Nothing makes sense; apart from art, as it doesn’t make sense and is beautiful.
the man with the beautiful eyes
when we were kids there was a strange house
all the shades were always drawn
and we never heard voices in there
and the yard was full of bamboo
and we liked to play in the bamboo
pretend we were Tarzan
(although there was no Jane).
and there was a fish pond, a large one
full of the fattest goldfish you ever saw
and they were tame.
they came to the surface of the water
and took pieces of bread from our hands.
our parents had told us:
“never go near that house.”
so, of course, we went.
we wondered if anybody lived there.
weeks went by and we never saw anybody.
then one day we heard a voice
from the house “YOU GOD DAMNED WHORE!”
it was a man’s voice.
then the screen door of the house was
flung open and the man walked out.
he was holding a fifth of whiskey in his right hand.
he was about 30.
he had a cigar in his mouth,
needed a shave.
his hair was wild and uncombed
and he was barefoot in undershirt and pants.
but his eyes were bright.they blazed with brightness
and he said, “hey little gentlemen, having a good time, I
then he gave a little laugh and walked back into the house.
we left, went back to my parent’s yard and thought about it.
our parents, we decided had wanted us to stay away from there
because they never wanted us to see a man like that, a strong natural
man with beautiful eyes. our parents were ashamed that they were
not like that man, that’s why they wanted us to stay away.
but we went back to that house and the bamboo and the tame
goldfish. we went back many times for many weeks but we never
saw or heard the man again.
the shades were down as always and it was quiet.
then one day as we came back from school
we saw the house.the man with the beautiful eyes
it had burned down,
there was nothing left,
just a smoldering twisted black foundation
and we went to the fish pond
and there was no water in it
and the fat orange goldfish
were dead there,
we went back to my parents’ yard
and talked about it and decided that
our parents had burned their house down,
had killed the
because it was all too beautiful,
even the bamboo forest had burned.
they had been afraid of the man with the
beautiful eyes. and we were afraid
then that all through our lives
things like that would happen,
that nobody wanted anybody
to be strong and beautiful
like that, that others would never
would have to
from The Last Night on Earth Poems
They killed my mother
At the door of my room;
She died and saved me!
Later, in the dead of night
I was wandering with Bersi
A pale glow flashes
And it lightens ahead of me
The dark street!
My home was burning!
So I was alone!
And all around me, nothing!
Hunger and misery!
I fell ill,
And Bersi, so good and pure
Made a market of her beauty
For my sake –
I bring misfortune to all those who loves me!
It was in that grief
That love came to me!
A voice full of harmony and it says:
‘You have to live! I am the life itself!
Your heaven is in my eyes
You’re not alone!
I’ll collect all your tears!
I’ll walk with you and support you!
Smile and hope! I am love!
Are you surrounded by blood and mud?
I am divine! I am oblivion!
I’m the God that descends on Earth
From the Empyrean, I turn Earth
Into heaven! Ah!
I’m love, I’m love, love
And the angel approaches with a kiss
And the Death is kissing you.
My body is a dying body.
So take it
I’ve already died!
Hast thou, which art but air, a touch, a feeling
Of their afflictions, and shall not myself,
One of their kind, that relish all as sharply,
Passion as they, be kindlier moved than thou art?
Though with their high wrongs I am struck to the quick,
Yet with my nobler reason ‘gaitist my fury
Do I take part: the rarer action is
In virtue than in vengeance: they being penitent,
The sole drift of my purpose doth extend
Not a frown further. Go release them, Ariel:
My charms I’ll break, their senses I’ll restore,
And they shall be themselves.
You do look, my son, in a moved sort,
As if you were dismay’d. Be cheerful, sir.
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air,
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision,
The cloud-capp’d towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep.
Act IV Scene I.
A horrible feeling of desolation pinched my heart. I listened rigid but heard nothing but the creep of blood in my ears. Great and shadowy and strange was the world and I drifted solitary through its vast mysteries.
A remote faint question, where I might be, drifted and vanished again in my mind. I found myself standing astonished, my emotions penetrated by something I could not understand.
I felt naked. I felt as perhaps a bird may feel in the clear air knowing the hawk wings above and will swoop. I began to feel the need of fellowship. I wanted to question, wanted to speak, wanted to relate my experience. What is this spirit in man that urges him forever to depart from happiness, to toil and to place himself in danger?
It was this restlessness, this insecurity perhaps that drove me further and further afield in my exploring expedition. As the hush of the evening crept over the world, the sun touched the mountains and became very swiftly a blazing hemisphere of liquid flame, and sank. Then, slow and soft and wrapping the world in fold after fold of deepening blue, came the night. And then, the splendor of the sight — in the sky, one bright planet shone kindly and steadily like the face of an old friend. The full temerity of my voyage suddenly came upon me. At last I began to feel the pull of the earth upon my being, drawing me back again to the life that is real, for men.
All through that Sunday afternoon
a kite flew above Sunday,
a tightened drumhead, an armful of blown chaff.
I’d seen it grey and slippy in the making,
I’d tapped it when it dried out white and stiff,
I’d tied the bows of newspaper
along its six-foot tail.
But now it was far up like a small black lark
and now it dragged as if the bellied string
were a wet rope hauled upon
to lift a shoal.
My friend says that the human soul
is about the weight of a snipe,
yet the soul at anchor there,
the string that sags and ascends,
weigh like a furrow assumed into the heavens.
Before the kite plunges down into the wood
and this line goes useless
take in your two hands, boys, and feel
the strumming, rooted, long-tailed pull of grief.
You were born fit for it.
Stand in here in front of me
and take the strain.
“..a declaration of war should be a kind of popular festival with entrance-tickets and bands, like a bull fight. Then in the arena the ministers and generals of the two countries, dressed in bathing-drawers and armed with clubs, can have it out on themselves. Whoever survives the country wins. That would be much simpler and more than just this arrangement, where the wrong people do the fighting”
― Erich Maria Remarque, All Quiet on the Western Front
“It is impossible to convey the life-sensation of any given epoch of one’s existence — that which makes its truth, its meaning — its subtle and penetrating essence. It is impossible. We live, as we dream — alone. . . .”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness