure feet
Shall find their grave-clothes folded? what clear eyes
Shall see them ******?  O it were meet
To roll the stone from off the sepulchre
And kiss the bleeding roses of their wounds, in love of her,

Our Italy! our mother visible!
Most blessed among nations and most sad,
For whose dear sake the young Calabrian fell
That day at Aspromonte and was glad
That in an age when God was bought and sold
One man could die for Liberty! but we, burnt out and cold,

See Honour smitten on the cheek and gyves
Bind the sweet feet of Mercy:  Poverty
Creeps through our sunless lanes and with sharp knives
Cuts the warm throats of children stealthily,
And no word said:- O we are wretched men
Unworthy of our great inheritance! where is the pen

Of austere Milton? where the mighty sword
Which slew its master righteously? the years
Have lost their ancient leader, and no word
Breaks from the voiceless tripod on our ears:
While as a ruined mother in some spasm
Bears a base child and loathes it, so our best enthusiasm

Genders unlawful children, Anarchy
Freedom’s own Judas, the vile prodigal
Licence who steals the gold of Liberty
And yet has nothing, Ignorance the real
One Fraticide since Cain, Envy the asp
That stings itself to anguish, Avarice whose palsied grasp

Is in its extent stiffened, moneyed Greed
For whose dull appetite men waste away
Amid the whirr of wheels and are the seed
Of things which slay their sower, these each day
Sees rife in England, and the gentle feet
Of Beauty tread no more the stones of each unlovely street.

What even Cromwell spared is desecrated
By **** and worm, left to the stormy play
Of wind and beating snow, or renovated
By more destructful hands:  Time’s worst decay
Will wreathe its ruins with some loveliness,
But these new Vandals can but make a rain-proof barrenness.

Where is that Art which bade the Angels sing
Through Lincoln’s lofty choir, till the air
Seems from such marble harmonies to ring
With sweeter song than common lips can dare
To draw from actual reed? ah! where is now
The cunning hand which made the flowering hawthorn branches bow

For Southwell’s arch, and carved the House of One
Who loved the lilies of the field with all
Our dearest English flowers? the same sun
Rises for us:  the seasons natural
Weave the same tapestry of green and grey:
The unchanged hills are with us:  but that Spirit hath passed away.

And yet perchance it may be better so,
For Tyranny is an incestuous Queen,
****** her brother is her bedfellow,
And the Plague chambers with her:  in obscene
And ****** paths her treacherous feet are set;
Better the empty desert and a soul inviolate!

For gentle brotherhood, the harmony
Of living in the healthful air, the swift
Clean beauty of strong limbs when men are free
And women chaste, these are the things which lift
Our souls up more than even Agnolo’s
Gaunt blinded Sibyl poring o’er the scroll of human woes,

Or Titian’s little maiden on the stair
White as her own sweet lily and as tall,
Or Mona Lisa smiling through her hair,—
Ah! somehow life is bigger after all
Than any painted angel, could we see
The God that is within us!  The old Greek serenity

Which curbs the passion of that
Lior Gavra Dec 2017
It flies amongst the stars.
Flashes for a moment.
Despite the left scars.
Holds a place close, yet far.

It carries the fallen.
From mistaken paths.
To reaches impossible.
And develops new plans.

It creates new countries.
Raises dead soldiers.
Stamps unsung heroes.
With a feeling of free.

Hear its silent sound.
Open up your eyes.
Place it in your heart.
Elevate from the ground.

It helps us climb.
Better than rope.
Do you see its shape?
It is hope.
Robert Zheng Apr 2017
i collect stamps
not the mail kind
not the male kind
not the may hill kind
not the mayo ill kind
not the may hue kind
not the maim yew kind
not the mwaya view kind
not the mwayam myeil kind
not the amaway yilovski kind
not the mynsigwi malomisten kind
snot snee smail skind
rot tree trail rind
trotsky braille grind
hot bree hail's tine
kind
kind
kind
kind
kind
kind
kind
kind
kind
kind
kind
kind
­kind
mail
mali
alim
liam
ailm
ailm
ailm
don't tell me what is and isn't poetry *******
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
The courtesan and poet Zuo Fen had two cats Xe Ming and Xi Ming. Living in her distant court with only her maid Hu Yin, her cats were often her closest companions and, like herself, of a crepuscular nature.
      It was the very depths of winter and the first moon of the Solstice had risen. The old year had nearly passed.
      The day itself was almost over. Most of the inner courts retired before the new day began (at about 11.0pm), but not Zuo Fen. She summoned her maid to dress her in her winter furs, gathered her cats on a long chain leash, and walked out into the Haulin Gardens.
      These large and semi-wild gardens were adjacent to the walls of her personal court. The father of the present Emperor had created there a forest once stocked with game, a lake to the brim with carp and rich in waterfowl, and a series of tall structures surrounded by a moat from which astronomers were able to observe the firmament.
      Emperor Wu liked to think of Zuo Fen walking at night in his father’s park, though he rarely saw her there. He knew that she valued that time alone to prepare herself for his visits, visits that rarely occurred until the Tiger hours between 3.0am and 6.0am when his goat-drawn carriage would find its way to her court unbidden. She herself would welcome him with steaming chai and sometimes a new rhapsody. They would recline on her bed and discuss the content and significance of certain writings they knew and loved. Discussion sometimes became an elaborate game when a favoured Classical text would be taken as the starting point for an exchange of quotation. Gradually quotation would be displaced by subtle invention and Zuo Fen would find the Emperor manoeuvring her into making declarations of a passionate or ****** nature.
       It seemed her very voice captivated him and despite herself and her inclinations they would join as lovers with an intensity of purpose, a great tenderness, and deep joy. He would rest his head inside her cloak and allow her lips to caress his ears with tales of river and mountain, descriptions of the flights of birds and the opening of flowers. He spoke to her ******* of the rising moon, its myriad reflections on the waters of Ling Lake, and of its trees whose winter branches caressed the cold surface.

Whilst Zuo Fen walked in the midnight park with her cats she reflected on an afternoon of frustration. She had attempted to assemble a new poem for her Lord.  Despite being himself an accomplished poet and having an extraordinary memory for Classical verse, the Emperor retained a penchant for stories about Mei-Lim, a young Suchan girl dragged from her family to serve as a courtesan at his court.
      Zuo Fen had invented this girl to articulate some of her own expressions of homesickness, despair, periods of constant tearfulness, and abject loneliness. Such things seemed to touch something in the Emperor. It was as though he enjoyed wallowing in these descriptions and his favourite A Rhapsody on Being far from Home he loved to hear from the poet’s own lips, again and again. Zuo Fen felt she was tempting providence not to compose something new, before being ordered to do so.
      As she struggled through the afternoon to inject some fresh and meaningful content into a story already milked dry Zuo Fen became aware of her cats. Xi Ming lay languorously across her folded feet. Xe Ming perched like an immutable porcelain figure on a stool beside her low writing table.
Zuo Fen often consulted her cats. ‘Xi Ming, will my Lord like this stanza?’

“The stones that ring out from your pony’s hooves
announce your path through the cloud forest”


She would always wait patiently for Xi Ming’s reply, playing a game with her imagination to extract an answer from the cinnamon scented air of her winter chamber.
      ‘He will think his pony’s hooves will flash with sparks kindling the fire of his passion as he prepares to meet his beloved’.
      ‘Oh such a wise cat, Xi Ming’, and she would press his warm body further into her lap. But today, as she imagined this dialogue, a second voice appeared in her thoughts.
      ‘Gracious Lady, your Xe Ming knows his under-standing is poor, his education weak, but surely this image, taken as it is from the poet Lu Ji, suggests how unlikely it would be for the spark of love and passion to take hold without nurture and care, impossible on a hard journey’.
       This was unprecedented. What had brought such a response from her imagination? And before she could elicit an answer it was as though Xe Ming spoke with these words of Confucius.

“Do not be concerned about others not appreciating you, be concerned about you not appreciating others”

Being the very sensible woman she was, Zuo Fen dismissed such admonition (from a cat) and called for tea.

Later as she walked her beauties by the frozen lake, the golden carp nosing around just beneath the ice, she recalled the moment and wondered. A thought came to her  . . .
       She would petition Xe Ming’s help to write a new rhapsody, perhaps titled Rhapsody on the Thought of Separation.

Both Zuo Fen’s cats came from her parental home in Lingzhi. They were large, big-***** mountain cats; strong animals with bear-like paws, short whiskered and big eared. Their coats were a glassy grey, the hairs tipped with a sprinkling of white giving the fur an impression of being wet with dew or caught by a brief shower.
       When she thought of her esteemed father, the Imperial Archivist, there was always a cat somewhere; in his study at home, in the official archives where he worked. There was always a cat close at hand, listening?
       What texts did her father know by heart that she did not know? What about the Lu Yu – the Confucian text book of advice and etiquette for court officials. She had never bothered to learn it, even read it seemed unnecessary, but through her brother Zuo Si she knew something of its contents and purpose.

Confucius was once asked what were the qualifications of public office. ‘Revere the five forms of goodness and abandon the four vices and you can qualify for public office’.
       For the life of her Zuo Fen could not remember these five forms of goodness (although she could make a stab at guessing them). As for those vices? No, she was without an idea. If she had ever known, their detail had totally passed from her memory.
       Settled once again in her chamber she called Hu Yin and asked her to remove Xi Ming for the night. She had three hours or so before the Emperor might appear. There was time.
        Xe Ming was by nature a distant cat, aloof, never seeking affection. He would look the other way if regarded, pace to the corner of a room if spoken to. In summer he would hide himself in the deep undergrowth of Zuo Fen’s garden.
       Tonight Zuo Fen picked him up and placed him on her left shoulder. She walked around her room stroking him gently with her small strong fingers, so different from the manicured talons of her colleagues in the Purple Palace. Embroidery, of which she was an accomplished exponent, was impossible with long nails.
       From her scroll cupboard she selected her brother’s annotated copy of the Lun Yu, placing it unrolled on her desk. It would be those questions from the disciple Tzu Chang, she thought, so the final chapters perhaps. She sat down carefully on the thick fleece and Mongolian rug in front of her desk letting Xe Ming spill over her arms into a space beside her.
       This was strange indeed. As she sat beside Xe Ming in the light of the butter lamps holding his flickering gaze it was as though a veil began to lift between them.
       ‘At last you understand’, a voice appeared to whisper,’ after all this time you have realised . . .’
      Zuo Fen lost track of time. The cat was completely motionless. She could hear Hu Yin snoring lightly next door, no doubt glad to have Xi Ming beside her on her mat.
      ‘Xe Ming’, she said softly, ‘today I heard you quote from Confucius’.
      The cat remained inscrutable, completely still.
      ‘I think you may be able to help me write a new poem for my Lord. Heaven knows I need something or he will tire of me and this court will cease to enjoy his favour’.
      ‘Xe Ming, I have to test you. I think you can ‘speak’ to me, but I need to learn to talk to you’.
      ‘Tzu Chang once asked Confucius what were the qualifications needed for public office? Confucius said, I believe, that there were five forms of goodness to revere, and four vices to abandon’.
       ‘Can you tell me what they are?’
      Xe Ming turned his back on Zuo Fen and stepped gently away from the table and into a dark and distant corner of the chamber.
      ‘The gentle man is generous but not extravagant, works without complaint, has desires without being greedy, is at peace, but not arrogant, and commands respect but not fear’.
      Zuo Fen felt her breathing come short and fast. This voice inside her; richly-texture, male, so close it could be from a lover at the epicentre of a passionate entanglement; it caressed her.
      She heard herself say aloud, ‘and the four vices’.
      ‘To cause a death or imprisonment without teaching can be called cruelty; to judge results without prerequisites can be called tyranny; to impose deadlines on improper orders can be thievery; and when giving in the procedure of receipt and disbursement, to stint can be called officious’.
       Xe Ming then appeared out of the darkness and came and sat in the folds of her night cloak, between her legs. She stroked his glistening fur.
       Zuo Fen didn’t need to consult the Lu Yu on her desk. She knew this was unnecessary. She got to her feet and stepped through the curtains into an antechamber to relieve herself.
       When she returned Xe Ming had assumed his porcelain figure pose. So she gathered a fresh scroll, her writing brushes, her inks, her wax stamps, and wrote:

‘I was born in a humble, isolated, thatched house,
and was never well versed in writing.
I never saw the marvellous pictures of books,
nor had I heard of the classics of earlier sages.
I am dimwitted, humble and ignorant . . ‘


As she stopped to consider the next chain of characters she saw in her mind’s eye the Purple Palace, the palace of the concubines of the Emperor. Sitting next to the Purple Chamber there was a large grey cat, its fur sprinkled with tiny flecks of white looking as though the animal had been caught in a shower of rain.
       Zuo Fen turned from her script to see where Xe Ming had got to, but he had gone. She knew however that he would always be there. Wherever her imagination took her, she could seek out this cat and the words would flow.

Before returning to her new text Zuo Fen thought she might remind herself of Liu Xie’s words on the form of the Rhapsody. If Emperor Wu appeared later she would quote it (to his astonishment) from The Literary Mind and the Carving of Dragons.

*The rhapsody derives from poetry,
A fork in the road, a different line of development;
It describes objects, pictures and their appearance,
With a brilliance akin to sculpture and painting.
What is clogged and confined it invariably opens up;
It depicts the commonplace with unbounded charm;
But the goal of the form is of beauty well ordered,
Words retained for their loveliness when weeds have been cut away.
Joe Workman Aug 2014
The radio alarm is a bit too strong
for his afternoon hangover taste.
He goes downstairs, sets the coffee to brewing,
rubs his hands through the hair on his face.
As he sits and he smokes, he can't quite think of the joke
she once told him about wooden eyes.

The coffee is ready, his hands are unsteady
as he pours his first cup of cure.
He tries to be happy he woke up today,
but whether being awake's good, he's not sure.
Outside it's raining, but he's gallantly straining
to keep his head and his spirits held high.

As soft as the flower bending out in its shower,
fiercer than hornets defending their hives,
the memories of sharing her secrets and sheets
run him through like sharp rusty knives.
He decides that his cup isn't quite strong enough,
takes the ***** from the shelf, gives a sigh.

He goes to the porch to put words to the torch
he still carries and knows whiskey just fuels.
Thunder puts a voice to his hammering heart.
Through ink, his knotted mind unspools,
writing of butterflies and of how his love lies
cocooned under unreachable skies.

From teardrops to streams to winter moonbeams
to a peach, firm and sweet, in the spring,
he writes of pilgrims and language and soft dew-damp grass
and how he sees her in everything.
He rambles and grieves, and he just can't believe
how much he has bottled inside.

He writes how the leaves, when they whisper in the breeze,
bring to mind her warm breath in his mouth,
how when walking through woods he loves the birdsong
when they fly back in the summer from the south
because she would sing too and he always knew
he wanted that sound in his ears when he died.

He writes even the streetlights, fluorescent and bright,
make him miss the diamond chips in her eyes,
how the fountain in the park plays watersongs in the dark
when he goes to make wishes on pennies
and while he's there he gets hoping
there will be some spare wishes
but so far there haven't been any.

He writes that the cold makes him think of the old
hotel where they spent most of a week,
lazing and gazing quite lovingly,
and how he brushed an eyelash off her cheek.
The crickets and frogs and all of the dogs
sound as mournful as he feels each night.

He writes about chocolate and fun in arcades,
he writes about stairwells and butchers' blades,
and closed-casket funerals, and Christmas parades,
then sad flightless birds and tiny brigades
of ants taking crumbs from the toast he had made,
and political goons with their soulless tirades,
old-timey duels and terrible grades,
strangers on  buses, harp music, maids,
the weird afterimages when all the light fades,
the pleasure of dinnertime serenades,
sidewalk chalk, wine, and hand grenades.

He writes of how much fun it would be to fly,
and saltwater taffy and ferryboat rides,

sitting on couches, scratched CD's,
pets gone too soon and overdraft fees,

the beach, the lake, the mountains, the fog,
David Bowie's funny, ill-smelling bog,

jewelry, perfume, sushi, and swans,
the smell of the pavement when the rain's come and gone,

and shots and opera, and Oprah and ***,
and tiny bikinis with yellow dots,

stained glass lamps, and gum and stamps,
her dancing shoes on wheelchair ramps,
that overstrange feeling of déjà vu,
filet mignon and cordon bleu,

bad haircuts at county fairs,
honey and clover, stockmarket shares,
the comfort of nestling in overstuffed chairs,
and her poking fun at the clothes that he wears,
and giraffes and hippos and polar bears,
cumbersome car consoles, monsters' lairs,
singing in public and ignoring the stares,
botching it badly while making éclairs,
misspelled tattoos, socks not in pairs,
people who take something that isn't theirs,
the future of man, and man's future cares,

why people so frequently lie
and bury themselves so deep in the mire
of monetary profits when money won't buy
a single next second because time's not for hire,
and that he sees her in everything.

Then unexpectedly, unbidden from where it was hidden
comes the punchline to the joke she had told him.
He laughs -- it's too much and his heart finally tears
as a blackness rolls in to enfold him.
The last thing he hears is birdsong in his ears --
the sound brings hope and is sweet as he dies.
Ryan Bowdish Sep 2013
School was always humuorous to a degree in my opinion because of the underlying idea
that the more damaged you were, the cooler you were in the eyes of the rest of the school.
I have heard numerous conversations that began with something along the lines of, "Oh, you
think YOU got it bad, well my dad blah blah and my best friend blah blah and my life is hell."

I decided to get a little personal and share with you guys something I have never actually
told anyone in entirety yet. I am pretty sure the whole story is still only here in my brain.
I will, out of respect for these people, change their names.

It's October 31, 2012. It's about noon, and all of us sixteen to twenty-two year olds are just waking up.
Brianne woke up probably a few hours ago already to tend to her son, Aaron. He is adorable, one
and a half, blond hair, blue eyes. I have been living here for nearly two months. I am supporting her,
Aaron, and myself with food stamps. I get two hundred dollars a month to basically smoke **** and drink
on the government's budget. Trust me, I'm not proud of it either, and if I could I would pay it back.
Since Brianne is a single mother and an adopted child, she has a single-digit monthly rent (I was *******
baffled to hear this) and receives support from her foster parents. Basically, if I want to stay here forever
with absolutely no consequences save to miss out on a life of my own, I can.

Brandon is putting on clown make-up so he can troll the streets as a juggalo. I find this amusing as I always
liked to mess around with ICP fans, but he's a really cool kid so I let it go and I even help him perfect it.
I notice he has a bottle of Stolichnaya in his backpack and it's practically full. That, to me, is temptation.
I ask if he would mind me taking a few drinks here and there from the bottle and he says it's fine, so I proceed
to get a nice one p.m. buzz. It was always my favorite drunk, very light, and airy, almost like you're still asleep.
Something bogs you down, but it doesn't bother you, somehow it makes you lighter.

For the rest of the day, we hook up with a few friends, go out and trick or treat in the pouring rain, get soaked
and wait for two hours under an overpass while Brianne goes and gets her car. From there, we proceed home.

At this point, everyone is over at Breanne's and we're all making dinner and drinking beer and having a good time
(Aaron is with the grandparents tonight). I guess I started getting angry about the recent events (for about a month,
everyone in our group with the exception of Brandon have been slowly losing items...but they're obviously being stolen.
At a point, a few of us did some research and determined the only person who could possibly have stolen
a good deal of these things has to be Brandon) and I decided I was tired of sitting on the news waiting for no one to make
a move after a solid two weeks of being certain that we had our guy. So I called him out... and proceeded
to begin burning bridges slowly and very surely for the next few days. I am pretty sure a fight would have broken out
if Bri hadn't taken me into her room to relax. When I finally do, it turns out I woke up the upstairs neighbor,
her baby, and everyone in the house has left save for my friend Jeff and his girlfriend Marissa. This concludes night one.

I later learned that Brandon was not actually the person who was stealing from us (unless of course
he just happened to not get caught when we found out who had done most of it) and I feel bad for bringing the whole
thing up because I would have liked to stay in touch with him. We got along swimmingly and he actually did have
a lot of interesting things to talk about. Smart, nice, hilarious... Well, maybe he'll turn up one day.

The next morning, I woke up to find the house empty save for Jeff and Marissa in the next room, but where I am,
it simply appears empty. I don't know what happened but I intuit that I have been sleeping all night without
my girlfriend. This upsets me and I begin to weep like a confused child, which is exactly what you do when you're
helpless and too drunk in the brain to figure out how to pull yourself out of a helpless situation (trust me,
I own the handbook). Marissa walks in and begins to explain to me that I had scared her too much and she slept
on the couch and that she had left to go pick up her son. So I realize I need to calm down, but I can feel
Jeff is not happy with me in the slightest, considering he will not come and talk to me (this is extremely painful
because he is probably one of the best friends I have ever had, with a mind that vastly exceeds that of everyone
I have met save one other, and he's a different story). They leave and I decide to stay in the house all day.

This is a very bad idea. I stay home, watch re-runs of a show I have seen billions of times, and considering
that Brandon and I are no longer on good terms, like a complete *******, I drink the rest of his *****.

In walks Bri, it's around 7. She's not happy. She proceeds to tell me that the night before I asked out a friend of mine
and she said yes. And I was a bit shocked because I couldn't remember it at first. Then it all hit me.

A few days before, Aaron called me "dad." Now remember, this is not my child. I am dark, dark, dark, and she had this kid
about two years after we had any past relationship. I am extremely worried in my mind and I realize I am headed toward nothing.
That I am stagnant and can not even afford to go back to school. This scares me, so I drunkenly asked out Tanya.

Tanya...we had been friends for about five years, and I had tried to get with her so many **** times... she was like
one of those girls you see and you're instantly reminded of an anime character. Tall, thin, beautiful hips, perfect
proportions, lovely hair, eyes, voice, and a personality I can liken to a Disney princess/black metal lumberjack.
The kind of girl who has a tough exterior, but inside, she just wants someone to tell her everything is going to be ok.

After about two hours of pleading with Bri to let me stay, I finally send Tanya a message, and we hang out for the next
two days, whence I whisper in her ear that everything is going to be okay and we proceed to have quite passionate ***
for those nights, where I discovered the secret to making a woman ****** with my tongue (tip: if the underside of your
tongue isn't completely torn apart, you're doing something wrong). But alas, I could not stay.

This is the part I dreaded, because I know I have to go back to Jeff's house and ask him if I can stay there for a while.
And I got the answer I expected.

The words he used...

"I'm *******...extremely ******* at you, and disappointed." It was like a father saying it to you. And him and I
have a very interesting friendship built on such an extreme understanding that I knew exactly how badly I had been spiraling.
I began to leave and he gave me a slice of pizza, with that slight smile that told me "just go find yourself, we'll be fine."

I hobbled off into the night drunk, with one piece of pizza and all my food at Bri's, which could have lasted me another few days,
easing the transition into homeless. And it could have prevented a horrible occurance that took place the following afternoon. I
was crying, because I knew I was dying, but I didn't want to ask either of my parents for help, because this was the first time
I was out on my own and I was far too proud to give up and let the world make me its victim. So I walked...

Sixteen ******* miles...

To the next town. Took me all night because I was dodging traffic, easing into trees, avoiding on and off ramps, trying to stay
away from any police that may exist on the road. When I finally arrived in the next town (where I knew I may have one contact)
I decided to sleep until the morning came so I could have the energy to find my next venture.

It was five thirty am. I had 3 hours until sun-up, I had just walked enough to be burning, and there was plenty of whiskey in my veins.
I had left my sleeping bag with Tanya hours earlier, wishing in the park that I had not been so naiive as to think I would be allowed
back in the house. So I pulled out a pile of ***** clothes and put them over me like blankets, in some random corner of the local
park, under some bushes, hidden from cold and sight, with great hope...

Fifteen minutes pass. My eyes shoot open. I am freezing. The sweat has dried and frozen to my body. This is hell.

I grab my things and with the worst effort I can ever remember myself mustering, I drag myself to the toilet.
When I open it, the first thing I check for is cleanliness. It's spotless. I am so relieved. I sit in the corner of the room,
which my knees to my chest, head in my hands, wrapped in a leather jacket I had gotten from Jeff (ha, he really is my
guardian angel, though he would laugh to hear it).

I catch winks, occasionally looking up to check if the sun is rising. When it finally is, I get up, change my clothes (I had
ONE clean set of clothing and it had been rotting with the rest in the backpack) and immediately head to a thrift store where
a family friend is working.

On my way there, I notice in a little parking lot near the store a sight I had never actually come across but I always thought
would be the most amazing luck, and it was timed in such a spot in my life that it was the ultimate miracle...and a curse in
disguise.

In front of my eyes (this miracle appeared in my path as I was walking looking down, so it startled me) was the worst possible thing
for me: A half finished fifth of Smirnoff, and a half smoked pack of Marlboro 100 Reds. I open the pack and sure enough, the celophane
protected every cigarette inside from any water damage. I am ecstatic. This is not only amazing, but highly unlikely.

So I down the bottle in one go and take the rest of the smokes with me.

When I arrive at the thrift shop, it turns out I am there on a day when my potential savior is not working, so I get her number from the clerk
and head over to a payphone and realize... I have no money. So I decide to go on a quest for dropped pocket change.

Before I even leave the parking lot, I see a young man, no older than 23, sitting on a nice red classic-style Corvette and he's
reading William S. Burroughs. So naturally, I decide to strike up a conversation with the young man. Turns out he's the nicest guy
and his name is Jordan. So him and I got together and decided to go out for a game of disc golf (some may not know what this is;
Imagine frisbee but with a golf theme, so you need to get from a tee pad into a basket. Really fun, centering, and extremely popular
with potheads, Californians, beer-drinkers, and hippies) and before we go, he asks if I would like to snag a few beers first.

I tell him a piece of my story and he can tell I am down on my luck and broke so he decides to help me out. He buys us both some beer
and we proceed to disk.

Turns out he's an ex-****** and has been through quite a bit of hell himself, so we find that we're in a good position to help each
other make some better decisions in life. After the game, we go over to a payphone and he gives me money to call my friend.

Buzz (this the only name I am not changing because her name is ******* badass) answers the phone and unfortunately informs me that
though she would take me in any day of the year, she just moved in to a house with one older lady she takes care of, and its a single
bedroom apartment, so there is just no way it can work.

So I go back to his car and tell him the news, and he says he thinks he may be able to put me up for a few days until I can sort
everything out. We go back out to the store and grab ourselves a fifth of *****.

We end up in the park playing music, talking, performing standup for one another, and I begin to realize I am drinking too fast,
so I try to ease back a little. He was playing a version of a Radiohead song I had never heard before

"Everyone this way. Okay, get your hands against the wall. Spread your legs. Don't move."
The doors clanking, some ******* won't shut up in the next cell over.
More slamming of doors, someone rubbing my body all over trying to find my knives, no doubt.
And my AK 47 I conceal, and my ****, and my ... oh ****, I really did have **** on me.

"Move forward. Turn around. Alright, go to bed."

----------------------------------------------------------­---------------------

"Get up. Come on, slowly... There you go. There's a few more coming in so we got to get you to another cell."

Clank, clank...

"Pick a bed."

----------------------------------------------------------­---------------------

Something is wrong. This bed is not covered. There is no comfort. It's just a mat. And I have no pillow. This is not a house
of any sort, my bag isnt what I am sleeping on. Something is very wrong here.

I am in jail. Oh of course.

I know the answer before I hear it, but I ask anyway: "What are my charges, ma'am?"

"Drunk in public."

-------------------------------------------------------­------------------------

I'm about thirty miles or so North of inner Seattle. Not a bad place to be. I'm working for a Safeway. It's somewhere around
the first of June. I receive word that Bri has been on ******. And I may have left at a crucial time in her life thinking
only of myself, but I needed to go somewhere I could be productive. Yet my decision left her in a position where she turned
to hard drugs...

I can't help but feel I am to blame. I am listening to the dull, stupid words of my ex boss, Rod, who is telling me
that even though I may feel like I need to help her, there is nothing I can do for her, so I should bury myself in my work
instead. He tells me this in about six hundred different ways before I leave the room after twenty minutes. Well great.
I may have no focus here at work today, but at least I killed almost a half hour of the day just listening to someone
*******.

I am at a loss of what to do here, but I eventually get a hold of her, and after a long time not talking, we come to
somewhat of a closure, and she is beginning to sober up herself. I realize we were both in incredibly hard times, and I still
wish with all my heart there could have been some way I could have helped her raise that boy and stayed and been her
love, and at the same time, still go to college, and progress and get a good job...but I was in a small Northern California
town. There was nothing left, all the old shops were out of business. It was time for me to move on then, and we have
all seen better days for it. She looks incredible these days by the way. She lost an insane amount of weight, and I know
a lot of it had to do with the drugs, but if she truly is sober like she says she is, she'll be getting much better.

A few weeks ago 3 people I used to know and hang out with died in the span of a week. It was a terrible tragedy, and I have been
thinking back on all the names of people I used to love very, very much before they got lost in some way.

There's Lorne Holly, who killed himself after a few weeks of detoxing from crank.

Layla Harmon, who died in a car crash, blunt head trauma, with a drunk driver (I have a tattoo for this, I will never drive drunk).

Heavy Eagle, who killed himself after years of drug problems.

Chaz Lipman, who died in a car crash as well.

Ren Rain, who I am still not sure about...

And of course, Tray Beraldi, who was my closest friend's cousin... I wish I were there to mourne with him...

Last night I got a text from my best friend, who said he couldn't sleep and he barely eats anything anymore, and he feels like his throat
is going to explode, and he cant swallow and his neck is killing him constantly. He has been this way for a year, and he is talking constantly
about getting a gun and blowing his head off. And no one believes him because he constantly talks about it because he is in so much pain.
No doctor can diagnose him so far, he has no idea what's wrong with him, he's been tested all over the place, he has no hope, he's barely
cligning and he doesn't know how much longer he can hold on.

All I really want to say is

Lord? What I have done? I don't pray, I never pray, I don't even know who I would pray to. But WHAT ELSE DO I HAVE TO DO?!

I bring myself across hell and I pull myself from the worst depression I h
This is autobiographical...so be prepared for somewhat of a story.
Third Eye Candy Mar 2013
Barbarians At The Bill Gates

Kings in a Nutshell of Plots,
Machiavellian; made Lords Of Infinite Beige.
a Workspace now a  Dead-Space in The Heart of an Artist... Scaling, Mount Dew, at a snail's pace.
Behemoth Logarithms,
Jammed in a hot box. with cigarette soot blocking die-cut vents
The cousin with the soft-spot.
Hair, Nobly Re-Disheveled  by Hit and Miss ads, like
crow's feet dancing on insomniac spines, in and around, the Yawning Cathode D-Rez
Of all Villages, M. Night. Ramadan, forged, into Code Soldiers
With No Code to reverse Schrodinger's Black Cat, Back in The Bag...
The Genie, from a corner apartment in Manhattan, to a bedroom in a Bottle of Lightning.
Only Reactive Jazz
Cosmonauts, embedding feathers in " White Hats "
A Moral Avatar.

Hack Lads in The Boonies of Way Ahead of The Curve.
An Unsound lack of Judgment, echoing by Proxy, like Mr. Hyde;
Passing for a binary Schizophrenic. Swallowing Blackberries, Seeds of Anarchy and All.
Crowd-Sourcing the wisdom of Crowds of People
With cup-holders, the Elite call CD-Rom
Stand-by.
A Quest For Firewire. A billion portals,, huddled in chaos.
In the lens of  The Camera-Obscura, hidden in the USB Port
In the Fuzzy Logic of Our Narcissism.
SQL that Ends Well \ with a Backlash To Pi Charts
Of Privileged  Information,
Cooling, only in The Windows, Facing a Social Network
Resting, on a sill of Approval by Market Share and -
Ad *******

An eye of  a needle, peeling onions in a brave new world, weeping for the pure, post-ironic
Joy, Of Threading a Nano-Camel
Through The Eye of a Needles' Parable.  To Aesop the gravy of grave doubt
and reasonable suspicions off
Teutonic Plates

To an Atheist. The Heavyside Layer of Bricked Phones
and Dissonance,
May Find a Contract, 'Comes with Astroglide.
And a toaster.

Floppy Disc-Figurements of Our Right To Privacy.  
Resurfaced By The Naivete
Of a Target Audience, With a Heads-up Display,
A 4D Hologram  
Of Steve Jobs,  
Exported over dark fiber optics;  
Silicons of Prosaic non-Existence
Overclocking the Swatch
On  a wrist

Banning Calligraphy

Ward of the State
Of the Economy
With a Cult
Following


A Hologram of Steve Jobs
To sharpen the bleeding edge
with a moon rock from The OtherSide of Billions of Dollars.
The After-Accolades with the Spanish moss From Taiwan
Where Dragons Of  Technology
Shed limits, that metastasize rapid growth
Of Personal Stock by -
adding a Touch Screen Feature to an App For Clout.
To Out-Monopoly with a Walled-Garden
Designed by Stanley Kubrick's 2001 [ Available Space Odyssey  ]
A Terabyte
leaving Half a Worm
In your Apple.

A Difference Engine, differently Desired

Dumped
On a Corner in
Your Circle
Of Confirmed
Friends.


rocking XP like an OG on Food Stamps and The Fringe.
Centered Better And Re-Posted.
Robin Carretti Aug 2018
Are we all here
Or elsewhere
Treetops Robin birds
What!! Is it only words?
The sky she wore the
blue velvet cry
Whats still here what
will life bring
Afterlife sing before I die?

       *
Why

Headless horseman goodbye
Breadwinner Sportsman
Your worst enemy
The closer he gets knowing
your drama/ Cowboy-comedy

"Whats Here"

The Emmy meeting
another writer
      "Dude"
The Dude Ranch
Meet the "Ghostwriter"
The computer
early bird
Specially rude

The Medieval time of the
"Fable" sword fight
In a fork road, he was
born *English Sterling
The Silver anniversary
Dude piece boring
    
Whats here setting Ms.Dahla
Sweet Magnolia flowers
He's aiming for Azelia
What dudes grow
in her family
table
I'm here and he said
I'm the Dude

We are here Paul Revere rides
Breaks our glassware
Mr. Bigfoot needs to decide

Those Philly steaks "Heinz Ketchup"
Pittsburg tip of the iceberg here-up
Feeling sorry for the "Dude"

I'm right beside you here
Racers mouth racetrack win
More supernatural forces of sin
Rayban Mr. Sun-Ray glare
This was all I could take
in one day
It's important so let's stay
in one place
Where we can see one another
All dudes what eludes in character's

The false eyelashes her
prediction Alice madly
Tea party detention

Dancing in the
spiritual rain
She is the biggest pain

What cheeks swear
with her pinky
The blow dryer the
Big Lebowski stayer
Russian Roulette
Crystal fighter Swarovski
Homewrecker traveler
The dude investigation
*Risky business Dudes in the mansions

Rome cannot be built in one day
What's here your *Mom
is
baking noodle pudding today
You are laughing and both got
Brooklyn fever
Divine hour telling her how
much you love her
Familiar eyes hot dudes
delivery
The best flight activity
Getting you up
Your NativityI'm the dude cup

Always wondering you drift
Whose coming to dinner
*Mystery is it really here
        The Dude of a gift
Happy tears New Years

Darling
White Polar Bears

Days of daydreams dude stamps
All tolls and Polls
Twitter and Trumps
Or coming closer to
your darkest night
*
Forever wherever you are
It's the dark velvet satin

Night in White Satin
The other side of midnight
Humans animals always
the mating watcher's delight

Paper cuts of a paperweight
Feeling like a deadweight dude
The lightheaded most amazing night sky
The bright future warm you up
passionate guy

Whats here names
Don't use me usernames
Such con names, married names
Where each other's equal
Whats here love the sequel
The proud mother
My Bald Eagle

Hairy fluffy so cute beagle
*
He's the Quarter she backs up his note
The pushover Politician we deserve the vote

Writers believers lovers
and givers
Strangers are friends whats here
all depends
Getting mugged in Central Park
Grainy sugar you spark
Enjoying what I have today

The softer Rainy Lover
Whats here we are all here
Not elsewhere or over there
My Godly switch I'm here
Whats here you or me or who we believe to see let it be let it be
There are so many answers and those questions are here so reach don't start to preach show your love its whats here
Gwendolyn Alaine Nov 2020
I opened up my notebook to decide to throw or keep
And I read the letters I wrote to you before I went to sleep
I wrote about orange cases with capsules inside
And red lines on my arms that I tried to hide
Days and dates and time stamps of plenty
But surprisingly so, I saw the days get less heavy
One good lunch apparently made my week
And cleaning my room made my brain fold neat
The day I imagined wanting to kiss him
And then the day it actually happened
The waves of feelings that came out of nowhere
On the days of panic attacks pulling my hair
2 steps forward, 1 step back
The days my mind went jet black

So I bought a new notebook and picked a page
Randomly, impulsively, out of my cage
I’ve stopped worrying about time stamps and periods of time
I just want to be happy, not wait in a line

-G.A.
Translated into English in 1859 by Edward FitzGerald

I.
Awake! for Morning in the Bowl of Night
Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:
And Lo! the Hunter of the East has caught
The Sultan's Turret in a Noose of Light.

II.
Dreaming when Dawn's Left Hand was in the Sky
I heard a voice within the Tavern cry,
"Awake, my Little ones, and fill the Cup
Before Life's Liquor in its Cup be dry."

III.
And, as the **** crew, those who stood before
The Tavern shouted -- "Open then the Door!
You know how little while we have to stay,
And, once departed, may return no more."

IV.
Now the New Year reviving old Desires,
The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
Where the White Hand of Moses on the Bough
Puts out, and Jesus from the Ground suspires.

V.
Iram indeed is gone with all its Rose,
And Jamshyd's Sev'n-ring'd Cup where no one Knows;
But still the Vine her ancient ruby yields,
And still a Garden by the Water blows.

VI.
And David's Lips are lock't; but in divine
High piping Pehlevi, with "Wine! Wine! Wine!
Red Wine!" -- the Nightingale cries to the Rose
That yellow Cheek of hers to incarnadine.

VII.
Come, fill the Cup, and in the Fire of Spring
The Winter Garment of Repentance fling:
The Bird of Time has but a little way
To fly -- and Lo! the Bird is on the Wing.

VIII.
Whether at Naishapur or Babylon,
Whether the Cup with sweet or bitter run,
The Wine of Life keeps oozing drop by drop,
The Leaves of Life kep falling one by one.

IX.
Morning a thousand Roses brings, you say;
Yes, but where leaves the Rose of Yesterday?
And this first Summer month that brings the Rose
Shall take Jamshyd and Kaikobad away.

X.
But come with old Khayyam, and leave the Lot
Of Kaikobad and Kaikhosru forgot:
Let Rustum lay about him as he will,
Or Hatim Tai cry Supper -- heed them not.

XI.
With me along the strip of Herbage strown
That just divides the desert from the sown,
Where name of Slave and Sultan is forgot --
And Peace is Mahmud on his Golden Throne!

XII.
A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread, -- and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness --
Oh, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

XIII.
Some for the Glories of This World; and some
Sigh for the Prophet's Paradise to come;
Ah, take the Cash, and let the Promise go,
Nor heed the rumble of a distant Drum!

XIV.
Were it not Folly, Spider-like to spin
The Thread of present Life away to win --
What? for ourselves, who know not if we shall
Breathe out the very Breath we now breathe in!

XV.
Look to the Rose that blows about us -- "Lo,
Laughing," she says, "into the World I blow:
At once the silken Tassel of my Purse
Tear, and its Treasure on the Garden throw."

XVI.
The Worldly Hope men set their Hearts upon
Turns Ashes -- or it prospers; and anon,
Like Snow upon the Desert's dusty Face
Lighting a little Hour or two -- is gone.

XVII.
And those who husbanded the Golden Grain,
And those who flung it to the Winds like Rain,
Alike to no such aureate Earth are turn'd
As, buried once, Men want dug up again.

XVIII.
Think, in this batter'd Caravanserai
Whose Doorways are alternate Night and Day,
How Sultan after Sultan with his Pomp
Abode his Hour or two and went his way.

XIX.
They say the Lion and the Lizard keep
The Courts where Jamshyd gloried and drank deep:
And Bahram, that great Hunter -- the Wild ***
Stamps o'er his Head, but cannot break his Sleep.

**.
I sometimes think that never blows so red
The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;
That every Hyacinth the Garden wears
Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.

XXI.
And this delightful Herb whose tender Green
Fledges the River's Lip on which we lean --
Ah, lean upon it lightly! for who knows
From what once lovely Lip it springs unseen!

XXII.
Ah, my Beloved, fill the Cup that clears
To-day of past Regrets and future Fears --
To-morrow? -- Why, To-morrow I may be
Myself with Yesterday's Sev'n Thousand Years.

XXIII.
Lo! some we loved, the loveliest and best
That Time and Fate of all their Vintage prest,
Have drunk their Cup a Round or two before,
And one by one crept silently to Rest.

XXIV.
And we, that now make merry in the Room
They left, and Summer dresses in new Bloom,
Ourselves must we beneath the Couch of Earth
Descend, ourselves to make a Couch -- for whom?

XXV.
Ah, make the most of what we may yet spend,
Before we too into the Dust descend;
Dust into Dust, and under Dust, to lie;
Sans Wine, sans Song, sans Singer, and -- sans End!

XXVI.
Alike for those who for To-day prepare,
And those that after some To-morrow stare,
A Muezzin from the Tower of Darkness cries
"Fools! Your Reward is neither Here nor There!"

XXVII.
Why, all the Saints and Sages who discuss'd
Of the Two Worlds so learnedly, are ******
Like foolish Prophets forth; their Works to Scorn
Are scatter'd, and their Mouths are stopt with Dust.

XXVIII.
Oh, come with old Khayyam, and leave the Wise
To talk; one thing is certain, that Life flies;
One thing is certain, and the Rest is Lies;
The Flower that once has blown forever dies.

XXIX.
Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great Argument
About it and about; but evermore
Came out by the same Door as in I went.

***.
With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
And with my own hand labour'd it to grow:
And this was all the Harvest that I reap'd --
"I came like Water and like Wind I go."

XXXI.
Into this Universe, and Why not knowing,
Nor Whence, like Water *****-nilly flowing:
And out of it, as Wind along the Waste,
I know not Whither, *****-nilly blowing.

XXXII.
Up from Earth's Centre through the Seventh Gate
I rose, and on the Throne of Saturn sate,
And many Knots unravel'd by the Road;
But not the Master-Knot of Human Fate.

XXXIII.
There was the Door to which I found no Key:
There was the Veil through which I could not see:
Some little talk awhile of Me and Thee
There was -- and then no more of Thee and Me.

XXXIV.
Then to the rolling Heav'n itself I cried,
Asking, "What Lamp had Destiny to guide
Her little Children stumbling in the Dark?"
And -- "A blind Understanding!" Heav'n replied.

XXXV.
Then to the Lip of this poor earthen Urn
I lean'd, the secret Well of Life to learn:
And Lip to Lip it murmur'd -- "While you live,
Drink! -- for, once dead, you never shall return."

XXXVI.
I think the Vessel, that with fugitive
Articulation answer'd, once did live,
And merry-make, and the cold Lip I kiss'd,
How many Kisses might it take -- and give!

XXXVII.
For in the Market-place, one Dusk of Day,
I watch'd the Potter thumping his wet Clay:
And with its all obliterated Tongue
It murmur'd -- "Gently, Brother, gently, pray!"

XXXVIII.
And has not such a Story from of Old
Down Man's successive generations roll'd
Of such a clod of saturated Earth
Cast by the Maker into Human mould?

XXXIX.
Ah, fill the Cup: -- what boots it to repeat
How Time is slipping underneath our Feet:
Unborn To-morrow, and dead Yesterday,
Why fret about them if To-day be sweet!

XL.
A Moment's Halt -- a momentary taste
Of Being from the Well amid the Waste --
And Lo! the phantom Caravan has reach'd
The Nothing it set out from -- Oh, make haste!

XLI.
Oh, plagued no more with Human or Divine,
To-morrow's tangle to itself resign,
And lose your fingers in the tresses of
The Cypress-slender Minister of Wine.

XLII.
Waste not your Hour, nor in the vain pursuit
Of This and That endeavor and dispute;
Better be merry with the fruitful Grape
Than sadden after none, or bitter, fruit.

XLIII.
You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

XLIV.
And lately, by the Tavern Door agape,
Came stealing through the Dusk an Angel Shape
Bearing a Vessel on his Shoulder; and
He bid me taste of it; and 'twas -- the Grape!

XLV.
The Grape that can with Logic absolute
The Two-and-Seventy jarring Sects confute:
The subtle Alchemest that in a Trice
Life's leaden Metal into Gold transmute.

XLVI.
Why, be this Juice the growth of God, who dare
Blaspheme the twisted tendril as Snare?
A Blessing, we should use it, should we not?
And if a Curse -- why, then, Who set it there?

XLVII.
But leave the Wise to wrangle, and with me
The Quarrel of the Universe let be:
And, in some corner of the Hubbub couch'd,
Make Game of that which makes as much of Thee.

XLVIII.
For in and out, above, about, below,
'Tis nothing but a Magic Shadow-show,
Play'd in a Box whose Candle is the Sun,
Round which we Phantom Figures come and go.

XLIX.
Strange, is it not? that of the myriads who
Before us pass'd the door of Darkness through
Not one returns to tell us of the Road,
Which to discover we must travel too.

L.
The Revelations of Devout and Learn'd
Who rose before us, and as Prophets burn'd,
Are all but Stories, which, awoke from Sleep,
They told their fellows, and to Sleep return'd.

LI.
Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
Is't not a shame -- Is't not a shame for him
So long in this Clay suburb to abide?

LII.
But that is but a Tent wherein may rest
A Sultan to the realm of Death addrest;
The Sultan rises, and the dark Ferrash
Strikes, and prepares it for another guest.

LIII.
I sent my Soul through the Invisible,
Some letter of that After-life to spell:
And after many days my Soul return'd
And said, "Behold, Myself am Heav'n and Hell."

LIV.
Heav'n but the Vision of fulfill'd Desire,
And Hell the Shadow of a Soul on fire,
Cast on the Darkness into which Ourselves,
So late emerg'd from, shall so soon expire.

LV.
While the Rose blows along the River Brink,
With old Khayyam and ruby vintage drink:
And when the Angel with his darker Draught
Draws up to Thee -- take that, and do not shrink.

LVI.
And fear not lest Existence closing your
Account, should lose, or know the type no more;
The Eternal Saki from the Bowl has pour'd
Millions of Bubbls like us, and will pour.

LVII.
When You and I behind the Veil are past,
Oh but the long long while the World shall last,
Which of our Coming and Departure heeds
As much as Ocean of a pebble-cast.

LVIII.
'Tis all a Chequer-board of Nights and Days
Where Destiny with Men for Pieces plays:
Hither and thither moves, and mates, and slays,
And one by one back in the Closet lays.

LIX.
The Ball no Question makes of Ayes and Noes,
But Right or Left, as strikes the Player goes;
And he that toss'd Thee down into the Field,
He knows about it all -- He knows -- HE knows!

LX.
The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

LXI.
For let Philosopher and Doctor preach
Of what they will, and what they will not -- each
Is but one Link in an eternal Chain
That none can slip, nor break, nor over-reach.

LXII.
And that inverted Bowl we call The Sky,
Whereunder crawling coop't we live and die,
Lift not thy hands to it for help -- for It
Rolls impotently on as Thou or I.

LXIII.
With Earth's first Clay They did the Last Man knead,
And then of the Last Harvest sow'd the Seed:
Yea, the first Morning of Creation wrote
What the Last Dawn of Reckoning shall read.

LXIV.
Yesterday This Day's Madness did prepare;
To-morrow's Silence, Triumph, or Despair:
Drink! for you know not whence you came, nor why:
Drink! for you know not why you go, nor where.

LXV.
I tell You this -- When, starting from the Goal,
Over the shoulders of the flaming Foal
Of Heav'n Parwin and Mushtari they flung,
In my predestin'd Plot of Dust and Soul.

LXVI.
The Vine has struck a fiber: which about
If clings my Being -- let the Dervish flout;
Of my Base metal may be filed a Key,
That shall unlock the Door he howls without.

LXVII.
And this I know: whether the one True Light,
Kindle to Love, or Wrath -- consume me quite,
One Glimpse of It within the Tavern caught
Better than in the Temple lost outright.

LXVIII.
What! out of senseless Nothing to provoke
A conscious Something to resent the yoke
Of unpermitted Pleasure, under pain
Of Everlasting Penalties, if broke!

LXIX.
What! from his helpless Creature be repaid
Pure Gold for what he lent us dross-allay'd --
Sue for a Debt we never did contract,
And cannot answer -- Oh the sorry trade!

LXX.
Nay, but for terror of his wrathful Face,
I swear I will not call Injustice Grace;
Not one Good Fellow of the Tavern but
Would kick so poor a Coward from the place.

LXXI.
Oh Thou, who didst with pitfall and with gin
Beset the Road I was to wander in,
Thou will not with Predestin'd Evil round
Enmesh me, and impute my Fall to Sin?

LXXII.
Oh, Thou, who Man of baser Earth didst make,
And who with Eden didst devise the Snake;
For all the Sin wherewith the Face of Man
Is blacken'd, Man's Forgiveness give -- and take!

LXXIII.
Listen again. One Evening at the Close
Of Ramazan, ere the better Moon arose,
In that old Potter's Shop I stood alone
With the clay Population round in Rows.

LXXIV.
And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not:
And suddenly one more impatient cried --
"Who is the Potter, pray, and who the ***?"

LXXV.
Then said another -- "Surely not in vain
My Substance from the common Earth was ta'en,
That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
Should stamp me back to common Earth again."

LXXVI.
Another said -- "Why, ne'er a peevish Boy,
Would break the Bowl from which he drank in Joy;
Shall He that made the vessel in pure Love
And Fancy, in an after Rage destroy?"

LXXVII.
None answer'd this; but after Silence spake
A Vessel of a more ungainly Make:
"They sneer at me for leaning all awry;
What! did the Hand then of the Potter shake?"

LXXVIII:
"Why," said another, "Some there are who tell
Of one who threatens he will toss to Hell
The luckless Pots he marred in making -- Pish!
He's a Good Fellow, and 'twill all be well."

LXXIX.
Then said another with a long-drawn Sigh,
"My Clay with long oblivion is gone dry:
But, fill me with the old familiar Juice,
Methinks I might recover by-and-by!"

LXXX.
So while the Vessels one by one were speaking,
The Little Moon look'd in that all were seeking:
And then they jogg'd each other, "Brother! Brother!
Now for the Porter's shoulder-knot a-creaking!"

LXXXI.
Ah, with the Grape my fading Life provide,
And wash my Body whence the Life has died,
And in a Windingsheet of Vine-leaf wrapt,
So bury me by some sweet Garden-side.

LXXXII.
That ev'n my buried Ashes such a Snare
Of Perfume shall fling up into the Air,
As not a True Believer passing by
But shall be overtaken unaware.

LXXXIII.
Indeed the Idols I have loved so long
Have done my Credit in Men's Eye much wrong:
Have drown'd my Honour in a shallow Cup,
And sold my Reputation for a Song.

LXXXIV.
Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
I swore -- but was I sober when I swore?
And then, and then came Spring, and Rose-in-hand
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore.

LXXXV.
And much as Wine has play'd the Infidel,
And robb'd me of my Robe of Honor -- well,
I often wonder what the Vintners buy
One half so precious as the Goods they sell.

LXXXVI.
Alas, that Spring should vanish with the Rose!
That Youth's sweet-scented Manuscript should close!
The Nightingale that in the Branches sang,
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!

LXXXVII.
Would but the Desert of the Fountain yield
One glimpse -- If dimly, yet indeed, reveal'd
To which the fainting Traveller might spring,
As springs the trampled herbage of the field!

LXXXVIII.
Ah Love! could thou and I with Fate conspire
To grasp this sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits -- and then
Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire!

LXXXIX.
Ah, Moon of my Delight who know'st no wane,
The Moon of Heav'n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same Garden after me -- in vain!

XC.
And when like her, oh Saki, you shall pass
Among the Guests star-scatter'd on the Grass,
And in your joyous errand reach the spot
Where I made one -- turn down an empty Glass!
Lysander Gray Oct 2012
Her mouth glittered agape
With sacred promise,
Like a box of unused
Engagement invites
Christening invites
Birthday invites
Still in the wrapper
For sale at a
Lifeline.

When you’d rather live
In a car
Than the zombie stance
Of a modern house,
Clean and soulless
With a hermetically sealed lawn,
Winter pageantry draws to a close
With bogan’s shooting-
Pearly eyed paupers
With constellations in their gaze.
With eyes full of hope and stars
That burnt bright and fade for
Flickering lens light.

Their voices murmur soft
Through catacomb
And underbrush
As only the ephemeral things are whispered of –
Dreams.
The addicts of ideals
The junkies of hope
The drinkers of despair
Have tiger soft tongues.

They lap and feast gladly,
From broken vessels
Chipped with hazardous teeth
That seek to fill their
Ermine mouths with the ******
Draught
Of truth.
Stumbling through wine-hour
They swarm, with tongues ******
And all constellations burnt out.

The hyacinth rides wild
Upon her shoulder,
Writhes in the silver brunt
Of moonlight,
Writhes in the stillness of dead perfume.

Marching to the beat
Of my enemies drum,
My hands inside my pockets.

Little bluebirds spun from dream
Sit on the holy perch,
A branch in all innocent minds.

The redeemed and patient
Make a subtle art from
Long distance perversions.

Similarly as we chase ghosts over Daffodils.

Fields of winter
under lunar glow
sway without us.

Long distance love
lingers with loose lust
along Regret street.

I hung it next to the memory
Of childhood cooking and Indian summers
Without further thought.

It slipped into the novel that took the form
Of an old coat, slipping into the lined pocket
It sank with a sigh.
Satisfied with itself.

Bombarded by the pounding
Dead eyed stare of ***** goddesses,
Broken by the undisputed angelic
And unglued ones,
All moon faced
All hopelessly optimistic
All lawfully rebellious
With green serenity
We pasted our dreams
On a wall so real it shone gossamer.
He counted the imperfections in the glass
With mind hesitation
As the whole world went black,
In a sea of much deserved discontent,
Wishing for the soft.

A moment of pure luck?
Jesus was an astronaut
Smoking Zen by the fire.

Suicidal angst
never had you in sonnets?
What a ******' shame.

Our life is but a song
We never hear.

I chipped away at the excesses
of my baroque person,
each strike took a
Railing
mounting
wall
decoration
desire
demand
exclamation
from the battlements.
All left now, a hill.

I paid for my banquet
with a sip of loneliness
and left behind the question
that asked all quiet poets
the meaning of love,
that asked all quiet poets
to answer with a villanelle
shouted from every
distant peak.

They sent the troopers
to greet me instead,
and my library was put in shackles,
and I kissed their ***** feet.

I answered that I carved this mountain
from the baroque bedrock
upon which they laid their city.
They smiled and asked about the aqueducts.
I wept and spoke of kitchenettes.

A meal provided
on a lead cast plate
my jailor asked about freedom
I answered with defeat.

There were two atoms
One questioned the meaning of existence
The other the existence of meaning.
             -Regardless they looked the same.

An apple on a branch,I took
The same way history takes a footnote.

The same way cashiers are all doctorates.
The same way trains find the station.
The same way you sing like a bird (and I like a cow).
The same way we never really wish to be writers.
The same way our final friend is made of pine.
The same way all streets lead to nowhere.
The same way all jobs **** society.
The same way we always lie to our children.
The same way a man loves a woman.
The opposite way we ****.
The opposite way we make love.
The way that I know a man who’s totem animal is a worker ant and he is unemployed by choice.
The same way we take old memories and turn them into fashion.
The very same way all sacred things become profane and all profanity becomes sacred in the eyes of many.

Dying relic of the Optimistic Seventies,
A new coat of paint for the old irony
     -slap dashed with obscurity.
Although I wear the costume of my enemy,
I will write the exaltation in blue smoke
As **** by an unsuspecting victim
Occurs in the dark.

The face of another love stares down at me.
I smile.
Yet I know it is not her.
I weep.
A sudden method sparks revival.

Jackie Pleasure wore a gray smile,
The anthem of a lost generation:
‘Happiness is lost in smiling.’

You are dead to me,
the boatman calls
I will not taste of your amber lips
I will not taste.

The welfare of all never hinged on darkness as we fear the fall,
A multitude of angels sang their songs
And never learnt to say goodbye
Or cast a long distance eye
Over half spent desire.

Drawn out caricatures,
Paraded intoxication
Flirt with our mistress death
And have her pick up the tab.
She pays with silent music.

The ***, we learn, is a bridge
Between all words and waltz’s,
Our Light Brigade to conquer art.

In the twilight of this, our mansioned night
Let us ring out true with indulgence,
Excess, abandon and the call of ‘yes’
Kali rang on the wire of a golden telephone.
Her name
“Kali, Kali…”
Like a quarrelsome minotaur
Flew through the waves of silk ideal
And strangled the babe
With cool breath.

There was ice (oh yes!) and fire and song.
With our candles burnt down to the ash of all streets
We walk then. We walk.
All life is but a song.

The ghosts of all forgotten stamps
Now echo on the wind of speech.
On High! Oh speak!
Of songs sung but never danced
With our broken dream.
When starlight meets the dust, and
Shadow eats the snow,
All our stories are satin sheer
And all our wants are gone.
We watch the memories march, until
They find a sliver of chrome that showed that place
Where all piano’s live and breathe.
My father in the wishing well,
My mother played trapeze.
My sister never saw the light,
My brother never born.
That was that,
Where stars meet dust
And floorboards sing off key.
Over the course of several months, I carried a small notebook in which I kept random musings and poetic snippets that came to me. This is the compilation of that.
Derrick Feinman Feb 2015
You are the guy with the unkempt room and a cluttered used car. You have many things in your head, from ideas to plans to the latest book you’ve read. You are a dreamer, and that means that if the girl you date isn’t like you, it’s unlikely to work out.

Don’t date a girl who doesn’t travel. She is the girl who wants to travel in theory, but has never made the time. She is the girl with the medicine cabinet filled with cosmetics, hair products, and perfume, but a passport filled with blank pages. She does her hair in memorized strokes every morning as she has been doing this for years now. She is a creature of habit. She is impressed by wealth, nice cars, and titles, but she knows nothing about the world.

Don’t date a girl who doesn’t travel because she will drive you crazy at how she tries to “tame” you. She will regard your life as chaotic and will not be able to understand your many nuances. She will try to make you feel like you need her. With good intentions, she will cling to you and manipulate your life into becoming like hers. You see, she will look at you and treat you as though you are a lost puppy, and regard herself as the kind-hearted woman that will put you in the right path. She will talk to you about security, and you will wonder at her ignorance.

She won’t go to any of the adventures you planned out, because she thinks they are bereft of value and a waste of time. While you have a plethora of foreign currencies in your wallet, she’ll only desire to go to those “foreign” resorts that accept US Dollar. She will not take chances. Her whole life has been inside her comfort zone. Her childhood revolved around a home-to-school-to-home routine. She might never have been allowed to play outside, or she might never have wanted to. She thinks she is better than you because of her stable, 9 to 5 job, which makes you want to gag because you will never want a life like that.

Don’t date a girl who doesn’t travel. Her world is nothing to envy. Her world where the only people he knows are her co-workers and high school classmates who she drinks with at the clubs on the weekends. In her world, net worth is the metric of success. There is no room for making a difference, changing the world, and working for ideals that are bigger than her. Don’t even try to have a conversation about the environment or social issues, she couldn’t care less. Her adventures are about the argument with the co-worker she hates and the other driver that almost hit her when he failed to give way to her SUV on her commute.

She will want to eat in overrated chain restaurants with you, and will frown at you when you ask to try out that food truck down the street. She will cringe at the thought of eating at food stalls at a busy Southeast Asian market or elote from a street cart in Mexico. She will try to lure you into her world, but you are not even tempted by such a dull and dreary alternative. She is oblivious to how unappealing the bait she offers is.

That girl who doesn’t travel has chosen the unexamined and robotic life. You can only watch in despair as she runs on the rat-wheel of her mental cage. She will never understand that, while her wealth is measured by the number of zero’s in her bank account, your wealth is measured on the places you’ve been to and the people you’ve met and whose lives you’ve touched.

She will never understand why you have so many random keepsakes from your travels, like a small soiled napkin from a Moroccan café or the train tickets that you use as bookmarks. She will never opt for the slower and more scenic route. She will not be content to see the world through a window or television. While you are watching the sunset, she is checking her phone.

When you do travel, she will want to rent a car, when in fact you would rather take public transport and meet people with amazing stories. She will get jealous and insecure when you talk to strangers, even those you meet at the bus. You see, she doesn’t talk to anyone she doesn’t know and frequently ignores those she does.

She will ask you not to travel anymore, to settle down. And you consider it. Then you realize that your passion and dreams will end the moment you give in. You have always wanted to travel around the world, to meet people from all walks of life, and to life live to the fullest. There is still so much to be done! There are so many things to see and experience! You imagine yourself two decades from now and you see yourself happy; passport filled with stamps and a refrigerator filled with magnets from different countries. A woman is there with you in that dream, reminiscing about the adventures y’all had.

Unless the girl you’re dating is like you; a free-spirited, adventurous traveler, you don’t deserve each other. Whether by fear or complacency, she is going nowhere. She can keep that dream of a suburban house and a manicured front yard, not let her weigh you down!
This is a variation of a response to the tongue in cheek  Don't Date a Girl Who Travels. I read several responses, both good and bad, online. The problem is that there were none addressed to the men out there who travel. Indeed, a non-traveling partner can be just as burdensome and trapping for us.

I borrowed from and tracked "TO THE GIRLS WHO TRAVEL: DON’T DATE A GUY WHO DOESN’T TRAVEL" from the Bronzed Backpacker blog at https://bronzedbackpacker.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/to-the-girls-who-travel-dont-date-a-guy-who-doesnt-travel/ Her version was one of my favourites.
Mike Essig Apr 2015
This was just published so it is copyright 2015 by Holy Cow Press ~ mce**

Poverty is the fence around your life. Poverty wakes you up at 4 AM only to whisper meaningless slogans in your ear. It is the school of Piranha nibbling at the back of your brain. It is two hours waiting in the anteroom of despair for $22 worth of food stamps and being glad to be there. It is changing your phone number frequently because bill collectors are such boring conversationalists. It is the empty space your heels used to fill. It is letting your hair grow long and scraggly and your grizzled beard sprout because you know that although you sleep in rented rooms tonight, the street is not far off, and you want to fit in when you arrive. Poverty scalds the lint from your pockets. It is your private Treblinka within which you rage but are crushed. It is desperate prayers against dental catastrophes, blown tires, surprises of any sort. Poverty is when everything you own is frayed including your nerves from sleepless moments spent trying to solve the equation that will make X number of dollars cover X + ? number of bills, knowing that such math would defeat Newton or Einstein. Poverty is eying the cat's kibble imagining that with a bit of sugar and a splash of milk it might be fine and then eyeballing the cat himself thinking of protein of last resort and trying not to measure him against the microwave door. You ration your cigarettes; whiskey is a fading memory. Passing a diner on the street, you catch a whiff  of burgers too expensive to consider and experience a Pavlovian  moment. Poverty is trying to keep your head up and then remembering you pawned your neck. Poverty is watching the needle eat your last few gallons of gas. Poverty is the archeology of despair. It portends the death of irony. There is nothing ironic about a car with 217,000 miles and no insurance on it. Facts are facts in the world of poverty. Poverty is the last quarter reclaimed from beneath the cushions. It is too much time and not enough quarters. It is the specious logic of the self-righteous proclaiming that you deserve to be poor because you are, which in Amerika passes for wisdom. Poverty makes each day like the next because nothing does not vary. It is who you are and where you are going, although you won't get far. It is the life you lead inside the fence. It is the sum of what you lack. It just is.
   - mce
My most recently published work, by the folks who pronounced me dead.
What does it mean to be a Chicano/Latino in the US?
What does it mean to be Black in the US?
What does it mean to be a minority in the States?
You know what that means...it means that we have a lot to prove  
As in the words of Booker T. Washington:

"When a white boy undertakes a task,
it is taken for granted that he will succeed.
On the other hand, people are usually surprised
If the [*****] boy does not fail. In a word, the [*****] youth
starts out with the presumption against him."

Now in a society where institutionalized racism,
Or racism without racists, prevails
We are disenfranchised from even being considered youth.
We are a bunch of wetbacks, idiots, *****...you name it,
Where failure is expected of us...

...but enough is enough, we should not abide to the stereotypes
And stigmas that society stamps on our foreheads.
As a matter of fact, I do not ever recall giving this white patriarchal society
My blessing to call me whatever the * it decides to call me.
We are here to take manners into our own hands, here to do whatever the heck our heart desires.
We are here to create the change that we wish to see in the world.
We are here to become the few & growing positive statistics that we fight for.
We are here to create voice and shed the light on those wins that we take to our hearts.

No one is here here to reflect the stereotype that this *
**
up society
Tries to slap us with on an everyday basis.
We are here to change perception of who we are and where we stand in society.
We are positive statistics...not a stereotype.
Quote taken from Booker T. Washington's "Up From Slavery: An Autobiography"
C Jun 2017
It's been drilled in every poor man's head,
by a man only slightly less poor
"money cannot buy happiness."
But I disagree!
If you say that,
You have not watched your father scream at God at 7 in the morning,
questioning His existence,
as we get kicked out of
the second house that year.

I no longer find excitement
in new places.

You've never waited for the first of the month.
Every month.
In order to eat something other than spaghetti
and dollar store hot dogs.

You've never had your power shut off for an entire month
And watch as your family rips apart,
boiling water on the stove just to bathe.

Your parents owe everyone money.

You've never worked in order to buy your cleats, yearbooks, and school supplies.
Only to have your parents take that money, too.

You can send your vibes,
and tell me to think positive.
But the world is distorted!
Our lives are only better now because my family got jobs.

Before,
I watched a bulldozer
go through the house I grew up in,
as the bank sold our home
and built an auto-parts store over dirt
I used to ride my bike on.
The last pieces of my grandmother, crumbled.
My father stayed up every night
and slept through every holiday and birthday, since.

Is that happiness?
He used to drink orange juice
out of cups that curved,
like his smile used to,
licking droplets of orange sun
off of his lips;
sun beams,
that shined from his face,
and his eyes,
which was unfair
because he knew;
I'm telling you,
he knew,
that summer was my favorite time of year.
And when the sun hit me,
like a thousand arrows,
from the bow of Heartbreak,
that I would think of him
and his orange juice cup.
And question all the reseons he sent me letters
with different stamps,
always scribbled in black lines,
like his pupils,
when I let him see through the jail bars of my soul,
and I asked him,
no,
I begged him to leave me cuffed to the wall,
with no food or water,
starving my desire to love again,
knowing that if I devoured every word,
every sound,
and memory,
of trembling hands on first dates,
leaning in to kiss me,
with lips and fists at the nape of my neck,
clinging to me like feathers;
with every single intake of breath,
and caterpillars that wrapped themselves in silk,
and waited for days and nights to pass,
until finally,
they spread their wings to reveal Picasso's paintings,
that I would eventually die of starvation,
as the words ran out,
and the kisses became short,
and the butterflies died...
He knew.
He knew that I loved summer;
and the drops of orange juice on his lips.
Mikey Barnes Oct 2018
i have decided i no longer want my jacket back.
the one with no sleeves and the handmade back patch
that i liked to wear over hoodies -
you can keep it.

not that i don't miss my jacket,
because i do.
the louis theroux patch with iron-on backing...
the only somewhat ironic high school musical pin...
the hand-stitched ***** division pink triangle...
it was a ******* cool jacket.
but i no longer want it back.

when i left my jacket hanging on your wardrobe door
we both thought i'd see you soon,
but that was last june
and november's creeping round.
you're a college kid now.
your family packed up and left,
and i guess i'm fine with that
because i no longer want my jacket back.

i will no longer send you passive-agressive messages on facebook, kik, or whatsapp
asking for my jacket back.
when my friends offer to send you vaguely threatening emojis
conveying that they may or may not be willing to throw hands for my jacket,
i will say no.

sometimes i fantasise about what might have happened to my jacket.
i imagine your mother, pragmatic as always,
throwing away every trace of me remaining post-break up.
i picture you in a fit of rage
hacking my hard work to pieces.
i doubt that you took it to new york with you,
but somehow that's the scenario i like the least.

sometimes i think how if i had never met you
i would now own 25% more jackets.
but,
had i never met you,
i would also own 30% fewer pyjama shirts,
several less ****** hang-ups,
and 2 fewer stamps in my passport.

what i'm saying is
no matter what you did with it,
i forgive you
for not mailing it when you promised to.
and i forgive me
for leaving it in the first place.
i no longer want my jacket back,
because it probably wouldn't be the same anyway.
i have been moaning about my ex not returning my jacket to me for over a year now. i guess writing a poem means i'm finally over it?
Frank Ruland Nov 2014
.     Hello, friend. Have you ever felt attracted towards a certain, special individual? Yes, we all have, and those feelings are completely natural. But, there are some places where romance should be kept well out of. Namely, the workplace. Beware, friend--there are inherent dangers in dating coworkers.
     Is your cubicle becoming rather steamy? The kitchen starting to be a little hotter than usual? Is there chemistry happening in the laboratory that isn't occurring in beakers or concern the elements of the periodic table? Well, then you may want to cease and desist any further flirtation for fear of finding your future, life, and career in fiery fortune. Don't believe me? Let's just look at the lives of three people who did choose to date coworkers so you can see the dangers of inter-workplace relationships firsthand.

     Meet Suzy. She worked at an office supplies warehouse alongside Bob. They began dating, and all was well until she walked in on Bob licking Jenny's personal stamps. She became somewhat flustered and was accused of assaulting Bob with a stapler. She was promptly fired and given a three month restraining order out of fear of her finishing the job. What a mess.

     Here we have Jack. He works as a line cook for an Italian restaurant. He began dating a server named Betty shortly after his promotion to sous chef. Again, all was well for a time, but then... disaster. Betty became slightly jealous upon hearing Jack ask Mel if she wanted her cannoli filled with cream. An innocent question--but one that responded to by chucking a cleaver at her now ex-boyfriend. What became of Jack? Well, let's just say he's one Italian Stallion whose not so well hung now. Just terrible.

And lastly, we have Ted. Ted works as a lab technician for a company that produces industrial use cleaning solvents. Ted befriended a lab assistant named Patty, and it wasn't long before exothermic processes were happening on a regular basis between the two. All was well until Patty saw a text on Ted's phone saying, "I'm sorry about destroying your equipment last night. I didn't know my explosion would be so huge!" Little did Patty know, Ted's message was to his science fair project partner from high school concerning an experiment that had taken place, and not of the ****** nature. Their relationship ended with her throwing sulfuric acid in Ted's face. No bueno.

     Yes, tragedy tends to strike at the drop of a hat, especially when the critically sensitive emotions between partners of a relationship come into play. But, when you forge relationships with the people you see everyday at work, things can sometimes go horribly awry. Don't end up like any of these unfortunate souls, friend! There's a time and place for romance, but that time and place need not be on the clock.
The second installment in my Public Service Announcement series! Please, if you enjoy, let me know what you think and if it made you laugh. I highly desire feedback on these poems. If they're not good, I may stop :/ Thank you, friend!
Madisen Kuhn Apr 2014
i am
monday nights filled with
candlelit journal entries
and sipping hot tea while
watching rain bounce off
the roof and open windows
in autumn and messy hand-
written letters and white
tees and cuffed jeans and
pb&j; with the crust cut
off and folded origami
cranes and watching the
sun rise while everyone
else is tucked away in
their beds and midnight
car rides and candid smiles
and lists written in blue
ink and wildflowers and
mountains and birds singing
and books and movies that
make you cry and nicknames
and flannels in the winter
and soft music and loud
music and moments recorded
only by memory and pumpkin
pie and forever stamps
i am all the little things
and if you don’t make an
effort to understand why i
love all the things i love
you will never understand
me
written on 10/1/13
Millions of babies watching the skies
Bellies swollen, with big round eyes
On Jessore Road--long bamboo huts
Noplace to **** but sand channel ruts

Millions of fathers in rain
Millions of mothers in pain
Millions of brothers in woe
Millions of sisters nowhere to go

One Million aunts are dying for bread
One Million uncles lamenting the dead
Grandfather millions homeless and sad
Grandmother millions silently mad

Millions of daughters walk in the mud
Millions of children wash in the flood
A Million girls ***** & groan
Millions of families hopeless alone

Millions of souls nineteenseventyone
homeless on Jessore road under grey sun
A million are dead, the million who can
Walk toward Calcutta from East Pakistan

Taxi September along Jessore Road
Oxcart skeletons drag charcoal load
past watery fields thru rain flood ruts
Dung cakes on treetrunks, plastic-roof huts

Wet processions   Families walk
Stunted boys    big heads don't talk
Look bony skulls   & silent round eyes
Starving black angels in human disguise

Mother squats weeping & points to her sons
Standing thin legged    like elderly nuns
small bodied    hands to their mouths in prayer
Five months small food    since they settled there

on one floor mat   with small empty ***
Father lifts up his hands at their lot
Tears come to their mother's eye
Pain makes mother Maya cry

Two children together    in palmroof shade
Stare at me   no word is said
Rice ration, lentils   one time a week
Milk powder for warweary infants meek

No vegetable money or work for the man
Rice lasts four days    eat while they can
Then children starve    three days in a row
and ***** their next food   unless they eat slow.

On Jessore road    Mother wept at my knees
Bengali tongue    cried mister Please
Identity card    torn up on the floor
Husband still waits    at the camp office door

Baby at play I was washing the flood
Now they won't give us any more food
The pieces are here in my celluloid purse
Innocent baby play    our death curse

Two policemen surrounded     by thousands of boys
Crowded waiting    their daily bread joys
Carry big whistles    & long bamboo sticks
to whack them in line    They play hungry tricks

Breaking the line   and jumping in front
Into the circle    sneaks one skinny runt
Two brothers dance forward    on the mud stage
Teh gaurds blow their whistles    & chase them in rage

Why are these infants    massed in this place
Laughing in play    & pushing for space
Why do they wait here so cheerful   & dread
Why this is the House where they give children bread

The man in the bread door   Cries & comes out
Thousands of boys and girls    Take up his shout
Is it joy? is it prayer?    "No more bread today"
Thousands of Children  at once scream "Hooray!"

Run home to tents    where elders await
Messenger children   with bread from the state
No bread more today! & and no place to squat
Painful baby, sick **** he has got.

Malnutrition skulls thousands for months
Dysentery drains    bowels all at once
Nurse shows disease card    Enterostrep
Suspension is wanting    or else chlorostrep

Refugee camps    in hospital shacks
Newborn lay naked    on mother's thin laps
Monkeysized week old    Rheumatic babe eye
Gastoenteritis Blood Poison    thousands must die

September Jessore    Road rickshaw
50,000 souls   in one camp I saw
Rows of bamboo    huts in the flood
Open drains, & wet families waiting for food

Border trucks flooded, food cant get past,
American Angel machine   please come fast!
Where is Ambassador Bunker today?
Are his Helios machinegunning children at play?

Where are the helicopters of U.S. AID?
Smuggling dope in Bangkok's green shade.
Where is America's Air Force of Light?
Bombing North Laos all day and all night?

Where are the President's Armies of Gold?
Billionaire Navies    merciful Bold?
Bringing us medicine    food and relief?
Napalming North Viet Nam    and causing more grief?

Where are our tears?  Who weeps for the pain?
Where can these families go in the rain?
Jessore Road's children close their big eyes
Where will we sleep when Our Father dies?

Whom shall we pray to for rice and for care?
Who can bring bread to this **** flood foul'd lair?
Millions of children alone in the rain!
Millions of children weeping in pain!

Ring O ye tongues of the world for their woe
Ring out ye voices for Love we don't know
Ring out ye bells of electrical pain
Ring in the conscious of America brain

How many children are we who are lost
Whose are these daughters we see turn to ghost?
What are our souls that we have lost care?
Ring out ye musics and weep if you dare--

Cries in the mud by the thatch'd house sand drain
Sleeps in huge pipes in the wet ****-field rain
waits by the pump well, Woe to the world!
whose children still starve    in their mother's arms curled.

Is this what I did to myself in the past?
What shall I do Sunil Poet I asked?
Move on and leave them without any coins?
What should I care for the love of my *****?

What should we care for our cities and cars?
What shall we buy with our Food Stamps on Mars?
How many millions sit down in New York
& sup this night's table on bone & roast pork?

How many millions of beer cans are tossed
in Oceans of Mother? How much does She cost?
Cigar gasolines and   asphalt car dreams
Stinking the world and dimming star beams--

Finish the war in your breast    with a sigh
Come tast the tears    in your own Human eye
Pity us millions of phantoms you see
Starved in Samsara   on planet TV

How many millions of children die more
before our Good Mothers perceive the Great Lord?
How many good fathers pay tax to rebuild
Armed forces that boast    the children they've killed?

How many souls walk through Maya in pain
How many babes    in illusory pain?
How many families   hollow eyed  lost?
How many grandmothers    turning to ghost?

How many loves who never get bread?
How many Aunts with holes in their head?
How many sisters skulls on the ground?
How many grandfathers   make no more sound?

How many fathers in woe
How many sons   nowhere to go?
How many daughters    nothing to eat?
How many uncles   with swollen sick feet?

Millions of babies in pain
Millions of mothers in rain
Millions of brothers in woe
Millions of children    nowhere to go

                                        New York, November 14-16, 1971
I tried
Slashing the wrists of poverty
With an EBT swipe
But he isn’t merely food stamps
He is needle
He is malt
Licker of oppressed *******
****** dreams
*******’d by sored gums
lonely as a dry and used orchard
spread over the earth
for use and surrender.

shot down like an ex-pug selling
dailies on the corner.

taken by tears like
an aging chorus girl
who has gotten her last check.

a hanky is in order your lord your
worship.

the blackbirds are rough today
like
ingrown toenails
in an overnight
jail---
wine wine whine,
the blackbirds run around and
fly around
harping about
Spanish melodies and bones.

and everywhere is
nowhere---
the dream is as bad as
flapjacks and flat tires:

why do we go on
with our minds and
pockets full of
dust
like a bad boy just out of
school---
you tell
me,
you who were a hero in some
revolution
you who teach children
you who drink with calmness
you who own large homes
and walk in gardens
you who have killed a man and own a
beautiful wife
you tell me
why I am on fire like old dry
garbage.

we might surely have some interesting
correspondence.
it will keep the mailman busy.
and the butterflies and ants and bridges and
cemeteries
the rocket-makers and dogs and garage mechanics
will still go on a
while
until we run out of stamps
and/or
ideas.

don't be ashamed of
anything; I guess God meant it all
like
locks on
doors.
Aaron LaLux Jul 2016
Warning Shots

Yo boy just chill,
I don’t give a fck I’m a muthafckn gangsta,
don’t be fooled by this smile on my face,
nothing funny around this way boy,

I’m from the streets,
don’t underestimate this cracka,
just because I’m white doesn’t mean ****t,
we’re all strapped and we don’t play either,

I’ve had guns in my face,
looked straight down the barrel,
told those jackers they had the wrong guy,
waited a few weeks to sic the bloodhounds on them,

look man,
everything I am is real,
24 karat gold on my neck,
passport full of stamps,
angel wings on my back,
represents my lil sister that passed,
she’s my Guardian Angel,
she watches over me,
I’m not scared of death,
actually I welcome such things,

in the City of Angels,
where you could become one any moment,
born and raised,
from Mulholland Dr. all the way to Crenshaw in Compton,

come on son,
no need to test,
do you know how many mouths I feed,
do you know how many families depend on me,
do you really think that all of these,
cats I know will let you take the food from their mouths?

Don’t be so naive,

please,

just chill,
I don’t give a fck I’m a muthafckn gangsta,
don’t be fooled by this smile on my face,
nothing funny around this way boy,

I’ve really been there,
crack smoke and 40’s,
crackheads suckin’ *****,
used to call them Five Dollar Shorties,

of course we,
now dress well and don’t be startin’ ****t,
when you’re from the streets and had to eat beef,
once you get out you don’t want any part of it,

I started with,
no money not even a dollar,
and the best part about becoming self made,
is now I don’t have to be bothered,
I don’t have to engage with losers,
I don’t have to waste time with broke fcks,
I don’t have to engage with haters,
I don’t have to quarrel with the hopeless,

I wrote this,
as a warning and as a lesson,
the warning is don’t fck with us,
unless you come offering blessings,

the lesson is you can make it to,
if you just stop hating dude,
and if you want to try and take it dude,
trust me I’ve got gorillas that would just love breaking you,

I know guys with monster hands,
they could lift you up by your face,
then crush you whole skull in,
what part of don’t fckn fck with us do you not understand?

Yo boy just chill,
I don’t give a fck I’m a muthafckn gangsta,
don’t be fooled by this smile on my face,
nothing funny around this way boy…

∆ Aaron La Lux ∆

Volume 1
The H Trilogy
The City of Angels
I just published a new book.
If you could take a moment to check it out,
and even write a review it'd be most appreciated.
All profits go to a charity that prevents child abuse and ****** assault.
So not only are you getting an epic book of poetry,
but you're also supporting a good cause.
Thank you SO much!

https://www.amazon.com/Trilogy-City-Angels-Aaron-Lux/dp/1535054328
Straight Up
baygls 4 lyfe Sep 2014
Like the bike you bought after saving lawn-mowing money for a year, welfare reform was the prized trophy of the conservative governing philosophy. We believed that we'd found the vehicle of social mobility for poor Americans, once and for all. No one should live on taxpayer money without doing some work on their own, right? Everyone agrees, right?

Wrong. President Obama ran over our bicycle, issuing illegal waivers to welfare's work requirements and taking the wheels off the program. The fact is, we never won the welfare battle after all. Out of the 80 different federal welfare programs, the '96 welfare reform really only fixed one. A third of the U.S. population received benefits from one or more of these 80 programs in 2011. According to the Department of Agriculture, one program alone – food stamps – gave benefits to a record-breaking 47.7 million in the last month of 2012, benefits those millions didn't have to work to receive.

Rep. Paul Ryan recently said it's time to use the 1996 reform as a model to fix the rest of welfare. He's right, for at least five compelling reasons.

1. America's welfare programs are redundant and inefficient. As The Heritage Foundation's welfare expert Rachel Sheffield noted, there are at least 12 separate programs providing food aid, 12 funding social services, and 12 assisting education. Average benefits from all welfare programs are about $9,000 per recipient. If you converted those programs to cash, it would be more than five times the amount needed to raise every household above the poverty line. We should streamline redundant programs to save money while getting the same or better value.

2. Means-tested welfare programs are fiscally unsustainable. These cost nearly $1 trillion annually. By the end of the decade, welfare spending will rise from five percent to six percent of GDP. This means every taxpaying family would have to make, and then give up, over $100,000 in the next ten years – just to cover the cost of welfare spending.

Imagine this: If government spending were a pie, welfare would be a bigger slice than defense, education, or even social security. This isn't apple pie a la mode. It's poison-the-economy pie with a side of swamp-our-children-in-debt ice cream.

3. The welfare state encourages dependence instead of lifting people out of poverty. Poverty has actually increased with federal spending on anti-poverty programs. Adjusted for inflation, we've spent nearly $20 trillion total on “the war on poverty.” That's more than the combined price tag of all America's wars. Ever. From the American Revolution through Afghanistan, we've spent less than $7 trillion. These days, we spend 13 times what we spent on welfare in the 1960s. Guess what? In 1966, the share of the population living below the poverty threshold was 14.7%; by 2011, that share rose to 15.0%.

This spending gives people significant incentives to stay on welfare. According to the Senate Budget Committee, if you break down welfare spending per household in poverty, recipients are making $30/hour. That's higher than the $25/hour median income – certainly more than what I make per hour.

4. Welfare dependence creates behavioral poverty. Perhaps President Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best: “Continued dependence upon relief induces a spiritual and moral disintegration fundamentally destructive to the national fibre. To dole out relief in this way is to administer a narcotic, a subtle destroyer of the human spirit.” To become comfortable relying on the work of others instead of your own work will change your character, and the character of the nation. Americans want to give everyone a helping hand, but hand-holding year after year, generation after generation, patronizes, corrodes, entraps. In the words of welfare policy experts Robert Rector and Jennifer Marshall writing in National Affairs:

Material poverty has been replaced by a far deeper “behavioral poverty” — a vicious cycle of ***** childbearing, social dysfunction, and welfare dependency in poor communities. Even as the welfare state has improved the material comfort of low-income Americans by transferring enormous financial resources to them, it has exacerbated these behavioral problems. The result has been the disintegration of the work ethic, family structure, and social fabric of large segments of the American population, which has in turn created a new dependency class.

Is this the America we want? It is not compassionate to leave a whole class of people in perpetual dependence. Behavioral poverty cuts off millions of citizens from a chance at American opportunity, destroying the virtues necessary to sustain oneself. My generation has seen the effects of behavioral poverty – in D.C., Detroit, or my hometown, Cleveland. Whole neighborhoods rot. To many, this cycle of dependence indicts the principles of American society as inherently unfair.

5. Work requirements promote individual responsibility and reduce poverty. Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) work requirements slashed welfare caseloads by nearly 60 percent. Poverty among all single mothers fell 30 percent. About 3 million fewer children lived in poverty in 2003 than in 1995.
Because I am not a lying sack of ****, I got my info from spectator.org
Mateuš Conrad Sep 2018
.you might ask: why isn't third-party "issues": 34% in bold?! simple... depends who you do it with... AND believe me... we must be living in the golden age of prostitution... god they care about protection, one even said to me: i get checked for S.T.D.'s on a regular basis... and i'm pretty sure AIDS doesn't travel from the oral consumption of ****... stomach acids and whatnot... see... transparency... even if it was "****"... when she's crying like that... would i walk into a shop a buy / steal a leg of lamb with or without the usage of a transaction meta-object? hell... i'm interested in the metaphysics of money, sue me... but you never invest a person into the formula of ******* with a *******... there's absolutely zilch, in terms of investing with something beside your body... your character and what not... pure Newtonian physics... two ****-naked bodies colliding... and since it's a legal transaction... ****... what lie is there, breach of conduct? if you don't pay... the **** gets his way: adding fist to the face, first, and then a fist up your ***: and you can scream ****! ****! ****! all you want by then... the English can't accomplish the perfected art of an affair akin to the French... it's not in their Huguenots' nature... so why the elaborate lie? **** it... an hour at a brothel... and let me tell you... a ******* will ask you questions like a priest: questions like: do you have a girlfriend? affair over what? an hour, an impersonal hour with what allures a soul, a thought, but is fundamentally the reciprocal posit of your own body... sure as **** beats the ******* / stripper profession ****-tease... god... they're so ******* ethical these days, actually caring, telling you whether or not they check themselves regularly for STDs... mind you... one of them told me a story about a ****** in a Spanish brothel, by some pundit.

let's be honest, for once...
there's no point parading the matter,
orchestrated by some
distant pompous sentiment
for: whatever life was
supposed to be, for all of us,
but never became -
an alignment of thought and
being...
              
  what the **** has someone
done with my fox?! well... "my" fox...
he hasn't been seen
for two nights and i'm getting
worried!


i am a drunk -
        my maternal grandfather
was a drunk,
my paternal grandfather was
a drunk, my uncle is a drunk...
only my father with his
father complex is the odd one out...
genes took over...
if i didn't drink,
as i once did...
   bah... a fairy tale...
           why bother lying?

point being: i'm far from a drunk fiend...
a fiend nonetheless -
benevolent at times -
like... ah... **** it... whatever:
i'm not going to gloat about
my antics...

but at least i own my predisposition,
and thank **** that i'm
not looking for a partner -
as my grandmother used to
say about her son (my uncle):
it be better he stays alone
that brings misery to any woman...

hey, i have a drunk's perfect
stash of interests!
   i'm not going to repent either...
do "you" even think it would
be possible to
read a single book of philosophy
when paired to a woman?
i don't think so...

            and the hours i spend at
night, headphones on,
listening to **** like 90s sub-grunge
akin to mad season (song,
i'm alone)?
   **** no!

                i'd have philosophy in
body, looking across from me...
    i'm starting to contemplate
that man has internalized
the perfect woman...
while woman?
  has internalized the most imperfect
man...

           i'm starting to think
that, the whole physical reality,
puritanical materialism -
hell - going as far as undermining
the theory with transgenderism...
can i say that men are more patient
than women, when it should
be the opposite?
   well... then again, "should"...

i am what any woman would
consider - broken goods...
good... i like that...
       it means i can be left the **** alone...
drink as much as i want,
read as much of what middle-aged
women call: drivel (philosophy)
and spend my time listening
to a back-catalog of bands from
the 90s... or the prior century...

what... with the current statistics
from the Sunday Times Style
magazine?
      53% contra 32% of women
and men (respectively)
          are happier post-divorce...
61% contra 47% are happy staying single
post-divorce...
happy new singletons:
aged 55...
                 42% of marriages
are affected by divorce...
                86% cited not being ashamed
of divorce...
      ill harbor imbedded in
a former spouse men (17%) - women (8%)...
argument for divorce:
my spouse "changed" (49%) -
now... this is interesting -
i remember seeing this same *******
over a wide span of time...
the second time i saw her -
she said to me: but you haven't changed -
and subsequently starting crying
while drunk during ***...
so i know where "change" argument comes
from...
    ***** i aged... finito!
males more likely to date within
the first 6 months...
     66% had children of ex-spouses...
    90% agreed that staying in an unhappy
marriage is worse than divorce...
   i bet 99% would find life more rosy
than being dead: what with being wed
to life... sure as ****: i've seen my grandparents
at it... my parents... life outside of
marital constraints is so ******* rosy!
food stamps and no central heating...
rosy as ****!
          third-party "issues": 34%...
lack of communication: 29%
    incompatibility: 23%
          abuse: 22%...
           different "life goals": 20%...
***-related problems: 11%...
                  in-laws: 7%,
  parenting problems: 5%...
          financial issues: 14%...
well... well well...
isn't life just peachy!
           those percentages in bold?
they're in bold for a ******* reason...
the only reasons that would
make a divorce definitely prudish...
    the rest?
fickle people... little fickle people...
it's like eating a bowl of Haribo sweets!
the choices!

stats? Style report -
     1,060 of women and men surveyed
Fleur Britten...
     Style Magazine 23 Sept 2018...

well... i'm out, always was out...
no woman wants a drink,
and i have Sophia to think about...
       and what a spectacular failure
i am in this department...
the longest "relationship" i was in
didn't even pass the half year mark...
and that's even before i started
my career in drinking with Jack -
(by the way, he sends his warmest
regards) -

            bitter? no... not really...
i can't share a bed with a ******* cat,
let alone something much larger
and not furry...
             my bitterness dies within
the confines of an hour with
some Bulgarian girl
   who cries when she notices
my heart is an unwavering rock...

            hell... when she started crying
like that during ***,
talking about her daughter...
    what are you supposed to do
if not stop, cuddle,
and kiss her tears?
Ugo Nov 2012
We sipped boulder rock from refrigerators doors
and watched the heavens hand out food stamps with IBM logos.
“ode to Mehmet” we sang, and licked the Mossberg—
fixating on the blue collar philosophy that lived in our empty wallets.

Trash cans filled with water bottles stared at us to find our essence—
the one we had lost while being fed quintessential American idioms
in state-of-the-art classrooms sponsored by slaves and Popol Vuh blood.

Six million years of human existence trivialized down to a single sentence—
* Man loved God, man wrote, man conquered God, and now man loves science* —
scribbled on SmartBoards afforded by fire burning from Prometheus’ female liver.

Trees sing with oxygen no more for the sake of making paper,
and eyes soak in the words on paper for the sake of making paper.
Trees make the avenue but the future holds an Avenue of no trees—
… for in the land of the free, anything but freedom ain’t free.
Raj Arumugam Feb 2012
Ok…today I’m talking about my friends…in the pre-cyberspace era and now in 2012…feel free to interrupt and ask questions as they pop up in your heads…


Part 1: pre-cyberspace

1
I love this age
of the internet

but ages ago
(pre-cyberspace)
I was lonely
I had no friends
and my neighbors
gave me ***** looks;
and my classmates
when I gave them scone
they gave me scorn


2
I wrote to prospective penpals
but they never replied -
those *******!
Nothing ever in my mail
in exchange for the thousands I sent!
It was just a ***** scheme
to collect my stamps!
And maybe they’re Buffet-style investors –
thought one day I’ll be famous
so they’ve collected my letters
in my elegant handwriting...


3
by the way
any of you of my age here at this site -
any of you got my unloved, collected penpal letters?
Well you know what?
I never became famous;
I became a poet
and poets never make money -
so what have you got?
My letters you collected
are as worthless as banana peel!
Losers!
You should have bought Coca-Cola shares
like Warren Buffet!
Losers!





Part 2: and then came cyberspace

4
Ah, so woe was me then
with no friends -
then came the internet
And wow! Did I get mail!
Now I’ve got countless mail and mail again –
You’ve got mail!
You’ve got mail!
chirp my computers!
(Yeah – I got so much mail
I need a herd of computers!)
And what did you say?
Spam? Junk mail?
I mean, OK, there’s junk mail and spam, yeah –
Hey! What’s wrong with you guys?
You people have too many questions!
You jelalous?
One thing’s sure never changed in the world -
All you wise guys and spoilsports!

5
Well
and as the tornado of my e-mails implies
the internet has brought me countless friends:
Hey, all those penpals who never replied -
Eat your hearts out, baby! -
Cos yours truly now has
countless numbers of friends
at various sites like *Faceless

Friendless, Lonely Hearts Full of Holes
to mention just a few

6
And you know what?
I get so many just writing to me - to me,
with requests –
Requests! - see how polite and civilised my friends be?
Well, there’re just so many
I’ve had to turn down quite a few
who’re not, shall we say,
not good-looking enough, unlike me…
You know, it’s important, to be seen in good company
What?
Sure…you want proof? Just a few names
from the infinite list of my friends will suffice, you say?
Yeah, here are some of my friends with such distinguished names:
Gummy bear…Porcupine…Desperado…Mexican Jumping Beans…
Kosovo Sweetheart…Reindeer Pie…China Doll…Ninja Turtles…

And hey – don’t you try steal any of my friends!
Sure some people turn me down –
like that guy what’s-his-name in Syria?
Yeah – him…he said he doesn’t want to be friends;
says he’s too busy fixing his people…
Then I asked
yeah, I asked President Obama – but he said
he has got enough Aussie friends,
in high places, might I add, he said
Oh, but he’s no idea about
the value of my Friends Database!
I asked Vladamir Putin
(since he’s so many friends in Russia)
but he says he’s busy at the moment
caring for the people of his nation…
(No wonder he’s so many friends in his nation
who all turn out in the streets to show him their love.)
But hey? Who needs them anyway -
when I’ve got friends like Rasputin?
Yeah, see – I’ve not only friends in cyberpsace
but from otherspace too,
but that’s another story…

Point being: thanks to cyberspace
at last
I’ve got all the friends I want!
By the way,
did I mention my friend Chubby Pinch My Bottom?

— The End —