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literature

W
What Phil Told Me
Phil probably wasn't sober as I could smell liquor in the air. He was a Caucasian man with a wart on the apex of his right ear and short brown hair somewhat thinned on top, though that's only apparent when he takes off his baseball cap. His shirt collar was a little frayed but his clothes were clean, and his reading glasses hung from a cord. He talked about baseball, but it seemed to me he was really talking about life. It was important, he said, to play to win. You had to play your very best to win. And if you didn't win, at least you knew in your heart that you had tried. His voice nearly broke when he said this. He hates the righteous an
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limerick as epitaph
Here lies an old man from Ohio Whose bones have lost all of their brio. It is said on the day That his life passed away He mistook a bull for his dear Io.
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Tillie
Tillie's first act when he was born was to grin Staring with glazed, blue eyes he looked so giddy With his lacquered-up hair and his pale, pink skin Both loved and feared by the visiting kiddy Outside the Palace Tillie welcomed him in Along with the parents or the watchful biddy But now his face is pocked and he's looking grim The Palace has fallen to the wrecking ball And Tillie awaits Fate in a courtyard dim While the coastal salt air continues to maul His face and his collar as he sits on the wall.
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ode to a pen
An Ode to the Pen Come, let us praise the humble pen Which gives form to the thoughts unspoken That they may be by others read Long after author is mute or dead And oral lore forgotten. A pen can do more than a sword And is it not a greater good To spill much ink instead of blood To make the world more ordered? If not for this, the humble pen So much reduced would be our ken. And we would have to find again What others found before us.
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tanka no.191
In the autumn days The nights grow subtly longer Smells in the air change Some leaves fall mutely away Others fall to earth ablaze
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The Emancipation of Cassandra
In the Midwest, long ago, a girl of six was sent to school. "Make us proud", said the Mother. "Behave yourself", said the Father.  And the girl's older brother stuck out his tongue and then went away to play with his friends. The school was big; the girl's legs dangled in the air when she sat in the chairs and the teachers frowned because when she was told to color she didn't stay inside the lines.  Then one day a teacher taught the girl how to read. "Now practice", said the teacher.  "Practice or else you'll forget and will have to learn how to do this all over again next year."  The thought of having to do something all over again
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firefly
Fireflies dance in the midsummer night To the tune played on Pan's pipe Until the new day's dawning And in a dew-jeweled web A yawning spider Hungrily feeds On fresh caught Firefly's Blood.
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horse sense
Mornings, when our lives interlace Over tea and raspberry jam Every day you look at my face Do you think you know who i am? You send me off to school in haste Reminding me of the exam. Determined to see me well-placed, Do you think you know who i am? And when i balk in your dressage My disobedience you slam I feel the the crop of your barrage Do you think you know who i am? You wish to see me in a job For which i give a tinker's damn That straps men like a tackled cob Do you think you know who i am?
a
a daughter and mother chat
It pains me much to see i've failed you now Despite all the ambitions pinned on me Despite that you had hoped to see Fulfillment of your proud, rebellious vow. Twenty two long years your youthful dream Has waited unfulfilled within your breast While motherhood relentlessly has pressed Into the space between you and your scheme. So it was up to me to be the one To fasten ropes upon the distant ridge Which would desire's hollow chasm bridge And give you passage to the goal unwon. I'm sure it pains to see now that i'm dead That i would choose to hang myself instead.
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yearning
I yearn again for his gentle caress The rise and fall Of his chest His hands Kiss
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hanging tight
Do not go gentle into that long night But tie a noose Find a tree And hang Tight.
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The Ballad of Squeaky G.
Squeaky with the radiant smile From a land of chips Rode her scooter countless miles To try to come to grips With a hollow emptiness Covered with a bluff Until she reached an orange land And said, "I've had enough". Her dreams of the past laid torn in her grasp Along with some catgut for suture And with a dose of cyanide She slipped into the future. "My life is not my own, it seems I live my life for others. But I would lose it all and die If I could have my druthers." "When I tried to be myself I was met with disdain And so I learned to be a clown To win them back again." Her dreams of the past laid torn in her grasp Alo
N
Nigel's Gift
In answer to the question, she whispered into the confidant's ear. "It was a chronic, dull ache that felt like it could only get worse.  But that's over now." Still, there was a tear in the corner of her eye. At the front of the room stood Nigel's brother Jim who watched with keen interest as Jason stood up from kneeling before the casket.  Jim softly snorted. "Just don't touch the head.  It might cave in, you know." Jason knew.  He smiled weakly and then sadly walked away. It was only a week earlier that Nigel had walked across the lawn, wanting to talk with his neighbor.  But Jason was busy and begged off, and so Nigel walked back
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The Funeral
"You must be Cassandra.", said the minister as he approached the woman standing off to the side of the room. She was dressed in a simple, black dress and smoking a cigarette. Cassandra nodded and smiled slightly. "Tell me about your mother. What was she like?" The smile abruptly vanished and Cassandra stared at him with more than a little wonder. This was the latest minister of the church her mother had belonged to for the past 20 years, and he had been at this post for the past 5 of them. "What do you remember about your mother that was special and unique about her?" She suddenly understood why she was being asked such strange questions;
89
You cannot go back home again, There is no home to go to. The pond's been filled, The grocery store Is now a garment outlet store That sells used shoes and blouses To strange women you've not seen before. The house you once called home is there And you can recognize the song That fills the air along with dust And ghosts of memories of her Who used to sing to you And now All that is left is one old man Who sits upon a worn out chair And listens as the record spins around.
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senryu 18-3-5
Weil der Abonnent den Zug nicht abstellen kann Der Schaffner veracht'.
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tanka 16-3-5
Mit Vollmacht des Predigers Holzen sie den Wald ab Mit Bildsaeulen aus Pappmache Feiern sie das Allerheiligen dort
S
Senryu for you
Optimistic youth Huddled 'round a charcoal stove Foreign pundits rave.
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Eine Predigt
Betrach das Aas! Es haermt sich ueber nichts ab. Es ist zufrieden. Nur die Lebenden arbeiten sich ab. Nur sie vergehen.
M
Minnetanka
Tugendhafte Frau! Abends bindet sie ihre Beine abermals zusammen.  Morgens hackt sie die Bande abermals ab.
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Ein glueckliche Zufall
Am Absprungpunkt steht ein Toter, wer war vom Blitz ploetlich getroffen. Dank der liebe Gott dass er kein Selbstmord nicht beging!
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suicide
Surrounded by his sanguine kin Unable to relate to them Impatient and in mortal dread Cholly chose to leave instead Induced by hope of some respite Dangling free he left to find Everlasting night.
T
They were so proud
They were so proud when he was born He'd make the thorn Of unreached dreams Recede, it seems. If he could but a great thing do It would undo Obscurity Humility So when death claimed their darling prize They did revise Their plan for fame And mongered blame.
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