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A Quote for Today

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“The created world is but a small parenthesis in eternity’ something quite different, relating to the planet’s life-span, not individual life-span.”  Thomas Browne

The Simple Truth by Philip Levine

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“The Simple Truth”
I bought a dollar and a half’s worth of small red potatoes,
took them home, boiled them in their jackets
and ate them for dinner with a little butter and salt.
Then I walked through the dried fields
on the edge of town. In middle June the light
hung on in the dark furrows at my feet,
and in the mountain oaks overhead the birds
were gathering for the night, the jays and mockers
squawking back and forth, the finches still darting
into the dusty light. The woman who sold me
the potatoes was from Poland; she was someone
out of my childhood in a pink spangled sweater and sunglasses
praising the perfection of all her fruits and vegetables
at the road-side stand and urging me to taste
even the pale, raw sweet corn trucked all the way,
she swore, from New Jersey. “Eat, eat” she said,
“Even if you don’t I’ll say you did.”
Some things
you know all your life. They are so simple and true
they must be said without elegance, meter and rhyme,
they must be laid on the table beside the salt shaker,
the glass of water, the absence of light gathering
in the shadows of picture frames, they must be
naked and alone, they must stand for themselves.
My friend Henri and I arrived at this together in 1965
before I went away, before he began to kill himself,
and the two of us to betray our love. Can you taste
what I’m saying? It is onions or potatoes, a pinch
of simple salt, the wealth of melting butter, it is obvious,
it stays in the back of your throat like a truth
you never uttered because the time was always wrong,
it stays there for the rest of your life, unspoken,
made of that dirt we call earth, the metal we call salt,
in a form we have no words for, and you live on it.

Quote for Today

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“No one can confidently say that he will still be living tomorrow.”   Euripides

Grass

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GRASSGRASS

BY CARL SANDBURG

Pile the bodies high at Austerlitz and Waterloo.
Shovel them under and let me work—
I am the grass; I cover all.

And pile them high at Gettysburg
And pile them high at Ypres and Verdun.
Shovel them under and let me work.
Two years, ten years, and passengers ask the conductor:
What place is this?
Where are we now?

I am the grass.
Let me work.

 

I Go Back to May 1937 By Sharon Olds

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I Go Back to May 1937 By Sharon Olds

I see them standing at the formal gates of their colleges,
I see my father strolling out
under the ochre sandstone arch, the
red tiles glinting like bent
plates of blood behind his head, I
see my mother with a few light books at her hip
standing at the pillar made of tiny bricks,
the wrought-iron gate still open behind her, its
sword-tips aglow in the May air,
they are about to graduate, they are about to get married,
they are kids, they are dumb, all they know is they are
innocent, they would never hurt anybody.
I want to go up to them and say Stop,
don’t do it—she’s the wrong woman,
he’s the wrong man, you are going to do things
you cannot imagine you would ever do,
you are going to do bad things to children,
you are going to suffer in ways you have not heard of,
you are going to want to die. I want to go
up to them there in the late May sunlight and say it,
her hungry pretty face turning to me,
her pitiful beautiful untouched body,
his arrogant handsome face turning to me,
his pitiful beautiful untouched body,
but I don’t do it. I want to live. I
take them up like the male and female
paper dolls and bang them together
at the hips, like chips of flint, as if to
strike sparks from them, I say
Do what you are going to do, and I will tell about it.

Sharon Olds, “I Go Back to May 1937” from Strike Sparks: Selected Poems 1980-2002.

 

Quote for Today

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From Mudbone to Richard Pryor.

“Hardtimes”

I lived thru hard times. Hard times was waay back. People talk about it bein hard times. They didn’t have a year. They just called it hard times. It was dark all the time. I think the sun came out Wednesday, and if you didn’t have ass up early you missed it. So I happened to be out there one Wednesday and the sun hit me right in the face and I grabbed some and rub it all over my face ’cause I didn’t have nuthin else. I might as well have some sun on my face.

Listen to the whole story on Youtube. There is plenty of profanity and some triggers.

First Job Atrocities

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entry level job

“First Job Atrocities” By Melanie Maheu.

My first job was my dream job. Sincerely. I worked in a book store coffee shop, and up until that point, it was the only thing I really wanted to do. I remember going to grab triple-venti-five-pump-no-whip caramel macchiatos with my high school buddies, and as I watched the baristas pass the cups and dump the shots, I thought, “That’s it! That’s what I want to do!” The kids behind the counter were always so swank and sassy. They usually had a piercing or ten and tattoos on their arms that said, “I’m young and trendy and I don’t need your 9 to 5” (I mean, the tats didn’t literally say that, but you get it). Well, I knew I was destined for swankiness and sassiness too. At one point, I thought seriously about dropping out of college, because I felt so formidable behind that counter. Until my roommates started showing up at night to shout at me as I mopped the floors. I remember an elderly man approaching me as I scrubbed up some days-old-gum and saying, “Just laugh in their face when they ask to borrow $20.” Well, old man, they didn’t need my $20, they were on their parents’ dime. And, come to think of it, I didn’t need it either. Once I realized how much Everclear and experimentation I was missing out on, I called in sick and never came back. Responsibility at its finest.  Read the rest on Insphire

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