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Vorpal blade went SNICKER-SNACK

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  • JedocJedoc Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Part two of our ongoing series on Silverstein's filthy poems about the devil.
    Billy, Scuzzy, and God

    It's the Nashville Country Corner, all the low are getting high.
    And Billy tells his tale again to anyone who'll buy.
    With waving arms and rolling eyes, he screams to the drunken throng,
    "I've whipped the Devil and lived through Hell, now who's gonna sing my song?"

    Then from the shadows comes an oily voice, "Hey, kid, I like your moves."
    And out of the back slides a little wizened cat with brown-and -white perforated wing-tip shoes.
    "Sleezo's the name," the little man says, "but I'm Scuzzy to my friends.
    And I think I got a little business proposition you just might be interested in."

    "Scuzzy Sleezo hisself," Billy Markham says. "Man, you're a legend in these woods.
    You never cut the Devil down, but you done damn near as good.
    Why, since I been old enough to jack, I been hearin' your greasy name.
    It's an honor to meet an all-star Scuzz. Just where you settin' up your game?"

    "No more games for me," says Scuzzy. "I'm too old and too slow for the pace,
    So I'm the world's greatest hustler's agent now and, Billy, I been studyin' your case.
    I seen your first match with the Devil," says Scuzz, "it was a Volkswagen/Mack truck collision,
    And your second shot, well, you showed me a lot, but you got burned by a hometown decision.
    And I says to myself, 'He can go all the way, with the proper guidance, of course.
    He's got the heart, and with a few more smarts, he'd be an irresistible force.'
    Yeah, I can teach you the tricks and show you the shticks, just like a hustler's training camp.
    And I'll bring you on slow -- then a prelim or so -- then -- Powee! -- a shot at the Champ."

    "The Champ?" says Billy Markham. "Now, who in God's name is that?"

    "Why, God Himself," says Scuzzy Sleezo. "You know anybody more champ than that?"

    "Hey, a match with God?" Billy Markham gasps. "And what would be the purse?"

    "Why, a place in heaven, of course," says Scuzz, "'stead of livin' this Nashville curse.
    But I'll drive you like a wagon, son, and I'll sweat you like a Turk,
    All for fifty percent of the take -- now, shake, and let's get to work."

    Now the scene shifts to the funky pool hall known as the Crystal Cue
    And the time is three months later, and the smoke is thick and blue,
    And the emerald cloth is stained with tears and blood and ketchup spots,
    As a fat old man with a dirty white beard stands practicin' three-cushion shots.

    "Hey, what are we doin' here?" says Billy to Scuzz. "I been taught and I been trained,
    And I don't need no more prelims, I am primed for the Big, Big Game."

    "Well, son," says the old man, sinkin' the four, "why don't you pick yourself out a cue, and. . . ."

    "Hey, Santa Claus," Billy Markham snaps back, "wasn't nobody talkin' to you."

    "Um. . .if you look close," whispers Scuzzy to Bill, "you'll see his cue is a lightnin' rod,
    And he ain't no Santa, and he ain't Fat Daddy. . .you just showed your ass to God."

    "Well, hey, excuse me, Lord," says Bill, "I didn't mean to be uncool,
    But it sure can shake a fellah's faith to find God hustling pool."

    "Well, where you expect to find me," says God, "on a throne with cherubs round?
    Well, I do that five days and nights a week, and on the sixth night. . .I get down."

    "And on the seventh night I suppose you rest?" says Billy Markham with a grin.

    "Never you mind about the seventh night," says God. "Besides, that lady's just a friend.
    Anyway, you didn't come here just to drag my image down."

    "You're right 'bout that, Lord," Billy says. "I come to take your crown."

    "Beg pardon, Lord," says Scuzzy Sleezo, "I don't mean no disrespect,
    But when you're dealing with my boy, don't speak to him direct. I'm his agent and consultant, Scuzzy Sleezo is the name,
    Premier Promotional Artist's Representative of the whole street-hustlin' game.
    Cardsharps, loan sharks, pimps, punks and car parks, I've handled the best of the lot,
    And my new boy here, he just whipped the Devil -- now we're lookin' for a title shot."

    "Beat the Devil, you say?" laughs God. "Well, I take my hat off to him.
    Let him hang up his mouth and pick out a cue and he'll get the shot that's due him.
    Any game he names -- any table he's able -- any price he can afford."
    "Straight pool for Heaven," says Billy Markham.

    "Straight pool it is," says the Lord.

    Crack! Billy Markham wins the break and busts 'em cool and clean.
    The five ball falls, he sinks the seven, and then drops the 13.
    He makes the nine, comes off the cushion and puts the six away,
    Bags the three and the eight on a triple combination and wins the first game on a smooth massé.
    He takes the next game, the next and the next, and when he does finally miss,
    He dusts the blue off his hands, and his game score stands at 1376.

    "Well, my turn at last," says the Lord, chalkin' up. "Son, you sure shoot a wicked stick.
    I'll need some luck to beat a run like that; that is, without resorting to miracles or tricks."

    "Hey, trick and be damned," Billy Markham laughs. "Tonight I'm as hot as flame.
    So I laugh at your tricks -- and I sneer at your stick -- and I take your name in vain."

    "Oooh", goes the crowd that's been gathering around. "Oooh", goes the rack boy in wonder.

    "Oooh", says Scuzzy Sleezo, "I think you just made a slight tactical blunder."

    "Oooh", says God, "you shouldn't have said that, son, you shouldn't have said that at all!"
    And his cue cracks out like a thunderbolt spittin' a flamin' ball.
    It sinks everything on the table, then it zooms up off the green,
    Through the dirty window with a crash of glass and into the wind like a woman's scream,
    Out of the pool hall, up through the skies, the cue ball gleams and swirls,
    Bustin' in and out of every pool game in the world.
    It strikes on every table, it crashes every rack,
    And every pool ball in creation comes rebounding back!
    Back through the window they tumble and crash, down through the ceiling they spin.
    A million balls rain down on the table and every one goes in.

    "Now, there", says Scuzzy Sleezo, "is a shot you don't see every day.
    Lord, you should have an agent to handle your press and build up the class of your play.
    My partnership with this sucker here has come to a termination.
    But God and Scuzzy Sleezo? Hey, that would be a combination."

    Meanwhile, the cue ball flyin' back last, like a sputterin' fizzlin' rocket, Goes weaving dizzily down the cushion and -- plunk! -- falls right in the pocket. "Scratch!" says Billy Markham. "And you said you could shoot!"

    "Scratch!" murmurs the crowd of hangers and hustlers. "At last we have seen it all.

    "Scratch!" mutters the Lord. "I guess I put a little too much English on the ball,
    Just another imperfection, I never get it quite on the button.
    Tell you what, son, I'll spot you three million balls and play you one more double or nothin'."

    "Double what?" says Billy Markham. "I already whipped you like a child,
    And I won my seat in Heaven, now I'm gonna set in it awhile."

    "Hit-and-run -- chickenshit," sneers God. "You said you was the best.
    Turns out you're just a get-lucky-play-it-safe pussy like all the rest."

    "Whoa-whoa", says Billy. "There's somethin' in that voice I know quite well."
    And he reaches out and yanks off God's white beard -- and there stands the Devil himself!

    "You said you was God", Billy Markham cries. "You conned me and hustled me, too!"

    "I am God -- sometimes -- and sometimes I'm the Devil, good and bad, just like you.
    I'm everything and everyone in perfect combination,
    And everybody but you knows that there ain't no separation.
    But go ahead," sighs God, scribbling something down. "Give this note to the angel on the wall,
    And you sit up there 'n' plunk your harp.
    Hey, anybody want to shoot some eight ball?"

    And cold and white and tremblin', Billy walks out into the night,
    Where a golden staircase stretches all the way to paradise.
    And he grips the glitterin' balustrade and begins his grand ascent.
    "Just a minute, good buddy", yells Scuzzy Sleezo. "How about my fifty percent?
    I helped you win the champeenship -- and you wouldn't do ol' Scuzzy wrong,
    And since the purse is a seat in Heaven, you just gotta take me along."

    "Just one minute", says Billy Markham. "There's something weird going on in this game.
    All the voices that I'm hearin' start to soundin' just the same."
    And he rips off Scuzzy Sleezo's face and the Devil's standing there.
    "Good God," yells Billy Markham, "are you -- are you everywhere?"

    "Yes, I am," the Devil says. "And don't look so damn surprised.
    I thought you could smuggle me into Heaven wearing my Sleezy disguise.
    'Course, I could've walked in as Jehovah, but it just wouldn't have been the same,
    But you and your corny Dick Tracy bit -- you had to go ruin my fantasy game.
    Go on, climb up your golden stairs, enjoy your paradise,
    But don't rip off your own face, Bill -- or you might get a shockin' surprise."

    Then up, up the golden stairway Billy Markham dizzily winds his way,
    And high, high above him, he can hear his own songs bein' played,
    And down, down below, hear Scuzzy Sleezo curse his name,
    To the click-click-click of the pool balls
    As God hustles another game.

    Billy Markham's Descent

    Billy Markham sits on an unwashed cloud, his hair is matted and mussed,
    His dusty wings have been cast aside and his harp strings have gone to rust.
    There's dirt beneath his fingernails and a glazed look in his eyes
    As he sits like a burned-out acid freak and stares across the skies.
    They had bathed his body in milk and myrrh; they had robed him in silver gowns;
    They had straightened his warp in his guitar neck, and gave him a golden crown;
    They had set him a place at the table of joy and the fountain of knowledge, as well,
    But he searches the heavens with haunted eyes -- for his mind still walks through Hell.
    His thoughts are down in that nether world, in that burning fiery rain.
    His thoughts are with his momma, how he longs to soothe her pain.
    His thoughts are with his little girl, how he'd love to ease her cryin'.
    His thoughts are with his own true love, how he'd love to bust her spine.

    So late that night, while the heavenly harps play In the Sweet Bye and Bye,
    Billy Markham reaches the silken rope that hangs down from the sky.
    He has stripped himself of his crown and robes; he has clutched the silken cord;
    He has swung him down without a sound, so's not to wake the Lord.
    And down he winds through the perfumed air, down through the marshmallow clouds,
    And he hangs for a while o'er the rooftops of earth, lookin' down at the scurrying crowds.
    Then down through a manhole still clutching the rope, to a stench that he knows quite well.
    "Neath the sewers of the street, till he feels his feet touch the shit-mucked shores of Hell.
    He has scaled the crusted, rusted gates, he has thrown a bone to the Hounds.
    He has floated the putrid river Styx, still down and further down.

    Down past the gluttons, the dealers and pimps, down past the murderer's cage,
    Down past the rock stars searching in vain for their names on the Cashbox page.
    Down past the door of the Merchants of War, past the Puritan's slop-filled bin.
    Past the Bigot's hive, till at last he arrives, at the pit marked BLAMELESS SINS.
    He has found the vat where his momma boils; he has lifted her gently from the deep.
    He has found the grate where his little girl burns;
    he has raised her and soothed her and rocked her to sleep.
    he has found the pit where his sweetheart sleeps; he has spit on the fire where she lay.
    He has cursed her as a whore of Hell; he has cursed and turned away.
    "From this day", says Billy, "I place my faith only in mother and child,
    And never again will I look for love in a bitch's cum-stained smile."

    Then up, back up the rope he climbs, up through the sufferin' swarms,
    Past the clutching hands and the pitiful screams with his two precious loves in his arms.
    Just one more pull -- just one more pull -- then free forever from Hell,
    Just one more pull then -- "Hello, Billy!" -- and there stands the Devil himself!
    And now he wears his crimson robes and his horns are buttered bright,
    And blood oozes through his white-linen gloves and his skin glows red in the night.
    And his tail coils tight like an oily snake and the Hell-fires flash from his eyes,
    On those craggy rocks, he stands and blocks the way to paradise.

    "Well, what have we here", the Devil says, "in my domain of sin?
    In all my years as Prince of the Dark, it's the first case of somebody breakin' in.
    And of all the daredevil darin' dudes, well, who should the hero be?
    But my old friend Billy Markham -- who once made a punk out of me.
    I heard you was in Heaven, Billy, fuckin' angels all day long,
    What's a matter -- wouldn't that heavenly choir sing none of your raunchy songs?
    Or maybe it's the thought of the loves you sold and you couldn't live with the shame.
    Or maybe, like every other loser, you just can't stay 'way from the game.
    You write your songs about standin' strong, you sing about bein' free,
    But like a pussy-whipped fool who keeps on bitchin'
    'bout his lover, you keep bitchin' but comin' back to me.
    You made me the laughingstock of Hell and the whole world laughed with you,
    Now here you come crashin' my party again; now tell me, just who's devilin' who?
    Now, I didn't invite you down here, Bill, and nobody twisted your arm,
    But you're back down here on my turf now, down here where it's cozy and warm.
    So no more dice and no more games and no more jive stories to tell,
    Just the Devil and a man with some souls in his hand hangin' 'tween Heaven and Hell.
    But what is this?" the Devil says. "Only two souls you've set free?
    You seem to forgot and left one behind; now, who could that one be?
    Could it be your own true love, the one with the angel's smile?
    The one you curse with each bitter breath 'cause she played with the Devil awhile?
    You call yourself free?" the Devil laughs. "Why, you prudish, uptight schmuck,
    You'd leave your sweet love burn in Hell for one harmless little suck.
    What would you rather she had done, leaped in the boiling manure . . .
    So's you could keep your fantasy of someone sweet and pure?
    She saved her ass -- and so would you -- but still you curse her name.
    Shit, you'd suck a million dicks to escape one childbirth pain."

    "Hey, it's easy to talk to savin' ass", says Billy, "forgiveness is easy to say,
    But when the shame burns worse than Hades' fires -- how do you talk that away?"

    "Shame?" laughs the Devil. "She's only a woman -- she did what she had to do,
    And right or wrong, she needs no curse from the hypocrite lame like you. . .
    She shall rule with me in this Kingdom of Flame, she shall sit next to me on my throne,
    While you live with the truth -- that the Devil's heart has more pity than your own."

    "Hey, wait a minute", say Billy Markham. "I can't believe what you just said,
    You givin' me this whole philosophy shit just 'cause you like the way she gave you head.
    Why, you poor closet romantic, that chick was suckin' for her life.
    Just wait see what kinda head you get after you make her your wife."

    "In Hell", shouts the Devil, "that's blasphemy! I should burn you to dust where you stand,
    But the venom you're carryin' in your heart, that's torture enough for any man.
    So get your ass up that silken rope, climb back to your promised land,
    And hold your illusions of momma and daughter tight in your sweatin' hand.
    But you'll see that they're just bitches like she, and you'll scream when you find it's true,
    But stay up there and scream to God -- Hell's gates are closed to you."

    And Billy Markham, clutching his loves, climbs upward toward the skies,
    And is it the sharp night wind that brings the tears to Billy's eyes?
    Or is it the swirling sulphur smoke or the bright glare of the sun?
    Or is it the sound of the wedding feast that the demons below have begun?
    As the Devil, he sits with his betrothed and they pledge their love in the steam,
    While halfway up the silken cord,
    Billy Markham screams!

    Billy Markham's Wedding

    The trumpets of Hell have sounded the word like a screeching clarion call.
    The trumpets of Hell have sounded the word and the word has been heard by all.
    The trumpets of Hell have sounded the word and it reaches the heavenly skies,
    Come angels, come demons, come half-breeds, too, the Devil is taking a bride.
    And out of the Pearly Gates they come in a file two by two,
    For when the Devil takes a bride, there's none that dares refuse.
    And Jesus himself, he leads the way down through the starless night,
    With Virgin Mary at his left side and Joseph on his right.
    And then comes Adam and then comes Eve and saints move close behind
    And all the gentle and all the good, in an endless column they wind.
    Down, down to the pits of Hell, down from the heavens they sift
    Like fallen stars to a blood-red sea, each bearing the Devil a gift.
    The strong and the brave, the halt and the lame, the deaf and the blind and the dumb,
    And last of all comes Billy Markham, cursing the night as he comes.
    Hell's halls are decked with ribbons of red, the feast has been prepared,
    And Devil and bride sit side by side in skull-and-crossbone chairs,
    And the Devil grins as his guests file in, for he is master now,
    And one by one they enter his realm -- and one by one they bow,
    And the Devil whispers, "Thank the Lord," and swells his chest with pride
    As they mouth their blessings and place their gifts at the feet of the Devil's bride.
    Lucrezia Borgia has made the punch of strychnine, wine and gin,
    And Judas has set the supper table on hallowed, bloody linen.
    The feast is a human barbecue and the sauce is beriberi
    Flavored with gore from the burning hordes and cooked by Typhoid Mary.
    And everyone drinks of the bubblin' brew and off come the masks of virtue and sin,
    And the Devil beams proud on the well-mixed crowd and cries, "Let the revels begin!"
    And the walls that separate Heaven and Hell crack and crumble away,
    And the Devil laughs and waves his tail and Hell's band begins to play.
    There is Nero, madly fiddlin' his fiddle and Gabriel on horn,
    And the Black Bitch of Buchenwald beating her drum, and Arthur Rank bangin' his gong,
    And Marie Laveau, she plays her bones and Yorick, he plays his,
    And Hank plays guitar with three strings broke, and that's what Hell really is.
    And Janis and Elvis and Jimi and Cass, they're up there singin' the blues,
    And Adolf Hitler and Joan of Arc start doin' the boogaloo.
    Then Carry nation, she starts to strip and everyone applauds,
    Except Lady Macbeth, who's givin' some head to Leonardo da Vinci and Santa Claus.
    And the Marquis de Sade does a promenade, laughing and cracking his whips,
    And Marilyn Monroe does a coochie show and Eve starts shaking her hips.
    And Sarah Bernhardt and Jessie James, they're taking dirty photos,
    While out in the foyer, Richard the Third is comparing his hump with Quasimodo's.
    And bare-ass naked on the balustrade sits Edgar Allan Poe
    Posing for a two-dollar caricature by Michelangelo.
    And Gypsy Rose Lee jumps on Francis Scott Key, and does a quick trick with her fan,
    While Ivan the Terrible's trying to get into Virgin Mary's pants.
    Henry the Eighth, he screams, "More food, more music, more wine, more wives,"
    While Lizzie Borden and Jack the Ripper, they're out on the terrace comparing knives.
    Lenny Bruce, he moons the crowd while swinging from the ceiling,
    And Jesus and Judas have one more drink just to show there's no hard feelings.
    Then Catherine the Great, she's givin' her number to the horse of Paul Revere,
    While Don Juan's whisperin' love and lust into Helen Keller's ear.
    And General Grant, he's playing backgammon in the corner with Robert E. Lee,
    While Freud and Rasputin are arguing pussy with Attila the Hun and Socrates.
    And John Wilkes Booth, he's havin' a toot, and J. Edgar Hoover's in drag,
    While Amelia Earhart is talkin' to Lindbergh, 'bout splittin' a five-cent bag,
    And Mary Baker Eddy's drunk and tellin' dirty jokes,
    And Fatty Arbuckle's shoutin', "Hey, anybody got another coke?"
    And Alice Toklas and Gertrude Stein are gigglin' behind the door,
    While the Daughters of Lot are yellin', "Hey, Pop, let's do just once more."
    And Florence Nightingale's offerin' a beer to the Man in the Iron Mask,
    While Plato's shovin' cashew nuts up Marco Polo's ass,
    And Billy Sunday and Mary Magdalene announce they're goin' steady,
    And Abel and Cain form a daisy chain with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.
    Then Doctor Faust snorts too much coke and punches out Errol Flynn
    Over some 13-year-old girl that they're both interested in.
    And Nero's laughin' as he sets fire to Mata Hari's hair,
    While Oscar Wilde says to Billy the Kid, "Hey, Kid, let me show you round upstairs."
    And the Devil, he drinks his boiling blood and glances side to side,
    From the eyes of Billy Markham to the eyes of his own sweet bride.
    Then the music comes to a screechin' halt and the revelers freeze where they stand
    As Billy Markham approaches the throne and says, "May I have this dance?"

    "Can this be Billy Markham", sneers the Devil, "who loves only the chaste and the pure?
    No, Billy wouldn't bow and kiss the hand of a woman he once called whore.
    But whoever this poor, lonely wretch may be, it is my wedding whim,
    That no man be refused this day -- step down, darlin', and dance with him."
    The Devil grins and waves his hand, the music starts gentle and warm,
    As the lady nervously steps from her throne into Billy Markham's arms.
    And the guests all snicker and snigger and wait, and they watch the dancers' eyes,
    As round and round the floor they swirl 'tween Hell and paradise.

    "Oh, baby doll", whispers Billy Markham, "I have done you an awful wrong,
    And to show how rotten low I feel, I even wrote about it in a song.
    I never should've called you a scuzzy whore -- I never should've spit on your bed,
    And I never should've left you to burn here in Hell just 'cause you give the Devil some head.
    But if there's any hellish and heavenly way that I can make it right,
    If it costs my balls, over Hades' walls, I'll get you away tonight."
    And the lady smiles a wanton smile, as round and round the room they swing.
    And she whispers low in Billy's ear. . . "There is one little thing. . ."

    Now the hall is empty, the guests are gone, and there on the rusted throne,
    Hand in hand in golden bands, the Devil and bride sit alone.
    And the Devil stretches and yawns and grins, "It has been quite a day.
    Now I guess it's time to seal our love in the usual mortal way."
    And the Devil strips off his crimson cloak, and he casts his pitchfork aside,
    And he frees his oily two-pronged tail, and waits to take his bride.
    And his true love lifts her wedding dress up over her angel's head
    And hand in hand they make their way to the Devil's firery bed.
    And her upturned breasts glow warm in the fire
    And her legs are shapely and slim
    And for the very first time since time began, the Devil feels passion in him.
    "Now for the moment of truth", he whispers. "My love, my queen, my choice."

    "I love you, too, motherfucker", she laughs -- in Billy Markham's voice.

    And the Devil leaps up and howls so loud that the fires of Hell blow cold.
    "Ain't no big deal", says Billy's voice. "While we was dancing, we swapped souls.
    Now she's up in Heaven singin' my songs and wearin' my body, too,
    Safe forever in the arms of the Lord, while I'm down here in the arms of you."

    "Why, you crawlin' crud", the Devil cries, "I'll teach you to fuck with my brain.
    I'll give you a child who weighs ninety-five pounds, you talk about screamin' pain!"

    "Hold on", says Billy Markham, "I will be your wife only in name --
    You come near me with that double-pronged dick and I'll rip it right off your frame."

    "Not so loud", the Devil whispers. "If Hell learns what's been done,
    They'll laugh me off this golden throne and damn me to kingdom come.
    And you -- you've given me my true love's body with a hustler's soul inside.
    You know more of torture than I've ever dreamed -- you're fit to be my bride."

    "Well, don't take it so hard", Billy Markham says. "You know things could be lots worse.
    Havin' her soul in my body -- now, that would be a curse.
    But you and me, we got lots in common, we both like to shoot the shit, And we both like to joke and we both like to smoke and we both like to gamble a bit,
    And that could be the makin's for a happy marriage, and since neither of us ever gonna die,
    Well, we might as well start the honeymoon -- you wanna cut the cards or should I?"

    Now, the wedding night is a hundred years past and their garments have rotted to rags.
    But face to face they sit in the flames, dealing five-card stud and one-eyed jacks.
    And sometimes they play pinochle, sometimes they play gin,
    And sometimes the Devil rakes in the pots, and sometimes the lady wins,
    And sometimes they just sit and reminisce of the night when they first were wed.
    From dawn to dawn the game goes on. . .They never go to bed.

    Thank you and goodnight! Tip your waitress.

    Jedoc on
    cannon.jpg
  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    NotACrook wrote: »
    I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

    Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
    and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

    The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

    I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
    I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

    On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
    I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

    She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
    How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

    I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
    To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

    To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
    And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

    What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
    The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

    That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
    My soul is lost without her.

    As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
    My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

    The same night that whitens the same trees.
    We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

    I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
    My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

    Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
    belonged to my kisses.
    Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

    I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
    Love is so short and oblivion so long.

    Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
    my soul is lost without her.

    Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
    and this may be the last poem I write for her.
    NAS, I love you for this. Read the first half of this for my wife's eulogy.

    I'm not sure how this makes me feel.

    NotASenator on
  • Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I love The Devil & Billy Markham and I was rather shocked the first time I saw who wrote it

    Grey Ghost on
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  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Pablo Neruda - Ode to Clothes
    Each morning you’re waiting
    My clothing, on a chair
    For me to fill you
    With my vanity, my love
    My hope, my body
    I hardly
    Have gotten out of sleep
    I say goodbye to the water
    I enter into your sleeves
    My legs look for
    The hollowness of your legs
    And so embraced
    By your tireless faithfulness
    I go out to walk in the grass
    I enter into poetry
    I look through windows
    At things
    Men, women,
    Deeds and struggles
    Keep forming me
    Keep coming against me
    Laboring with my hands
    Opening my eyes
    Using up my mouth
    And so,
    Clothing,
    I also keep forming you
    Poking out your elbows
    Snapping your threads
    And so your life grows
    Into the image of my life.
    In the wind
    You ripple and rustle
    As if you were my soul.
    In bad minutes
    You stick
    To my bones
    Empty, through the night
    Darkness, sleep
    Populate with their fantasies
    Your wings and mine.
    I ask
    If one day
    A bullet
    From the enemy
    Might leave a spot of my blood on you
    And then
    You would die with me
    Or maybe
    It won’t all be
    So dramatic
    But simple
    And you’ll just get feeble,
    Clothing,
    Growing old
    With me, with my body
    And together
    We will enter
    The earth.
    That’s why
    Every day
    I greet you
    With reverence and then
    You embrace me and I forget you
    Because we are just one
    And we’ll keep going on together
    Against the wind, in the night
    The streets, or the struggle
    One single body
    May be, may be, some time will be immobile.

    NotASenator on
  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    I was going to post my own poetry to try to pass it off as famous.

    NotASenator on
  • EdcrabEdcrab Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    NaS is Pablo Neruda?!

    Edcrab on
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  • mensch-o-maticmensch-o-matic Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    i have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
    i do not think they will sing to me.

    <3<3<3

    mensch-o-matic on
  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    It would explain why they won't let me go to Chile.

    NotASenator on
  • PedantophilePedantophile Registered User
    edited May 2010
    NotACrook wrote: »
    NotACrook wrote: »
    I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.

    Write, for instance: "The night is full of stars,
    and the stars, blue, shiver in the distance."

    The night wind whirls in the sky and sings.

    I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
    I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

    On nights like this, I held her in my arms.
    I kissed her so many times under the infinite sky.

    She loved me, sometimes I loved her.
    How could I not have loved her large, still eyes?

    I can write the saddest poem of all tonight.
    To think I don't have her. To feel that I've lost her.

    To hear the immense night, more immense without her.
    And the poem falls to the soul as dew to grass.

    What does it matter that my love couldn't keep her.
    The night is full of stars and she is not with me.

    That's all. Far away, someone sings. Far away.
    My soul is lost without her.

    As if to bring her near, my eyes search for her.
    My heart searches for her and she is not with me.

    The same night that whitens the same trees.
    We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

    I no longer love her, true, but how much I loved her.
    My voice searched the wind to touch her ear.

    Someone else's. She will be someone else's. As she once
    belonged to my kisses.
    Her voice, her light body. Her infinite eyes.

    I no longer love her, true, but perhaps I love her.
    Love is so short and oblivion so long.

    Because on nights like this I held her in my arms,
    my soul is lost without her.

    Although this may be the last pain she causes me,
    and this may be the last poem I write for her.
    NAS, I love you for this. Read the first half of this for my wife's eulogy.
    I'm not sure how this makes me feel.
    Uh not bad. At least it doesn't make me feel bad. Hell, she introduced me to folks like Neruda and Garcia Lorca. And that's pretty awesome.

    Pedantophile on
    "Considering what your people did to my people during WWII I think a little kissing and breast fondling to be minor reparations, at best."
  • Grey GhostGrey Ghost Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    W.H. Auden wrote:
    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

    Grey Ghost on
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  • JedocJedoc Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The Old Astronomer to His Pupil

    Reach me down my Tycho Brahe, I would know him when we meet,
    When I share my later science, sitting humbly at his feet;
    He may know the law of all things, yet be ignorant of how
    We are working to completion, working on from then to now.

    Pray remember that I leave you all my theory complete,
    Lacking only certain data for your adding, as is meet,
    And remember men will scorn it, 'tis original and true,
    And the obloquy of newness may fall bitterly on you.

    But, my pupil, as my pupil you have learned the worth of scorn,
    You have laughed with me at pity, we have joyed to be forlorn,
    What for us are all distractions of men's fellowship and smiles;
    What for us the Goddess Pleasure with her meretricious smiles!

    You may tell that German College that their honor comes too late,
    But they must not waste repentance on the grizzly savant's fate.
    Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light;
    I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.

    I would really like the last two lines as a quatrain on my tombstone. Also pepperoni and cheese.

    Jedoc on
    cannon.jpg
  • Mystral721Mystral721 Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Grey Ghost wrote: »
    W.H. Auden wrote:
    Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
    Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
    Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
    Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

    Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
    Scribbling on the sky the message He is Dead.
    Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
    Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

    He was my North, my South, my East and West,
    My working week and my Sunday rest,
    My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
    I thought that love would last forever: I was wrong.

    The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
    Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun,
    Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
    For nothing now can ever come to any good.

    I can't read this without hearing it in the thick Scottish brogue of that actor in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

    Mystral721 on
    "Little baby Cthulhu hopping through the forest, picking up the field mice and Sucking Out Their Souls"

    http://www.logicalcreativity.com/jon/plush/01.html
  • The GeekThe Geek Omeganaut Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2010
    I never understood poetry. I just don't get it. My brain doesn't work that way.

    The Geek on
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  • BelruelBelruel Life and death and love and birth and peace and war on the planet earthRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The Geek wrote: »
    I never understood poetry. I just don't get it. My brain doesn't work that way.

    man I can understand not understanding some/most poetry (like the wasteland and such) I don't agree, but I understand, understand?

    but, how can you not comprehend at least some poetry, such as the one by Dylan Thomas in the OP. That is incomprehensible!

    here it is again for easy reading
    Do not go gentle into that good night,
    Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
    Because their words had forked no lightning they
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
    Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
    And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
    Do not go gentle into that good night.

    Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
    Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    And you, my father, there on that sad height,
    Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

    I mean, goddamn, that's some powerful work, and pretty straightforward too.

    Belruel on
    3DS friendcode: 2380-4618-2503
  • bowtiedsealbowtiedseal Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    oh yes I adore pablo neruda, my title/location is a line from a short poem of his, called point
    No hay espacio más ancho que el dolor
    No hay universo como aquel que sangra

    There is no space wider than that of grief
    There is no universe like that which bleeds

    I also love walking around, spoiler'd cause it's longer. I do not like the english translation nearly as much but it's still good.
    Sucede que me canso de ser hombre.
    Sucede que entro en las sastrerías y en los cines
    marchito, impenetrable, como un cisne de fieltro
    Navegando en un agua de origen y ceniza.

    El olor de las peluquerías me hace llorar a gritos.
    Sólo quiero un descanso de piedras o de lana,
    sólo quiero no ver establecimientos ni jardines,
    ni mercaderías, ni anteojos, ni ascensores.

    Sucede que me canso de mis pies y mis uñas
    y mi pelo y mi sombra.
    Sucede que me canso de ser hombre.

    Sin embargo sería delicioso
    asustar a un notario con un lirio cortado
    o dar muerte a una monja con un golpe de oreja.
    Sería bello
    ir por las calles con un cuchillo verde
    y dando gritos hasta morir de frío

    No quiero seguir siendo raíz en las tinieblas,
    vacilante, extendido, tiritando de sueño,
    hacia abajo, en las tapias mojadas de la tierra,
    absorbiendo y pensando, comiendo cada día.

    No quiero para mí tantas desgracias.
    No quiero continuar de raíz y de tumba,
    de subterráneo solo, de bodega con muertos
    ateridos, muriéndome de pena.

    Por eso el día lunes arde como el petróleo
    cuando me ve llegar con mi cara de cárcel,
    y aúlla en su transcurso como una rueda herida,
    y da pasos de sangre caliente hacia la noche.

    Y me empuja a ciertos rincones, a ciertas casas húmedas,
    a hospitales donde los huesos salen por la ventana,
    a ciertas zapaterías con olor a vinagre,
    a calles espantosas como grietas.

    Hay pájaros de color de azufre y horribles intestinos
    colgando de las puertas de las casas que odio,
    hay dentaduras olvidadas en una cafetera,
    hay espejos
    que debieran haber llorado de vergüenza y espanto,
    hay paraguas en todas partes, y venenos, y ombligos.
    Yo paseo con calma, con ojos, con zapatos,
    con furia, con olvido,
    paso, cruzo oficinas y tiendas de ortopedia,
    y patios donde hay ropas colgadas de un alambre:
    calzoncillos, toallas y camisas que lloran
    lentas lágrimas sucias.


    It so happens I am sick of being a man.
    And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie
    houses
    dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
    steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

    The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse
    sobs.
    The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
    The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
    no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

    It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
    and my hair and my shadow.
    It so happens I am sick of being a man.

    Still it would be marvelous
    to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
    or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
    It would be great
    to go through the streets with a green knife
    letting out yells until I died of the cold.

    I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,
    insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
    going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
    taking in and thinking, eating every day.

    I don't want so much misery.
    I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,
    alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
    half frozen, dying of grief.

    That's why Monday, when it sees me coming
    with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
    and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
    and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the
    night.

    And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist
    houses,
    into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
    into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
    and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

    There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
    hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
    and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
    there are mirrors
    that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
    there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical
    cords.

    I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
    my rage, forgetting everything,
    I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic
    shops,
    and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
    underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
    dirty tears are falling.

    bowtiedseal on
  • AMP'dAMP'd Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Sheri wrote: »
    No wait this one
    anyone lived in a pretty how town
    (with up so floating many bells down)
    spring summer autumn winter
    he sang his didn't he danced his did

    Women and men(both little and small)
    cared for anyone not at all
    they sowed their isn't they reaped their same
    sun moon stars rain

    children guessed(but only a few
    and down they forgot as up they grew
    autumn winter spring summer)
    that noone loved him more by more

    when by now and tree by leaf
    she laughed his joy she cried his grief
    bird by snow and stir by still
    anyone's any was all to her

    someones married their everyones
    laughed their cryings and did their dance
    (sleep wake hope and then)they
    said their nevers they slept their dream

    stars rain sun moon
    (and only the snow can begin to explain
    how children are apt to forget to remember
    with up so floating many bells down)

    one day anyone died i guess
    (and noone stooped to kiss his face)
    busy folk buried them side by side
    little by little and was by was

    all by all and deep by deep
    and more by more they dream their sleep
    noone and anyone earth by april
    wish by spirit and if by yes.

    Women and men(both dong and ding)
    summer autumn winter spring
    reaped their sowing and went their came
    sun moon stars rain

    biiig winner

    I have to read The Waste Land next week, so that should be fun

    AMP'd on
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  • AMP'dAMP'd Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    either anyone lived in a pretty how town or Buffalo Bill are my favorite cummings
    Buffalo Bill's
    
    defunct
    
            who used to
    
            ride a watersmooth-silver
    
                                      stallion
    
    and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
    
                                                      Jesus
    
    
    
    he was a handsome man
    
                          and what i want to know is
    
    how do you like your blueeyed boy
    
    Mister Death
    

    and then I like Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, but I bet it's been posted by now

    AMP'd on
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  • SheriSheri Resident Fluffer My Living RoomRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Honestly

    Excluding a few exceptions that I am absolutely crazy about (e.e. cummings, obviously)

    whenever I read poetry my eyes mostly just gloss over and I tune out

    Even if I don't want to, I can't seem to help it.

    Sheri on
  • FoolproofFoolproof thats what my hearts become in that place you dare not look staring back at youRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gifEn61dZBc&feature=related




    To The Whore Who Took My Poems

    some say we should keep personal remorse from the
    poem,
    stay abstract, and there is some reason in this,
    but jezus;
    twelve poems gone and I don't keep carbons and you have
    my
    paintings too, my best ones; its stifling:
    are you trying to crush me out like the rest of them?
    why didn't you take my money? they usually do
    from the sleeping drunken pants sick in the corner.
    next time take my left arm or a fifty
    but not my poems:
    I'm not Shakespeare
    but sometime simply
    there won't be any more, abstract or otherwise;
    there'll always be money and whores and drunkards
    down to the last bomb,
    but as God said,
    crossing his legs,
    I see where I have made plenty of poets
    but not so very much
    poetry.

    Charles Bukowski

    Foolproof on
  • AMP'dAMP'd Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Sow
    by Sylvia Plath

    God knows how our neighbor managed to breed
    His great sow:
    Whatever his shrewd secret, he kept it hid

    In the same way
    He kept the sow--impounded from public stare,
    Prize ribbon and pig show.

    But one dusk our questions commended us to a tour
    Through his lantern-lit
    Maze of barns to the lintel of the sunk sty door

    To gape at it:
    This was no rose-and-larkspurred china suckling
    With a penny slot

    For thrift children, nor dolt pig ripe for heckling,
    About to be
    Glorified for prime flesh and golden crackling

    In a parsley halo;
    Nor even one of the common barnyard sows,
    Mire-smirched, blowzy,

    Maunching thistle and knotweed on her snout-
    cruise--
    Bloat tun of milk
    On the move, hedged by a litter of feat-foot ninnies

    Shrilling her hulk
    To halt for a swig at the pink teats. No. This vast
    Brobdingnag bulk

    Of a sow lounged belly-bedded on that black
    compost,
    Fat-rutted eyes
    Dream-filmed. What a vision of ancient hoghood
    must

    Thus wholly engross
    The great grandam!--our marvel blazoned a knight,
    Helmed, in cuirass,

    Unhorsed and shredded in the grove of combat
    By a grisly-bristled
    Boar, fabulous enough to straddle that sow's heat.

    But our farmer whistled,
    Then, with a jocular fist thwacked the barrel nape,
    And the green-copse-castled

    Pig hove, letting legend like dried mud drop,
    Slowly, grunt
    On grunt, up in the flickering light to shape

    A monument
    Prodigious in gluttonies as that hog whose want
    Made lean Lent

    Of kitchen slops and, stomaching no constraint,
    Proceeded to swill
    The seven troughed seas and every earthquaking
    continent.

    AMP'd on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • AntimatterAntimatter Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    god, I can't find this one poem I discovered in middle school, in the school library
    it was called The Locomotive Sloth, and it began like this:
    Along train tracks with yawning jaws
    he lies, this evil lummoch
    until locomotives pulling cars
    steam straight into his stomach

    Antimatter on
  • AMP'dAMP'd Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The History Teacher - Billy Collins

    Trying to protect his students' innocence
    he told them the Ice Age was really just
    the Chilly Age, a period of a million years
    when everyone had to wear sweaters.

    And the Stone Age became the Gravel Age,
    named after the long driveways of the time.

    The Spanish Inquisition was nothing more
    than an outbreak of questions such as
    "How far is it from here to Madrid?"
    "What do you call the matador's hat?"

    The War of the Roses took place in a garden,
    and the Enola Gay dropped one tiny atom on Japan.

    The children would leave his classroom
    for the playground to torment the weak
    and the smart,
    mussing up their hair and breaking their glasses,

    While he gathered up his notes and walked home
    past flower beds and white picket fences,
    wondering if they would believe that soldiers
    in the Boer War told long, rambling stories
    designed to make the enemy nod off.

    AMP'd on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • FandeathisFandeathis Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    T.S. Eliot is a close second to ee cummings for me. Bukowski and Frost are overrated.

    Also Poe and Nietzsche wrote some cool stuff.

    Fandeathis on
    You fuck wit' Die Antwoord, you fuck wit' da army.
  • AMP'dAMP'd Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Oh, you reminded me that I wanted to post this for all the Frost-haters

    The Silken Tent by Robert Frost

    She is as in a field a silken tent
    At midday when the sunny summer breeze
    Has dried the dew and all its ropes relent,
    So that in guys it gently sways at ease,
    And its supporting central cedar pole,
    That is its pinnacle to heavenward
    And signifies the sureness of the soul,
    Seems to owe naught to any single cord,
    But strictly held by none, is loosely bound
    By countless silken ties of love and thought
    To every thing on earth the compass round,
    And only by one's going slightly taut
    In the capriciousness of summer air
    Is of the slightlest bondage made aware.

    AMP'd on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • thorpethorpe Registered User
    edited May 2010
    The Negro Speaks of Rivers
    by Langston Hughes

    I've known rivers:
    I've known rivers ancient as the world and older than the
    flow of human blood in human veins.

    My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

    I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
    I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
    I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
    I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
    went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
    bosom turn all golden in the sunset.

    I've known rivers:
    Ancient, dusky rivers.

    My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

    --
    and
    --

    an untitled poem by Nicanor Parra

    MY CORPSE and I
    understand each other marvelously
    my corpse asks me: do you believe in God?
    and I respond with a hearty NO
    my corpse asks: do you believe in the government?
    and I respond with the hammer and sickle
    my corpse asks: do you believe in the police?
    and I respond with a punch in the face
    then he gets up out of his coffin
    and we go arm in arm to the altar

    thorpe on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • thorpethorpe Registered User
    edited May 2010
    Oh! And good ol' Yehuda Amichae

    "God Has Pity On Kindergarten Children"

    God has pity on kindergarten children.
    He has less pity on school children.
    And on grownups he has no pity at all,
    he leaves them alone,
    and sometimes they must crawl on all fours
    in the burning sand
    to reach the first-aid station
    covered with blood

    But perhaps he will watch over true lovers
    and have mercy on them and shelter them
    like a tree over the old man
    sleeping on the public bench.

    thorpe on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • ZombiemamboZombiemambo Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    YOU may talk o' gin an' beer
    When you're quartered safe out 'ere,
    An' you're sent to penny-fights an' Aldershot it;
    But if it comes to slaughter
    You will do your work on water, 5
    An' you'll lick the bloomin' boots of 'im that's got it.
    Now in Injia's sunny clime,
    Where I used to spend my time
    A-servin' of 'Er Majesty the Queen,
    Of all them black-faced crew 10
    The finest man I knew
    Was our regimental bhisti, Gunga Din.

    It was "Din! Din! Din!
    You limping lump o' brick-dust, Gunga Din!
    Hi! slippy hitherao! 15
    Water, get it! Panee lao!
    You squidgy-nosed old idol, Gunga Din!"

    The uniform 'e wore
    Was nothin' much before,
    An' rather less than 'arf o' that be'ind, 20
    For a twisty piece o' rag
    An' a goatskin water-bag
    Was all the field-equipment 'e could find.
    When the sweatin' troop-train lay
    In a sidin' through the day, 25
    Where the 'eat would make your bloomin' eyebrows crawl,
    We shouted "Harry By!"
    Till our throats were bricky-dry,
    Then we wopped 'im 'cause 'e couldn't serve us all.

    It was "Din! Din! Din! 30
    You 'eathen, where the mischief 'ave you been?
    You put some juldee in it,
    Or I'll marrow you this minute,
    If you don't fill up my helmet, Gunga Din!"

    'E would dot an' carry one 35
    Till the longest day was done,
    An' 'e didn't seem to know the use o' fear.
    If we charged or broke or cut,
    You could bet your bloomin' nut,
    'E'd be waitin' fifty paces right flank rear. 40
    With 'is mussick on 'is back,
    'E would skip with our attack,
    An' watch us till the bugles made "Retire."
    An' for all 'is dirty 'ide,
    'E was white, clear white, inside 45
    When 'e went to tend the wounded under fire!

    It was "Din! Din! Din!"
    With the bullets kickin' dust-spots on the green.
    When the cartridges ran out,
    You could 'ear the front-files shout: 50
    "Hi! ammunition-mules an' Gunga Din!"

    I sha'n't forgit the night
    When I dropped be'ind the fight
    With a bullet where my belt-plate should 'a' been.
    I was chokin' mad with thirst, 55
    An' the man that spied me first
    Was our good old grinnin', gruntin' Gunga Din.

    'E lifted up my 'ead,
    An' 'e plugged me where I bled,
    An' 'e guv me 'arf-a-pint o' water—green; 60
    It was crawlin' an' it stunk,
    But of all the drinks I've drunk,
    I'm gratefullest to one from Gunga Din.

    It was "Din! Din! Din!
    'Ere's a beggar with a bullet through 'is spleen; 65
    'E's chawin' up the ground an' 'e's kickin' all around:
    For Gawd's sake, git the water, Gunga Din!"

    'E carried me away
    To where a dooli lay,
    An' a bullet come an' drilled the beggar clean. 70
    'E put me safe inside,
    An' just before 'e died:
    "I 'ope you liked your drink," sez Gunga Din.
    So I'll meet 'im later on
    In the place where 'e is gone— 75
    Where it's always double drill and no canteen;
    'E'll be squattin' on the coals
    Givin' drink to pore damned souls,
    An' I'll get a swig in Hell from Gunga Din!

    Din! Din! Din! 80
    You Lazarushian-leather Gunga Din!
    Tho' I've belted you an' flayed you,
    By the livin' Gawd that made you,
    You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din!

    Zombiemambo on
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  • The GeekThe Geek Omeganaut Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited May 2010
    Sheri wrote: »
    Honestly

    Excluding a few exceptions that I am absolutely crazy about (e.e. cummings, obviously)

    whenever I read poetry my eyes mostly just gloss over and I tune out

    Even if I don't want to, I can't seem to help it.

    hee hee Sheri is crazy about cummings

    The Geek on
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  • NotASenatorNotASenator Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    oh yes I adore pablo neruda, my title/location is a line from a short poem of his, called point
    No hay espacio más ancho que el dolor
    No hay universo como aquel que sangra

    There is no space wider than that of grief
    There is no universe like that which bleeds

    I also love walking around, spoiler'd cause it's longer. I do not like the english translation nearly as much but it's still good.
    Sucede que me canso de ser hombre.
    Sucede que entro en las sastrerías y en los cines
    marchito, impenetrable, como un cisne de fieltro
    Navegando en un agua de origen y ceniza.

    El olor de las peluquerías me hace llorar a gritos.
    Sólo quiero un descanso de piedras o de lana,
    sólo quiero no ver establecimientos ni jardines,
    ni mercaderías, ni anteojos, ni ascensores.

    Sucede que me canso de mis pies y mis uñas
    y mi pelo y mi sombra.
    Sucede que me canso de ser hombre.

    Sin embargo sería delicioso
    asustar a un notario con un lirio cortado
    o dar muerte a una monja con un golpe de oreja.
    Sería bello
    ir por las calles con un cuchillo verde
    y dando gritos hasta morir de frío

    No quiero seguir siendo raíz en las tinieblas,
    vacilante, extendido, tiritando de sueño,
    hacia abajo, en las tapias mojadas de la tierra,
    absorbiendo y pensando, comiendo cada día.

    No quiero para mí tantas desgracias.
    No quiero continuar de raíz y de tumba,
    de subterráneo solo, de bodega con muertos
    ateridos, muriéndome de pena.

    Por eso el día lunes arde como el petróleo
    cuando me ve llegar con mi cara de cárcel,
    y aúlla en su transcurso como una rueda herida,
    y da pasos de sangre caliente hacia la noche.

    Y me empuja a ciertos rincones, a ciertas casas húmedas,
    a hospitales donde los huesos salen por la ventana,
    a ciertas zapaterías con olor a vinagre,
    a calles espantosas como grietas.

    Hay pájaros de color de azufre y horribles intestinos
    colgando de las puertas de las casas que odio,
    hay dentaduras olvidadas en una cafetera,
    hay espejos
    que debieran haber llorado de vergüenza y espanto,
    hay paraguas en todas partes, y venenos, y ombligos.
    Yo paseo con calma, con ojos, con zapatos,
    con furia, con olvido,
    paso, cruzo oficinas y tiendas de ortopedia,
    y patios donde hay ropas colgadas de un alambre:
    calzoncillos, toallas y camisas que lloran
    lentas lágrimas sucias.


    It so happens I am sick of being a man.
    And it happens that I walk into tailorshops and movie
    houses
    dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt
    steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.

    The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse
    sobs.
    The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
    The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
    no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.

    It so happens that I am sick of my feet and my nails
    and my hair and my shadow.
    It so happens I am sick of being a man.

    Still it would be marvelous
    to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
    or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
    It would be great
    to go through the streets with a green knife
    letting out yells until I died of the cold.

    I don't want to go on being a root in the dark,
    insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
    going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
    taking in and thinking, eating every day.

    I don't want so much misery.
    I don't want to go on as a root and a tomb,
    alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
    half frozen, dying of grief.

    That's why Monday, when it sees me coming
    with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
    and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
    and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the
    night.

    And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist
    houses,
    into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
    into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
    and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.

    There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
    hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
    and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
    there are mirrors
    that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
    there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical
    cords.

    I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
    my rage, forgetting everything,
    I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic
    shops,
    and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
    underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
    dirty tears are falling.

    You and me and Pablo, babe.

    NotASenator on
  • FoolproofFoolproof thats what my hearts become in that place you dare not look staring back at youRegistered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Fandeathis wrote: »
    T.S. Eliot is a close second to ee cummings for me. Bukowski and Frost are overrated.

    Also Poe and Nietzsche wrote some cool stuff.

    Poe got paid by the word like Lovecraft or Dickens otherwise they might have been even greater.

    Bukowski is best read at the top of your lungs while drunk. You should try it, seriously.

    Foolproof on
  • FandeathisFandeathis Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Foolproof wrote: »
    Fandeathis wrote: »
    T.S. Eliot is a close second to ee cummings for me. Bukowski and Frost are overrated.

    Also Poe and Nietzsche wrote some cool stuff.

    Poe got paid by the word like Lovecraft or Dickens otherwise they might have been even greater.

    Bukowski is best read at the top of your lungs while drunk. You should try it, seriously.

    Lovecraft was pretty awesome also, and yes you make a very good point.

    I'm not especially good at reading drunk, but will have to try that sometime!

    Fandeathis on
    You fuck wit' Die Antwoord, you fuck wit' da army.
  • NarbusNarbus Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Come now

    my child

    if we were planning

    to harm you

    would we be

    lurking here

    beside the path

    in the very darkest part

    of the forest?

    Narbus on
  • Metzger MeisterMetzger Meister Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Bagpipe Music



    It's no go the merrygoround, it's no go the rickshaw,
    All we want is a limousine and a ticket for the peepshow.
    Their knickers are made of crêpe-de-chine, their shoes are made of python,
    Their halls are lined with tiger rugs and their walls with heads of bison.

    John MacDonald found a corpse, put it under the sofa,
    Waited till it came to life and hit it with a poker,
    Sold its eyes for souvenirs, sold its blood for whiskey,
    Kept its bones for dumb-bells to use when he was fifty.

    It's no go the Yogi-Man, it's no go Blavatsky,
    All we want is a bank balance and a bit of skirt in a taxi.

    Annie MacDougall went to milk, caught her foot in the heather,
    Woke to hear a dance record playing of Old Vienna.
    It's no go your maidenheads, it's no go your culture,
    All we want is a Dunlop tyre and the devil mend the puncture.

    The Laird o' Phelps spent Hogmanay declaring he was sober,
    Counted his feet to prove the fact and found he had one foot over.
    Mrs Carmichael had her fifth, looked at the job with repulsion,
    Said to the midwife 'Take it away; I'm through with overproduction'.

    It's no go the gossip column, it's no go the Ceilidh,
    All we want is a mother's help and a sugar-stick for the baby.

    Willie Murray cut his thumb, couldn't count the damage,
    Took the hide of an Ayrshire cow and used it for a bandage.
    His brother caught three hundred cran when the seas were lavish,
    Threw the bleeders back in the sea and went upon the parish.

    It's no go the Herring Board, it's no go the Bible,
    All we want is a packet of fags when our hands are idle.

    It's no go the picture palace, it's no go the stadium,
    It's no go the country cot with a pot of pink geraniums,
    It's no go the Government grants, it's no go the elections,
    Sit on your arse for fifty years and hang your hat on a pension.

    It's no go my honey love, it's no go my poppet;
    Work your hands from day to day, the winds will blow the profit.
    The glass is falling hour by hour, the glass will fall for ever,
    But if you break the bloody glass you won't hold up the weather.

    Metzger Meister on
  • Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus GRAND ATTACK!Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    If you really like hearing poetry read, you ought to follow SpokenVerse on YouTube

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGT2S97wyzc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UJwmpmZytGg

    Centipede Damascus on
  • HobnailHobnail Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    "When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
    Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
    Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
    And march to your front like a soldier.
    Front, front, front like a soldier

    If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
    Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
    So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
    And wait for supports like a soldier.
    Wait, wait, wait like a soldier

    When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An' go to your Gawd like a soldier."

    Hobnail on
  • Dead LegendDead Legend Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    definitely sounds like a poem about afghanistan

    Dead Legend on
    diablo III - beardsnbeer#1508 Mechwarrior Online - Rusty Bock
  • DavoidDavoid Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    whenever this thread comes up, I always tend to post La Figlia Che Piange

    So, I'm going to try something different instead
    In the sky there is nobody asleep. Nobody, nobody.
    Nobody is asleep.
    The creatures of the moon sniff and prowl about their cabins.
    The living iguanas will come and bite the men who do not dream,
    and the man who rushes out with his spirit broken will meet on the
    street corner
    the unbelievable alligator quiet beneath the tender protest of the
    stars.

    Nobody is asleep on earth. Nobody, nobody.
    Nobody is asleep.
    In a graveyard far off there is a corpse
    who has moaned for three years
    because of a dry countryside on his knee;
    and that boy they buried this morning cried so much
    it was necessary to call out the dogs to keep him quiet.

    Life is not a dream. Careful! Careful! Careful!
    We fall down the stairs in order to eat the moist earth
    or we climb to the knife edge of the snow with the voices of the dead
    dahlias.
    But forgetfulness does not exist, dreams do not exist;
    flesh exists. Kisses tie our mouths
    in a thicket of new veins,
    and whoever his pain pains will feel that pain forever
    and whoever is afraid of death will carry it on his shoulders.

    One day
    the horses will live in the saloons
    and the enraged ants
    will throw themselves on the yellow skies that take refuge in the
    eyes of cows.

    Another day
    we will watch the preserved butterflies rise from the dead
    and still walking through a country of gray sponges and silent boats
    we will watch our ring flash and roses spring from our tongue.
    Careful! Be careful! Be careful!
    The men who still have marks of the claw and the thunderstorm,
    and that boy who cries because he has never heard of the invention
    of the bridge,
    or that dead man who possesses now only his head and a shoe,
    we must carry them to the wall where the iguanas and the snakes
    are waiting,
    where the bear's teeth are waiting,
    where the mummified hand of the boy is waiting,
    and the hair of the camel stands on end with a violent blue shudder.

    Nobody is sleeping in the sky. Nobody, nobody.
    Nobody is sleeping.
    If someone does close his eyes,
    a whip, boys, a whip!
    Let there be a landscape of open eyes
    and bitter wounds on fire.
    No one is sleeping in this world. No one, no one.
    I have said it before.

    No one is sleeping.
    But if someone grows too much moss on his temples during the
    night,
    open the stage trapdoors so he can see in the moonlight
    the lying goblets, and the poison, and the skull of the theaters.

    Davoid on
    rqv6.png
  • ukiyo eukiyo e Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    The dews drop slowly and dreams gather: unknown spears
    Suddenly hurtle before my dream-awakened eyes,
    And then the clash of fallen horsemen and the cries
    Of unknown perishing armies beat about my ears.
    We who still labour by the cromlech on the shore,
    The grey caim on the hill, when day sinks drowned in dew,
    Being weary of the world's empires, bow down to you.
    Master of the still stars and of the flaming door.
    -William Butler Yeats

    ukiyo e on
    1EAFQ.gif
  • Dead LegendDead Legend Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Sunset and evening star,
      And one clear call for me!
    And may there be no moaning of the bar,
      When I put out to sea,

    But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
      Too full for sound and foam,
    When that which drew from out the boundless deep
      Turns again home.

    Twilight and evening bell,
      And after that the dark!
    And may there be no sadness of farewell,
      When I embark;

    For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
      The flood may bear me far,
    I hope to see my Pilot face to face
      When I have crossed the bar.
    Half a league, half a league,
      Half a league onward,
    All in the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.
    'Forward, the Light Brigade!
    Charge for the guns' he said:
    Into the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.

    'Forward, the Light Brigade!'
    Was there a man dismay'd?
    Not tho' the soldiers knew
      Some one had blunder'd:
    Their's not to make reply,
    Their's not to reason why,
    Their's but to do and die:
    Into the valley of Death
      Rode the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon in front of them
      Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    Boldly they rode and well,
    Into the jaws of Death,
    Into the mouth of Hell
      Rode the six hundred.

    Flash'd all their sabres bare,
    Flash'd as they turned in air
    Sabring the gunners there,
    Charging an army while
      All the world wonder'd:
    Plunged in the battery-smoke
    Right thro' the line they broke;
    Cossack and Russian
    Reel'd from the sabre-stroke
    Shatter'd and sunder'd.
    Then they rode back, but not
    Not the six hundred.

    Cannon to right of them,
    Cannon to left of them,
    Cannon behind them
      Volley'd and thunder'd;
    Storm'd at with shot and shell,
    While horse and hero fell,
    They that had fought so well
    Came thro' the jaws of Death,
    Back from the mouth of Hell,
    All that was left of them,
      Left of six hundred.

    When can their glory fade?
    O the wild charge they made!
      All the world wonder'd.
    Honour the charge they made!
    Honour the Light Brigade,
      Noble six hundred!

    two of my favorites

    hell probably some of the only poetry that i know of

    Dead Legend on
    diablo III - beardsnbeer#1508 Mechwarrior Online - Rusty Bock
  • PharezonPharezon Struggle is an illusion. Victory is in the Qun.Registered User regular
    edited May 2010
    Hobnail wrote: »
    "When first under fire an' you're wishful to duck,
    Don't look nor take 'eed at the man that is struck,
    Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck
    And march to your front like a soldier.
    Front, front, front like a soldier

    If your officer's dead and the sergeants look white,
    Remember it's ruin to run from a fight:
    So take open order, lie down, and sit tight,
    And wait for supports like a soldier.
    Wait, wait, wait like a soldier

    When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains
    An' go to your Gawd like a soldier."

    I'm ashamed of you for not posting the entire thing.

    Pharezon on
    jkZziGc.png
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