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ahoobin
ahoobinCommunity member
Autoplay OFF  •  8 months ago
POETRY MASH-UP You know how things begin:

POETRY MASH-UP

You know how things begin:

You tell yourself, hey – this is it –

This is the beginning.

And that’s what it becomes; for you, for me.

That’s because beginnings are arbitrary,

They only happen when you tell yourself they’re happening.

Let us go then, you and I,

When the evening is spread out against the sky

Like a patient etherized upon a table.

Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,

The muttering retreats

Streets that follow like a tedious argument.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.

I have passed by the watchman on his beat

And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet

When far away an interrupted cry

Came over houses from another street.

I should have been a pair of ragged claws

Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.

To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time.

To die—to sleep,

No more; and by a sleep to say we end

The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks

That flesh is heir to: 'tis a consummation

Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;

To die, to be really dead, that must be glorious. There are far worse things awaiting man than death.

To sleep, perchance to dream—ay, there's the rub:

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil;

The undiscovere'd country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns.

This is as good a time as any – the one we’re in.

“As of now,” there’s a phrase.

“As of now,” ; where everything is, where everything is happening;

Where every beginning that’s ever begun

Has had to begin

Here, where we are.

Now.

As of now.

This instant, within all of the instances

Where all the beginnings and all the endings

For that matter

Come

And go.

If, where we are,

In this huge, immense moment

Are all our yesterdays.

See them;

One next to the one before it,

Next to the one before that,

Next to the one before that.

Way back,

Going back as far as the eye

Asking why

Can see.

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury

Signifying nothing.

We left before the police came.

It was morning by then, and dawn.

I am in blood

Stepped in so far that, should I wade no more,

Returning were as tedious as go o'er.

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!

Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread

For he on honey-dew hath fed,

And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Naturally, I was feeling very bad,

As I went down there.

Down Wall, from girder into street noon leaks,

A rip-tooth of the sky’s acetylene;

Out of some subway scuttle, cell or loft

A bedlamite speeds to thy parapets,

Tilting there momently, shrill shirt ballooning,

A jest falls from the speechless caravan.

Under thy shadow by the piers I waited

As apparitional as sails that cross

Some page of figures to be filed away;

—Till elevators drop us from our day.

I just kept going down and down there.

It was like going down to the bottom of the world.

I found my brother’s body, there,

Where they had thrown it away on the rocks, by the river,

Like an old, dirty rag nobody wants.

He was dead and I felt I had killed him.

All afternoon the cloud flown derricks turn ...

Thy cables breathe the North Atlantic still.

I turned back, to give myself up

Because if a man’s life can be lived so long

And come out this way, like rubbish,

Then something was horrible

And had to be ended, one way or another

And I decided to help.

In this amazing come-and-go,

Now is the only time anything can happen.

Now is the only place

Where everything that’s ever been

Is.

You know how things begin,

You know how things end.

You tell yourself,

“Hey, this is it.

This is the ending.”

And that’s what it becomes

For you, for me.

That’s because endings are as arbitrary

As beginnings;

They only happen

When you tell yourself

They’re happening;

Maybe that’s why they happen

The way they do,

Any time you want them to.

Could be this very moment.

Right now.

_______________

With inspiration from, apologies to, acknowledgment of and gratitude for: Ken Nordine, T. S.

Eliot, Robert Frost, Shakespeare, Garrett Fort & Bela Lugosi, Abraham Polonsky, Ira Wolfert & John Garfield, Coleridge and Hart Crane.

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