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Jamie Lee Curtis

The more I like me, the less I want to pretend to be other people.

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Forgive The Less

Talk is not that cheap, you kiss your mother on the lips, you will pay for every word with your teeth, first kiss a goodbye to your mom, you have blisters around your mouth - Dead by addiction, dead with affection, death is not there for your protection - The horror behind her doors, the screaming never stops for you to ear your listen, where there is not one life alive with a soul, in hell there is no prison - Be more, forgive the less which own zero, be the hero nero

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Nothing More Nor Is There Anything Less

I am quite simple.
And I guess in that basicness,
There is a complexity some wish to see.

I have no hidden agenda.
No ego to massage.
I too concern myself,
With a degrading quality of life.
I wish I had powers to make that right.
But I don't.
Nor will I let that be assumed...
I enforce 'visions' like that in my mind.
To occupy and absorb.
As if I allow that room.

I am quite simple.
And I guess in that basicness,
There is a complexity some wish to see.

I acknowledge I am a writer.
But I express that done,
With the best of my ability!
And nothing more,
Nor is there anything less...
Will I confess,
Satisfies or gratifies that constant need.
Whether or not that is understood by others.
I understand it!
And somehow...
That is all I need to know.

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Never The Less/as Time Goes By

(b. kalmer and h. ruby/h. hupfeld)
Maybe Im right and maybe Im wrong
Maybe Im weak and maybe Im strong
But never the less Im in love with you
Maybe Ill win and maybe Ill lose
And maybe Im in for crying the blues
But never the less Im in love with you
Somehow I know at a glance
The terrible chances Im taking
Fine at the start
Then left with a heart that is breaking
Maybe Ill live a life of regret
And maybe Ill give much more than I get
But never the less
Im in love with you
You must remember this
A kiss is just a kiss
A sigh is still a sigh
The fundamental things apply
As time goes by
And when true love is true
They still say I love you
On that you can rely
No matter what the future brings
As time goes by
Moonlight and love songs
Never out of date
Hearts full of passion
Jeaslousy and hate
Woman needs man
And man must have his mate
That no one can deny
Its still the same old story
A fight for love and glory
A case of do or die
The world will always welcome lovers
As time goes by
But never the less
Im in love with you
Never the less Im in love

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You Do Not Notice The Genius Of Other People

in your vanity
in the tallness of your price
like the tower of babel
you stand disunited
and scattered soon
you shall be like leaves
blown by the winds
of change

you do not notice the genius
of other people
you have looked so profusely
inside yourself
and you have not only become
one meaningless tower
but a cave digging more
confusions towards
the darkness of your
feet

try opening the eyes between
your eyes
try using the ears embedded
in your ten fingers

hear those who have no spoken
listen
see those who are like shadows
living
in the twilight of your life

perhaps you can find yourself
the paradox keeps upon itself the truth

your heart thrives somewhere
your hands have not been holding

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The Way You Want Me

Wont throw no shade on you
Dont wanna put you through
Those lies you lived before
Girl, I can give you more
Baby take my hand
And try to understand
That Ill be here for you
Just the way you want me to
Feel like youre wasting all of your time
Youre going out of your mind
From all the tears youve been crying
And I know all the things hes putting you through
The cheating no one can prove
You never know what to do, yeah
Just tell me what you feel inside
Dont be consumed by foolish pride
cause I can see with my two eyes
The pain that youve been holding tight
Its time that you begin to feel
The kind of love thats really real, yeah
Girl, let me tell you the deal
[chorus]
Its time for you to decide
What you want from your life
No room for compromise
cause I can give you everything that you need
Open your eyes and youll see
That I can set you free, baby
So come to me with your broken heart
Youll feel the love from the very start
I think its time for you to part
From a man that leaves you in the dark
Youre the type that needs romance
Someone to break you from your trance
Now baby here is your chance

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Something In The Air

Your coat and hat are gone
Ive really cant look at your little empty shelf
A ragged teddy bear
It feels like we never had a chance
Dont look me in the eye
We lay in each others arms
But the room is just an empty space
I guess weve lived it out
Something in the air
We smiled to fast then cant think of a thing to say
Lived with the best times
Left with the worst
Ive danced with you too long
Nothing left to save
Lets take what we can
I know you hold your head up high
Weve raced for the last time
A place of no return
And theres is something in the air
Something in my eye
Ive dance with you too long (yeah)
Something in the air
Something in my eye
Abracadoo, I loose you
We cant avoid the clash
The big mistake
Now were gonna pay and pay
The sentence of our lives
Cant believe Im asking you to go
We used what we could
To get the things we want
But we lost each other on the way
I guess you know I never wanted anyone more than you
Lived all our best times
Left with the worst
Ive danced with you to long
Say what you will
Theres something in the air
Raced for the last time
Well I know youll hold your head up high
But its nothing we have to say
Theres nothing in our eyes
But theres something in the air
Something in my eye
Ive danced with you too long
Theres something I have to say
Theres something in the air
Something in my eye
Do do do do
Do do do do
Ive danced with you too long
Do do do do
Do do do do
Danced with you too long
Do do
Danced with you too long
Something in the air
Something in the air
Do do do do
Do do do do

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The Way You Want Me To

Won't throw no shame on you
Don't wanna put you through
Those lives you've lived before
Coz I can give you more
Baby take my hand
And try to understand
That I'll be here for you
Just the way you want me to

Girl like you're wastin all your time
You're going outta your mind
Well all the tears you been cryin
And I don't want the things he's putting you through
The cheatin only can prove
You never know what to do
Yeah

Just tell me what you feel inside
Stop thinking about foolish pride
Coz I could see me in your eyes
The way that you've been holding tight
It's time to begin to feel
The kind of love that's really real
Yeah
Girl let me tell you the deal

Won't throw no shame on you
Don't wanna put you through
Those lives you've lived before
Coz I can give you more
Baby take my hand
And try to understand
That I'll be here for you
Just the way you want me to

It's time for you to decide
What you want from your life
Don't want to compromise
Coz I can give you everything that you need
Open your eyes and you'll see
That I can set you free baby
You come to me with a broken heart
You'll feel the love from the very start
It's time for you to part
From a man that leaves you in the dark
It's time to find a man to break you from the trance
Now baby here is your chance

Won't throw no shame on you
Don't wanna put you through
Those lives you've lived before
Coz I can give you more
Baby take my hand
And try to understand
That I'll be here for you
Just the way you want me to

Won't throw no shame on you
Don't wanna put you through
Those lives you've lived before
Coz I can give you more
Baby take my hand
And try to understand
That I'll be here for you
Just the way you want me to

I know just what you're going through
You need love that'll always be true
Look at my eyes
Girl I'll give it to you
The way you want me to

Won't throw no shame on you
Don't wanna put you through
Those lives you've lived before
Coz I can give you more
Baby take my hand
And try to understand
That I'll be here for you
Just the way you want me to

Won't throw no shame on you
Don't wanna put you through
Those lives you've lived before
Coz I can give you more
Baby take my hand
And try to understand
That I'll be here for you
Just the way you want me to

Won't throw no shame on you
Don't wanna put you through
Those lives you've lived before
Coz I can give you more
Baby take my hand
And try to understand
That I'll be here for you
Just the way you want me to

The way you want me to
The way you want me to

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The Royal Mails

For all its flowers and trailing bowers,
Its singing birds and streams,
This valley's not the blissful spot,
The paradise, it seems.
I don't forget a man I met
Beneath this very tree, -
The cooing of that cushat dove
Brings back his face to me, -
The merest lad, a sullen, sad,
Unhappy soul with eyes half mad,
Most sorrowful to see.
I asked him who he was, and what;
'Twas his affair, he answered, that,
And had no more to say:
'Twas all I'd feared, the tale I heard,
When he at last gave way.
I've not forgot the look he shot
Me through and through with then;
'What loathly land is this!' he cried,
And cursed it for a countryside
Where devils masque as men.
I thought at first his brain was burst,
So senselessly he cried and cursed
And spat with rage and hate;
He writhed to hear the glossy dove
In song among the boughs above
Beside its gentle mate.
His fury passed away at last,
And when his reason came
He told me he was city bred,
A page about the Court, he said,
And coloured up with shame;
It made him wince to own a Prince
Of very famous fame.
'He looked for one with speed and strength
And youth, and picked on me at length
And ordered me to stand
Prepared to leave at break of day,
With letters naught must long delay,
For certain cities far away
Across this lonely land.
'He told me all the roads to take
And cautioned me to go
With ears and eyes and wits awake,
Alert from top to toe,
For spies and thieves wore out most shoes
Upon the roads that I must use,
As he had cause to know.
'I took my cloak as morning broke
And started down the hill,
With Castle-bells and Fare-ye-wells
And bugles sweet and shrill -
Sir Woodsman, though it's months ago,
I hear that music still.
'What matters now or ever how
I made the journey here!
I fed on berries from the bough,
Abundant everywhere,
Or if it failed, that luscious meat,
I dug up roots that wild hogs eat
And flourished on the fare;
At night I made a grassy bed
And went to sleep without a dread
And woke without a care -
'No matter how I managed now,
It all went well enough,
Until I saw this spot, I vow,
No man was better off.
'Last night as I came down this vale
In wind and rain full blast,
I turned about to hear a shout
Ho, master, whither so fast!
'A minute more and half a score
Of men were at my side,
Plain merchants all, they said they were,
And camping in a thicket near,
`Remain with us!' they cried.
' `Remain with us, our board is spread
With cheer the best, Ah, stay,' they said,
`Why go so proudly by!'
And there and then my legs were lead,
A weary man was I!
'They stared with wonder that I walked
These tangled hills and dales, and talked
Of better roads at hand,
Smooth roads without a hill to climb
A man could walk in half the time,
The finest in the land,
With more, - but most of it I lost
Or did not understand.
' `So, come,' they cried, `our tents are tight,
Our fires are burning warm and bright!
How shall we let you go to-night
Without offending heaven!
Come, leave you shall with morning light,
Strong with the strength of seven!'
'True men they seemed, for me I dreamed
No whit of their design,
Their mildness would have clapped a hood
On sharper eyes than mine;
Ay, me they pressed awhile to rest,
Persuaded me to be their guest,
And stole the letters from my breast
When I fell down with wine!
'It all came crowding on my mind
With morning when I woke to find
How blind and blind and utter blind
And blind again I'd been;
Both tents and men had vanished then,
Were nowhere to be seen.'
'Twas word for word a tale I'd heard
Not once or twice before,
Since first I made an axe ring out
Upon the timber hereabout,
But twenty times and more.
For many a year we've harboured here
A nest of thieves and worse,
Who watch for these young Castlemen
At night among the gorse,
It's hard to say if one in ten
Gets by with life and purse.
I wonder since 'twould serve the Prince
To square accounts with these, -
And many a score of footpads more
All like as pins or peas,
Who ply their trades at other glades
And plunder whom they please -
He does not rout the vermin out
And hang them to the trees.
But this poor lad - for me I knew
Scarce what to think or say,
I pitied him, I pitied, too,
Those cities far away.
I asked him would he stay and be
A woodman in these woods with me,
Perhaps he did not hear,
Perhaps the dove in song above
Beside it mistress dear,
Was Castle-bells and Fare-ye-wells
And hornets in his ear;
An old grey man in all but years,
He pulled his cloak about his ears,
And went I know not where.

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Homer

The Odyssey: Book 14

Ulysses now left the haven, and took the rough track up through
the wooded country and over the crest of the mountain till he
reached the place where Minerva had said that he would find the
swineherd, who was the most thrifty servant he had. He found him
sitting in front of his hut, which was by the yards that he had
built on a site which could be seen from far. He had made them
spacious and fair to see, with a free ran for the pigs all round them;
he had built them during his master's absence, of stones which he
had gathered out of the ground, without saying anything to Penelope or
Laertes, and he had fenced them on top with thorn bushes. Outside
the yard he had run a strong fence of oaken posts, split, and set
pretty close together, while inside lie had built twelve sties near
one another for the sows to lie in. There were fifty pigs wallowing in
each sty, all of them breeding sows; but the boars slept outside and
were much fewer in number, for the suitors kept on eating them, and
die swineherd had to send them the best he had continually. There were
three hundred and sixty boar pigs, and the herdsman's four hounds,
which were as fierce as wolves, slept always with them. The
swineherd was at that moment cutting out a pair of sandals from a good
stout ox hide. Three of his men were out herding the pigs in one place
or another, and he had sent the fourth to town with a boar that he had
been forced to send the suitors that they might sacrifice it and
have their fill of meat.
When the hounds saw Ulysses they set up a furious barking and flew
at him, but Ulysses was cunning enough to sit down and loose his
hold of the stick that he had in his hand: still, he would have been
torn by them in his own homestead had not the swineherd dropped his ox
hide, rushed full speed through the gate of the yard and driven the
dogs off by shouting and throwing stones at them. Then he said to
Ulysses, "Old man, the dogs were likely to have made short work of
you, and then you would have got me into trouble. The gods have
given me quite enough worries without that, for I have lost the best
of masters, and am in continual grief on his account. I have to attend
swine for other people to eat, while he, if he yet lives to see the
light of day, is starving in some distant land. But come inside, and
when you have had your fill of bread and wine, tell me where you
come from, and all about your misfortunes."
On this the swineherd led the way into the hut and bade him sit
down. He strewed a good thick bed of rushes upon the floor, and on the
top of this he threw the shaggy chamois skin- a great thick one- on
which he used to sleep by night. Ulysses was pleased at being made
thus welcome, and said "May Jove, sir, and the rest of the gods
grant you your heart's desire in return for the kind way in which
you have received me."
To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaeus, "Stranger, though a still
poorer man should come here, it would not be right for me to insult
him, for all strangers and beggars are from Jove. You must take what
you can get and be thankful, for servants live in fear when they
have young lords for their masters; and this is my misfortune now, for
heaven has hindered the return of him who would have been always
good to me and given me something of my own- a house, a piece of land,
a good looking wife, and all else that a liberal master allows a
servant who has worked hard for him, and whose labour the gods have
prospered as they have mine in the situation which I hold. If my
master had grown old here he would have done great things by me, but
he is gone, and I wish that Helen's whole race were utterly destroyed,
for she has been the death of many a good man. It was this matter that
took my master to Ilius, the land of noble steeds, to fight the
Trojans in the cause of kin Agamemnon."
As he spoke he bound his girdle round him and went to the sties
where the young sucking pigs were penned. He picked out two which he
brought back with him and sacrificed. He singed them, cut them up, and
spitted on them; when the meat was cooked he brought it all in and set
it before Ulysses, hot and still on the spit, whereon Ulysses
sprinkled it over with white barley meal. The swineherd then mixed
wine in a bowl of ivy-wood, and taking a seat opposite Ulysses told
him to begin.
"Fall to, stranger," said he, "on a dish of servant's pork. The
fat pigs have to go to the suitors, who eat them up without shame or
scruple; but the blessed gods love not such shameful doings, and
respect those who do what is lawful and right. Even the fierce
free-booters who go raiding on other people's land, and Jove gives
them their spoil- even they, when they have filled their ships and got
home again live conscience-stricken, and look fearfully for judgement;
but some god seems to have told these people that Ulysses is dead
and gone; they will not, therefore, go back to their own homes and
make their offers of marriage in the usual way, but waste his estate
by force, without fear or stint. Not a day or night comes out of
heaven, but they sacrifice not one victim nor two only, and they
take the run of his wine, for he was exceedingly rich. No other
great man either in Ithaca or on the mainland is as rich as he was; he
had as much as twenty men put together. I will tell you what he had.
There are twelve herds of cattle upon the mainland, and as many flocks
of sheep, there are also twelve droves of pigs, while his own men
and hired strangers feed him twelve widely spreading herds of goats.
Here in Ithaca he runs even large flocks of goats on the far end of
the island, and they are in the charge of excellent goatherds. Each
one of these sends the suitors the best goat in the flock every day.
As for myself, I am in charge of the pigs that you see here, and I
have to keep picking out the best I have and sending it to them."
This was his story, but Ulysses went on eating and drinking
ravenously without a word, brooding his revenge. When he had eaten
enough and was satisfied, the swineherd took the bowl from which he
usually drank, filled it with wine, and gave it to Ulysses, who was
pleased, and said as he took it in his hands, "My friend, who was this
master of yours that bought you and paid for you, so rich and so
powerful as you tell me? You say he perished in the cause of King
Agamemnon; tell me who he was, in case I may have met with such a
person. Jove and the other gods know, but I may be able to give you
news of him, for I have travelled much."
Eumaeus answered, "Old man, no traveller who comes here with news
will get Ulysses' wife and son to believe his story. Nevertheless,
tramps in want of a lodging keep coming with their mouths full of
lies, and not a word of truth; every one who finds his way to Ithaca
goes to my mistress and tells her falsehoods, whereon she takes them
in, makes much of them, and asks them all manner of questions,
crying all the time as women will when they have lost their
husbands. And you too, old man, for a shirt and a cloak would
doubtless make up a very pretty story. But the wolves and birds of
prey have long since torn Ulysses to pieces, or the fishes of the
sea have eaten him, and his bones are lying buried deep in sand upon
some foreign shore; he is dead and gone, and a bad business it is
for all his friends- for me especially; go where I may I shall never
find so good a master, not even if I were to go home to my mother
and father where I was bred and born. I do not so much care,
however, about my parents now, though I should dearly like to see them
again in my own country; it is the loss of Ulysses that grieves me
most; I cannot speak of him without reverence though he is here no
longer, for he was very fond of me, and took such care of me that
whereever he may be I shall always honour his memory."
"My friend," replied Ulysses, "you are very positive, and very
hard of belief about your master's coming home again, nevertheless I
will not merely say, but will swear, that he is coming. Do not give me
anything for my news till he has actually come, you may then give me a
shirt and cloak of good wear if you will. I am in great want, but I
will not take anything at all till then, for I hate a man, even as I
hate hell fire, who lets his poverty tempt him into lying. I swear
by king Jove, by the rites of hospitality, and by that hearth of
Ulysses to which I have now come, that all will surely happen as I
have said it will. Ulysses will return in this self same year; with
the end of this moon and the beginning of the next he will be here
to do vengeance on all those who are ill treating his wife and son."
To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaeus, "Old man, you will
neither get paid for bringing good news, nor will Ulysses ever come
home; drink you wine in peace, and let us talk about something else.
Do not keep on reminding me of all this; it always pains me when any
one speaks about my honoured master. As for your oath we will let it
alone, but I only wish he may come, as do Penelope, his old father
Laertes, and his son Telemachus. I am terribly unhappy too about
this same boy of his; he was running up fast into manhood, and bade
fare to be no worse man, face and figure, than his father, but some
one, either god or man, has been unsettling his mind, so he has gone
off to Pylos to try and get news of his father, and the suitors are
lying in wait for him as he is coming home, in the hope of leaving the
house of Arceisius without a name in Ithaca. But let us say no more
about him, and leave him to be taken, or else to escape if the son
of Saturn holds his hand over him to protect him. And now, old man,
tell me your own story; tell me also, for I want to know, who you
are and where you come from. Tell me of your town and parents, what
manner of ship you came in, how crew brought you to Ithaca, and from
what country they professed to come- for you cannot have come by
land."
And Ulysses answered, "I will tell you all about it. If there were
meat and wine enough, and we could stay here in the hut with nothing
to do but to eat and drink while the others go to their work, I
could easily talk on for a whole twelve months without ever
finishing the story of the sorrows with which it has pleased heaven to
visit me.
"I am by birth a Cretan; my father was a well-to-do man, who had
many sons born in marriage, whereas I was the son of a slave whom he
had purchased for a concubine; nevertheless, my father Castor son of
Hylax (whose lineage I claim, and who was held in the highest honour
among the Cretans for his wealth, prosperity, and the valour of his
sons) put me on the same level with my brothers who had been born in
wedlock. When, however, death took him to the house of Hades, his sons
divided his estate and cast lots for their shares, but to me they gave
a holding and little else; nevertheless, my valour enabled me to marry
into a rich family, for I was not given to bragging, or shirking on
the field of battle. It is all over now; still, if you look at the
straw you can see what the ear was, for I have had trouble enough
and to spare. Mars and Minerva made me doughty in war; when I had
picked my men to surprise the enemy with an ambuscade I never gave
death so much as a thought, but was the first to leap forward and
spear all whom I could overtake. Such was I in battle, but I did not
care about farm work, nor the frugal home life of those who would
bring up children. My delight was in ships, fighting, javelins, and
arrows- things that most men shudder to think of; but one man likes
one thing and another another, and this was what I was most
naturally inclined to. Before the Achaeans went to Troy, nine times
was I in command of men and ships on foreign service, and I amassed
much wealth. I had my pick of the spoil in the first instance, and
much more was allotted to me later on.
"My house grew apace and I became a great man among the Cretans, but
when Jove counselled that terrible expedition, in which so many
perished, the people required me and Idomeneus to lead their ships
to Troy, and there was no way out of it, for they insisted on our
doing so. There we fought for nine whole years, but in the tenth we
sacked the city of Priam and sailed home again as heaven dispersed us.
Then it was that Jove devised evil against me. I spent but one month
happily with my children, wife, and property, and then I conceived the
idea of making a descent on Egypt, so I fitted out a fine fleet and
manned it. I had nine ships, and the people flocked to fill them.
For six days I and my men made feast, and I found them many victims
both for sacrifice to the gods and for themselves, but on the
seventh day we went on board and set sail from Crete with a fair North
wind behind us though we were going down a river. Nothing went ill
with any of our ships, and we had no sickness on board, but sat
where we were and let the ships go as the wind and steersmen took
them. On the fifth day we reached the river Aegyptus; there I
stationed my ships in the river, bidding my men stay by them and
keep guard over them while I sent out scouts to reconnoitre from every
point of vantage.
"But the men disobeyed my orders, took to their own devices, and
ravaged the land of the Egyptians, killing the men, and taking their
wives and children captive. The alarm was soon carried to the city,
and when they heard the war cry, the people came out at daybreak
till the plain was filled with horsemen and foot soldiers and with the
gleam of armour. Then Jove spread panic among my men, and they would
no longer face the enemy, for they found themselves surrounded. The
Egyptians killed many of us, and took the rest alive to do forced
labour for them. Jove, however, put it in my mind to do thus- and I
wish I had died then and there in Egypt instead, for there was much
sorrow in store for me- I took off my helmet and shield and dropped my
spear from my hand; then I went straight up to the king's chariot,
clasped his knees and kissed them, whereon he spared my life, bade
me get into his chariot, and took me weeping to his own home. Many
made at me with their ashen spears and tried to kil me in their
fury, but the king protected me, for he feared the wrath of Jove the
protector of strangers, who punishes those who do evil.
"I stayed there for seven years and got together much money among
the Egyptians, for they all gave me something; but when it was now
going on for eight years there came a certain Phoenician, a cunning
rascal, who had already committed all sorts of villainy, and this
man talked me over into going with him to Phoenicia, where his house
and his possessions lay. I stayed there for a whole twelve months, but
at the end of that time when months and days had gone by till the same
season had come round again, he set me on board a ship bound for
Libya, on a pretence that I was to take a cargo along with him to that
place, but really that he might sell me as a slave and take the
money I fetched. I suspected his intention, but went on board with
him, for I could not help it.
"The ship ran before a fresh North wind till we had reached the
sea that lies between Crete and Libya; there, however, Jove counselled
their destruction, for as soon as we were well out from Crete and
could see nothing but sea and sky, he raised a black cloud over our
ship and the sea grew dark beneath it. Then Jove let fly with his
thunderbolts and the ship went round and round and was filled with
fire and brimstone as the lightning struck it. The men fell all into
the sea; they were carried about in the water round the ship looking
like so many sea-gulls, but the god presently deprived them of all
chance of getting home again. I was all dismayed; Jove, however,
sent the ship's mast within my reach, which saved my life, for I clung
to it, and drifted before the fury of the gale. Nine days did I
drift but in the darkness of the tenth night a great wave bore me on
to the Thesprotian coast. There Pheidon king of the Thesprotians
entertained me hospitably without charging me anything at all for
his son found me when I was nearly dead with cold and fatigue, whereon
he raised me by the hand, took me to his father's house and gave me
clothes to wear.
"There it was that I heard news of Ulysses, for the king told me
he had entertained him, and shown him much hospitality while he was on
his homeward journey. He showed me also the treasure of gold, and
wrought iron that Ulysses had got together. There was enough to keep
his family for ten generations, so much had he left in the house of
king Pheidon. But the king said Ulysses had gone to Dodona that he
might learn Jove's mind from the god's high oak tree, and know whether
after so long an absence he should return to Ithaca openly, or in
secret. Moreover the king swore in my presence, making drink-offerings
in his own house as he did so, that the ship was by the water side,
and the crew found, that should take him to his own country. He sent
me off however before Ulysses returned, for there happened to be a
Thesprotian ship sailing for the wheat-growing island of Dulichium,
and he told those in charge of her to be sure and take me safely to
King Acastus.
"These men hatched a plot against me that would have reduced me to
the very extreme of misery, for when the ship had got some way out
from land they resolved on selling me as a slave. They stripped me
of the shirt and cloak that I was wearing, and gave me instead the
tattered old clouts in which you now see me; then, towards
nightfall, they reached the tilled lands of Ithaca, and there they
bound me with a strong rope fast in the ship, while they went on shore
to get supper by the sea side. But the gods soon undid my bonds for
me, and having drawn my rags over my head I slid down the rudder
into the sea, where I struck out and swam till I was well clear of
them, and came ashore near a thick wood in which I lay concealed. They
were very angry at my having escaped and went searching about for
me, till at last they thought it was no further use and went back to
their ship. The gods, having hidden me thus easily, then took me to
a good man's door- for it seems that I am not to die yet awhile."
To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaeus, "Poor unhappy stranger, I
have found the story of your misfortunes extremely interesting, but
that part about Ulysses is not right; and you will never get me to
believe it. Why should a man like you go about telling lies in this
way? I know all about the return of my master. The gods one and all of
them detest him, or they would have taken him before Troy, or let
him die with friends around him when the days of his fighting were
done; for then the Achaeans would have built a mound over his ashes
and his son would have been heir to his renown, but now the storm
winds have spirited him away we know not whither.
"As for me I live out of the way here with the pigs, and never go to
the town unless when Penelope sends for me on the arrival of some news
about Ulysses. Then they all sit round and ask questions, both those
who grieve over the king's absence, and those who rejoice at it
because they can eat up his property without paying for it. For my own
part I have never cared about asking anyone else since the time when I
was taken in by an Aetolian, who had killed a man and come a long
way till at last he reached my station, and I was very kind to him. He
said he had seen Ulysses with Idomeneus among the Cretans, refitting
his ships which had been damaged in a gale. He said Ulysses would
return in the following summer or autumn with his men, and that he
would bring back much wealth. And now you, you unfortunate old man,
since fate has brought you to my door, do not try to flatter me in
this way with vain hopes. It is not for any such reason that I shall
treat you kindly, but only out of respect for Jove the god of
hospitality, as fearing him and pitying you."
Ulysses answered, "I see that you are of an unbelieving mind; I have
given you my oath, and yet you will not credit me; let us then make
a bargain, and call all the gods in heaven to witness it. If your
master comes home, give me a cloak and shirt of good wear, and send me
to Dulichium where I want to go; but if he does not come as I say he
will, set your men on to me, and tell them to throw me from yonder
precepice, as a warning to tramps not to go about the country
telling lies."
"And a pretty figure I should cut then," replied Eumaeus, both now
and hereafter, if I were to kill you after receiving you into my hut
and showing you hospitality. I should have to say my prayers in good
earnest if I did; but it is just supper time and I hope my men will
come in directly, that we may cook something savoury for supper."
Thus did they converse, and presently the swineherds came up with
the pigs, which were then shut up for the night in their sties, and
a tremendous squealing they made as they were being driven into
them. But Eumaeus called to his men and said, "Bring in the best pig
you have, that I may sacrifice for this stranger, and we will take
toll of him ourselves. We have had trouble enough this long time
feeding pigs, while others reap the fruit of our labour."
On this he began chopping firewood, while the others brought in a
fine fat five year old boar pig, and set it at the altar. Eumaeus
did not forget the gods, for he was a man of good principles, so the
first thing he did was to cut bristles from the pig's face and throw
them into the fire, praying to all the gods as he did so that
Ulysses might return home again. Then he clubbed the pig with a billet
of oak which he had kept back when he was chopping the firewood, and
stunned it, while the others slaughtered and singed it. Then they
cut it up, and Eumaeus began by putting raw pieces from each joint
on to some of the fat; these he sprinkled with barley meal, and laid
upon the embers; they cut the rest of the meat up small, put the
pieces upon the spits and roasted them till they were done; when
they had taken them off the spits they threw them on to the dresser in
a heap. The swineherd, who was a most equitable man, then stood up
to give every one his share. He made seven portions; one of these he
set apart for Mercury the son of Maia and the nymphs, praying to
them as he did so; the others he dealt out to the men man by man. He
gave Ulysses some slices cut lengthways down the loin as a mark of
especial honour, and Ulysses was much pleased. "I hope, Eumaeus," said
he, "that Jove will be as well disposed towards you as I am, for the
respect you are showing to an outcast like myself."
To this you answered, O swineherd Eumaeus, "Eat, my good fellow, and
enjoy your supper, such as it is. God grants this, and withholds that,
just as he thinks right, for he can do whatever he chooses."
As he spoke he cut off the first piece and offered it as a burnt
sacrifice to the immortal gods; then he made them a drink-offering,
put the cup in the hands of Ulysses, and sat down to his own
portion. Mesaulius brought them their bread; the swineherd had
bought this man on his own account from among the Taphians during
his master's absence, and had paid for him with his own money
without saying anything either to his mistress or Laertes. They then
laid their hands upon the good things that were before them, and
when they had had enough to eat and drink, Mesaulius took away what
was left of the bread, and they all went to bed after having made a
hearty supper.
Now the night came on stormy and very dark, for there was no moon.
It poured without ceasing, and the wind blew strong from the West,
which is a wet quarter, so Ulysses thought he would see whether
Eumaeus, in the excellent care he took of him, would take off his
own cloak and give it him, or make one of his men give him one.
"Listen to me," said he, "Eumaeus and the rest of you; when I have
said a prayer I will tell you something. It is the wine that makes
me talk in this way; wine will make even a wise man fall to singing;
it will make him chuckle and dance and say many a word that he had
better leave unspoken; still, as I have begun, I will go on. Would
that I were still young and strong as when we got up an ambuscade
before Troy. Menelaus and Ulysses were the leaders, but I was in
command also, for the other two would have it so. When we had come
up to the wall of the city we crouched down beneath our armour and lay
there under cover of the reeds and thick brush-wood that grew about
the swamp. It came on to freeze with a North wind blowing; the snow
fell small and fine like hoar frost, and our shields were coated thick
with rime. The others had all got cloaks and shirts, and slept
comfortably enough with their shields about their shoulders, but I had
carelessly left my cloak behind me, not thinking that I should be
too cold, and had gone off in nothing but my shirt and shield. When
the night was two-thirds through and the stars had shifted their their
places, I nudged Ulysses who was close to me with my elbow, and he
at once gave me his ear.
"'Ulysses,' said I, 'this cold will be the death of me, for I have
no cloak; some god fooled me into setting off with nothing on but my
shirt, and I do not know what to do.'
"Ulysses, who was as crafty as he was valiant, hit upon the
following plan:
"'Keep still,' said he in a low voice, 'or the others will hear
you.' Then he raised his head on his elbow.
"'My friends,' said he, 'I have had a dream from heaven in my sleep.
We are a long way from the ships; I wish some one would go down and
tell Agamemnon to send us up more men at once.'
"On this Thoas son of Andraemon threw off his cloak and set out
running to the ships, whereon I took the cloak and lay in it
comfortably enough till morning. Would that I were still young and
strong as I was in those days, for then some one of you swineherds
would give me a cloak both out of good will and for the respect due to
a brave soldier; but now people look down upon me because my clothes
are shabby."
And Eumaeus answered, "Old man, you have told us an excellent story,
and have said nothing so far but what is quite satisfactory; for the
present, therefore, you shall want neither clothing nor anything
else that a stranger in distress may reasonably expect, but
to-morrow morning you have to shake your own old rags about your
body again, for we have not many spare cloaks nor shirts up here,
but every man has only one. When Ulysses' son comes home again he will
give you both cloak and shirt, and send you wherever you may want to
go."
With this he got up and made a bed for Ulysses by throwing some
goatskins and sheepskins on the ground in front of the fire. Here
Ulysses lay down, and Eumaeus covered him over with a great heavy
cloak that he kept for a change in case of extraordinarily bad
weather.
Thus did Ulysses sleep, and the young men slept beside him. But
the swineherd did not like sleeping away from his pigs, so he got
ready to go and Ulysses was glad to see that he looked after his
property during his master's absence. First he slung his sword over
his brawny shoulders and put on a thick cloak to keep out the wind. He
also took the skin of a large and well fed goat, and a javelin in case
of attack from men or dogs. Thus equipped he went to his rest where
the pigs were camping under an overhanging rock that gave them shelter
from the North wind.

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The Fate Of The Lonely Woman

life exacts the price
for your cowardice
alone in the apartment
you will be pondering about

how other people took life
using their own hands
that independence of not having
to put guilt on the neighbor

that suppression of what
should have been said
the mouth trembles
the heart pounds upon every atrium

bloods rush like a flood
and so you are drowned
soon another room is forced open
foul odor rushes out proclaiming another wrong

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Under the influence

Imaginations heady brew
With which all poets quench their thirst
may prove a little strong for you.
I would advise small sips at first.
Until you grow accustomed to
the strange effects it can produce
which will forever change your views
becoming wider more diffuse.
You can explore the universe
and travel at the speed of thought
Adventures which inspire verse
as the best method to report
The visions which you wish to share
with other people everywhere.

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Romancing The Poverty Of Other People

you look at the poverty of other people
romancing it like a metaphor in your poetry
the color of a man's unwashed shirt with mud
and blood, dried sweat,
the sound of a hungry baby like the sound
of thunder coming from the breasts of mountains
the ignorant woman like a beautiful native naked
and bathing in the river and rising like a famous nude painting
their poverty to the rhythm of some blues
the colors in brown, and black and violet and scarlet
the trembling hands and biting lips and blank stares
the blackest background ever
to a future as bleak as ember
to a poverty hopeless as ever.

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The Way You Want It

(l. stansfield/i. devaney/a. morris)
Peepin through your window
You spy me walkin to your door
Maybe you are havin second thoughts
Like you did before, boy
Theres no hesitation on my part
I want all I can get
Boy youre playing with a naked flame
And theres not much you can do about it
Chorus:
Do it just the way you want it
Do it just the way you feel
Do it like you always like to do
Do it like you always wanted to
Baby, dont be foolish
Its what youve wanted all along
And dont you try to fight it
Because the force is far too strong
Chorus x 2
Spoken:
Baby, cant you see whats missin
At this moment I would love to know
Whats going on inside your mind
Actions speak a lot louder than words
Dont worry, what youre doin isnt a crime
Chorus x 2

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If I'm Not The One You Want

If I'm not the one you want
Take your time to figure out
I'm starin at your picture every night
The scent of you still lingers in my mind
I wonder if your alone and feel alright
And the sun has come out of the clouds
And sometimes when I listen to our song
The night seems so cold and far too long
I wanna call you up cuz in the end
I keep writing letters to my garbage can
Bridge:
Lately, feels like I'm going crazy and
Baby, come and lay down beside me
Chorus:
If I'm not the one you want
Then who's he?
Take your time to figure out
And you'll see
If I'm not the one you want
Then maybe
I'll be the one you need
I feel likes it's on you I can depend
Wish I could turn back the hands of time
Enough of building castles in the sand
Why can't we be forever
(Bridge)
(Chorus 2x's)
Somewhere in the back of my mind
I know that you will be mine
And somehow
Wish I could rewind
And leave all my worries behind
And If I'm not the one you want
I'll be the one you need
Take your time to figure out
I'll be the one you need
(Chorus)
I'll be the one you need

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The Truth can Hurt

The truth can hurt

Some writers write infrequently
and others write prolifically.
What matters is the quality
much more so than the quantity.

Good writers by their words display
their thoughts in a coherent way
Describing things they have observed
and garner praise that’s well deserved.

But some think anything will do
and they pay no attention to
the rules successful writers use
they will not learn: point blank refuse

to accept well meant critique.
They much prefer dishonest praise
from so called friends afraid
to speak the simple truth lest they dismay

their friend by speaking honestly.
So naturally they take offence
when other people criticise
that which seems perfect in their eyes.

True writers take this in their stride
they know their work is not perfect.
But what they know is they have tried
and that is all you can expect.

New writers lack experience
but everyone must start some where.
The wise ones do not take offence
when other people show they care

enough to offer some advice.
Because they can remember when
they too were just a new novice
to painting pictures with their pen.
27 feb 08

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Hypocrite

Did you think I was so stupid I was really gonna cry
Did you think I was so stupid I was gonna let you try
To crawl inside me with your twisted little lies
And let you find your way into my mind
I nearly........cried, I nearly......died
Did you ever try to cross your heart and hope to die?
Did you ever try to cross your heart and hope to die?
So one day there was a moment you made me realize
That velvet words coming from your mouth are filled with poisoned lies
The worst thing that I could do was to put my trust in you
I wish I lost you there and then, never to be seen again
Never again, never again
Let me see your lying, deceiving, cheating , pretentious face
Let me wipe that charming, deceitful, cunning grin of your face
Ive seen people just like you
Deceiving people just like me
It always ends in misery
It always turns to hostility
Your loss becomes my gain
Your loss becomes my gain
Did you ever try to cross your heart and hope to die?
Did you ever try to cross your heart and hope to die?
Hope to die, hope to die
Ive given you my friendship , my friendship you betrayed
The more I get to know you, the less I want to know
I dont want to see you, Im feeling whole again
I m feeling whole again
Did you ever try to cross your heart and hope to die ?
If you ever tried you would have realized
That youre the one that I despise
That youre the one that I despise

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Good-Bye Forever

time slowly passes,
and I just sit and wait for something to happen,
and yet nothing,
all I hear is the second hand ticking and rain drops hitting the ground,
but as I go look outside to see this rain,
I notice it isn't rain at all it's my tears hitting the wooden desk,
no one knows,
and no one sees the truth that lies within,
to you I'm just a little kid but to my family I'm stronger,
but yet to myself deep within I'm weak,
I fall short,
I have and am nothing,
if only you knew me well,
to you I'm just that little girl you walked out on,
oh, so many years ago,
but now, now I've grown,
words hurt yes but actions speak louder than words,
when you left it hurt but now it hurts a little more but yet a little less,
I want my dad but I don't want the pain I once went through,
but I can't expect you to remember the tears I shed over you,
for you just hid within your lies,
but now I know I'm bigger than that,
and your weakness is my strength,
good luck without a single piece of happiness,
I never want to see you again,
I just need my family in which you'll never be a part of,
not now not ever,
I did love you yes,
but no more,
looking into those cold black eyes I only see hate and pain,
I feel bad for you,
you'll never know love like I do,
never know what you've done and how much it hurts me,
I hate this,
I hate you,
I hate everything about you,
but yet I love you,
not because your my father,
but because your my brother in God's family,
God put you here for a reason,
though at times I question it I'm thankful,
my blood brothers mean so much to me,
and I love them,
now and forever more,
something you'll never know,
I'm tired of it,
so good-bye forever,
and I hope I never see you again.

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Ghost from the war

A military base close to the border
that divides our country from that of the enemy,
a tent through which the wild wind
at gale force strength blows red sand,
pressed into a war by politicians
who decide about the destiny of men.

A trench where enemy soldiers,
women and children lie shot dead,
ripped apart by hand grenades
and mortar bombs
and from the outside
it looks like patriotism, national interest
for which you do service
but on the inside you are caught
by destiny
where other people like gods
take decisions that have an impact on you.

Dead are the innocent,
bystanders, a young man
who hasn’t even come to age
and there are flames
that burns right through the thorn bushes,
where a Ratel armoured car is burning
and I wonder about the presence of God,
about the lot of man
and the thorn bush burns, the whole veldt
is in flames.

Being lost makes me sober
while I try hard to forget
of the havoc that I know,
how war ravages, destroys, tramples
and how easily people die, especially those
that doesn’t really deserve it
and everybody are settled into
just another number and name.


[Reference: Ghosts from the call by Japie S Strydom:

“ a fortress,
a trench,
a tent,
an institution
for the mentally insane;
Big syllables on the outside in large characters type:
GET EVERYTHING HERE IN HUGE QUANTITIES

From the outside
a shadow that falls without end
from the inside a prison.

Being bound,
lost,
day long working, trying to remember,
remembering to withdraw,
to spend time, by writing meaningless sentences
wondered, though about:
mother,
our home,
brother
no Father.

a command,
a decree,
An invitation to recognize,
identification of:
a soldier
a man,
a boy,
still somewhat a child,
killed.

Killed between the branches
of a burning umbrella-thorn bush
almost like Moses with God,
but burnt right out of his boots
almost not stopped burning
with white phosphor that doesn’t want to die
I saw again today:

In the thick bush
man
– returned to earth
in the stomach blood of a boy
mixed with sand.” (My English translation.) ]

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Patrick White

Tempering The Carbonized Steel Of My Heart

Tempering the carbonized steel of my heart
in a drainage ditch hissing like a snake pit
to make it impervious to the pins the colour-blind lepidopterists
keep sticking in it as if it were a voodoo doll
for the projections they keep putting on it
like death masks of their own making.

Tired of hauling corpses like dead weight up the mountain
on a fragile lifeline where they hang
like mummified spider trophies on a thread of fate
swaying precariously in the wind while I drive
my heart like a piton into rock to secure a footing.
Why is compassion reserved for the weak
who just want to fall backwards into the abyss
taking the strong with them who endure
greater agonies in climbing than they do in falling off?
Enough is enough. Time to cut bait
and throw the little fish back into the depths
like minnows of the moon bottom-feeding on shadows
though they aspire like the vernal equinox
to a constellation of their own where everybody
can see them shining like the Circlet of the Western Fish in Pisces.

Sick of lighting other people's fires and blowing on the flames
until their star is blazing, and then having them turn around
and throw acid in my eyes that burns like white phosphorus
through metal, even under water. All my life
I've pulled one shipwreck after another into my lifeboat
only to watch them punch holes in it to sink us all
behind my back as I was trying to swim through stone.
Why is that? Why do people cut off the hands of those
who were trying to help them like Che Guevara in Bolivia,
and kiss the asses of all those who are sitting on their faces,
who squat enthroned on the garbage can lids they're living in?

I don't make cages of gratitude for the doves and the crows
I've opened the door for so they can sing for themselves
when they get out of the egg and see how vast the sky is.
And I'm not a warden of aviaries trying to brain wash the parrots
into saying the same things I do to myself
when there's no one else to talk to in the dark.
I'm not passing out little executioner's hoods
to trained falcons perched on my arm like cuckoo clocks
timed to go off like i.e.ds at midnight at the stroke of doom.

Shakespeare might have been happy enough to teach the alphabet
to grammar school boys for seven unknown years,
but that doesn't mean he wouldn't have been happier
writing a comedy of errors of his own. I'm not
drawing any analogies here to my own state of affairs,
but if you ask and I say yes. I will. And I do as if
it were just as important to me to see you learn to address
your own potential as it is crucial I apply myself to mine,
why should anyone try to make me the dupe of my own ideals
just as a little black dwarf of a punk who thought himself
the legend of his own matchbook did yesterday on Gore Street
when he asked me politely, hey mister can you spare a cigarette
and not wanting him to go through nicotine withdrawal
because I remember what it's like, I gave him a handful,
one to smoke now, and the rest to tuck behind his ears,
and the next thing I hear as he returns to his buddies is
hey, did you see how I hustled that old man over there?
Two days of intense heat at the end of May,
the next time he leans on my generosity, that black fly's toast.

Just because the lion lies down with the lamb, and the lamb
gets an attitude that abuses the parity of all sentient beings
doesn't mean the lion's forgotten it's got fangs and claws
and knows how to use them, or that the golden fleece
can presume upon the dragon that guards it with its own teeth.
And if I were a sheep in the company of flame-throwers
I'd worry about getting my wooly parts singed if only
in the name of strategic self-interest if I weren't capable
of anything else higher than the grass I'm grazing on.

I've been a sacred clown ghost dancing with Sitting Bull
just before Custer's last stand, and I've been demonically possessed
by the best consiglieres hell has to offer, powerful familiars
with surgical minds as sharp as scalpels, black holes in space
the galaxies plunge into without hesitation as if they were jumping
from paradise into a mystery older than light, and I've made
my way out again with my own prophetic skull in my hands,
howling at the moon for the agony of this death in life experience
that might have broken me and my harp like a wishbone
that didn't have anything to sing about anymore,
but the deep cover singularities that exist in the darkness
of everyone's heart, whether they're looking for God particles or not,
and never been so twisted by any space I've ever been in
as to practise emotional espionage against my own feelings
or turn back on myself like a solar flare that festers
in its own light like an incestuous ingrown hair.

When Blake wrote that the tigers of wrath are wiser
than the horses of instruction, do you think he said it
with his tongue in his cheek? Or jumping through hoops of fire
in a flea circus with stagefright on tour through the boonies?
If someone offers you a clear, cold drink of water for free
from his own wellspring in a desert sweating mirages,
and you spit it in his face like acid rain on the flowers
after its' been polluted in your own mouth, what do you think
your chances are of not dying of thirst beside a fresh water lake
when all you had to do was roll over and drink the whole thing
in a single gulp, instead of pissing into the swimming pool
we're all trying to stay afloat in, as if you were an oilslick
sticking like an eclipse to the waterlilies in the last oasis
you're ever going to get another chance to frack
before the desert hangs you out to dry on your own bone rack
like a fish fry still trying to fly through the smog
of your own smokehouse like a ghost long after
you've been cooked on the pyre of your own matchbook?

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Patrick White

Infrequently Asked Questions

Is it true
the most compassionate people in life
are the ones in the greatest danger?
That the most generous
will lose their hands to the ones they fed?
That the bravest will be hunted down by protected cowards
and when the last of the heroes are dead
and the dragons who inspired them
are the advertising themes of amusement parks
those with the smallest balls
will give themselves the biggest awards?
Is it true
those who are creative
chafe the destroyers like anti-matter
and give the intellectuals diaper-rash of the mind?
That just to open your eyes
to watch the stars and fireflies
is enough to make other people feel blind
and insist you black them out
like pearls in an air-raid?
What's a starmap to a mole?
What's a lamp that shines in braille
to someone without fingerprints?
Is it true that beauty summons the worm
as a material eye-witness to its ruin?
That genius is devoured
by cannibalistic Neanderthals
into homoeopathic magic
for the power of its brain
to turn thought into protein
with a high creatine content
that can make your dick strike twelve anachronistically
so you can go on knapping flint
for the next hundred thousand years?
That genius is a freak in isolation
that gets its own back
for being pecked at
like a phoenix among chickens
by opening Pandora's box
like the atom at Los Alamos
like the genie in the lamp
and making a Trojan horse of its gifts
gives them everything they want
because anything as red
as Van Gogh's hair and beard and ear in Arles
must be either a phoenix
or a fox with chicken-pox.
Sometimes you have more to fear
from the keys
than the locks.
Is it true
that a friend is a random event
in a space-time continuum
that's got no room in its impersonality
for loyalty or sentiment?
That the heart has replaced the golden rule
with Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle
and everyone's looking for love
like a Faberge Easter egg
that's already hatched its ugly duckling
sans fairytale?
Or the Czar's family?
I asked Annie
as we were landing in Toronto
from the West Coast
like a waterbird with its wheels down
on a tarmac lake
is it true
that everything we thought sincere
has been exposed as fake?
That forever isn't worth
the loveletter
it's written on
for twenty minutes
because of temporal inflation?
Is it true
that all roads
that lead to Rome or Ottawa
never return the way they came
like arrows and fishooks and Vercingetorix?
That justice is a celebrity fame-game with ratings
brought in by a jury of mirrors
selected by the reflections of their peers
to convict the innocent
for their sins of omission?
That the God-particle
everyone's looking for
like something they can't get out of their eye
might not be
trying to make a point at all.
It's hard to get a fix on
just how fundamental you are
in the scheme of things
when you're stuck in the starmud
up to your knees
looking for your keys like koans
you swallow like pills to feel real
but hey
no big deal
but I was meaning to ask you
is it true
that we're wounded by death
and life is the way we heal?
I know how you feel
about what's real
but you can have all the money you want
and that still doesn't mean
you'll ever really know
what it means to be rich
without having to steal.
You've got the disease
but none of its symptoms.
Is it true
that the most successful grow
by never accepting a challenge
that wasn't a bigger failure than the last
and call the summits of their Himalayan defeats
experience and progress?
Answer no.
Answer yes.
Answer yes and no.
Or just nod your head diagonally
like the sum of the squares of the opposite sides.
Because the questions were less rhetorical
than sincerity being facetious
I don't expect people to answer the doorbell
or read every piece of spiritual junkmail
that shows up on their doorstep
like a flightfeather to paradise
on the wings of a seagull.
If you're wounded deeply enough
there's no resentment in the pain.
You just play with your brain
like an angry child plays with the eyes of a doll.
You control your rage like a nuclear reactor
or Chernobyl goes cosmic
and you throw a tantrum
that expands like the universe.
You can polish the mirror all you want
and call it clarity
until your sleeves are as threadbare
as the carpets under the windows
you've been staring through
as long as it take to turn your eyes to glass
but enlightenment's on the dark side of the mirror
like a star is
like your eyes are.
Like waves on a lake
that takes things as they come.
Myriad deaths in a single birth.
Life on earth.
Intense heat.
Unusual sprouts.
A Zen sententium worth consideration.
But the clear light of the void
isn't radiation.
It's a lucidity
with nothing to illuminate.
It's the Uncreate that plays creatively
in the absence of itself
like a child alone with its imagination
making the world up as it goes along
taking the Inconceivable
and making it believable.
Giving airy nothing
a local habitation and a name
as Shakespeare did
and dandelions do in the fall.
As I am now
by asking if it's true
you haven't noticed yet
how it's always the overprivileged
who send the underprivileged off to war?
Death in the hearts of the governors.
Death in the hearts of the profiteers.
Death in the hearts of the generals.
Is it true
this spider-web shines
like democracy in the morning
star-spangled with dew
but late at night under the streetlight
it's tearing under the weight of its own greed?
That obese spiders who once pulled the strings
of a sticky mandala to eat well
ripen like the dead weight of toxic fruit
hanging from the branches of a dead tree?
This web is not a constellation.
This web is not a starmap.
This web is not a bloodstream
that gives back what it receives.
This web is not the lyre of a siren
that called people to the rocks of a new continent.
This web is not an electric guitar.
Is it true
the interminable buzzing of panicked flies
stuck to its strings
like masses of people
waiting to be consumed
is not the music of celestial spheres?
Empathic ingestion of agony over many years
like a fish trying to identify with heavy water
by adapting to it like a sick mother
who passed on her genes like Love Canal.
Is it true
you can die tending the ill in a hospital?
Carnage without redemption.
Eye-soup.
Severed feet.
Outrage imploding into black dwarfs
that warp space like a child's mind
into believing God is best served by the blind
than those who can read for themselves
before they martyr her body like a judas-goat
to God's great design
for the faithful dead
who expressed their gasp of divinity
in a holy war
a marketable crusade
a deniable genocide
a mass grave
a defensible border
that doesn't know who gave the order
to dropp cluster bombs
and white phos
on the hospital
when it ran out of bandaids
and watch it flower like a white dahlia
or a belly-dancing jellyfish
with poisonous tentacles
spreading out like the spokes of a beach umbrella.
The aesthetics of atrocity.
The age of desecration.
Is it true
the next best career move for evolution
like an unknown writer
listening to his legend gossip among rumours
like a suicide note without a table of contents
is unnatural extinction?
The mystery in the riddle of the sphinx
after all those years of sand and stars
is what would she have asked
if we weren't there to answer.
Is it true
that Saturn's shepherd moons
have turned into human coyotes
jumping borders like orbits
in the Van Allen Belt
where the asteroids are broken by drug rings
thawing rocks in a crack spoon
to defy the laws of gravity
with deified norms of depravity?
I might be a vague social democrat
walking a Zen plank
like a blindfolded political platform
who doesn't need a party
to spell out
or sell out
what I believe
but it's easier to write a folksong
about a successful thief
than a man or woman
for whom love was an art
that transcended its inspiration
and compassion the root of all understanding
and when death approached
because it's hard to be alive and real
at the same time
embraced it as a great relief.
Is it true
that more similes turn into outlaws
than metaphors do?
That when Jesus asked
the little children to come unto him
he wasn't speaking in tongues
behind sacred firewalls
for polyglot child molesters everywhere?
The pen might be mightier than the sword
like a mammal is to a dinosaur
but I have my doubts about a bullet
and electrically detonated C-4
wired to a lab rat like the black plague
and holy warriors
with the radioactive half-lives of dirty bombs.
Suras and psalms.
Gardens with underground rivers.
And fruit trees by flowing streams.
Shalom.
Salem.
Muslim.
Jerusalem
Islam
And Bethlehem the House of Bread
that breaks into peace
when it's shared
like a common word
from the pelican fountain-mouth
of the same mother tongue.
Peace brother.
Peace sister.
May you live to be
forever young and free
of walled partitions
and the double helices
of chromosomatic razorwire
uncoiled like vines
around your secret gardens
where the waterlilies bloom in gene-pools
and the grapes are bleeding
like a miscarriage of sacred wines.
When the Great Lucidity appears
like a star of wheat in the Virgin's hand
and shines down
on everyone's shelter for the night alike
no mangers in the beginning
no arks at the end
may we all understand
that the blood-oaths of enemies
are not stronger than the bonds between friends.
May you know the enchantments of life
when it doesn't belong to anyone
as well as you know the horrors
of disowning it now.
Or as I imagine they would say in Zen.
The pen is the sword.
It's just a voice with words.
A lamp that gives its light away
like an extravagant genie
you don't have to blow out to see
but you should
if you want to write good.
Black glee.
Bright vacancy.
Too much pain.
The agony of the seed realizing
the harvest was in vain
not worth what had to be endured
to live it all again.
Eleusinian ergot on the grain.
Is it true
heaven prefers
the hallucinogenically insane
and the sun only comes up
when a cock crows like a weathervane
or a God-struck lightning-rod?
On the return journey
which is more amazing than the first
you get to pass backwards
through all the stations of your life
you progressed forward through.
A prodigal innocence
that resonates with experience.
A dream reflected in a mirror
like a waterbird
dragging its wake through the clouds
like a knife ploughing a wound
through the envelope of a loveletter
no one can wake up from but you.
And no one can take away
because everything is trued by time
to the path you took
just by walking on the earth
alone on a dark night in the starless rain
when you removed the world like a mask
that proved false to your faceless pain
and you realized
how much closer a stranger is to you
than you are to your unrecognizable self.
Though pain may be prophetic
when your heart hangs on a hook
like bait on a question-mark
great suffering doesn't reveal anything
you didn't already know.
It doesn't stay.
It doesn't go.
It's a nothing that exists.
It's an existence that's nothing.
A gust of fireflies
from the mouth of a dragon.
But what does come as a surprise
like dusk overtaking the window
are the numberless eyes
that emerge from the depths of your darkness
like grapes ripening on the vine
like fish coming to the surface
like urgent diamonds
growing like mushrooms
in the long night of an abandoned mine.
Numberless eyes.
Myriad stars.
Light-years of memories.
And is it true
every one of them
is a myth in the making
each an enlightened Zen master
with nothing to teach
who insists
it's not the stars that are shining
it's your mind?
That they're all within reach
all the time?

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