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Archive for April, 2010

Say Hi to Johnny…


“If you can hold your listener, hold their attention, and you’re sure you know what you’re doing, and know that you’re communicating – You know, performance is communicating. You’ve got to communicate. You’ve got a song you’re singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut.”

“You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space.” – Johnny Cash

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Poet Laureate, weaver of words…I’ve meet him on the page years ago and have been reading along ever since.

A few quotes I love:

“Inside my empty bottle I was constructing a lighthouse while all the others were making ships.”

“Poetry is an orphan of silence. The words never quite equal the experience behind them.”

READ YOUR FATE
A world’s disappearing.
Little street,
You were too narrow,
Too much in the shade already.

You had only one dog,
One lone child.
You hid your biggest mirror,
Your undressed lovers.

Someone carted them off
In an open truck.
They were still naked, travelling
On their sofa

Over a darkening plain,
Some unknown Kansas or Nebraska
With a storm brewing.
The woman opening a red umbrella

In the truck. The boy
And the dog running after them,
As if after a rooster
With its head chopped off.

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“I have measured my life in coffee spoon”
I met T.S. Eliot in school and was shocked to discover that assigned reading could introduce me to someone who would change my outlook on life and language. Before understanding what his words meant, I was attracted to them:

“And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.”
– The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper
-The Hallow Men

Eliot background:

30. A Life of Wonder – Billy Collins

Poet Laureate, nice guy, come let’s listen:

Madmen
They say you can jinx a poem
if you talk about it before it is done.
If you let it out too early, they warn,
your poem will fly away,
and this time they are absolutely right.

Take the night I mentioned to you
I wanted to write about the madmen,
as the newspapers so blithely call them,
who attack art, not in reviews,
but with breadknives and hammers
in the quiet museums of Prague and Amsterdam.

Actually, they are the real artists,
you said, spinning the ice in your glass.
The screwdriver is their brush.
The real vandals are the restorers,
you went on, slowly turning me upside-down,
the ones in the white doctor’s smocks
who close the wound in the landscape,
and thus ruin the true art of the mad.

I watched my poem fly down to the front
of the bar and hover there
until the next customer walked in–
then I watched it fly out the open door into the night
and sail away, I could only imagine,
over the dark tenements of the city.

All I had wished to say
was that art was also short,
as a razor can teach with a slash or two,
that it only seems long compared to life,
but that night, I drove home alone
with nothing swinging in the cage of my heart
except the faint hope that I might
catch a glimpse of the thing
in the fan of my headlights,
maybe perched on a road sign or a street lamp,
poor unwritten bird, its wings folded,
staring down at me with tiny illuminated eyes.
-Billy Collins

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By evoking his name you bring a feeling to life, one where the shapes of trees, mountains and rivers become language and love their subject….

I CRAVE YOUR MOUTH, YOUR VOICE, YOUR HAIR

DON’T GO FAR OFF, NOT EVEN FOR A DAY
Don’t go far off, not even for a day, because —
because — I don’t know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don’t leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don’t leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you’ll have gone so far
I’ll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

A few Neruda quotes I like:

“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride; so I love you because I know no other way.”

“I grew up in this town, my poetry was born between the hill and the river, it took its voice from the rain, and like the timber, it steeped itself in the forests.”

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43Things is ultimate website to help you build your BucketList and find others who share the same goals.

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Coffee is for closers.

I have a weakness in my heart for sales people. Having been one, you gotta love the clarity of the bottom line – and by “gotta love,” I mean love in moderation.

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Everyone has a band that shaped them, who they listened to when they themselves where forming who they were and whose words narrated their youth. The Counting Crows are mine:


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