by Charles Bukowski
from my bed I watch 3 birds on a telephone wire. one flies off. then another. one is left, then it too is gone. my typewriter is tombstone still. and I am reduced to bird watching. just thought I'd let you know, fucker.
Edgar Allan Poe
In visions of the dark night I have dreamed of joy departed- But a waking dream of life and light Hath left me broken-hearted. Ah! what is not a dream by day To him whose eyes are cast On things around him with a ray Turned back upon the past? That holy dream- that holy dream, While all the world were chiding, Hath cheered me as a lovely beam A lonely spirit guiding. What though that light, thro' storm and night, So trembled from afar- What could there be more purely bright In Truth's day-star?
by Langston Hughes
I went down to the river, I set down on the bank. I tried to think but couldn't, So I jumped in and sank. I came up once and hollered! I came up twice and cried! If that water hadn't a-been so cold I might've sunk and died. But it was Cold in that water! It was cold! I took the elevator Sixteen floors above the ground. I thought about my baby And thought I would jump down. I stood there and I hollered! I stood there and I cried! If it hadn't a-been so high I might've jumped and died. But it was High up there! It was high! So since I'm still here livin', I guess I will live on. I could've died for love– But for livin' I was born Though you may hear me holler, And you may see me cry– I'll be dogged, sweet baby, If you gonna see me die. Life is fine! Fine as wine! Life is fine!
by George Gordon (Lord) Byron
When we two parted In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, Colder thy kiss; Truly that hour foretold Sorrow to this. The dew of the morning Sunk chill on my brow– It felt like the warning Of what I feel now. Thy vows are all broken, And light is thy fame: I hear thy name spoken, And share in its shame. They name thee before me, A knell to mine ear; A shudder comes o'er me– Why wert thou so dear? They know not I knew thee, Who knew thee too well: Lond, long shall I rue thee, Too deeply to tell. I secret we met– I silence I grieve, That thy heart could forget, Thy spirit deceive. If I should meet thee After long years, How should I greet thee? With silence and tears.
by Ellis Parker Butler
Listen, ladies, while I sing The ballad of John Henry King. John Henry was a bachelor, His age was thirty-three or four. Two maids for his affection vied, And each desired to be his bride, And bravely did they strive to bring Unto their feet John Henry King. John Henry liked them both so well, To save his life he could not tell Which he most wished to be his bride, Nor was he able to decide. Fair Kate was jolly, bright, and gay, And sunny as a summer day; Marie was kind, sedate, and sweet, With gentle ways and manners neat. Each was so dear that John confessed He could not tell which he liked best. He studied them for quite a year, And still found no solution near, And might have studied two years more Had he not, walking on the shore, Conceived a very simple way Of ending his prolonged delay– A way in which he might decide Which of the maids should be his bride. He said, "I'll toss into the air A dollar, and I'll toss it fair; If heads come up, I'll wed Marie; If tails, fair Kate my bride shall be." Then from his leather pocket-book A dollar bright and new he took; He kissed one side for fair Marie, The other side for Kate kissed he. Then in a manner free and fair He tossed the dollar in the air. "Ye fates," he cried, "pray let this be A lucky throw indeed for me!" The dollar rose, the dollar fell; He watched its whirling transit well, And off some twenty yards or more The dollar fell upon the shore. John Henry ran to where it struck To see which maiden was in luck. But, oh, the irony of fate! Upon its edge the coin stood straight! And there, embedded in the sand, John Henry let the dollar stand! And he will tempt his fate no more, But live and die a bachelor. Thus, ladies, you have heard me sing The ballad of John Henry King.