Poems, Lyrics, & Short Stories I Like

Discussion in 'The Writing Gallery' started by Spidey, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Spidercanrana

    Spidercanrana Should've Reinstated The Fox
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    "i live in music" by Ntozake Shange

    i live in music
    is this where you live?
    i live here in music
    i live on c# street
    my friend lives on b-flat avenue
    do you live here in music
    sound
    falls round me like rain on other folks
    saxophones wet my face
    cold as winter in st. louis
    hot like peppers i rub on my lips
    thinkin they waz lilies
    i got 15 trumpets where other women got hips
    & a upright bass for both sides of my heart
    i walk round in a piano like somebody
    else be walkin on the earth
    i live in music
    live in it
    wash in it
    i cd even smell it
    wear sound on my fingers
    sound falls so fulla music
    ya cd make a river where yr arm is &
    hold yrself
    hold yrself in a music
     
    #26
  2. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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    I love short stories, and I love hitting upon a few inalienable truths when I'm trying to explain why while distracting from the overarching truth which is my short attention span.

    Sometimes dramatic tales aren't a Tolkien-esque saga where one gets to slow cook their anticipation for a climax. Sometimes we get our saga as a quick shot of adrenaline with a strangely persistent high.

    Tobias Wolff was a writer for The New Yorker in the mid 1990's, and in 1995 he created a fictional story for that publication called "Bullet in the Brain". It's a story about a man whose arrogance clashes with his instinct to survive, in a very dark but humorous tone. The entire story, about four and a half pages, can be read here.
     
    #27
  3. Spidercanrana

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    "Francesca" By Ezra Pound

    You came in out of the night
    And there were flowers in your hands,
    Now you will come out of a confusion of people,
    Out of a turmoil of speech about you.

    I who have seen you amid the primal things
    Was angry when they spoke your name
    In ordinary places.
    I would that the cool waves might flow over my mind,
    And that the world should dry as a dead leaf,
    Or as a dandelion seed-pod and be swept away,
    So that I might find you again,
    Alone.
     
    #28
  4. Spidercanrana

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    "Invictus" by William Ernest Henley

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears
    Looms but the Horror of the shade,
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate,
    I am the captain of my soul.
     
    #29
  5. Spidercanrana

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    "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
    Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!'
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
     
    #30
  6. Spidercanrana

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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.)
     
    #31
  7. Spidercanrana

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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.
     
    #32
  8. Spidercanrana

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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."
     
    #33
  9. Spidercanrana

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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.
     
    #34
  10. Spidercanrana

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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)
     
    #35
  11. enviousdominous

    enviousdominous Behold my diction

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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.
     
    #36
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  12. Spidercanrana

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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
     
    #37
  13. Spidercanrana

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    "How Do You Raise A Black Child?" by Cortney Lamar Charleston

    From the dead. With pallbearers who are half as young
    as their faces suggest and twice the oxen they should be.
    Without a daddy at all, or with a daddy in prison, or at home,
    or in a different home. With a mama. With a grandmama
    if mama ain’t around, maybe even if she is. In a house, or not.
    In the hood. In the suburbs if you’re smart or not afraid of white
    fear or even if you are. Taking risks. Scratching lottery tickets.
    Making big bets. On a basketball court. Inside a courtroom.
    Poorly in the ever-pathological court of opinion. On faith. Like
    a prayer from the belly of a whale. In church on Sunday morning,
    on Monday, Tuesday and every other. Before school and after.
    In a school you hope doesn’t fail. In a school of thought named
    for Frederick Douglass. Old school or not at all. With hip-hop or
    without. At least with a little Curtis Mayfield, some Motown,
    sounds by Sam Cooke. Eating that good down-home cooking.
    Putting some wood to their behind. With a switch. With a belt
    to keep their pants high. Not high all the time. On all-time highs
    at all times until they learn not to feel and think so lowly of
    their aims. To be six feet tall and not under. With a little elbow
    grease and some duct tape. Sweating bullets. On a short leash.
    Away from the big boys on the block. Away from the boys in blue.
    Without the frill of innocence. From the dead, again. Like a flag.
     
    #38
  14. Spidercanrana

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    "Fantastic Breasts And Where To Find Them" by Brenna Twohy - Slam Poetry

    Ask me what kind of porn I’m into,
    And I will take you on a magical journey to fanfiction.com/harrypotter/nc17.
    What turns me on is Ginny Weasley in the Restricted Section with her skirt hiked up,
    Sirius Black in a secret passageway solemnly swearing he is up to no good,
    And Draco Malfoy in the Room of Requirement Slytherin to my Chamber of Secrets.
    I am an unapologetic consumer of all things Potterotica,
    And the sexiest part is not the way Cho Chang rides that broomstick,
    Or the sounds of Myrtle moaning,
    The sexiest part is knowing they are part of a bigger story,
    That they exist beyond eight minutes in “Titty Titty Gang Bang”.
    That their kegels are not the strongest thing about them,
    And still, I am told that my porn is unrealistic.
    Not quite as erotic as flashing ads saying, “JUST TURNED 18!”
    So you can fantasize about fucking the youngest girl you won’t go to jail for.
    Told that my porn isn’t quite as lifelike as a room full of lesbians begging for cock.
    Told that this is what is supposed to turn me on.

    Don’t you give me raw meat and tell me it is nourishment,
    I know a slaughterhouse when I see one.
    It looks like 24/7 live streaming,
    Reminding me that men are going to fuck me whether I like it or not,
    That there is one use for my mouth and it is not speaking,
    That a man is his most powerful when he’s got a woman by the hair;
    The first time a man I loved held me by the wrists and called me a ****e,
    I did not think ‘run!’
    I thought ‘This is just like the movies.’

    I know a slaughterhouse when I see one.
    It looks like websites and seminars teaching you how to fuck more bitches;
    Looks like 15-year-old boys bullied for being virgins;
    It looks like the man who did not flinch when I said “Stop” and he heard “Try harder.”
    If you play act at butchery long enough you grow used to the sounds of the screaming.

    It is just a side effect of industry;
    Everything gets cut into small, marketable pieces.
    I will not practice bloody hands.
    I will not make-believe dissected women.
    My sex cannot be packaged,
    My sex is magic,
    It is part of a bigger story;
    I am whole.
    I exist when you are not fucking me,
    And I will not be cut into pieces anymore.
     
    #39
  15. Spidercanrana

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    "Howl" by Allen Ginsberg

    For Carl Solomon

    I.

    I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,
    dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix,
    angelheaded hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night,
    who poverty and tatters and hollow-eyed and high sat up smoking in the supernatural darkness of cold-water flats floating across the tops of cities contemplating jazz,
    who bared their brains to Heaven under the El and saw Mohammedan angels staggering on tenement roofs illuminated,
    who passed through universities with radiant cool eyes hallucinating Arkansas and Blake-light tragedy among the scholars of war,
    who were expelled from the academies for crazy & publishing obscene odes on the windows of the skull,
    who cowered in unshaven rooms in underwear, burning their money in wastebaskets and listening to the Terror through the wall,
    who got busted in their pubic beards returning through Laredo with a belt of marijuana for New York,
    who ate fire in paint hotels or drank turpentine in Paradise Alley, death, or purgatoried their torsos night after night
    with dreams, with drugs, with waking nightmares, alcohol and cock and endless balls,
    incomparable blind streets of shuddering cloud and lightning in the mind leaping toward poles of Canada & Paterson, illuminating all the motionless world of Time between,
    Peyote solidities of halls, backyard green tree cemetery dawns, wine drunkenness over the rooftops, storefront boroughs of teahead joyride neon blinking traffic light, sun and moon and tree vibrations in the roaring winter dusks of Brooklyn, ashcan rantings and kind king light of mind,
    who chained themselves to subways for the endless ride from Battery to holy Bronx on benzedrine until the noise of wheels and children brought them down shuddering mouth-wracked and battered bleak of brain all drained of brilliance in the drear light of Zoo,
    who sank all night in submarine light of Bickford’s floated out and sat through the stale beer afternoon in desolate Fugazzi’s, listening to the crack of doom on the hydrogen jukebox,
    who talked continuously seventy hours from park to pad to bar to Bellevue to museum to the Brooklyn Bridge,
    a lost battalion of platonic conversationalists jumping down the stoops off fire escapes off windowsills off Empire State out of the moon,
    yacketayakking screaming vomiting whispering facts and memories and anecdotes and eyeball kicks and shocks of hospitals and jails and wars,
    whole intellects disgorged in total recall for seven days and nights with brilliant eyes, meat for the Synagogue cast on the pavement,
    who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey leaving a trail of ambiguous picture postcards of Atlantic City Hall,
    suffering Eastern sweats and Tangerian bone-grindings and migraines of China under junk-withdrawal in Newark’s bleak furnished room,
    who wandered around and around at midnight in the railroad yard wondering where to go, and went, leaving no broken hearts,
    who lit cigarettes in boxcars boxcars boxcars racketing through snow toward lonesome farms in grandfather night,
    who studied Plotinus Poe St. John of the Cross telepathy and bop kabbalah because the cosmos instinctively vibrated at their feet in Kansas,
    who loned it through the streets of Idaho seeking visionary indian angels who were visionary indian angels,
    who thought they were only mad when Baltimore gleamed in supernatural ecstasy,
    who jumped in limousines with the Chinaman of Oklahoma on the impulse of winter midnight streetlight smalltown rain,
    who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed the brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,
    who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,
    who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,
    who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
    who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall, and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,
    who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,
    who bit detectives in the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
    who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,
    who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
    who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,
    who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,
    who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a partition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,
    who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman’s loom,
    who copulated ecstatic and insatiate with a bottle of beer a sweetheart a package of cigarettes a candle and fell off the bed, and continued along the floor and down the hall and ended fainting on the wall with a vision of ultimate cunt and come eluding the last gyzym of consciousness,
    who sweetened the snatches of a million girls trembling in the sunset, and were red eyed in the morning but prepared to sweeten the snatch of the sunrise, flashing buttocks under barns and naked in the lake,
    who went out ****ing through Colorado in myriad stolen night-cars, N.C., secret hero of these poems, cocksman and Adonis of Denver—joy to the memory of his innumerable lays of girls in empty lots & diner backyards, moviehouses’ rickety rows, on mountaintops in caves or with gaunt waitresses in familiar roadside lonely petticoat upliftings & especially secret gas-station solipsisms of johns, & hometown alleys too,
    who faded out in vast sordid movies, were shifted in dreams, woke on a sudden Manhattan, and picked themselves up out of basements hung-over with heartless Tokay and horrors of Third Avenue iron dreams & stumbled to unemployment offices,
    who walked all night with their shoes full of blood on the snowbank docks waiting for a door in the East River to open to a room full of steam-heat and opium,
    who created great suicidal dramas on the apartment cliff-banks of the Hudson under the wartime blue floodlight of the moon & their heads shall be crowned with laurel in oblivion,
    who ate the lamb stew of the imagination or digested the crab at the muddy bottom of the rivers of Bowery,
    who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
    who sat in boxes breathing in the darkness under the bridge, and rose up to build harpsichords in their lofts,
    who coughed on the sixth floor of Harlem crowned with flame under the tubercular sky surrounded by orange crates of theology,
    who scribbled all night rocking and rolling over lofty incantations which in the yellow morning were stanzas of gibberish,
    who cooked rotten animals lung heart feet tail borsht & tortillas dreaming of the pure vegetable kingdom,
    who plunged themselves under meat trucks looking for an egg,
    who threw their watches off the roof to cast their ballot for Eternity outside of Time, & alarm clocks fell on their heads every day for the next decade,
    who cut their wrists three times successively unsuccessfully, gave up and were forced to open antique stores where they thought they were growing old and cried,
    who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality,
    who jumped off the Brooklyn Bridge this actually happened and walked away unknown and forgotten into the ghostly daze of Chinatown soup alleyways & firetrucks, not even one free beer,
    who sang out of their windows in despair, fell out of the subway window, jumped in the filthy Passaic, leaped on negroes, cried all over the street, danced on broken wineglasses barefoot smashed phonograph records of nostalgic European 1930s German jazz finished the whiskey and threw up groaning into the bloody toilet, moans in their ears and the blast of colossal steamwhistles,
    who barreled down the highways of the past journeying to each other’s hotrod-Golgotha jail-solitude watch or Birmingham jazz incarnation,
    who drove crosscountry seventytwo hours to find out if I had a vision or you had a vision or he had a vision to find out Eternity,
    who journeyed to Denver, who died in Denver, who came back to Denver & waited in vain, who watched over Denver & brooded & loned in Denver and finally went away to find out the Time, & now Denver is lonesome for her heroes,
    who fell on their knees in hopeless cathedrals praying for each other’s salvation and light and breasts, until the soul illuminated its hair for a second,
    who crashed through their minds in jail waiting for impossible criminals with golden heads and the charm of reality in their hearts who sang sweet blues to Alcatraz,
    who retired to Mexico to cultivate a habit, or Rocky Mount to tender Buddha or Tangiers to boys or Southern Pacific to the black locomotive or Harvard to Narcissus to Woodlawn to the daisychain or grave,
    who demanded sanity trials accusing the radio of hypnotism & were left with their insanity & their hands & a hung jury,
    who threw potato salad at CCNY lecturers on Dadaism and subsequently presented themselves on the granite steps of the madhouse with shaven heads and harlequin speech of suicide, demanding instantaneous lobotomy,
    and who were given instead the concrete void of insulin Metrazol electricity hydrotherapy psychotherapy occupational therapy pingpong & amnesia,
    who in humorless protest overturned only one symbolic pingpong table, resting briefly in catatonia,
    returning years later truly bald except for a wig of blood, and tears and fingers, to the visible madman doom of the wards of the madtowns of the East,
    Pilgrim State’s Rockland’s and Greystone’s foetid halls, bickering with the echoes of the soul, rocking and rolling in the midnight solitude-bench dolmen-realms of love, dream of life a nightmare, bodies turned to stone as heavy as the moon,
    with mother finally ******, and the last fantastic book flung out of the tenement window, and the last door closed at 4 A.M. and the last telephone slammed at the wall in reply and the last furnished room emptied down to the last piece of mental furniture, a yellow paper rose twisted on a wire hanger in the closet, and even that imaginary, nothing but a hopeful little bit of hallucination—
    ah, Carl, while you are not safe I am not safe, and now you’re really in the total animal soup of time—
    and who therefore ran through the icy streets obsessed with a sudden flash of the alchemy of the use of the ellipsis catalogue a variable measure and the vibrating plane,
    who dreamt and made incarnate gaps in Time & Space through images juxtaposed, and trapped the archangel of the soul between 2 visual images and joined the elemental verbs and set the noun and dash of consciousness together jumping with sensation of Pater Omnipotens Aeterna Deus
    to recreate the syntax and measure of poor human prose and stand before you speechless and intelligent and shaking with shame, rejected yet confessing out the soul to conform to the rhythm of thought in his naked and endless head,
    the madman bum and angel beat in Time, unknown, yet putting down here what might be left to say in time come after death,
    and rose reincarnate in the ghostly clothes of jazz in the goldhorn shadow of the band and blew the suffering of America’s naked mind for love into an eli eli lamma lamma sabacthani saxophone cry that shivered the cities down to the last radio
    with the absolute heart of the poem of life butchered out of their own bodies good to eat a thousand years.


    II.

    What sphinx of cement and aluminum bashed open their skulls and ate up their brains and imagination?
    Moloch! Solitude! Filth! Ugliness! Ashcans and unobtainable dollars! Children screaming under the stairways! Boys sobbing in armies! Old men weeping in the parks!
    Moloch! Moloch! Nightmare of Moloch! Moloch the loveless! Mental Moloch! Moloch the heavy judger of men!
    Moloch the incomprehensible prison! Moloch the crossbone soulless jailhouse and Congress of sorrows! Moloch whose buildings are judgment! Moloch the vast stone of war! Moloch the stunned governments!
    Moloch whose mind is pure machinery! Moloch whose blood is running money! Moloch whose fingers are ten armies! Moloch whose breast is a cannibal dynamo! Moloch whose ear is a smoking tomb!
    Moloch whose eyes are a thousand blind windows! Moloch whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets like endless Jehovahs! Moloch whose factories dream and croak in the fog! Moloch whose smoke-stacks and antennae crown the cities!
    Moloch whose love is endless oil and stone! Moloch whose soul is electricity and banks! Moloch whose poverty is the specter of genius! Moloch whose fate is a cloud of sexless hydrogen! Moloch whose name is the Mind!
    Moloch in whom I sit lonely! Moloch in whom I dream Angels! Crazy in Moloch! ********er in Moloch! Lacklove and manless in Moloch!
    Moloch who entered my soul early! Moloch in whom I am a consciousness without a body! Moloch who frightened me out of my natural ecstasy! Moloch whom I abandon! Wake up in Moloch! Light streaming out of the sky!
    Moloch! Moloch! Robot apartments! invisible suburbs! skeleton treasuries! blind capitals! demonic industries! spectral nations! invincible madhouses! granite cocks! monstrous bombs!
    They broke their backs lifting Moloch to Heaven! Pavements, trees, radios, tons! lifting the city to Heaven which exists and is everywhere about us!
    Visions! omens! hallucinations! miracles! ecstasies! gone down the American river!
    Dreams! adorations! illuminations! religions! the whole boatload of sensitive bullshit!
    Breakthroughs! over the river! flips and crucifixions! gone down the flood! Highs! Epiphanies! Despairs! Ten years’ animal screams and suicides! Minds! New loves! Mad generation! down on the rocks of Time!
    Real holy laughter in the river! They saw it all! the wild eyes! the holy yells! They bade farewell! They jumped off the roof! to solitude! waving! carrying flowers! Down to the river! into the street!


    III.

    Carl Solomon! I’m with you in Rockland
    where you’re madder than I am
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where you must feel very strange
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where you imitate the shade of my mother
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where you’ve murdered your twelve secretaries
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where you laugh at this invisible humor
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where we are great writers on the same dreadful typewriter
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where your condition has become serious and is reported on the radio
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where the faculties of the skull no longer admit the worms of the senses
    I'm with you in Rockland
    where you drink the tea of the breasts of the spinsters of Utica
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where you pun on the bodies of your nurses the harpies of the Bronx
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where you scream in a straightjacket that you’re losing the game of the actual pingpong of the abyss
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where you bang on the catatonic piano the soul is innocent and immortal it should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where fifty more shocks will never return your soul to its body again from its pilgrimage to a cross in the void
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where you accuse your doctors of insanity and plot the Hebrew socialist revolution against the fascist national Golgotha
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where you will split the heavens of Long Island and resurrect your living human Jesus from the superhuman tomb
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where there are twentyfive thousand mad comrades all together singing the final stanzas of the Internationale
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where we hug and kiss the United States under our bedsheets the United States that coughs all night and won’t let us sleep
    I’m with you in Rockland
    where we wake up electrified out of the coma by our own souls’ airplanes roaring over the roof they’ve come to drop angelic bombs the hospital illuminates itself imaginary walls collapse O skinny legions run outside O starry-spangled shock of mercy the eternal war is here O victory forget your underwear we’re free
    I’m with you in Rockland
    in my dreams you walk dripping from a sea-journey on the highway across America in tears to the door of my cottage in the Western night

    San Francisco, 1955—1956​
     
    #40
  16. Spidercanrana

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    [​IMG]


    "Declaration" by Tracy K. Smith

    He has
    sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people.​


    He has plundered our—


    ravaged our—​


    destroyed the lives of our—​


    taking away our—


    abolishing our most valuable—


    and altering fundamentally the Forms of our—​



    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for
    Redress in the most humble terms:


    Our repeated​


    Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.


    We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration
    and settlement here.


    —taken Captive​


    on the high Seas​


    to bear—​
     
    #41
  17. Spidercanrana

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    Been looking through spoken word and other forms of verbal poetry lately, so I can't really share those unless they're in a video format that works on here. A few of the ones I really like do not. I'll probably make a list for those who want to check out for themselves.

    Also reading through a short story collection from a professor of mine. I gather that "A Fingerprint Repeated" by Jeffrey Condran explores mundane isolated incidents among small groups of people. Voyeuristic and imaginative, but definitely not out of the realm of what we know to be real. Often I pour through themes similar to this and chastise it for being a bit dry. So far, this collection isn't.

    It helps that when he reads his work in person, he doesn't have that poetry voice lots of authors use . Some of you know what I'm talking about. Makes me cringe.
     
    #42
  18. Spidercanrana

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    Over the Thanksgiving Break, I did as many grandkids do in the South and that's watch Hallmark movies with my grandparents. Several of you know how Hallmark follows a formula. Usually it's something along the lines of a workaholic protagonist visiting their parents in a rural setting where they encounter an old flame and rediscover the meaning of Christmas. Everyone knows the setup. But there's even more to it I noticed than that premise. So while watching a few, a made a checklist of all the oddly specific tropes that pop up in these sorts of movies. Sometime shortly I'll post what I found, and maybe we can compare notes or something.

    May not fall into the criteria of a short story or a poem, but I'd like to branch out a bit and discuss narratives and what it is about them we enjoy.
     
    #43
  19. Spidercanrana

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    Unusual Hallmark Movie Tropes

    Wittled it down to Top 5. Leaving a few off of my list, like how the movie is almost always named after a Christmas song, as that's too obvious. Also ignoring parts where the protagonist doesn't believe in Santa/Jesus/Christmas because that makes up for a majority of yuletide movies, not just ones from Hallmark. I'm gunning for things that are oddly specific, ones that don't really have a rhyme or reason to them.

    In no particular order:




    5. Protagonist Is A Workaholic That Can't Survive On Their Own

    For clarity, let's say the protagonist is a woman here. She works at a firm, in a hospital, or anywhere where her career takes over every other facet of her life. No time for the holidays, busy yadda yadda. But when she's put in a situation where she has to do something every other person can, in this case we'll say cook, she can't even boil water. Somehow being a professional at Hallmark Bank & Trust left her no time to do the things she'd regularly do as that strong, independent woman. Can't cook, can't chop wood, can't fix a tire, can't do anything your average worker can.

    This is up for the love interest/family to do to show her how she's become too much of a city girl/workaholic/high and mighty. More on that later.


    4. There Will Be A Brief Discussion On How Having A Fake X-Mas Tree Makes You An Asshole

    It's there, though it tends to last a full three seconds. Someone makes a remark about going out to pick/cut a tree down, here comes someone with the normal idea of just getting a fake, and it turns into a weird patriotic stance. Real trees are American and wholesome and plastic trees are corporate commie symbols that killed Jesus so fuck you. Hallmark is huge on sentimentality, and nothing screams sentimental more than a piece of dead foliage in your home.


    3. If There's A Fiance, They're Upper Class And Evil

    Workaholics come in pairs. If for some reason the protagonist managed a relationship, it's to a person that was just like them at the beginning of the movie. The fiance is rich, or at least high maintenance. They represent everything the protagonist's family isn't. Urban. Liberal. Non-Religious. And, most importantly, the Upper Class, which after half a dozen Hallmark movies I am comfortable in saying is the devil incarnate. They threaten the small town way of life somehow, maybe Big Business is moving in, or just being there pisses off the natural order. Who knows. But whatever the case is, if there's a fiance, they're either the antagonist or pretty fucking close.


    2. Small Town Beau Is Quirky, Yet Perfect As They Manage To Be A Jack Of All Trades AND Unemployed

    Take everything the protagonist is and flip it. In this case, he's a good ol' country boy who either was an old flame of the protagonist or knows the protagonist's family to some capacity. He is a chef, mechanic, electrician, plumber, super handyman but he doesn't really have a steady, financially-stable job. Often laid-back and a wise crack. Oh and he did attend college/is educated, because the protagonist and him HAVE to have something in common.

    How he manages to be adept at so many things but still can't make ends meet is a weird combo for sure.


    1. Spot The Poinsettias - AKA They've Overdecorated

    I get that poinsettias are a holiday staple as much as wreaths and candy canes are, but those things happen to be everywhere when you stop to look. Many scenes have them in the background, and they tend to show up in the most damning places. One movie there were at least a dozen casually arranged in the snow itself. Just weird.

    I'd also chalk this up to another type of trope, and that's how holiday movies are crazy overdecorated. The fireplace has several strands of garland. The mantle is poinsettia, stocking, poinsettia, stocking, Santa, poinsettia, candles. Somehow the tree has poinsettias. Seriously it can't be just me that sees that. Nobody goes apeshit over the poinsettias. Stop making poinsettias happen.
     
    #44
  20. Spidercanrana

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    (Spoiler-Free Review)

    So full disclosure- I don't really do comics often, and erotica is too exaggerated for me to enjoy. But I just finished a 5 Volumed graphic novel that I really, really love. Enough to gush about here. A colleague of mine introduced me to Sunstone by Stjepan Šejić. It's a story about two women who are deeply involved with BDSM. On the surface, you may think my perv flag is waving, but it's SO much more than sex. The story has a lot of heart. Each character, even the minor ones, are going through their own personal dilemmas and are better people for it. It's not cartoon porn. Sex is a theme, obviously, but it's not the major thing that drives the story forward. The two main characters, a sub named Lisa and a domme named Ally, are first-timers who meet up after talking online. They are awkwardly endearing. There are elements of understanding the self, and what it means to learn from past relationships. Also, and this one is a big one for me as I'm working on a story involving this topic, there is focus on how people can carry on a healthy friendship with past exes. It's done with care.


    [​IMG]


    Two things that stick out for me after I finished reading:

    1. It does a service to that particular community that mainstream movies have failed to. Yes, there are erotic scenes and nudity, but it's handled in a normal way. There is no over-the top- bullshit. Everything shown has a point. No crazed possessive dominatrix or weak as shit submissive. These women are people, multi-faceted and easy to connect with and relate to.

    2. Sexual identity is also an important part of this, but it's not borderline cliche. Sexual awakening is there, yeah, but it's not played up as them having a bad childhood, or they were kissed by a girl on a dare and they liked it. Their awakening is depicted very naturally, with trial and error anyone can understand.

    Like BDSM? Want a story with feels? You can have both. Read this.
     
    #45
  21. Spidercanrana

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    [​IMG]


    "Chelsea Hotel No. 2" by Leonard Cohen

    I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
    You were talking so brave and so sweet
    Givin' me head on the unmade bed
    While the limousines wait in the street

    Those were the reasons, that was New York
    We were runnin' for the money and the flesh
    And that was called love for the workers in song
    Probably still is for those of them left

    But you got away, didn't you babe?
    You just turned your back on the crowd
    When you got away, I never once heard you say

    I need you
    I don't need you
    I need you
    I don't need you
    And all of that jivin' around

    I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
    You were famous, your heart was a legend
    You told me again, you preferred handsome men
    But for me you would make an exception

    And clenching your fist for the ones like us
    Who are oppressed by the figures of beauty
    You fixed yourself, you said "Well nevermind
    We are ugly but we have the music"

    And then you got away didn't you babe?
    You just turned your back on the crowd
    When you got away I never once heard you say

    I need you
    I don't need you
    I need you
    I don't need you
    And all of that jivin' around

    I don't mean to suggest
    That I loved you the best
    I can't keep track of each fallen robin
    I remember you well in the Chelsea Hotel
    That's all, I don't think of you that often
     
    #46
  22. Spidercanrana

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    [​IMG]


    "Single Lines Looking Forward. or One Monostich Past 45" by Francine J. Harris

    The joke is orange. which has never been funny.

    For awhile I didn’t sleep on my bright side.

    Many airplanes make it through sky.

    The joke is present. dented and devil.

    For awhile, yellow spots on the wall.

    Obama on water skis, the hair in his armpits, free.

    I thought the CIA was operative.

    Across the alley, a woman named Mildred.

    Above the clouds in a plane, a waistline of sliced white.

    I don’t sound like TED Talk, or smart prose on Facebook.

    These clouds are not God.

    I keep thinking about Coltrane; how little he talked.

    This is so little; I give so little.

    Sometimes when I say something to white people, they say “I’m sorry?”

    During Vietnam, Bob Kaufman stopped talking.

    The CIA was very good at killing Panthers.

    Mildred in a housecoat, calling across the fence, over her yard.

    If I were grading this, I’d be muttering curses.

    The joke is a color. a color for prison.

    Is it me, or is the sentence, as structure, arrogant?

    All snow, in here, this writing, departure.

    All miles are valuable. all extension. all stretch.

    I savor the air with both fingers, and tongue.

    Mildred asks about the beats coming from my car.

    I forgot to bring the poem comparing you to a garden.

    Someone tell me what to say to my senators.

    No one smokes here; in the rain, I duck away and smell piss.

    I thought the CIA was. the constitution.

    I feel like he left us, for water skis, for kitesurfing.

    The sun will not always be so gracious.

    From the garden poem, one line stands out.

    Frank Ocean’s “Nights” is a study in the monostich.

    Pace is not breathing, on and off. off.

    Mildred never heard of Jneiro Jarel.

    I’m afraid one day I’ll find myself remembering this air.

    The last time I saw my mother, she begged for fried chicken.

    My father still sitting there upright, a little high.

    Melissa McCarthy could get it.

    Sometimes, I forget how to touch.

    In a parking garage, I wait for the toothache.

    I watch what I say all the time now.

    She said she loved my touch, she used the word love.

    In 1984, I’d never been in the sky.

    My mother walked a laundry cart a mile a day for groceries.

    Betsy DeVos is confirmed. with a broken tie.

    Mildred’s five goes way up, and my five reaches.
     
    #47
  23. Spidercanrana

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    [​IMG]


    "Kablooey is the Sound You'll Hear" by Debra Marquat

    Kablooey is the Sound You'll Hear



    then plaster falling and the billow of gypsum

    after your sister blows a hole in the ceiling

    of your brother’s bedroom with the shotgun

    he left loaded and resting on his dresser.



    It’s Saturday, and the men are in the fields.

    You and your sister are cleaning house

    with your mother. Maybe your sister hates

    cleaning that much, or maybe she’s just that



    thorough, but somehow she has lifted the gun

    to dust it or dust under it (you are busy mopping

    the stairs) and from the top of the landing

    where you stand, you turn toward the sound



    to see your sister cradling the smoking gun

    in her surprised arms, like a beauty queen

    clutching a bouquet of long-stemmed roses

    after being pronounced the official winner.



    Then the smell of burnt gunpowder

    reaches you, dirty orange and sulfurous,

    like spent fireworks, and through the veil

    of smoke you see the hole smoldering



    in the ceiling, the drywall blown clean

    through insulation to the naked joists,

    a halo of perforations around the hole

    just above her head, that dark constellation



    where the buckshot spread. The look

    on your sister’s face is pure shitfaced shock,

    you’d like to stop and memorize it for later

    family stories, but now you must focus



    on the face of your mother, frozen there

    downstairs at the base of the steps

    where she has rushed from vacuuming

    or waxing, her frantic eyes searching



    your face for some clue about the extent

    of the catastrophe. But it’s like that heavy

    quicksand dream where you can’t move

    or speak, so your mother scrambles up



    the stairs on all fours, past you, to the room

    where your sister has just found her voice,

    already screaming—it just went off!

    it just went off! —as if a shotgun

    left to rest on safety would rise

    and fire itself. All this will be hashed

    and re-hashed around the dinner table,

    but what stays with you all these years later,



    what you cannot forget, is that moment

    when your mother waited at the bottom

    of the steps for a word from you, one word,

    and all you could offer her was silence.
     
    #48
  24. Spidercanrana

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    [​IMG]


    "Natalia" - From the Dancing in Odessa collection, by Ilya Kaminsky

    Her shoulder: an ode to an evening, such ambitions.

    I promise I will teach her to ride horses, we will go to Mexico, Angola, Australia. I want her to imagine our scandalous days in Odessa when we will open a small sweets shop - except for her lovers and my neighbours (who steal milk chocolate by handfuls) we will have no customers. In an empty store, dancing among stands with sugared walnuts, dried carnations, boxes upon boxes of mints and cherries dipped in honey, we will whisper to each other our truest stories because to fantasize is our custom.

    The back of her knee: a blessed territory, I keep my wishes there.
     
    #49
  25. Spidercanrana

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    [​IMG]


    "Acquainted with the Night" by Robert Frost

    I have been one acquainted with the night.
    I have walked out in rain—and back in rain.
    I have outwalked the furthest city light.

    I have looked down the saddest city lane.
    I have passed by the watchman on his beat
    And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

    I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
    When far away an interrupted cry
    Came over houses from another street,

    But not to call me back or say good-bye;
    And further still at an unearthly height,
    One luminary clock against the sky

    Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
    I have been one acquainted with the night.
     
    #50

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