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Oh yeah, I know Johnnie Bassett. We were part of that whole thing.

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yeah, I know...

yeah, I know poets
before I started class, I knew
Poe, Dickenson, Shakespeare
but that didn't make me smart
what made me smart was what I learned IN class
all the poets I know now
Gregory Corso, Dominique Garay, Taylor Mali, Bradley Hathaway,
Bill Kloefkorn, Ted Kooser, Elizabeth Barret-Browning, Sylvia Plath,
Matt Mason, Sarah McKinstry-Brown, Margaret Atwood,
Dorothy Parker, Alexander Pope
more, I can't even remember
so yeah, I know poets
but it still doesn't make me smart

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You Were The First That I Wanted

Mommy,
I don't like the way that man is looking at us.

'Wave to him, baby...
That's your daddy.'

But I thought you said,
Uncle Barry was my daddy.

'Uncle Barry is your sister's daddy.'

Then 'who' is Uncle Moe, mommy?

'Uncle Moe, ?
Is my daddy, baby.'

But wouldn't that make him,
My grandfather?
That's what you told Billy!

'But Billy is the baby, honey?
And him being the youngest...
I needed to have at least 'one' child of mine,
Not as dysfunctional as the others.'

What does that mean?

'You will know that soon enough! '

But I thought I was your baby, mommy?

'You ARE?
You will always be my baby, honey.
You were the first that I wanted.'

Oh?
Oh...
Okay!

And I wanted your sister and brother too.
But not like the way I wanted you!

Oh?
Oh...
Okay!

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Wish I Didnt Know Now

(toby keith)
I never ask you where your goin,
I never ask you where youve been
Ive never called and checked your story,
When you stayed out with all your friends
Ive never tried to catch you lyin,
I didnt want to know the truth
Id rather go on lovin blind girl,
Than go on lovin without you
I wish I didnt know now what I didnt know then
I wish I could start this whole thing over again
Im not sayin its you,
You could never be true
I just dont wanna know how it ends
Youd still have my heart in the palm of your hands
Id still look like a fool in front of your friends
Yeah, I wish somehow I didnt know now what I didnt know then
Ive always said what I dont know
Couldnt hurt as bad as leavin you
Turns out I knew what I was thinkin,
It aint an easy thing to do,
Well I guess I should be goin
I sure found out too much to stay,
Please dont say your sorry
I might wait another day
I wish I didnt know now what I didnt know then
I wish I could start this whole thing over again
Im not sayin its you,
You could never be true
I just dont wanna know how it ends
Youd still have my heart in the palm of your hands
Id still look like a fool in front of your friends
Yeah, I wish somehow I didnt know now what I didnt know then
Youd still have my heart in the palm of your hand
Id still look like a fool in front of your friends
Yeah, I wish somehow I didnt know now what I didnt know then
Yeah, I wish somehow I didnt know now what I didnt know then

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Wish I Didn't Know Now

I've never ask you where you're goin'
I've never ask you where you've been
I've never called and checked your story
You stayed out with all your freinds
I've never tried to catch you lyin'
I didn't want to know the truth
I'd rather go on lovin' blind girl
Than go on lovin' without you

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then
I wish I could start this whole thing over again
I'm not sayin' it's you could never be true
I just don't wanna know how it ends
You'd still have my heart in the palm of your hands
I'd still look like a fool in front of your friends
Yeah I wish somehow I didn't know now what I didn't know then

I've always said what I don't know
Couldn't hurt as bad as leavin' you
Turns out I knew what I was thinkin'
It ain't an easy thing to do
Well I guess I should be goin'
I sure found out too much to stay
Please don't say your sorry
I might wait another day

I wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then
I wish I could start this whole thing over again
I'm not sayin' it's you could never be true
I just don't wanna know how it ends
You'd still have my heart in the palm of your hands
I'd still look like a fool in front of your friends
Yeah I wish somehow I didn't know now what I didn't know then

You'd still have my heart in the palm of your hand
I'd still look like a fool in front of your freinds
Yeah I wish somehow I didn't know now what I didn't know then
Yeah I wish somehow I didn't know now what I didn't know then

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Go Out Dancing

(r. stewart, j. golub, c. kentis)
Sometimes I wonder
What this old worlds comin to
Where its all gonna end
cause I work all week
Tryn to save me a dollar
But I get further in debt
But now on in
Im gonna spend time lovin
Find a baby sitter right now
Put on your red dress
High heels darlin
Tonight were going up town
Were goin out dancin
Were goin out dancin
Were goin out dancin
Chase our blues away
I know a funny little place
Down on main street baby
Where the band will play all night long
They play some hot rock n roll to fine syncopation
And a brother on the saxophone
We got one chance baby
Gotta be now or never
Yeah I know as Im broke
Were gonna make this weekend last forever
Come on honey put on your coat
Were goin out dancin
Were goin out dancin
Were goin out dancin
Chase our blues away
Ive been lovin you for seven years I wont forget
And I know its been hard sometimes
Open up the wine lets pretend we just met
Well get home in the morning
While the milk mans calling
And the early birds start to sing
I will roll you some breakfast
And well jump into bed
And well start all over again
So hang on tight baby
Well go flyin
Give your man a big kiss
Were gonna boogie on down
From the bronx to manhattan
Memories are made of this
Were goin out dancin
Were goin out dancin
Were goin out dancin
Chase our blues away
Dancin
Were goin out dancin
It may be the bossanova
It may be the twist
It may be the watusi
It may be the chachacha
Just as long as were dancin
Come on baby dancin
Take away our blues tonight
Take away my blues tonight
Just as long as were dancin
Dancin, dancin, dancin

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At first I missed it, but it was the amazing energy thing that happened during shows, when a lot of people were like Yay Yay Yeah! I missed that for a while. But I don't miss the regular and the business side of that whole thing.

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They Don't Understand

They don't understand
No

They say we're just playing games
That it isn't real
But it's what we feel
(Oh yeah)

And they say it doesn't make sense
That we're just wasting time
And they wonder why
(Yeah)

You know we got our own special language
That only we can speak
And parents never know just what it means
(Oh no)

They don't understand
How we communicate
Or so many things
That we do and say

They don't really get what it's all about
No they never can understand
Pokemon

I can't explain
If they don't know why
You see it's everywhere
Well

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Where Were You When That Happened?

It has already been tried.
Whatever it is you think you do.
Or believed done.
To yourself or someone,
Else
Involved involuntarily.

It has already been tried.
To cast vacant innocent eyes,
To hide behind another masquerade.

'We can't both be in the same Milky Way?
Why would I not be aware of the obvious?
You must be filming this for your archive collection.
Labelled, 'Repeated Scenes In Unconvincing Color''

It has already been tried.
Whatever it is you think you do.
Or believed done.
To yourself or someone,
Else
Involved involuntarily.

'Why do you think I have this smile on my face?
Because I am happy to see you?

I am more amused than happy.
But then again,
I'm happily amused.
So much has changed!
And I wonder...
Where were you when that happened? '

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You Were Raised Like That

I hope you're not thinking,
I'm exploring my aggression.
With thoughts of me
As a misfit in your head...
Fitting better as an impression,
To satisfy your possessed obsession.

Your fantasies of seeing me displeased,
By limitations perceived to anger...
Are images imposed upon you by those,
In need of professional mental sessions.

I am not one seeking acceptance for my steps,
Or one to correct selected speech regretted!
Long before I came to knock on your door...
I was taught to respect and that is what I expect,
With nothing more to show than my very best.

And I am not messed up about it!
I can prove I can be quite the fool,
If ever you doubt it.
But you will use that to stab me in the back...
With an attraction that appeals,
Because you were raised like that!

I've become too wise,
Not to see disguise in your eyes.
You will not catch me by surprise
By notoriety I deserve that became your prize!
Because you were raised like that!
Turning truths into lies.

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I Dont Know

Im nothing fancy
Im nothing special thats true
But I know what your thinkin
Cuz Im thinkin that same thing too
Now youd like everything to go your way
And I should probably say everything youd like me to say
But thats not me and baby that just wouldnt be you
You better watch how long you wait
Cuz baby you might wait too long
[chorus]
I dont know if I could make you happy
And I dont know if I could make you cry
I dont know if the clock stops at midnight
I cant see past forever but together we can fly
Together we can fly
Now lets pretend for a while that weve got no place to be
Youve been broken before but baby that wasnt me
Now Im trying to ask you to come
To that same old place that youve been runnin from
Weve been down that road
You know theres nothing to see
You better watch how long you wait
Cuz baby you might wait too
[repeat chorus]
Bay there no use in waiting
I can see that your hopes are fading
They tell me that time is precious baby
Why do you keep wastin time?
[repeat chorus]

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Israel

You've had your troubles Israel
I've seen them all
But you put the writing on the wall
Israel Israel yeah

You know I've seen you fall so many times
I've cried for you and that's a crime
Israel Israel Israel

Where there's sand
Where there's beautiful sand yeah
You know you got a kind of feeling
That's just grand
Take me into your arms
Let me be with you
Israel Israel Israel

I like the smiles up on your people's faces
They make you feel warm embraces
And I want that kind of smile
that kind of smile
Israel you make the whole world think about you
And if they don't they'll find a reason
to shout about Israel Israel

You're the only one Israel Israel
Tell me all about it!
Tell me all about it
Tell me all about it
Oh take me into your arms
And make me feel your goodness
Be with me Israel
Hey hey hey hey
Oh oh oh
Take me into your arms
Let me hold hold you to myself
Oh I want to Israel

Israel Oh take me back into into your arms
Israel Israel Israel Israel
Israel

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Let's Celebrate

Everybody are you ready to hit the floor?
People all over get ready to hit the floor, yeah!
I gotta brand new thing and I'm taking you out for more
Now feel the vibration my body is aching to move
So if you think it's cool come on and do it too
Let's have a real good time
Come on everybody let's party tonight
Come on everybody let's party tonight
Let's celebrate we just can't wait
Things can only get better
Ooh -ho Zho
Ooh -ho Zho
Ooh -ho Zho!
Now we got the motion
Get into the groove with me
Yeah!
You know it feels so good
And baby that's all that we need
The whole world is shaking
The rhythm is making it move
Oh yeah!
So if you think it's cool
I'll take you right on through
Let's have a real good time
Come on everybody let's party tonight
Come on everybody let's party tonight
Let's celebrate we just can't wait
Things can only get better
Party tonight
Come everybody let's party tonight
Let's celebrate we just can't wait
Things can only get better
So if you think it's cool have a real good time !
Hey ! Whoo!

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Howard Nemerov

The Makers

Who can remember back to the first poets,
The greatest ones, greater even than Orpheus?
No one has remembered that far back
Or now considers, among the artifacts,
And bones and cantilevered inference
The past is made of, those first and greatest poets,
So lofty and disdainful of renown
They left us not a name to know them by.

They were the ones that in whatever tongue
Worded the world, that were the first to say
Star, water, stone, that said the visible
And made it bring invisibles to view
In wind and time and change, and in the mind
Itself that minded the hitherto idiot world
And spoke the speechless world and sang the towers
Of the city into the astonished sky.

They were the first great listeners, attuned
To interval, relationship, and scale,
The first to say above, beneath, beyond,
Conjurors with love, death, sleep, with bread and wine,
Who having uttered vanished from the world
Leaving no memory but the marvelous
Magical elements, the breathing shapes
And stops of breath we build our Babels of.

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Thats How The Whole Thing Started

(graham russell)
I feel just like your love tonight
So whos to say Im wrong
Ive got to say I feel just right
Its never been so strong
There seems so many points to make
But I feel this is a big mistake
Were so old and this is new
But Ive really got to tell you
I always said that you should remain free
But that was up to you and not to me
I started strong but I met someone
You know how long its been
Thats how the whole thing started
Thats how the whole thing started
(chorus)
Thats how the whole thing started
Thats how the whole thing started
Thats how the whole thing started
Thats how the whole thing started
(repeat)
Baby, baby its wrong
But Ive been in and out of love so long
Here we stand not more than friends
I broke your heart again
(chorus)
Sit down with me and we can talk about it peacefully
Were under the strain of a losing game
Thats how it must be
Thats how the whole thing started
Thats how the whole thing started
(chorus)
(repeat chorus)
I feel just like your love tonight
So whos to say Im wrong
Ive got to say I feel just right
Its never been so strong
(compliments to louise weston and cheryl kowal)

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Mr. Speed

You need lovin', you're lookin' out for new romances
Yeah, it's true, you know you've got to take your chances
When i laugh, well baby don't you know you can cry
'cause you ain't enough lady, to keep the master satisfied, yeah
Well, you know, i got the kind of lovin' that you need
The kind of lovin' that you need
I'm so fast, that's why the ladies call me mr. speed
They call me mr. speed
You try pleasin', but gettin' on your knees don't make it
You try teasin', but baby you can't even fake it, no
Made it clear, but baby you can't even see me
So stop those tears 'cause baby you can't even deceive, ah, ah
Yeah, you know, i got the kind of lovin' that you need
The kind of lovin' that you need
I'm so fast, that's why the ladies call me mr. speed
Look out
Ow, i don't care
Yeah, you know, i got the kind of lovin' that you need
The kind of lovin' that you need
I'm so fast, that's why the ladies call me mr. speed
Mr. speed
Yeah, you know, i got the kind of lovin' that you need
The kind of lovin' that you need
I'm so fast, that's why the ladies call me mr. speed
Mr. speed
Yeah, you know, i got the kind of lovin' that you need
The kind of lovin' that you need
I'm so fast

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Im Catchin Hell

Written by chuck jackson and marvin yancy
Tonight, i, I just want to talk to the ladies, oh fellows your cool but girls
If youve got a good man, youd better keep him,
Oh I know youre saying right now, what does she know
Who is she to tell me about my situation, well, I dont know your situation
But whatever it is, you should try to stay together
You know that big argument that you had the other night, remember
Well, today its not nothing, just dont let him leave you honey
Cause then youll find out that it wasnt those real big things you loved about him
It was the real small things, go on and laugh but its true
You know, things that youve seen a thousand times around the house
But never paid any attention to, like helping with the groceries
And helping in the yard and painting and repairing and huh, paying the bills
But you know now, all I have is memories and regrets
I could have given our love a chance to grow but no
I had to challenge it and be heard (oh), let me tell you something
That female liberation stuff, I dont know, sometimes I dont think its worth it
And Im really feeling, feeling kind of bad yaul, Im catching hell living here alone
Hmm, I never realized, oh lord, that you mean so much to me
Im catching hell living here alone, I want you to come back baby
Come back cause heres where you belong, oh yeah
If I could replay, if I could replay that whole scene again, oh well
You know that I would never, never say it again, that our love, our love is at its end
And oh, you know that I would kind of ease on back, yes I would
And let confusion pass on by, I took moves well, oh yeah
Without one good reason why, Im catching hell, catching hell
Lord Im living, living, living here alone, alone, lone, I didnt believe it could be
You know all the pressure on me, all the time, oh, Im catching hell, well, well
Living here alone, lone, lone, lone, lone, lone, lone, to tell you the truth
To tell you the truth Im going out of my mind---, yeah, oh do you hear me tonight
I dont have too (this is my story) much more to say except
Somebody (hey, this is my song) told me that if youve got something
Thats good to you and you dont use it (sad, sad) you might lose it (sad, song)
(song, so sad) so girls hold on to your good thing (oh), (you gotta hold on a little bit now)
And dont let go, oh---do you hear me tonight, its so sad living alone
Living alone (hmm), hold on to your good thing, hold on, (well, well) oh yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah---oh, oh, oh, lordy, lordy do you know what its like
Catching hell, (somebody turn up the microphone, oh---), oh, no, no, no, no, no, no

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The Widening Spell of the Leaves

--The Carpathian Frontier, October, 1968
--for my brother

Once, in a foreign country, I was suddenly ill.
I was driving south toward a large city famous
For so little it had a replica, in concrete,
In two-thirds scale, of the Arc de Triomphe stuck
In the midst of traffic, & obstructing it.
But the city was hours away, beyond the hills
Shaped like the bodies of sleeping women.
Often I had to slow down for herds of goats
Or cattle milling on those narrow roads, & for
The narrower, lost, stone streets of villages
I passed through. The pains in my stomach had grown
Gradually sharper & more frequent as the day
Wore on, & now a fever had set up house.
In the villages there wasn't much point in asking
Anyone for help. In those places, where tanks
Were bivouacked in shade on their way back
From some routine exercise along
The Danube, even food was scarce that year.
And the languages shifted for no clear reason
From two hard quarries of Slavic into German,
Then to a shred of Latin spliced with oohs
And hisses. Even when I tried the simplest phrases,
The peasants passing over those uneven stones
Paused just long enough to look up once,
Uncomprehendingly. Then they turned
Quickly away, vanishing quietly into that
Moment, like bark chips whirled downriver.
It was autumn. Beyond each village the wind
Threw gusts of yellowing leaves across the road.
The goats I passed were thin, gray; their hind legs,
Caked with dried shit, seesawed along--
Not even mild contempt in their expressionless,
Pale eyes, & their brays like the scraping of metal.
Except for one village that had a kind
Of museum where I stopped to rest, & saw
A dead Scythian soldier under glass,
Turning to dust while holding a small sword
At attention forever, there wasn't much to look at.
Wind, leaves, goats, the higher passes
Locked in stone, the peasants with their fate
Embroidering a stillness into them,
And a spell over all things in that landscape,
Like . . .
That was the trouble; it couldn't be
Compared to anything else, not even the sleep
Of some asylum at a wood's edge with the sound
Of a pond's spillway beside it. But as each cramp
Grew worse & lasted longer than the one before,
It was hard to keep myself aloof from the threadbare
World walking on that road. After all,
Even as they moved, the peasants, the herds of goats
And cattle, the spiralling leaves, at least were part
Of that spell, that stillness.
After a while,
The villages grew even poorer, then thinned out,
Then vanished entirely. An hour later,
There were no longer even the goats, only wind,
Then more & more leaves blown over the road, sometimes
Covering it completely for a second.
And yet, except for a random oak or some brush
Writhing out of the ravine I drove beside,
The trees had thinned into rock, into large,
Tough blonde rosettes of fading pasture grass.
Then that gave out in a bare plateau. . . . And then,
Easing the Dacia down a winding grade
In second gear, rounding a long, funneled curve--
In a complete stillness of yellow leaves filling
A wide field--like something thoughtlessly,
Mistakenly erased, the road simply ended.
I stopped the car. There was no wind now.
I expected that, & though I was sick & lost,
I wasn't afraid. I should have been afraid.
To this day I don't know why I wasn't.
I could hear time cease, the field quietly widen.
I could feel the spreading stillness of the place
Moving like something I'd witnessed as a child,
Like the ancient, armored leisure of some reptile
Gliding, gray-yellow, into the slightly tepid,
Unidentical gray-brown stillness of the water--
Something blank & unresponsive in its tough,
Pimpled skin--seen only a moment, then unseen
As it submerged to rest on mud, or glided just
Beneath the lustreless, calm yellow leaves
That clustered along a log, or floated there
In broken ringlets, held by a gray froth
On the opaque, unbroken surface of the pond,
Which reflected nothing, no one.
And then I remembered.
When I was a child, our neighbors would disappear.
And there wasn't a pond of crocodiles at all.
And they hadn't moved. They couldn't move. They
Lived in the small, fenced-off backwater
Of a canal. I'd never seen them alive. They
Were in still photographs taken on the Ivory Coast.
I saw them only once in a studio when
I was a child in a city I once loved.
I was afraid until our neighbor, a photographer,
Explained it all to me, explained how far
Away they were, how harmless; how they were praised
In rituals as "powers." But they had no "powers,"
He said. The next week he vanished. I thought
Someone had cast a spell & that the crocodiles
Swam out of the pictures on the wall & grew
Silently & multiplied & then turned into
Shadows resting on the banks of lakes & streams
Or took the shapes of fallen logs in campgrounds
In the mountains. They ate our neighbor, Mr. Hirata.
They ate his whole family. That is what I believed,
Then. . .that someone had cast a spell. I did not
Know childhood was a spell, or that then there
Had been another spell, too quiet to hear,
Entering my city, entering the dust we ate. . . .
No one knew it then. No one could see it,
Though it spread through lawnless miles of housing tracts,
And the new, bare, treeless streets; it slipped
Into the vacant rows of warehouses & picked
The padlocked doors of working-class bars
And union halls & shuttered, empty diners.
And how it clung! (forever, if one had noticed)
To the brothel with the pastel tassels on the shade
Of an unlit table lamp. Farther in, it feasted
On the decaying light of failing shopping centers;
It spilled into the older, tree-lined neighborhoods,
Into warm houses, sealing itself into books
Of bedtime stories read each night by fathers--
The books lying open to the flat, neglected
Light of dawn; & it settled like dust on windowsills
Downtown, filling the smug cafés, schools,
Banks, offices, taverns, gymnasiums, hotels,
Newsstands, courtrooms, opium parlors, Basque
Restaurants, Armenian steam baths,
French bakeries, & two of the florists' shops--
Their plate glass windows smashed forever.
Finally it tried to infiltrate the exact
Center of my city, a small square bordered
With palm trees, olives, cypresses, a square
Where no one gathered, not even thieves or lovers.
It was a place which no longer had any purpose,
But held itself aloof, I thought, the way
A deaf aunt might, from opinions, styles, gossip.
I liked it there. It was completely lifeless,
Sad & clear in what seemed always a perfect,
Windless noon. I saw it first as a child,
Looking down at it from that as yet
Unvandalized, makeshift studio.
I remember leaning my right cheek against
A striped beach ball so that Mr. Hirata--
Who was Japanese, who would be sent the next week
To a place called Manzanar, a detention camp
Hidden in stunted pines almost above
The Sierra timberline--could take my picture.
I remember the way he lovingly relished
Each camera angle, the unwobbling tripod,
The way he checked each aperture against
The light meter, in love with all things
That were not accidental, & I remember
The care he took when focusing; how
He tried two different lens filters before
He found the one appropriate for that
Sensual, late, slow blush of afternoon
Falling through the one broad bay window.
I remember holding still & looking down
Into the square because he asked me to;
Because my mother & father had asked me please
To obey & be patient & allow the man--
Whose business was failing anyway by then--
To work as long as he wished to without any
Irritations or annoyances before
He would have to spend these years, my father said,
Far away, in snow, & without his cameras.
But Mr. Hirata did not work. He played.
His toys gleamed there. That much was clear to me . . . .
That was the day I decided I would never work.
It felt like a conversion. Play was sacred.
My father waited behind us on a sofa made
From car seats. One spring kept nosing through.
I remember the camera opening into the light . . . .
And I remember the dark after, the studio closed,
The cameras stolen, slivers of glass from the smashed
Bay window littering the unsanded floors,
And the square below it bathed in sunlight . . . . All this
Before Mr. Hirata died, months later,
From complications following pneumonia.
His death, a letter from a camp official said,
Was purely accidental. I didn't believe it.
Diseases were wise. Diseases, like the polio
My sister had endured, floating paralyzed
And strapped into her wheelchair all through
That war, seemed too precise. Like photographs . . .
Except disease left nothing. Disease was like
And equation that drank up light & never ended,
Not even in summer. Before my fever broke,
And the pains lessened, I could actually see
Myself, in the exact center of that square.
How still it had become in my absence, & how
Immaculate, windless, sunlit. I could see
The outline of every leaf on the nearest tree,
See it more clearly than ever, more clearly than
I had seen anything before in my whole life:
Against the modest, dark gray, solemn trunk,
The leaves were becoming only what they had to be--
Calm, yellow, things in themselves & nothing
More--& frankly they were nothing in themselves,
Nothing except their little reassurance
Of persisting for a few more days, or returning
The year after, & the year after that, & every
Year following--estranged from us by now--& clear,
So clear not one in a thousand trembled; hushed
And always coming back--steadfast, orderly,
Taciturn, oblivious--until the end of Time.

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We weren't afraid to mix some crazy styles into the standard rockabilly look. We also took a lot of different musical influences that were part of that era.

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Bruce Springsteen

Plus, you know, when I was young, there was a lot of respect for clowning in rock music - look at Little Richard. It was a part of the whole thing, and I always also believed that it released the audience.

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Shia LaBeouf

Now my dad is with me, traveling with me and a big part of this whole thing is I like to mix it up a little bit, you know. Who gets to take their father on a private jet across the country and stay in first class hotels? So we're enjoying it, but I'd stop if it's not possible.

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