the illusion is that you are simply
reading this poem.
the reality is that this is
more than a
this is a beggar’s knife.
this is a tulip.
this is a soldier marching
this is you on your
this is Li Po laughing
this is not a god-damned
this is a horse asleep.
a butterfly in
this is the devil’s
you are not reading this
on a page.
the page is reading
it’s like a cobra. it’s a hungry eagle circling the room.
this is not a poem. poems are dull,
they make you sleep.
these words force you
to a new
you have been blessed, you have been pushed into a
blinding area of
the elephant dreams
the curve of space
you can die now.
you can die now as
people were meant to
hearing the music,
being the music,
- Charles Bukowski
To want to be desired is essentially a form of self-love. It is an external validation of your positive attributes.
The way a moment is closer to eternity than a year,
there’s silence in the commotion after an explosion—
the dream of a distant land as pointless and ephemeral
as a weekly newspaper. I remember when video tapes
were building blocks. In the current intellectual climate
atheists wake in the middle of the night startled by flags,
a landscape of horses and birds on fire. On my knees,
black hood over my head, I might see things differently.
If the stars came out only one night in a thousand years
over snow globe America, if my teeth were brighter than
they used to be, if the idea of fullness weren’t so vacuous
as to undermine the merely positive, we might be free
from the narrative of the supernatural which manifests itself
in explosions and mourning and attempts to counter
What? To jump in the fire of philosophy and pay the bills
on time suggests a certain thrift of imagination, a failure
to find meaning in the submission of self-identification
to gradual loss, which is to say a success, less solace
than threat, in that angelic magic, the idea of it, that wraps
its car around the telephone pole of our consciousness.
But in the burlap dark, one must decide, God or no God,
the relative value of life. That is the authority of physics.
In a cobweb of language, the mind turns; true education
begins on a sleepless night. You dance through the Still River
to a landscape of horses and birds on fire as if by design.
Beautiful accidents, spontaneous violence, nothing exists
apart from quantum instrumentalism that’s not abstract.
Entropy. Threnody. Kenosis. My God. Chacun ses goûts
malaise. Let’s go, you, me, and the baby, all the way
to The Origin of the Species back before the last big crunch.
In the Freudian model of yesteryear I’m talking to myselves
again. Coffee Coffee BuzzBuzzBuzz. Standby for shrapnel.
Often I permit myselves to return to those memory blocks
of mine, if only for one throat-clearing moment at a time.
by Scott Keeney
Fear and pity may be aroused by spectacular means; but they may also result from the inner structure of the piece, which is the better way, and indicates a superior poet. For the plot ought to be so constructed that, even without the aid of the eye, he who hears the tale told will thrill with horror and melt to pity at what takes Place. This is the impression we should receive from hearing the story of the Oedipus. But to produce this effect by the mere spectacle is a less artistic method, and dependent on extraneous aids. Those who employ spectacular means to create a sense not of the terrible but only of the monstrous, are strangers to the purpose of Tragedy; for we must not demand of Tragedy any and every kind of pleasure, but only that which is proper to it. And since the pleasure which the poet should afford is that which comes from pity and fear through imitation, it is evident that this quality must be impressed upon theincidents.
Poetics by Aristotle (360 BCE)
translation S. H. Butler.
My heart is tired
Please, don’t make me love you