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Jennifer Aniston

A relationship isn't going to make me survive. It's the cherry on top.

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My Peace Isn't Going Anywhere

However you work that situation out,
You will have to work it out to face your doubts.
And,
To your own satisfaction.
Think of it as a self maintenance.

I am through,
Playing games of tag with you...
At the cost of losing my patience.
Knowing an advice I give,
You think of it as being negative.

And when my patience goes,
So does my peace of mind.
And between you and me...
This peace I have received,
Isn't going anywhere!

REPEAT!

My peace,
Isn't going anywhere.

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Doubt

Hallucinations of white cats
Climbing on the bed
She said I've lost it
Medication isn't going to make me 'happy'
Only she can
Sitting back
Thinking has love driven her mad?
So happy, yet so sad
'What's wrong with me?
Am i some kind of diease? '
How can three little words be so important?
Need to hear them...every single day.
If not.
There's doubt.

(1-12-06)

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Patrick White

I Won't Turn The Shadow Of The Sundial Back

I won't turn the shadow of the sundial back
to replicate the asters that bloomed yesterday
and were lovely as the wrists of a child
playing with perfume in front her mother's mirror,
I remember, without wanting to turn them
again and again and again into a template.
I don't mind grinding the past
into a parabolic mirror to see where I've been
in the last fourteen and a half billion years
but as I get older, that isn't going to give me
an insight into the future of darkness
I'm rushing into like an accelerated fool
where the angels are not self-destructive enough to pass.
The most beautiful songs are sung in the dark
by the loneliest of creatures endangered by the night.

I've been a jumper for as long as I can recall
and sometimes it's sheer suicide, and others,
even though I don't pack a parachute for the fall,
it's paradise. No risk in your next step
you're just crossing a river on a bridge of skulls.
No real Apaches in the Black Hills you're just
collecting postcards of the massacre,
buttons and bullets in a garden that went bust.
How can you keep your wits sharp
and hone your instincts in an arboretum?
Drug-store explorer with a library of roadmaps,
you've feathered your heels with lapwings and poultry
and flutter around like butterflies in a barnyard.
You ever tried firewalking across the stars?
Or put a match to a poem you loved like a storm?

If you're not proceeding at your own risk
the journey's not worth it. It's someone else's path.
It's only another threadbare carpet under a window.
May the rose always have thorns. May your lovers
always be able to kill you without a moment's notice
and your fireflies revert to dragons when your comets
are flying blind too far from the sun to shine.
You be the one that's missing from the family album
for a change.You be the one who's moody and strange.
The blasted orchard that isn't known by its fruits.
Stop revising that diary of event horizons
you've never violated once, and instead of
dumping your dirty sheets down a laundry chute
into the basement, go skinny-dipping in a black hole
to wash the stink and stain of useage off.

You keep listening for choral arrangements
of mellifluous honey in swarms of killer bees
without realizing the maelstrom that is already upon you.
Your mountains aren't wolves. They're St Bernards.
Have you ever been the epicentre of anything
you've ever said, or have you always been third echo
in this choir of indignant aftershocks? Would you even
recognize the sound of your own voice
if you ever heard it in a keen-eyed wilderness
among the nightbirds with the courage of their longings?
And I see you've gone and offended the muse again
by lowering the bar of your pain threshold
and fireproofing your heart against a lightning strike.
You think hugging shore with the rest
of the abandoned refugees is going to keep you
any safer than a liferaft flowing along
with your own mindstream through blackwater and white?

You can embroider your nightmares on pillow cases
and think you're going to sleep better tonight
than the homeless that are banked up like leaves
against your door. You can bleach the shadows
into albinos and think you've done something
kind to yourself, but all you've really done
is make the light turn dangerous. The sun bare its fangs
at the colour blind cowardice of antiseptic flowers.
Not a cheap thrill of blood on your palette anywhere.
Talent smiles like a house karl, but genius snarls
at the thorn of insight in its paw like a lion on a cross
roars like lightning in a skull at the rosey stigmata
of a fresh kill that tastes like the stars in its blood.
Solitude isn't a state of mind, it's a calculated risk.
You either jump into the lotus of fire heart first
and dare your own extinction among great heretics
or collapse like a universe into a starless abyss.

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We're going to make every effort to keep the Saints as Louisiana's team.

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There's a lot of room to grow, and the women who believe they're worth it are the ones who are going to make good things happen during the next period of WNBA growth.

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Furious Wounds

A hoot at midnight
goes challenging the deaf.
You strip to bones.

The dawn persists:
Will the sun on the sea
kill the dreams?

Do you see the gap
between the clouds?
I am going to make a heap of
all the interstitial escapes.

Flesheaters were scrawling on
the cheeks. A revolution of
wheels has failed.

A baby dies in womb
without A leap into future.
The father carries the burden
of chimneys.

A godless moon laughs
at the stupid earth,
which was talking about stars.

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Emily Dickinson

Make me a picture of the sun

188

Make me a picture of the sun—
So I can hang it in my room—
And make believe I'm getting warm
When others call it "Day"!

Draw me a Robin—on a stem—
So I am hearing him, I'll dream,
And when the Orchards stop their tune—
Put my pretense—away—

Say if it's really—warm at noon—
Whether it's Buttercups—that "skim"—
Or Butterflies—that "bloom"?
Then—skip—the frost—upon the lea—
And skip the Russet—on the tree—
Let's play those—never come!

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Take Away My Single Life

I need a commitment
Because I'm tired of moving around
From this woman to that woman
With no reason to settle down
Some people say that I'm too particular
And that I carry too much pride
But I'm only looking for a real woman
That's going to make me satisfied
I need the type of woman
That takes pride in her real hair
And when we lay down at night
Her pretty eyes will still be there
I don't need the type of woman
that's always holding out her hands
With payday being the only day
That she claims me as her man
I want a woman that's in my arms
This day well so as the next
So that I can have positive feelings
At any time when we have sex
There's no need for a woman to be my girlfriend
If she's not fit to be my wife
And until a woman takes me that serious
I will remain living a single life

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Tomorrow's Gonna Be A Brighter Day

Well Im sorry for the words that I told you
But words only go so far
And if I had my way, Id reach into heaven
And pull you down a star, for a present
And Id make you a chain of diamonds
And pearls from a summer sea,
But all I can give you is a kiss in the morning
And a sweet apology.
But tomorrows gonna be a brighter day
There gonna be some changes
Tomorrows gonna be a brighter day
This time you can believe me.
No more cryin in your lonely room,
No more empty nights.
Tomorrow morning everything will be alright
Now, I know that it hasnt been easy
And I havent always been around
To say the right things and hold you in the morning
And help you when youre down, and in trouble.
And I never showed you much of a good time,
But baby, things are going to change.
Im going to make up for all of the hurt I cause,
Gonna love away all your pain
And tomorrows gonna be a brighter day
There gonna be some changes
Tomorrows gonna be a brighter day
This time you can believe me.
No more cryin in your lonely room,
No more empty nights.
Tomorrow morning everything will be alright
Come on tomorrow, come on tomorrow..fade

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Billy Spleen

Im heading for the end on top of this bullshit
I dont want to hear it.
I found my way again.
Its hard to explain it
I know that I hate it
I dont feel this could be real.
I find so hard Im falling apart
So much so much for what for what we said.
No matter what I say, you turn your back away.
Its never going to break you,
Its never going to make you fall.
No matter what I say, you turn your back away.
Its never going to break you,
Its never going to make you fall.
This fake reality I never can make up the time that you take up.
Its my worst enemy.
Im on a mission to feed my addiction.
So sick of thoughts so empty.
Its well overflowed Im bound to explode.
So much so much for what for what we said.
No matter what I say, you turn your back away.
Its never going to break you,
Its never going to make you fall.
No matter what I say, you turn your back away.
Its never going to break you,
Its never going to make you fall.
Somehow between the lines its clearer
Locked down and chained up to the mirror.
Somehow between the lines its clearer
Locked down it takes apart of me.
Im heading for the end on top of this bullsh**
I dont want to hear it.
I found my way again.
Its hard to explain it
I know that I hate it
I dont feel this could be real.
I find so hard Im falling apart
So much so much for what for what we said.
No matter what I say,
You turn your back away.
Its never going to break you,
Its never going to make you fall.
No matter what I say, you turn your back way.
Its never going to break you
Its never going to make you fall.

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Forsaking All Others Part 1

'NOT that you'll like him,' Nell said,
'No mystery - no romance,
A fine, stern, eagle-like head,
But he simply reeks of finance, -­
Started from nothing - self-made -­
And rather likes you to know it,
And now collects porcelain and jade,
Or some Seventeenth Century poet.

'Married in simpler days,
A poor little wren of a being,
Who exists to pray and praise,
And spends her life agreeing,
Thin and dowdy and pale,
And getting paler and thinner­
Well, the point of this dreary tale
Is I've asked them both to dinner.

'I'd leave her out like a shot,
For I'm not so keen about her,
But, my dear, believe it or not,
He won't dine out without her.
She has that terrible hold
That aging wives exert to
Replace young charms grown old­
Poor health and impeccable virtue.

'Lightly I asked them to dine,
And now I perceive the dangers,
My friends-yours and mine­
Are so terribly rude to strangers.
But you, dear girl, I can trust
To come and be brilliant and tender;
Vamp the man, if you must,
But give an impression of splendor.'

II

LEE sat before her mirror... rouged her lips,
Set dripping diamond earrings in her ears,
Polished a little at her finger tips,
Thought that she did not look her thirty years;

Thought, 'Poor dear Nellie's ill-assorted feasts!
I want to be as helpful as I can
Among that group of men and gods and beasts...
Why does she think I shall not like this man?

She made him sound entrancing... strong and crude,
Successful, dominant...I, who for so long
Have known a somewhat pitiful servitude
To weakness, have no terror of the strong.'
Her maid held up her cloak of furry white,
And gave her money in a golden purse.
She sighed: 'Not even third-rate bridge to-night,
Just third-rate conversation... which is worse.'

III

'NELLIE, I'm sorry I'm late,
Edward, I honestly am.
Just the malignance of fate
I always get caught in a jam
Whenever I'm coming to you.
'Mrs. Wayne back of you, Lee,
And Mr. Wayne.'

'How do you do.
Isn't that cocktail for me?

IV

MENU

CAVIAR, cocktails, soup of black bean,
Shad, Moet-Chandon of 1919,
A saddle of mutton, a stuffed aubergine,
With some creme de menthe jelly of beautiful green,
Avocados and lettuce and cold galantine
And baba au rhum with a sauce grenadine,
Coffee and fruit and some excellent fine.


V

SOME women - hard, beautiful women - know a way
Of looking up at a man, so gentle and gay,
A magical child-like look that seems to say:
Let us be happy together for an hour, a day,
A night, or forever. Let us yield to the charm.

Lee looked at Wayne and put her hand on his arm,
Under the broadcloth and linen she felt his muscles like steel,
Feeling, she said to herself, as a man's arm ought to feel.
And she glanced at her own hand there, so slim and cool
With its single cabochon emerald, like a deep green pool.
'Shall we go first,' she asked him, 'or let them all go ahead? '
And so they spoke of leading... and being led.

And then she told him a story, heard she didn't know when,
Of an arctic expedition, from which two men
Had got lost and while they were off and away
They met a dog, starving like them and astray...
A clever heroic creature, who in the end
Guided them back, and they loved that dog like a friend; ­
Loved him and worried about him all the way back...
What would he do when he met the head of the pack,
The leader of dogs, the old dog, cruel and stern,
Who brooked no rival. How could this new dog learn...
Himself a leader and used to his own wild way,
How could he learn to be one of the pack and obey?
Would he not fight for mastery... hopeless...they caught their breath.
Were they not leading this friend they loved to death?

And now the crisis was on them... they saw camp now,
Two men in a fragile boat and a dog standing up in the prow.
They pushed the boat as near as they could to the bank,
And someone to help them land shoved out a plank,
The new dog leaped on the plank, and the old dog, bristling and proud
Made one step to meet him in front of the crowd,
And they looked at each other a moment, and the old dog lay on his back,
And the new dog stepped ashore... the head of the pack.
'A very interesting story. Why did you tell it to me? '
Asked Wayne, with his black eyes on her.
'Why do you think? ' asked Lee.

VI

CANDLE light beams, flickers and blazes
On panelled pine walls, fashioned of old;
Pale pink roses in golden vases,
Hothouse grapes in a bowl of gold;
Crystal goblets, and plenty of them,
Flashing their points of rainbow light.
Tall, grave men servants bending above them,
Everyone talking with all his might: ­

'Why didn't Archie go with Jessie? '
'My dear, she didn't want him, of course.'
'Aren't things getting a trifle messy? '
'There's nothing messy about divorce.'
'Algy's a sort of weak Othello.'
'Poor creature. Jessie is quite a bird.'
'I hear Nan's doing her room in yellow.'.
'Her room? I think it's her hair you heard.'

'Tom never could resist a title.'
'Well, I'm rather a snob myself-'
'The woman is large and rich and vital
And does not mean to be laid on the shelf.'
'Nonsense, she's older than Tom's own mother,
And ought to be laid on a couple of shelves.'
While Lee and Wayne just talked to each other,
Talked to each other about themselves.

VII


NELLIE and Edward left alone,
Feeling their house again their own,
Stood by the fire. 'It seemed to me
The Great Man fell with a crash for Lee...'

'Nellie, the dinner was very good.'

'Darling, so glad you liked your food:
I'm afraid it's all the fun you had,
With Mrs. Wayne...'

'No, not so bad.
I rather liked her. The old girl said
Good things; she's got a tongue in her head.
But why the deuce need she look like that?
She isn't old and she isn't fat.
Wayne's probably generous, certainly rich,
Why need she dress like a Salem witch? '

'Oh, I could talk an hour,' said Nell,
'On the psychic basis of dressing well.
It isn't a question of pocket-books,
It isn't a figure, it isn't looks.
It isn't going to first-rate places.
Believe me, the thing has a psychic basis.
It's caring... caring a terrible lot...
Whether you're right, or whether you're not.
It's being a slave, yet now and then
Snapping your fingers at gods and men.
It's art, it's genius, it's using your mind...
What does the Bible say-'that kind
Comes not forth but by fasting and prayer...'
Well, that's the answer... you've got to care:
And Mrs. Wayne clearly has not been caring
For twenty years about what she was wearing.'


NELLIE and Edward left alone,
Feeling their house again their own,
Stood by the fire. 'It seemed to me
The Great Man fell with a crash for Lee...'

'Nellie, the dinner was very good.'

'Darling, so glad you liked your food:
I'm afraid it's all the fun you had,
With Mrs. Wayne...'

'No, not so bad.
I rather liked her. The old girl said
Good things; she's got a tongue in her head.
But why the deuce need she look like that?
She isn't old and she isn't fat.
Wayne's probably generous, certainly rich,
Why need she dress like a Salem witch? '

'Oh, I could talk an hour,' said Nell,
'On the psychic basis of dressing well.
It isn't a question of pocket-books,
It isn't a figure, it isn't looks.
It isn't going to first-rate places.
Believe me, the thing has a psychic basis.
It's caring... caring a terrible lot...
Whether you're right, or whether you're not.
It's being a slave, yet now and then
Snapping your fingers at gods and men.
It's art, it's genius, it's using your mind...
What does the Bible say-'that kind
Comes not forth but by fasting and prayer...'
Well, that's the answer... you've got to care:
And Mrs. Wayne clearly has not been caring
For twenty years about what she was wearing.'

VII

AT first the Waynes were silent driving home.
Park Avenue tilted southward mile by mile
Until a pale, golden, exotic dome
Stood like a gate across the steep defile.
Rain had been falling and the streets were black.
The traffic lights-emerald and carmine pink­
Were clearly, perfectly reflected back
As in dark mirrors or a pool of ink.
And it was doubly beautiful and gay
When green or red flashed down the polished way.

Wayne in his corner, staring at the skies,
Thought, with his air of easy self-command:
'God, what a woman! What a skin, what eyes,
Lashes a man could feel against his hand.
She lacks a leader, and she knows her lack,
For all her skill and pride... I understood,
If I could turn Time's moving finger back
How easily I could lead her, if I would.
'Why do you tell that tale,' I asked, 'to me? '
She looked at me. 'Why do you think? ' said she.

'If I were free... but I have led my life
With Ruth, and I am bound beyond repeal,
Bound faster to her than she knows: my wife
Is sceptical and wise, and true as steel.
I will not hurt her, as I once before
Hurt her. I have an oath in heaven; and so
I shall not see this lady any more.
Thank God I have the art of saying No.
I shall not go to see her in her flat
Or telephone or write her... that is that.'
Ruth, staring at the polished onyx street,
Thought: 'Merciful God, must I again endure
This agony: must I again compete,
I who am old and tired and insecure?
And she is beautiful and white and slim,
And confident of stirring men's desire...
I felt even as she first looked at him,
Something that flashed between the two like fire.
I always know when these wild passions start,
By something sharp and sickening at my heart.

'Honey-toned Emily, my childhood friend
Who sweetly laid her plans to take my place;
And that stenographer in Little Bend
With her mad eyes and her impassive face...
Wild midnight scenes over the telephone,
In office hours a most respectful 'Sir'
And yet her heart was set on him alone,
She really loved him, and I pitied her.
We had so much in common, she and I,
She almost told me, when she said good-bye.

'But worst was Grace. Grace with her secret art...
She made him feel in some Satanic way
They were Olympians... she and he... apart,
Superior to me... to common clay.
They were spectators at a childish play,
They were all-seeing, in a world of blind...
I could have killed them both with ecstasy..
She so contemptuous and he so kind '

And suddenly his voice was at her ear,
Saying: 'Did you enjoy yourself, my dear? '


IX

LEE alone in her room in the dark
Stared out over Central Park.
The rain brought out the primitive smell
Of cold wet earth. Lee thought: 'Ah, well,
There is a man I certainly can
Have if I want... and he is a man;
A man who might possibly seethe and bubble,
And be a good deal of fun, and a lot of trouble.'

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G2

the lonely wife in the house
for years has been abandoned by the brown colored
husband,
and she in turn pleases herself with some
daily chores: replacing the vase with flowers
everyday
fine tuned with every occasion
of renewal and
revival
sometimes she wears a dress with flowers
of blue designs
she weaves stories for herself
and indulges in the fantasy
of her sorrows
away from grief and
numbed by the pains
this time as the rain pours heavily
and she cannot go into her garden
to pick a flower
she takes a picture of herself
half nude, her breasts
protruding to the light of the sun
whose fingers
caress her nipple and she closes her
eyes
not wanting death
but remembering the face of another
man
even an illusion of a nose
and a set of thick lips
shall make her
survive

whatever, is, the name of
lament.

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Lament....

the lonely wife in the house
for years has been abandoned by the brown colored
husband,
and she in turn pleases herself with some
daily chores: replacing the vase with flowers
everyday
fine tuned with every occasion
of renewal and
revival
sometimes she wears a dress with flowers
of blue designs
she weaves stories for herself
and indulges in the fantasy
of her sorrows
away from grief and
numbed by the pains
this time as the rain pours heavily
and she cannot go into her garden
to pick a flower
she takes a picture of herself
half nude, her breasts
protruding to the light of the sun
whose fingers
caress her nipple and she closes her
eyes
not wanting death
but remembering the face of another
man
even an illusion of a nose
and a set of thick lips
shall make her
survive

whatever, is, the name of
lament.

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Patrick White

The Moon Isn't Renewing Her Virginity

The moon isn't renewing her virginity
in the snakepits of the hypocrites
faking the wavelengths of their radiance
like the black dwarf of an imploding commune
that flared out like graverobbers in the dark
desecrating a cemetery of rainbows.

I've watched the silver shovel of your tongue
go through all phases of the moon, from full
to new, as if you were laying your Tarot cards
out on the table for an autopsy on the Hanged Man.
This one's suspended by one leg with a real rope
around his neck. You're decked out in dreamcatchers
and spider silk like the butterfly bling of a pimp.
What are you selling? Peace, love, and happiness
at the expense of all else? You chirp you love everyone
but you've never loved people enough to learn
how to hate them honestly. There heretics burn

but you're attuned to harmony like a snaketongue
of black lightning is to a tuning fork or a lyre
to the laryngeal cords of a cheesecutter.
You're a wedding cake full of worms. You're
a wishbone with one hip lower than the other
like the short end of the stick, a black capped chickadee
on the lowest rung of the crutch. You emanate.
You radiate. You resonate. You alert
your sleeping brother like a fire alarm
to the god waking up within him, but you exclude,
you forget, you reject the real shamans
dancing in the shadows of their solitude with a limp.

If you cram any more beauty into your eyes
soon you'll be able to open a jewellery store.
God knows how you can love the silver
and hate the ore that poured itself out
like wine for you as if it were bleeding to death
like wild grapes going sour in your mouth.
There's more salvation in drinking
from your own skull, than sipping
like a hummingbird from someone else's grail.
You're just baling a moonboat with a black sail
and a bucket the bottom hasn't fallen out of yet.
Dew blooming on the tips of the tongues
of the stargrass, yes, but you can't conceive
of the watershed of the abyss it was drawn from.

Your moondogs don't snarl enough to guard
the farmyard from the predators that surround you.

You're water gilding Dachau with a silver lining
whenever you look at a black cloud pluming
into the night sky like a fumarole
of mystically unique people going up in smoke
and white wash the dark side of things
desecrating their suffering by remarking
how wonderful it is their ashes kiss your eyelids
like gentle snowflakes of human flesh and bone.
Your third eye's got a cinder in it like a stake
driven into the iris of a Cyclops. You denigrate
the black ops that rescued the rest of the flock
from the cave, like a shepherd moon
that's never known an eclipse it didn't resent.

The blood and dirt under the fingernails of the moon
aren't the terraced gardens of an Incan ruin.
If you're looking for a needle in a haystack
of sunbeams make sure you don't stick it in the eye
of that voodoo doll you carry around with you
like the strawdog of a scarecrow at a harvest ritual
that's eventually going to go up in heretical flames
like Joan of Arc, the witch, not the saint,
once her white magic grew irrationally ineffectual.

Most people look for the light to see in the dark.
Rinse the night from your mirroring consciousness
and you throw the stars out with the womb water
of Aquarius. In the urn of what's left, not
the translucency of self-cleaning jewels
as if your eyes were constantly buffing
their own windows with vinegar
and yesterday's newspaper full of atrocities
that wipe the filth like sunspots off your shining
like a patina of print on the faces of the chimney sweepers
scraping the creosote and shovelling the ashes
of the fireflies out of the furnace. Not enlightenment.
But the putrefied residue in the alembic of a bad alchemist,
trying to mine gold from lead like a thief of honey
from an ant heap of spectacles, and gleaming ingots of teeth.

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Patrick White

However Gratified I Am

However gratified I am, always I'm left with a hunger
for something more than I've tasted before
as if my emptiness were not perfect yet and I were
ready to let everything ride on a single throw of my skull
up against the wall just to see what falls out of its own will,
or change my species once in a while. Over-reaching
perhaps, spiritual pleonaxia, something amiss with my heart
or maybe I just don't want to be left behind, resigned
to an expanding universe I can't keep up with.

Things are as they are. It's clear. My mind's a hawk
with the blinders off. I've thawed the diamond.
Enlightenment flows through my heart like electricity.
I'm shining. I don't need a star to find my way home in the dark.
I can look upon the earth demonically.
I can see it through the eyes of the angel.
But the fireflies have taught me all they have to share.
And the lightning looks like a slacker compared
to the discipline I exact from myself just to
shock me out of the old growth forest in my heartwood
like a chainsaw, despite the nails I've hammered into it
like a crucifix without a saviour, an ark without a sail.

Though I've beamed like the full moon out over the harvest
the bounty of life never quite fills me all the way up to the brim.
I'm always a dropp shy of my longing for completion,
as if there were always a crack in the cup I drank from.
And this agony has summoned me for years
from as far back as my beginningless beginnings
like a bell that swings both ways between sex and death
and though I answer it like the s.o.s. of a lapwing
by the time I get there, it's irrevocably gone
as if it were just a ruse that were leading me on.
Deeper into life? Though what I make of it, like the stars,
I make alone? No trysts on the rainbow bridge at midnight?
No god to rejoice in these works of love within me?
No abyss to delight in the sheer absurdity of it?

A gleeman, a jester, a sacred clown, a morose fool,
a mystic, a scholar, a sailor that went down with the ship
just to stay true to the spirit of the storm within me,
an open doorway for the dead to come and go as they please,
an astronomical prodigy, an optician of mirrors and prisms,
a cowboy Zen master who rode into town on a seahorse,
a poet living on the edge of the word that thrives like weeds
around the graves in the cemeteries of the dead metaphors
I'm always digging up like a dog who buried a bone.
A gardener on the moon, an usher of history, a lover
who learned to sing like a martyr in the flames
of a gnostic heresy that gave up all its claims to knowledge,
a triviality that mentored the grand scheme of things
in the mystic specificity of not just the cosmos,
but the chaos under our noses as well, and all these avatars,
this pageant of characters I look back on now
like a children's crusade, consumed like straw dogs
in the fires of their adoration, and the smoke they left
like a script on the air, unencompassed by any direction of prayer.

A lunar mirage behind a veil of heat, a delusion of water
I raise to the lips of the man on the moon to drink slowly
from his own hands, and the mouth of the man he sees in them.
I hang on a hook through my gut in the air and speak
in tongues of pain nemetic forecasts of the New Year
as a volunteer for the mystic excruciation of agony into bliss,
without insisting that it should be so, and each time
I say next year that's going to be effortless, but it never is.
I've tried denying it to win its affirmation.
I've tried affirming it to have it issue a denial
and still it haunts my solitude like a mute siren I can' t resist.
And don't want to hear. And don't want to listen to.
This undemanding imperative to live more deeply, more darkly
than I ever have before such that all my dragons
are diminished into fireflies at a distance by comparison
trying to burn their way out of the blackholes
I enter like a rite of passage I can't do anything but trust
to the other side of why I risk so much to be here.

I can hear the wind howling through me like a wounded wolf
cauterizing its heart with stars. No mercy on the mountain,
I steel my blood cells with the carbon of old extinctions
and eat the pain, gnawing on a bone in my mouth.
Praying to my own echo for silence, cessation, release,
without taking a step backward over the edge of where I came from.
Let it come, let it come, let it come, encounter or collision the same,
exit or entrance, gate, wall, consummation or the upper limit
of it all just before it turns into a windfall of beginner's luck
and I'm the chance it takes I'm not playing dice with the universe.
That there's more to learn from a curse than a blessing.
That all this isn't just an agonizing farce of humourless shadows,
non-spatial impersonalities slowly being humanized
by life masks of scar tissue as a way of facing up to things.
That a calling isn't just a matter of putting up a plaque
to commemorate the garden life was first introduced to time in.
That humans weren't just born to be sundials of the flesh.
That suffering is a dark enlightenment that's mother of the stars
and compassion tastes of the tears of the tree it ripened on.
That ego isn't the king of thorns in a world full of balloons.

Or if so. A rose is a mere rhetorical device of the blood
and there's nothing beautiful about a puncture wound
to a mythically-inflated universe waiting for a heart transplant.
That art's just the phoney climax of an unbearable impotence
that breeds cunning and guile as an antidote to spontaneity
and it's an indictable offence to bear true witness
to the untenable relationship between the fiction of beauty
and the delirium of meaning that follows in its wake
like gulls behind a river barge of surgically removed body parts
being dumped out at sea like bad meat down a neighbour's well.
Anomie. Ennui. Menses and memes of homogenous angst. Normalcy
of reflexive desecration. Solipsistic nihilism. Home-grown anarchy.
Gnats in the dusk. Frenzied star clusters. Saddles without horses
lined up seriatim along the fence like the pelvises of extinct animals
waiting to get asked to the dance by a water ballet of wheelchairs.
Schools of thought slyly amended by X-box.
Heavily armed poets buying bad ammunition for their books
and the clarity of a life that was never there to return to
going through violent paroxysms of withdrawal in de tox.

Locusts dying in the starfields they swarmed like civilization.
Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?
I'm out here in the weeds, ploughing the moon back under.
Let the seeds fall where they will on any night of the calendar.
Intense heat. Unusual sprouts. I'm not a hunter, not a farmer.
No ploughshares beaten into swords, no swords into bells.
I don't read meanings into what I sow like dragons' teeth,
open gates to let things in and out or through.
I was an exile in progress the day before I was born
to be returned to my solitude like a waterclock
of siloes and urns on the moon scattering my ashes
among the stars that bloom to be consumed by their hunger,
as it is becoming increasingly clear to me I do
like a salmon leaping upstream against the flow of time,
to spoonfeed the abyss an elixir of remedial eyes.

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Patrick White

The Flowers Of The Street People

White trash with their faces punched in like catcher's mitts
mooning the flowers of the street people as they drive by
like a float in a pageant of ignorance having a good time
at everyone else's expense. Pygmy heroes of their own irrelevance.

Annie, the bag-lady, puts the avalanche of her head down
and spits like salt as if she just survived Sodom and Gomorrah
as she passes by, sullen and resigned to the blackflies
that have swarmed her like the shadows of commas for years.
You just have to take one look at her face to know
she's the dried rose of a gnostic gospel that went flakey
long before women were forbidden from invigilating
their own spirits. Given the protocols of the bleakness,
even the city can serve as a shrine of sorts. Man bulls
in lunar labyrinths, and the Princess of Spiders,
unweaving her thread in a moment of desire
waiting to have her webs elevated among the stars
in cosmic reprisal for the betrayal of her abandonment to love.

And there's Peter, the architect turned shipwreck,
on a chain gang in a quarry, he's cracked so many rocks
to extract the gold rush out of his sixty dollars worth of meteorites
and flush it through his veins like a motherlode
back into the ore of his panspermic flesh. He begs
money on the corner on behalf of his dealer
all day long, a begging bowl that still has to pay
for his drugs in paradise. One day, if he keeps complaining,
because the last thing to go when you're mad,
is your understanding of money, the dealer's
going to smile like a snake and pat him on the back
and say, yes, Peter, you're right, you should be in on the take,
and give him a rock the size of Gibraltar
that will see his mummy being wheeled into
the sarcophagus of an ambulance by the morning
of the next replicated day. Which is maybe what he wants.

And who killed the hysterical rose lady who
for twenty years flogged a little beauty in the bars
to anyone who wanted to make a romantic move
on the flippant female sitting next to them
spending her disability cheque trying to forget
all the shabby dawns that have come on to her like boyfriends
and how she liked to throw them off the bridge to Hull
like the artworks of terrified ex-cons trying to make a getaway.
This actually happened to a friend of mine
in the squalid back room of a degenerate relationship
after he'd been raped repeatedly by a Christian reformatory.
But he can paint in any corner of six possible restaurants
in the Ottawa Market as if he had the eyes of a peacock
in the full bloom of a mating ritual with the waitresses.

And Kathy's in the doorway again at the bottom of the fire escape
trying to flog the ruined waterlily of her youthful face
as if this were the red light district of Amsterdam
though it's nothing as lavish as that, to the first john
who wants to use her body like a telephone booth.
I give her money for nothing when I have it and tell her
to spend it on whatever she wants,
so there's no guilt in the gift to add to her sorrows
and she thinks I'm a funny, wise man,
and though I'm happy I can make her laugh about something
it only enhances my tragic sense of compassion
to feel how brutal the truth can be when I don't say a word
to dissuade her from believing I'm wise, and she's still pretty.

And those three skull fractures there
are trying to put a price tag on my Boulet cowboy boots
to denude an old man of his footware in a side alley
after the restaurants have closed down their kitchens,
but there's still more leather in my heart than mushroom
and they might end up wishing they hadn't dropped out
of anger management, after they taste the explosive rage
of my munitions factory in a supernova of fireflies
waking the dragons sleeping in an abandoned coal mine
trying to forge their eyes into diamonds, and their claws
into a titanium alloy of crescent moons folded like sabres
they can wield like a blacksmith hammers an anvil
as an objective correlative of all that's wrong in the world.

Reductio ad absurdum. The philosophical savagery
of a furious muse biting at her wounds like razorwire
in an internment camp for racial profiles, Queen Bee
shows the prostitots and street pups how she uses her needles
to crochet her body like a tea cosy for a Saturnian moon
speedballing heroin and crack with a touch of acetone,
kerosene, and veinous hydrochloride for a purple sunset.
Seminars in vicecraft at the left-handed nightschool
where she teaches starmaps to a class full of armpits
who want to know where to hit up next. Too cool
to be groovy, too chill not to be an ice age,
the temperature plunges like a syringe in permafrost.

Most living through the human mess that's left
of the mythically inflated lives they used to live
with ineffectual clarity about what's given them up for dead.
Sleeping with schizophrenic terrorists at the Good Shepherd
who see murder as a form of assisted suicide
and waking up in the morning to a knife-fight
between a mattress and a man who's been
sleeping with it all night like a woman
he gave everything up for to expiate the horror
of living his eternally recurrent worst nightmare out
like a leper colony of the inchoate body parts of Barbie Dolls.
Had a desperately unloved Barbadian chartered accountant friend once
who had his throat cut in the morning
by two recently released ex-cons in a rooming house
for cooking his fish too loud while they were sleeping.
And that on the heels of landing his first job interview
in the last five futile months, hoping he could
lure his wife and kids back to any standard of living
that didn't distemper the contagion of his exile.

And the drunks are connoisseurs of shoe-polish
and cheap colognes, shaking like aspens on a street corner
hoping not to foul themselves again in a squad car
before they can regurgitate themselves in the drunk tank.
And all the runaways have run out of faces to flee to
except for the motherly ladybugs who take them
under their spotted wings, and pander them to friends
like cultivated perverts in distinguished places
that know all the G-spots of the ingenuous government
they've been molesting on the sly for years.

And it's fruitless to condemn, judge, blame
or punitively litigate the collateral damage of life
because you're too delicately squeamish to watch
how the cow is killed, bawling, that you're about
to sit down and eat with your well-kempt family
and your weedless ethics, o so neat, like a close-cropped lawn.
And if it's rough and crude. Armageddon isn't a Sunday school.
And survival's a boxer that gives and takes dirty shots.
And the only moral imperative life lives by is: Live.
And it's been a while since I've seen anybody
walking in someone else's moccasins to empathize
why the grace of God went with this one like a greased mirror
that that one had to hitch hike on a turn pike.

And one other thing. I've seen shipwrecks
wedged so long on the bottom into their starmud,
the moon among the corals has covered
their skeletons with flesh as if there were terracotta armies
for the most defenceless of us too, and unlike
the pigeons on the statues of the prime ministers
four blocks away, so stoically posed in their noble solitude
attached like figureheads to the foremast of a flag pole,
life thrives vividly all around them like a painter
with a Jamaican sense of colour. And there are luminosities
so brief and brilliant you'd think you were watching
fireflies dropp acid with the stars, acts of surrealistic living
where people who have nothing but their mere presence left
cherish giving even that up as well as if compassion
among the desperate, were the last sign of self-respect
that such cornucopias of life can be engendered by shipwrecks.

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Patrick White

Things Might Be Drifting Away

Things might be drifting away
like an empty lifeboat
with nothing left to save
but the memory of moonlight
on the rush of a wave of the heart
that rose and fell
like a bell of insight on the night watch
that said all's well all's well for the night.
And so it was for a while.

Time might seem
that it's overstaying its welcome
and you've become the estranged guest
of a bad dream
in your own bed
in the thirteenth house of the zodiac
where the dispossessed
shack up with the misbegotten
and the ghosts of everything you've forgotten
don't give you any rest
until all that you've cursed
out of anger and need
has been immensely forgiven and blessed.
And perhaps it appears
you've been the rogue star
of a sign in long exile
far away from now
and that might account
for your misplaced trust in mirrors
and your lack of confidence in star maps.

Happiness just happens
like good luck and grace
and the creative inspiration
to rejoice in your time and place here
as if the purpose of your voice
were always to praise
even on the darkest of days
when the only thing
that shone in your eyes
weren't the stars you kept
locked away in your tears
like the face paint of clowns
or the crown jewels of the Pleiades
but a bitter farce of black holes
in the veils of the mirage
that eclipsed your enlightenment
with a starless night
it's impossible to get beyond.
And so it may well be
for those who've been
as far gone for as long you have.

But even the blind are shining
though they can't see it
and the deaf are still singing
though they can't hear it
and the dead are still living
though they can't feel it.
And those who have given up seeking
still find what they were looking for
like a loveletter with a return address
and an open door that recognizes them
like the prodigal threshold
of a homeless human
about to cross one more
like the last step of a long journey
that lost its way back in all directions
like the radiance of a star in space and time
that never took its eye off the past.

We cherish the flowers of summer that bloom last
more poignantly than those of the spring
because we feel our own hour of farewell
in the progress of their passing.
The sadness of an earthly excellence
fulfilled and surpassed
we see in the shedding of the aster's petals
and in the lowering of the wild rose's eyelids
and in the lengthening of the black walnut's shadows
that move like cool water
across the dry grass of a late afternoon
signs of the same night approaching us.
And we know it will be dusk soon.

We'll look up at the blue moon in late October
and whether the silos are full or empty
wonder if every harvest
wears the same death mask we do
with the smile of a scythe on its face
or if the goddess of the grain
bears true witness to
the perennial innocence of death
in the way she enhances
the white spectre of the first frost
to shock the garden down to its roots
with the same koan she uses
to enlighten the dew on the stargrass.

And you might dread the coming excruciations
of the scarecrow immolated on the pyre
of its own substance
like the short straw of flesh
that once sustained it
lost in a draw with death.
And come to scorn your heart like an urn
filled with ashes in the aftermath
of the same fire that once filled it
so full of desire to bloom
it could no more contain itself
than a seed can keep a secret from the spring.

You could see it that way.
And who among those clinging
like a blue atmosphere
to this homeless grain of dust
in the vastness of these sidereal immensities
within and without
that animate us like starmud
to join in this dance of life and death
like a legacy of shining
that can't be washed out of our eyes
though tears have fallen for lightyears
on the root fires of what we've loved and lost.
Who among these
could say you were wrong?

Because no river's flowing
the wrong way to the sea
in this reunion of arrivals and departures
at the stations of our afterlives
on this wheel of birth and death.
We're all going to make it back
to where we came from
one way or another.
Some like rain.
Some like ice.
Some like snow.
Some like the lingering ghost
of morning mist on the lake
that's gone before noon
and some like water on the moon.
The flowing of the river
summoned by the sea
to the source of its coming and going
is the calling of life everywhere
to transcend itself
by passing into the unknown
like the available dimension of a future
that's no further beyond us
than the past is
in the light of distant stars.

The sword doesn't wound itself.
Fire doesn't burn itself.
Water doesn't drown in itself.
And life doesn't bleed out of itself
like the dream of a fortune-telling poppy
or a water clock that's run itself to ground.

The eye isn't the seeing.
The ear isn't the hearing.
The tongue isn't the tasting.
The skin isn't the touching.
The voice isn't the saying.
The brain isn't the thinking.
The heart isn't the feeling
anymore than life
is the carrying in
and death is the bearing out.
The darkness isn't a lack of light
and the light isn't the absence of night.
Death is unborn.
Life is unperishing.
Formless in a world of forms.
Two wavelengths of the same awareness.

You say you can see night gathering
under the door you're afraid to answer
long before anyone knocks
and though you dream by your own light
you don't know who's casting the shadows.
Is sorrow any younger in the heart of a child
than it is in the memory of an old man?
Joy any less vivid in the eyes of an old woman
attending to the flowers in her garden
than it is in a girl having tea with her dolls?
Is this day not as new to the widow
as it is to the newly-wed?
Experience is the capstone and dunce-cap
of the sum of destructions
that made us who we are today.
And in life it's the brilliance of our failures
that throws more light on the dark matter
of the issue before us
than all the star power
of the blazing successes
that blind us to our own shining.

You step out of a backlit doorway
into the dark
and slowly the darkness grows
the eyes you need to see the stars.
And maybe death is like that.
Nothing to look at but black
until we blow the candle out
that's been misleading us all the way.
Maybe that's why the jaws of skulls
are always caught gaping at something
that's more than they can say.
But look at the expressions on their faces.
Maybe their eyes
are too overwhelmed by what they're seeing
to want to get in the way.
You could see it like that.
You could see it through the eyes of the rain.
You can taste it on the tongue of a candle flame.
You can read it from right to left
in the Kufic script of the wind.
You can hear it in what the stars are whispering
through the keyholes in the pyramids.
You can feel it all around you
like bubbles of skin and air.
Like empty rooms with atmosphere.
As many ways and roads and rivers as there are
that flow into it down the world mountain
back to the sea
back to the same undifferentiated watershed
of these myriads of mystic specificity
and who could number them all
as many as the stars
or all the grains of sand
of all the deserts and beaches on earth
as many as the dead of every kind who've come and gone
all that blood mind passion dream and imagination
all those tears all that despair lucidity and apprehension
love and familial affection
all that waste and hatred and emotional sewage
dissolved wholly back into the sea
like a watercolour left out in the rain
like a name written on water
by a poet who died young
in a foreign language far away from home
just as birth arrays the universe before us
and says make of it what you can
so death approaches no less a peer of life
than we are in our relationship with all things
and offers us
the same great creative opportunity life does.
Green bough.
Dead branch.
Sunset.
Moon rise.
The hidden night bird alights
on either alike
and folding its wings
like gates and books
and the eyelids of those who dream
at the beginning and end
of a long dark radiant journey,
sings.

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We are all in this together. We will all make it or none of us will make it. If everyone cleans up their act except one big ole country, it isn't going to work.

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Ben Kingsley

Hopefully, as I get older in the business, I make my choices more accurately, and I perhaps know from either the script or the first meeting that it isn't going to work

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Ben Kingsley

Hopefully, as I get older in the business, I make my choices more accurately, and I perhaps know from either the script or the first meeting that it isn't going to work.

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