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  #31  
Old 04-12-2017, 06:39 PM
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"This Is a Photograph of Me" by Margaret Atwood

It was taken some time ago.
At first it seems to be
a smeared
print: blurred lines and grey flecks
blended with the paper;

then, as you scan
it, you see in the left-hand corner
a thing that is like a branch: part of a tree
(balsam or spruce) emerging
and, to the right, halfway up
what ought to be a gentle
slope, a small frame house.

In the background there is a lake,
and beyond that, some low hills.

(The photograph was taken
the day after I drowned.

I am in the lake, in the center
of the picture, just under the surface.

It is difficult to say where
precisely, or to say
how large or small I am:
the effect of water
on light is a distortion

but if you look long enough,
eventually
you will be able to see me.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Kerouac - On The Road
Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?
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  #32  
Old 04-19-2017, 06:56 PM
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"Dover Beach" by Matthew Arnold

The sea is calm tonight.
The tide is full, the moon lies fair
Upon the straits; on the French coast the light
Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand,
Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay.
Come to the window, sweet is the night-air!
Only, from the long line of spray
Where the sea meets the moon-blanched land,
Listen! you hear the grating roar
Of pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,
At their return, up the high strand,
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Sophocles long ago
Heard it on the Ægean, and it brought
Into his mind the turbid ebb and flow
Of human misery; we
Find also in the sound a thought,
Hearing it by this distant northern sea.

The Sea of Faith
Was once, too, at the full, and round earth’s shore
Lay like the folds of a bright girdle furled.
But now I only hear
Its melancholy, long, withdrawing roar,
Retreating, to the breath
Of the night-wind, down the vast edges drear
And naked shingles of the world.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Kerouac - On The Road
Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?
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  #33  
Old 04-25-2017, 06:16 AM
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"Ride" by Lana Del Rey

"I was in the winter of my life, and the men I met along the road were my only summer.
At night I fell asleep with visions of myself, dancing and laughing and crying with them.
Three years down the line of being on an endless world tour, and my memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times.
I was a singer - not a very popular one,
I once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet, but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again, sparkling and broken.
But I didn't really mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted, and then losing it to know what true freedom is.
When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I'd been living, they asked me why - but there's no use in talking to people who have a home.
They have no idea what it's like to seek safety in other people - for home to be wherever you lay your head.
I was always an unusual girl.
My mother told me I had a chameleon soul, no moral compass pointing due north, no fixed personality; just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and as wavering as the ocean...
And if I said I didn't plan for it to turn out this way I'd be lying...
Because I was born to be the other woman.
Who belonged to no one, who belonged to everyone.
Who had nothing, who wanted everything, with a fire for every experience and an obsession for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn't even talk about it, and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me."

I've been out on that open road
You can be my full time daddy,
White and gold
Singing blues has been getting old
You can be my full time baby,
Hot or cold

Don't break me down
I've been travelin' too long
I've been trying too hard
With one pretty song

I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast, I am alone in midnight
Been tryin' hard not to get into trouble,
But I, I've got a war in my mind
So, I just ride, just ride,
I just ride, just ride

Dying young and I'm playing hard
That's the way my father made his life an art
Drink all day and we talk 'til dark
That's the way the road dogs do it – ride 'til dark.

Don't leave me now
Don't say good bye
Don't turn around
Leave me high and dry

I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast, I am alone in midnight
Been tryin' hard not to get into trouble,
But I, I've got a war in my mind
I just ride, just ride,
I just ride, just ride

I'm tired of feeling like I'm fucking crazy
I'm tired of driving 'til I see stars in my eyes
It's all I've got to keep myself sane, baby
So I just ride, I just ride

I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast, I am alone in midnight
Been tryin' hard not to get into trouble,
But I, I've got a war in my mind
I just ride, just ride,
I just ride, I just ride


"Every night I used to pray that I'd find my people, and finally I did on the open road.
We had nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore, except to make our lives into a work of art.
Live fast. Die young. Be wild. And have fun.
I believe in the country America used to be.
I believe in the person I want to become.
I believe in the freedom of the open road.
And my motto is the same as ever:
'I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I'm at war with myself I ride, I just ride.'
Who are you?
Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies?
Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them?
I have. I am fucking crazy.
But I am free."
__________________
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Kerouac - On The Road
Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?
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  #34  
Old 04-26-2017, 02:12 AM
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"I'm Sorry Your Kids Are Such Little Shits and that We Are in the Same Zen Garden" by Neil Hilborn

It's unfortunate that your offspring
make people wish for a dystopian future
in which euthanasia is a universally

beloved form of birth control, but when
elderly women literally everywhere are better
parents than you, perhaps it's time

to hang up the baby-making spurs. You are
to Japanese gardens what roosters are to the morning.
You are like golf: I hate you. I realize

that you have four children, all of whom
are particularly strong-willed, and that
you're tired, and that you might not

get the support you need from your wife,
but dude, your kids are being dicks to each other
loudly within earshot of me, and I'm gonna

throw them in this koi pond. Did you know
that koi are predatory? They're not, but I am smarter
than you, so let's pretend I'm right.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Kerouac - On The Road
Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?
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  #35  
Old 05-02-2017, 11:08 AM
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Mr. Conway Spidey Mr. Conway Spidey is offline
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"Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger

I had visions, I was in them;
I was looking into the mirror
To see a little bit clearer
The rottenness and evil in me.

Fingertips have memories
Mine can't forget the curves of your body
And when I feel a bit naughty
I run it up the flagpole and see who salutes
(but no one ever does)

I'm not sick but I'm not well
And I'm so hot 'cause I'm in Hell.

Been around the world and found
That only stupid people are breeding
The cretins cloning and feeding
And I don't even own a TV

Put me in the hospital for nerves
And then they had to commit me
You told them all I was crazy
They cut off my legs, now I'm an amputee, God damn you

I'm not sick but I'm not well
And I'm so hot 'cause I'm in Hell
I'm not sick but I'm not well
And it's a sin to live so well

I wanna publish 'zines
And rage against machines
I wanna pierce my tongue
It doesn't hurt, it feels fine
The trivial sublime
I'd like to turn off time
And kill my mind
You kill my mind, mind

Paranoia, paranoia
Everybody's coming to get me
Just say you never met me
I'm running underground with the moles (digging holes)
Hear the voices in my head
I swear to God it sounds like they're snoring;
But if you're bored, then you're boring.
The agony and the irony: they're killing me (whoa).

I'm not sick but I'm not well
And I'm so hot 'cause I'm in Hell
I'm not sick but I'm not well
And it's a sin to live this well
(one, two, three, four)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Kerouac - On The Road
Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?
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  #36  
Old 05-26-2017, 04:21 PM
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enviousdominous enviousdominous is offline
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A young Iraqi immigrant named Ahmed Badr was on NPR recently to share one of many poems he has written that focuses on a moment in his life as a young child in Iraq, when a bomb (which failed to explode) crashed into his kitchen. I find his perspective on the matter to be very captivating, a transcript of the interview can be read here.

Ahmed Badr - A Thank You Letter From The Bomb That Visited My Home 11 Years Ago

Dear Ahmed, I knew that I was going to change your life. I knew that as soon as I entered your old home in Baghdad, your dad Mathem was holding your sister Mariam in the kitchen. Your mom Hannah was near the dryer. I found a place between them. You were away at your grandparents' home, so we didn't get to meet. You didn't know this at the time, but I was a dud missile, designed to destroy, but not explode.

I entered your home through the bathroom window, made my way through the walls of the kitchen cabinet and sneaked through three natural gas canisters. You know, those old ones your mom used for cooking? I'm sorry for leaving gaping holes through each one. I was in a rush. Good thing your dad emptied them out before my visit.

I've been reading your articles. I noticed that you've mentioned me a lot, which first made me very uncomfortable. I'm not used to being recognized. I usually turn children like you and your sister into dust. When meeting new people, my palms tend to be bloody. Haven't you always wondered why your dad rarely spoke about me? He told you that tragedies always ended with a period, but yours ended with a semi-colon.

You moved on to great things, but I was still there, watching. Most tragedies never fully disappear. They share your breath, your blood and walk around the ridges of your ribcage when they can't fall asleep. But you were different.

For some reason, I couldn't live within you. I couldn't share your breath or your blood. You wouldn't let me. Maybe it's because you weren't there. I know that every night before you fall asleep, you ask yourself what would have happened if you were there to meet me? I'm writing to thank you. Thank you for using me for good. Know that my body changes locations without my permission. I don't enjoy meeting new people. I don't relish in the destruction. I'm designed to collect breaths and keep them to myself.

No matter which side I'm working for, this purpose never changes. Us bombs never get to choose who to visit.

You came back to visit me two years ago. You didn't see my body, of course. That was long gone. But you saw the window in the bathroom where I first introduced myself. It was now fixed, but I was still there. You were alone, and the rest of your family was outside. And you took out your phone to take a picture of me, but you were out of storage. You laughed at the irony. You put your phone down and stared at me. And I stared back. You smiled and walked away. And in that moment, I realized that your survival is my only salvation.
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  #37  
Old 06-12-2017, 12:53 AM
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"The Brothers Poem" by Sappho (Translated by William Logan) [Fragment]

Say what you like about Charaxos,
that’s a fellow with a fat-bellied ship
always in some port or other.
What does Zeus care, or the rest of his gang?

Now you’d like me on my knees,
crying out to Hera, “Blah, blah, blah,
bring him home safe and free of warts,”
or blubbering, “Wah, wah, wah, thank you,

thank you, for curing my liver condition.”
Good grief, gods do what they like.
They call down hurricanes with a whisper
or send off a tsunami the way you would a love letter.

If they have a whim, they make some henchmen
fix it up, like those idiots in the Iliad.
A puff of smoke, a little fog, away goes the hero,
it’s happily ever after. As for Larichos,

that lay-a-bed lives for the pillow. If for once
he’d get off his ass, he might make something of himself.
Then from that reeking sewer of my life
I might haul up a bucket of spring water.

















"You may forget but let me tell you this: someone in some future time will think of us." ~Sappho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Kerouac - On The Road
Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?
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